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This MA allows you to build an individual, 'tailor-made' programme of study, which incorporates the intellectual concerns, skills and understandings that lead to a clearly focused research dissertation. 

You choose four modules, including at least one of two core modules, which provide you with specific research skills relevant to your interests.

This route is appropriate for those who have a particular interest they wish to develop not covered by one of our specialist pathways, or for those who are seeking a broadly based programme of music study at postgraduate level (taking both core modules, for example, would provide exceptional training for those going on to doctoral study).

Applicants should note that departmental timetable restrictions apply; consequently, part-time study offers the most flexible range of potential course combinations. This programme is not suitable if you're keen to take composition or performance modules – if this is what you'd like to do, please explore our MMus study options

The programme appeals to a wide range of students developing intellectual skills in music, perhaps as preparation for further postgraduate research, prior to entering teaching, or as a basis for a employment in arts administration, journalism, or other occupations in the creative and cultural industries.

Find out more about the MA in Music.

Modules & structure

You take the following core module:

  • Advanced Music Studies

Option modules 

You choose three modules from a list that currently includes:

  • Analysing Contemporary Music: From Serialism to Spectral Noise
  • Compositional Techniques
  • Contemporary Ethnomusicology
  • Contemporary Music: Practices and Debates
  • Critical Musicology and Popular Music
  • Ethnographic Film and Music Research
  • Music Management
  • New Directions in Popular Music Research
  • Performance as Research (Ethnomusicology)
  • Popular Music and its Critics
  • Research through Musical Performance
  • Sound Agendas
  • Sources and Resources in the Digital Age
  • Philosophies of Music


The dissertation acts as focus of the knowledge and skills acquired during the programme, and gives you the opportunity to undertake genuinely original work, employing relevant research methods and building upon the advanced and systematic understandings developed in other elements of the programme. 

Download the programme specification, for the 2019-20 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Visit the Music (General) - MA page on the Goldsmiths, University of London website for more details!





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Recipient: Goldsmiths, University of London

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