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Music MA

Course Description

Choose Kingston's Music MA

If you have a broad range of musical interests and would prefer not to specialise your studies, this course is ideal. It aims to develop a range of musical and critical skills and knowledge; encourage initiative, creativity, critical evaluation and independence of thought; develop a systematic understanding of relevant musical knowledge and a critical awareness of contemporary issues; and provide knowledge of research practices, enabling you to undertake a substantial individual dissertation or composition project.

Key features

You will have the chance to attend masterclasses and workshops run by national and international performers and composers, such as Judith Weir, Howard Skempton, Stephen Coombs, Jane Manning, Steve Goss, Steve Martland, Arditti String Quartet, Brian Ferneyhough, Kate Ryder and Kathron Sturrock.

Lunchtime concerts, involving students or visiting artists, take place throughout the year.

Facilities include a large rehearsal and performance space with supporting recording equipment, an extensive collection of musical instruments and a fully networked IT environment.

What you will study

The core modules concentrate on research methods and colloquia, and will introduce you to a broad range of issues in music. You can then choose from an extensive list of modules, which include those based in performance, composing, music education and popular music.

The major project offers you the opportunity to focus on an area of your own choice and specialise through written work or composition. You can choose from a wide range of possible topics relating to your own interests. In addition, you can join any of the variety of University ensembles or form your own ensemble.


Coursework, essays, compositions, and dissertation.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

Major Project
Researching Music

Optional modules

Constructing Music Education in the UK
International Music Education: Psychology, Culture and Philosophy
Techniques and Technology for Composing for Film and Television
The Philosophy of Musical Performance
Current Debates in Music Education
Jazz Studies
Live Performance
The Psychology of Music
The Studio Musician

What this course offers you

If you choose to study this course, here are some of the things you can expect from the course and how it will benefit you.

Our Music MA allows you to design your own programme of study to match your interests, strengths and career aspirations. You select five optional modules from a wide range of music topics and/or closely related subjects.

You also enhance your research/project development skills and broaden your knowledge base through studying four core modules.

You further tailor the course to your own interests by undertaking either:

- a major piece of original research on a topic of your own choice - this takes the form of a dissertation. You will receive guidance
from a specialist tutor plus core modules teaching research, project planning and development skills;or
- develop a folio of compositions with supporting recording and critical commentary. You will receive guidance from a specialist tutor plus core modules teaching research, project planning and development skills.

The curriculum is enriched by the eclectic view we take of musical styles and genres at Kingston, exploiting the diversity of a repertoire encompassing western classical music, popular and world musics.

You undertake a variety of forms of assessment, including essays, critiques, position papers, ensemble performances, a portfolio of compositions/recordings, practical projects, recording projects, presentations, research papers and a dissertation.

We offer a part-time option to enable you to complete your MA alongside other commitments.

English language requirements

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Visit the Music MA page on the Kingston University website for more details!

Student Profiles

Alumni discount - 20+ Awards

All undergraduate alumni qualify for 10% off postgraduate taught course fees.

Value of Scholarship(s)



All Kingston Undergraduate alumni will receive 10% off postgraduate course fees.

Application Procedure

Automatically assessed on application, please ensure you state that your undergraduate degree was awarded by Kingston University.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Good honours degree in music (this may be in a specialist field such as popular music, music education or music technology). Typical entry qualifications are an honours degree in music 2.2 or above (2.1 preferred). We may ask applicants to submit an essay as evidence of strength in written work. Where an applicant can produce evidence of relevant experiential learning (eg work as professional performer/composer or substantial experience as music educator), it may be possible to consider a degree in a subject other than music or advanced study in a conservatoire (which has not led to a degree) in lieu.

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