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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Creative Arts & Design

  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    1 year full time, 2 years part time

  • Course Type

    PgDip, Other

  • Course Fees

    See Fees and Funding tab in the Programme information in our online Prospectus.

  • Last Updated

    02 August 2019

These courses offer a flexible route to advanced musical study including classical, popular, world, contemporary, early, folk and traditional. You can pursue these research-based courses through creative practice (eg composition, performance, improvisation, or a blend of these) or musicological study in a field of your choosing.

Practitioners are able to study in areas such as performance, composition, studio-based work, improvisation, sound-art and mixed media – focusing in any one of these or blending them according to their creative needs. Musicologists are able to study in areas such as critical and cultural musicology, ethnomusicology and world music, folk music studies, early music, popular music studies, and music theory and analysis. It is also possible to combine practice-based and musicologically orientated projects.

The Music Masters Research Training module teaches essential skills and methodologies for the rest of the research-focused course. A series of four Elective Projects allows you to pursue research selected from a range of topics taught in staff-led seminar groups, or undertake supervised solo study in practice-based or musicological research.

The list of projects varies from year to year, but the following is a typical menu:

  • Debates in the Philosophy and Theory of Music
  • Popular Music and the Politics of Authenticity 
  • Advanced studies in Musics of the Holocaust
  • Popular Music before Sound Recording
  • Advanced Studies in Ethnomusicology 
  • Wild Pop
  • Indian Music for Postgraduates
  • Studies in Early Music
  • Case Studies in Music History
  • Popular Music Policy: Context and Case Studies
  • Music Analysis for Postgraduates.

The MMus and PGDip can be regarded as qualifications in their own right, but they also offer preparation for doctoral study, not least because of the strong research emphasis.


This course is delivered on the Newcastle campus (with options for a short period of study abroad in the case of the MMus). You will attend seminars and tutorials during semesters one and two. As an MMus student you spend the third semester working on your final dissertation or major creative project.

The flexibility of our course benefits part-time students, though staff-led research projects normally take place during normal working hours. All students – part-time and full-time – are required to complete the Music Research Training module across their first two semesters of study.

The MMus course comprises of compulsory and optional modules. Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) students follow a similar course, but with a smaller amount of creative project work.

The course is delivered through a series of one-to-one teaching (eg with an instrumental or composition teacher), lectures, seminars, specialist presentations, masterclasses, and workshops in which you will have the opportunity to share your experiences and debate your ideas with other students.

You will also be able to attend music research seminars in which visiting experts address the postgraduate community. The International Centre for Music Studies (ICMuS) provides information about research-related events (including research seminars), research projects, ICMuS researchers and the impact of their research in the wider world.

You will normally be assessed by a combination of:

  • portfolio work, eg composition or examples of academic writing
  • essays
  • commentary on creative practice work
  • oral examinations
  • unseen written examinations.

Visit the Music - MMus page on the Newcastle University website for more details!




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