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Masters Degrees in History of Music

We have 10 Masters Degrees in History of Music

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.

Why study a Masters in History of Music?

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The Graduate Diploma programme combines modules from different levels of undergraduate study into a single year. Read more

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.

Course content

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.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Music Research Skills 10 credits

Optional modules

  • Dissertation 40 credits
  • Composition 40 credits
  • Performance 40 credits
  • Editing and Source Studies 40 credits
  • Contemporary Aesthetics 40 credits
  • Music Technology 40 credits
  • Music Psychology 40 credits
  • Understanding Music 20 credits
  • Music in History and Culture 30 credits
  • Composition 20 credits
  • Performance 20 credits
  • Ensemble Performance 20 credits
  • Introduction to the Sciences of Music 20 credits
  • Interpreting Music 20 credits
  • Composition 20 credits
  • Performance 20 credits
  • Ensemble Performance 20 credits
  • Notation and Editing 20 credits
  • Aesthetics and Criticism 20 credits
  • Music in Practice 20 credits
  • The Psychology of Listening and Performance 20 credits
  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Ensemble Performance 20 credits
  • Applied Project 20 credits
  • Music in Context C 20 credits
  • Music in Context D 20 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Music GradDip in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

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.

Assessment

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.

Career opportunities

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.

Careers support

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.



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The Music MA is a flexible programme designed to cater for those with a wide range of interests and specialisms. It is conceived as a 'next step' after the undergraduate degree, either as a stepping stone to research, as a qualification for teaching in the FE sector or simply to satisfy a thirst for development. Read more
The Music MA is a flexible programme designed to cater for those with a wide range of interests and specialisms. It is conceived as a 'next step' after the undergraduate degree, either as a stepping stone to research, as a qualification for teaching in the FE sector or simply to satisfy a thirst for development. There are 12 specialist pathways that you can choose from; each includes a range of core and optional taught modules and you will complete the course with a dissertation, recital or composition portfolio.

Pathways

Music MA: British Music Studies pathway
Music MA: Choral Conducting pathway
Music MA: Critical Musicology pathway
Music MA: Early Music pathway
Music MA: Electroacoustic composition/sonic art pathway
Music MA: Global Popular Musics pathway
Music MA: Instrumental/Vocal Composition pathway
Music MA: Mixed Composition pathway
Music MA: Open Pathway with Performance
Music MA: Open Pathway without Performance
Music MA: Performance pathway
Music MA: Performance Practice pathway)

About the School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

The School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music brings together a number of internationally renowned departments to offer an extensive portfolio of innovative and interdisciplinary programmes in an exciting and creative environment, underpinned by a vibrant research culture.

We received outstanding results across the School in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise, with at least 75% of our research judged to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ across all subject areas.

The Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies is located in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, which houses the Barber Institute gallery and an exceptional Fine Art Library. The Department of Music is based in the Bramall Music Building, with state-of-the-art facilities including the 450-seat Elgar Concert Hall, a suite dedicated to the study and performance of early music, five electroacoustic studios and a large rehearsal room. We also have one of the best music libraries in the country, with special collections including materials on 20th-century English music, Baroque music and an extensive microfilm collection.

In addition to housing one of the UK’s largest groups of internationally renowned researchers in the national cultures of Europe, the Department of Modern Languages also hosts a Language and Media Resource Centre which specifically supports language learning through the latest interactive learning technology. We have a vibrant, international postgraduate community and offer excellent study and research opportunities in a supportive working environment.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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The Master of Music in Music History at West Chester University has been designed to serve a diverse student population, from those with specific research interests to those simply seeking greater exposure to music history and literature for educational purposes. Read more
The Master of Music in Music History at West Chester University has been designed to serve a diverse student population, from those with specific research interests to those simply seeking greater exposure to music history and literature for educational purposes. Music educators attempting to strengthen their own teaching curricula are especially encouraged to apply, as the program meets state requirements for an advanced degree for school teachers. Any undergraduate music degree (education, theory, history, performance) fulfills the prerequisite for the program.

Curriculum

The M.M. program is now more compact and easier to complete, as the previous 33 credit requirement has been reduced to 30. Degree requirements include:

• 15 credits in Music History (five courses, three from the sequence MHL 610-615)
• 6 Elective credits (two courses, may include Music History)
• 3 credits in Music Theory
• 6 credits directed toward thesis-related research (two courses, MHL 698 and MMU 699)
• Foreign Language requirement
• Thesis Defense

Students may complete the 6 elective credits in subjects of their own choosing, drawn from the full spectrum of offerings across the School of Music and university, including music education, music theory, and performance, and other fields. Students may satisfy the language requirement by exam or by applying elective credits to language study.

Recently the department's core offerings were revised to direct students better toward thesis work. Traditional survey courses have been replaced with "topics" courses in which fewer works are examined in greater depth. The masterworks of the past are studied in their political and cultural contexts to demonstrate the manifold interconnections of music, the other arts, and society. Sample topics (drawn from different courses in the curriculum) include:

"The Palestrina Style and the Counter-Reformation"
"Lully and Music for the Court of the 'Sun King' "
"Vivaldi's The Four Seasons and the Concerto"
"Mozart's Le Nozze de Figaro and the Enlightenment"
"Schubert's Songs and the Romantic Cult of Sensibility"
"The Influence of Ragtime and Jazz on European Art Music in the 1920s and 1930s"
"Music and Minimalism: Riley, Reich, and Glass"

All degree requirements must be completed within six years. A single one-year extension may be granted for cause.

Candidates must demonstrate sufficient pianistic ability, sight singing, and aural perception to meet demands of program.

Further Study and Careers

This degree program is intended for students who (1) wish to continue their formal education working toward a doctoral degree in musicology, (2) desire to prepare themselves for a college-level teaching career in the area of music history and music appreciation, (3) do not necessarily intend to continue graduate work in music history, but desire more exposure to the repertory and literature of music from various historical periods, or (4) intend to pursue careers in closely related musical disciplines such as music editorship and publishing, music librarianship, music journalism and criticism, and music merchandising and marketing.

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A unique opportunity to study in the city of Liverpool, home of The Beatles and with access to leading Popular Music academics and Beatles specialists, this MA is the only one of its kind in the UK and the world. Read more
A unique opportunity to study in the city of Liverpool, home of The Beatles and with access to leading Popular Music academics and Beatles specialists, this MA is the only one of its kind in the UK and the world.

This MA will examine the significance of the music of the Beatles in the construction of identities, audiences, ethnicities and industries, and localities; by doing so it will suggest ways to understand popular music as a social practice, focusing attention on issues such as the role of music in the construction of regional identities, concepts of authenticity, aesthetics, meaning, value, performance, and the use of popular music as a discursive evocation of place. Furthermore, in a consideration of popular music as a text, popular music semiotics will also be employed.

This MA will be of interest to those working in the fields of popular music studies, cultural studies, social anthropology, politics, gender studies, and musicology, among others. Such a course is an essential addition to the discipline of Popular Music Studies.

Curriculum

Currently four taught modules are offered on this programme.

Texts and Contexts: Understanding Popular Music

This will offer you an understanding of how Popular Music Studies has expanded and developed to deal with the changing nature of popular music over the past 50 years. This module will also provide students with contextually related research methods.

Topics in History: Liverpool

This module will introduce and discuss musical production and consumption within the post WWII era and will discuss the roles of locality, economics, space and place, and other issues specifically relating to Merseyside.

Musicology and the Beatles

In this module you will take a popular music semiotics approach and will textually analyse a variety of Beatles material.

Historical and Critical Approaches

You will be invited to study a more ethnographic approach to the Beatles, the various cultural discourses surrounding their music, and the local tourist industry established in Liverpool to capitalise on the group.

The Dissertation module will be introduced to students towards the end of the Topics in History module with a request for student abstracts, the allocation of supervisors, and the agreement of research areas.

Please Note:

1. The Postgraduate Certificate will be awarded on the successful completion of 60 credits. This will consist of two taught modules.

2. The Postgraduate Diploma will be awarded on the successful completion of 120 credits. This will mean the completion of all modules apart from the Dissertation.

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The Department of Music offers graduate studies leading to the master of music degree. Students may specialize in composition, music history or performance (instrumental, vocal, opera, conducting). Read more
The Department of Music offers graduate studies leading to the master of music degree. Students may specialize in composition, music history or performance (instrumental, vocal, opera, conducting).

The graduate music program is small, and students receive personal attention from faculty, as well as quality performance opportunities.

Our opera program boasts a professional affiliation with the Tri-Cities Opera (TCO). Opera students are members of the TCO Resident Artist Training Program, where they gain professional experience while completing their studies. Our graduates have gone on to perform in major opera houses around the world.

Graduate Degrees Offered

*MM with track in Opera (associated with the Tri-Cities Opera Company)
* MM with emphasis in one of the following:
- Composition
- Conducting
- History and Literature
- Instrumental performance
- Vocal performance

All applicants must submit the following:

- Online graduate degree application and application fee
- Transcripts from each college/university you have attended
- Two letters of recommendation
- Personal statement (2-3 pages) describing your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your career aspirations, your special interests within your field, and any unusual features of your background that might need explanation or be of interest to your program's admissions committee.
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae detailing educational and professional experience
- The GRE is only required for applicants pursuing Music History and Literature emphasis.
- A live audition/interview is also required. For international applicants, the department will consider online audition/interviews via SKYPE or similar technology (contact the graduate director for details).

And, for international applicants:
- International Student Financial Statement form
- Official bank statement/proof of support
- Official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic scores

Depending on your desired track or emphasis, you must also submit the following:
- Composition applicants:
*Minimum of two manuscripts and/or recordings of compositions, preferably for differing performing genres. Electronic scores prepared with Finale or Sibelius preferred; hard copies accepted
*Recorded sample of compositions (if possible); live performance recordings preferred

- Conducting applicants:
*Preliminary screening DVD of rehearsal and/or performance conducting an instrumental or vocal ensemble (10-30 minutes)
*A (recent) recording sample, highlighting either:
*the candidate's major instrument
*voice; including a minimum of two composition(s) in contrasting styles

- History and Literature applicants:
*Minimum one writing sample (a research paper in music); two (or more) desirable

- Instrumental Performance applicants:
*Preliminary screening CD or DVD, including a minimum of two compositions in contrasting styles

- Opera and Vocal Performance applicants:
*Preliminary screening CD or DVD, including a minimum of four compositions in contrasting styles (one each in English, French, German and Italian)
*Opera/oratorio and song literature should be included

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Historical Performance is offered as an MMus or a Postgraduate Diploma programme. - Advanced principal study tuition from professional musicians. Read more
Historical Performance is offered as an MMus or a Postgraduate Diploma programme.

Key Features

- Advanced principal study tuition from professional musicians
- Wide range of solo and ensemble performance opportunities
- Tuition available in supporting areas such as Alexander Technique and doubling instruments
- Advanced training in chamber music
- Professional coaching and accompaniment provision
- Language, movement and drama classes (singers)
- Specialist, advanced performance classes (instrumentalists)

Key Features of all Postgraduate Programmes

- Advanced principal study tuition from professional musicians
- Training in career development, self-promotion, event management and sustainable technique
- International masterclass series
- Fully integrated performance programme by international artists
- Performance Practice training supported by seminars, tutorials and symposia
- Training in performance analysis and presentation (MMus only)
- Advanced research and specialist performance analysis training (MMus only)
- Optional training in advanced teaching skills and arts management
- Opportunities to study abroad at a partner conservatoire

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The course (Standard Track) allows students to specialise in music after 1900. Typically students this area will be approached through a combination of different angles, such as historical musicology, analysis, performance and composition. Read more
The course (Standard Track) allows students to specialise in music after 1900. Typically students this area will be approached through a combination of different angles, such as historical musicology, analysis, performance and composition.

This will be aided by a broader look at techniques, methodologies and approaches (through the core module in either Composition or Musicology).

The programme is divided into two parts: two semesters of taught study (Part 1, 120 credits) and a substantial independent piece of work in the main area, produced over the summer (Part 2, 60 credits).

Part 1 is centred on the Principal Subject module (WMM4044, 40 credits) in 20th-/21st-Century Music. It lays the foundations of a Part 2 project in the same area.

WMP4052: Preparing for the Part 2 project (10 credits) acts as a bridge between Parts 1 and 2.

An additional 40 credits will be gained through submissions in other fields through either one Major Open Submission (WXM4046, 40 credits) or two Minor Open Submissions (WMP4047 and WMP4048, 20 credits each). Students can select from a number of subject areas related to music after 1900, including:

Historical Musicology
Editorial Musicology
Ethnomusicology
Music in Wales
Music and the Christian Church
Composition
Electroacoustic Composition / Sonic Arts
Composing Film Music
Studying Film Music
Solo Performance
Performance / Composition with Live Electronics
Sacred Music Studies
Analysis
Arts Administration
Music Studio Techniques
Popular Music Studies
Course Structure
Part 1 (Diploma):

In addition to the Principal Subject, in which the student specialises; up to three additional subjects (with a focus on music after 1900) can be studied.

(Total of 120 credits)

Part 2 (MA):

Normally consists of a dissertation or critical edition.

(60 credits)

Compulsory modules:

Standard Track

Principal Subject: 20th-/21st-Century Music (40 Credits).
Compulsory Core Module: Current Musicology (30 credits)
Open submission: to be chosen from the optional modules (40 credits)
Preparing for the Part Two Project (10 credits)
(Total of 120 credits)

Special Track

Principal Subject: 20th-/21st-Century Music (60 Credits)
Compulsory Core Module: either Current Musicology (for musicologists) or Concepts of Composition (for composers) (30 credits)
Independent Special Study (must be in the same area as the Principal Subject) (20 credits)
Preparing for the Part Two Project (10 credits)
(Total of 120 credits)

Optional modules:

Standard Track

Open Submissions (40 or 20 credits) are chosen from the following areas (with emphasis on music after 1900):

Historical Musicology, Editorial Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Music in Wales, Music and the Christian Church, Composition, Electroacoustic Composition / Sonic Arts, Composing Film Music, Studying Film Music, Solo Performance, Sacred Music Studies, Analysis, Arts Administration, Music Studio Techniques, Popular Music Studies, ELCOS Language Skills (20 credits, international students only)

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A rigorously demanding course, the MMus degree offers an opportunity to develop your musicianship and academic skills to a very high level in a range of subject areas. Read more
A rigorously demanding course, the MMus degree offers an opportunity to develop your musicianship and academic skills to a very high level in a range of subject areas.

The course allows students to study a broad range of topics and disciplines in music and musicology, including practical disciplines in Performance, Composition, and Conducting, and research in areas such as Music Psychology, Music Education, Music Arts and Health, Historical Musicology and Contemporary Musicology. Whether you are hoping to enhance your understanding of music for a future research or professional career, the modules offered in this course will equip you for further study and professional life.

Visit the website: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/courses/postgraduate/master-of-music.aspx

Course detail

The programme offers you the opportunity to enhance your musical, compositional, performance, analytical, critical and research skills. In addition, you will apply these skills to your individual areas of interest in specific optional modules in written and practical disciplines. The choices of independent study modules mean that you will develop your performance, composition, conducting or research to MMus level whilst enhancing your knowledge of the wider field and contextualising your work within your chosen discipline.

The School of Music and Performing Arts is a community of more than 600 students from foundation to doctorate level, dedicated to creating and recreating music, dance and drama; all contributing to the musical and performing arts life of the University, the city of Canterbury and the wider community in the south east of England. This vibrant community offers exciting opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration as well as more specialised subject­specific work. The degree is offered either as a one year full­time, or two year part­time course.

The taught sessions usually take place on one day of the week (usually Thursday), allowing you to continue with part-time work alongside your studies if you wish.

Suitability

The Master of Music programme aims to produce graduates who are accomplished and confident musicians and/or musicologists, who are able to work at a professional level within their specialist fields of study and who are prepared for further study at PhD level. The programme will develop your technical, conceptual and critical skills which will allow you to engage with music and musicology in a sophisticated and insightful way. The curriculum is designed to allow you to pursue specialist fields of study to an advanced level, including undertaking an extensive independent project or dissertation of your choosing, while developing a keen sense of context for those fields within the broader discipline of music.

Because the majority of teaching happens on just one day of the week (usually Thursday), the course is ideal for students who wish to continue working alongside their studies.

Content

Within the course, you'll take modules to a total of 180 credits.

You'll choose from one of the following individual study areas (60 credits each):
• Performance (solo instrumental or vocal performance)
• Conducting
• Composition/Creative Audio (e.g., acoustic composition, electroacoustic composition, popular song writing, sound art)
• Research Project in a chosen area of musicology (e.g., music psychology, music education, music and health, historical musicology, contemporary musicology)

You have four core modules to complete (4 x 20 credits):
• Research Methods
• Analysis
• Contextual Studies
• Criticism

And then you choose one each from the following pairs of optional modules (2 x 20 credits):
• Aesthetics OR Music Psychology and Health
• Performance Project OR Creative Project

Format

Your specialist field of study will be tackled primarily through independent learning, supported by either tutorials or instrumental or conducting lessons as appropriate. Students undertaking independent study in similar disciplines will meet for workshops and seminars during the year as they develop their work.

Supporting this, critical and contextual awareness will be explicitly developed through core modules, which are delivered through seminars that may be student-led. The option modules allow students to explore highly specific areas of music and musicology, through lecture- and seminar-based teaching, and to undertake projects within their own interests through seminars and workshop-based learning.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a wide range of assignments throughout the programme. These include musical performance, composition portfolios, written work, research posters, presentations and learning journals, and will be specific to the disciplines and modules that you choose to study.

The independent study modules will be assessed through a major project in each, with performance and conducting assessed through a recital, composition through a portfolio, and research project through a dissertation.

What can I do next?

Graduates of the MMus course typically go on to a range of careers which have included portfolio careers in music, performance and composition, working in a professional studio, music education and music research at PhD level.

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow this link: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/how-to-apply/how-to-apply.aspx

Funding

-Masters Loans-

From 2016/17 government loans of up to £10,000 are available for postgraduate Masters study. The loans will be paid directly to students by the Student Loans Company and will be subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

For more information available here: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/funding-your-degree/funding-your-postgraduate-degree.aspx

-2017/18 Entry Financial Support-

Information on alternative funding sources is available here: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/funding-your-degree/2017-18-entry-financial-support.aspx

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The Department of Arts Education and Physical Education in association with the Department of Music offer this specialised MA degree in Music Education. Read more
The Department of Arts Education and Physical Education in association with the Department of Music offer this specialised MA degree in Music Education. The degree involves an exploration of music teaching and learning processes from a range of social science perspectives and involves interdisciplinary studies in Education, Music and other related fields.

Who the course is for?

Anyone with an interest in music education including:

• Teachers (at primary, post-primary and music school/college levels)
• Policymakers
• Community/outreach workers
• Curriculum support personnel
• Professional/community musicians

What is the programme?

Taught modules will include guided studies in the following areas:
• Foundation Disciplines of Music Education
• Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Music Education
• Theories of Music Performance
• Psychology of Music
• Creativity and Music
• Music and Culture
• Developmental Theories of Music
• Sociological Perspectives on Music Education
• Principles and Practices of Research in Education
• Conceptions of Music Education
• Critical Perspectives on Music Teaching Methodologies
• Programme and Curriculum Design for Music
• Assessment and Evaluation in Music Education
The MA programme includes a student-directed Practicum module that caters for the professional and artistic interests of course participants.

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The MA in Music with Education is a flexible programme which allows you to develop a deeper understanding of the theory and practice of teaching music to others. Read more
The MA in Music with Education is a flexible programme which allows you to develop a deeper understanding of the theory and practice of teaching music to others. The course is intended for students with backgrounds in music or education (or both) who wish to develop skills and knowledge in both disciplines while exploring some of the ways in which the two fields are related.

On this programme you will develop your musical skills at an advanced level through performance, composition or musicology, while enhancing your knowledge and conceptual understanding of a range of issues relating to music education. You will hone personal and professional skills valued in the music education sector, and will develop skills and methodologies to undertake specialist research in your chosen area of expertise.

You will work closely with established researchers, most of whom have international profiles. The School of Music enjoys close links with industrial and third-sector parties. In addition both the School of Music and the School of Education share well established partnerships with local primary and secondary schools, where many teachers of music are our graduates.

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