Masters degrees in the History of Music offer an advanced focus on the contexts, cultures and developments of musical styles throughout various periods in history.
Taught MA degrees are typical for the field, though research oriented MRes and MPhil programmes may also be available at some institutions. Entry requirements normally include an appropriate undergraduate degree such as History, Music or Performance Studies.
Courses in this field are highly academically focused, providing opportunities for you to specialise in several areas.
For example, you might assess the development of string orchestra performance, from its inception to its present assortments. Or, you might specifically analyse a period such as the Renaissance, including influential artists and instruments.
Theses Masters may also be interdisciplinary in nature, combining theoretical concepts from disciplines such as anthropology, sociology and even philosophy. For example, you may explore music’s influence on the sociocultural constructs of different societies throughout colonial periods.
Traditional careers include academic teaching, academic writing, archival management and museum curation. You might also explore careers in music technology, instrument design or even music management.
The Graduate Diploma programme combines modules from different levels of undergraduate study into a single year.
If your first degree isn’t in Music but you have a high level of expertise, or if you’re an international student who isn’t confident in the English language or UK education system, this programme allows you to expand your knowledge of music and focus on the aspects that suit your own interests. It can bridge the gap between an undergraduate and Masters degree, but the GradDip is a respected qualification in its own right.
You’ll study core modules that build your research skills and give you a good grounding in music studies. Then you’ll also choose from optional modules in areas such as performance, composition, music technology, aesthetics, psychology of music or musicology.
This is a flexible programme, so contact us to find out about the level of knowledge and qualifications you may need for different module choices.
We have a variety of excellent facilities to support your learning, including rehearsal, performance and practice spaces, a lab for studying the psychology of music and studios for sound recording, software development and computer music composition. The Special Collections housed in our beautiful Brotherton Library contain significant collections of music manuscripts, rare printed music and letters from composers and critics to help inform your work.
We also have good working relationships with a range of prestigious arts organisations: we host BBC Radio 3 concerts, Leeds Lieder and the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, as well as enjoying a close partnership with Opera North and many others in a city with a thriving music and cultural scene.
Throughout the year you’ll take a variety of modules that both lay the foundations of musical study and allow you to specialise in the topics that interest you.
You’ll start with a core module that develops your research skills in music, preparing you for the rest of your studies, and choose from introductory modules at Level 1 that give you a background in musical interpretation and the role music continues to play in society.
From this starting point, you’ll build your knowledge with your choice of Level 3 modules – you can take specialist modules where you’ll study different aspects of music in line with the research interests of our staff. Alternatively, you could focus on performance, composition, music technology, editing and source studies or the psychology of music. If there’s a musical topic that particularly interests you, the dissertation will give you the chance to undertake independent research to explore the subject in depth.
If you still need to take further credits to complete the programme after these choices, you’ll then be able to select from Level 2 modules offered across the School of Music.
Because this programme is so flexible, you’ll come across a range of teaching and learning methods depending on the modules you choose. These could include lectures, seminars and tutorials as well as vocal or instrumental lessons with our specialist teachers. Practical sessions and workshops may also be involved.
However, independent study is crucial to this degree, allowing you to build important skills and pursue your own interests more closely.
You’ll also be assessed by diverse methods depending on your module choices. These may include essays, exams and presentations as well as compositions, performances, project work, critical editions and commentaries among others.
This programme allows you to study undergraduate modules to develop your formal musical education. This means that it leaves you in a good position to progress to MA or MMus study in Music – and as a graduate of the University of Leeds, you will also be eligible for a 10% discount on postgraduate fees.
We also offer additional support as you develop your career plans: the School of Music boasts a unique Alumni Mentoring Network, where students can be supported by past students as they start to plan their next steps.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.