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Music (MA)

Course Description

The MA Music course is designed to enhance your core research and contextual skills, whilst allowing you the freedom to specialise in a chosen area through specialist pathway modules. Specialist pathways are available in: Musicology, Performance, Composition, Electroacoustic Composition, and Sacred Music. All students study core modules in Research Skills and Ideas in Music and complete an Extended Research Project (either a dissertation, critical edition with commentary or a practice-based research project). Outside of this, you have the choice of two specialist pathway modules. These can both be taken from the same area of study, or you can take one module from two different specialist pathways including Musicology, Performance, Composition, Electroacoustic Composition and Sacred Music. Through support from dedicated specialists in your field, you will develop an in-depth knowledge and critical awareness of core theoretical and methodological approaches and contemporary debates at the forefront of scholarly practice.

The MA Music will be fully delivered at the Music Department, situated in the new purpose-built Capstone Building (opened in 2010), also home to a new publically-accessible performance venue, the Capstone Theatre. The electroacoustic music facilities at Hope are new and up-to-date in terms of the hardware and software on offer. The department has two high-specification iMac computer labs installed with industry standard software (Pro Tools, Logic, Max/MSP, GRM Tools, Metasynth, Waves), a multi-channel surround studio (8-channel setup), two individual-use project rooms for loudspeaker monitoring, and a further space for interactive laptop music. The Music Department also benefits from being one of only a handful of All-Steinway Schools in the UK. The Department owns two Steinway grand pianos (a Model D and Model B), two Boston grand pianos (permanently situated in the two main teaching rooms), and suite of practice rooms all equipped with upright Steinway pianos. The Department additionally owns two harpsichords and has recently acquired a fully restored eighteenth-century Dutch chamber organ.

For further information download the Music MA Leaflet‌ - http://www.hope.ac.uk/media/liverpoolhope/contentassets/images/artsandhumanities/media,48090,en.pdf

Teaching & Research

The MA Music will be delivered via a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials and individual supervision. Each of the specialist pathway modules is led by an expert within the field. The musicology pathway is led by Dr Laura Hamer; the Performance pathway is led by Dr Alberto Sanna; the Composition pathway is led by Dr Ian Percy; the Electroacoustic Composition pathway is led by Dr Manuella Blackburn; and the Sacred Music pathway is led by Prof Tassilo Erhardt.

In addition to this, students taking the performance pathway will benefit from 25 hours of individual lessons on their chosen instrument or voice. Students on the Composition pathway also benefit from dedicated Composition workshops with members of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Each of the specialist pathways also includes contributions from one of our partner organisations including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Milapfest, the European Opera Centre and Liverpool’s two Cathedrals (Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral). Input to the course is also enhanced by specialist sessions from our Visiting Professors including Prof John Milsom, Prof Michael Talbot and Liverpool Hope Professor of Performance, Joanna MacGregor.

Each year the Music Department hosts its long-running Research Seminar Series. The Research Seminar Series includes contributions from distinguished visiting speakers, Department staff, and postgraduate taught and research students. Attendance at the Research Seminar Series is compulsory for students enrolled on the MA Music, and the seminar series is embedded into the teaching provision of the 2 core modules. For postgraduate students, the Research Seminar Series provides a nurturing and supportive environment to gain experience in presenting their work to a specialist audience and to receive feedback on their research from their peers.


The MA Music is designed to enhance and develop a variety of transferable skills, as well as subject-specific skills. You will learn how to critically engage with written documents of different genres, as well as having the opportunity to develop your written and presentation skills.

As well as preparing students for a range of employment opportunities, the enhancement of academic skills will prepare students for research degrees, such as MPhil and PhD.

The Post Graduate Certificate block has been designed to be accessible by those already in full-time employment who would like to further their knowledge and enhance their academic and professional skills.

Visit the Music (MA) page on the Liverpool Hope University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally a first class or upper second class honours degree in a Music-related discipline, the ability to read and write music fluently would be essential. Candidates with a good first degree (First or 2:1) in other subjects may also be considered, but the ability to read and write music fluently would be essential. Applications from students who do not hold a 1st or 2:1 Honours Degree (or equivalent) will be asked to demonstrate potential to achieve a Masters award via a sample of academic writing and interview before an offer is made.

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