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MA Music (Research, Composition or Performance)

Course Description

This course will be held at the Medway Campus


The MA in Music at the University of Kent gives you the opportunity to develop an area of specialism alongside rigorous training in key professional and academic skills. In studying for the MA you will choose one of three pathways:

- Research (Musicology or Ethnomusicology)
- Composition
- Performance,

which allow you to undertake two large-scale projects (Specialist Project and Dissertation). Regular one-to-one tutorials and work in small seminar groups enable you to gain confidence and expertise in both theoretical and practical work. Option modules support the development of your specialism. Studies in areas such as composition techniques, musicology and ensemble performance provide an important grounding in relevant fields of inquiry and creative practice.

Visit the website: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/354/music-research-composition-or-performance#!structure

Course detail

Our students explore both the creative and technical aspects of music and its related technologies and also have the opportunity to work collaboratively with practitioners from other arts subjects. You take common modules in research methods and postgraduate study skills, while giving you the opportunity to foster your subject skills in specialist modules. Work is developed through individual enquiry as well as sharing and critiquing ideas through group seminars, designed to provide a forum for debate as well as practical instruction.

Our specialist facilities include a large recording studio, a Foley recording space, surround-sound studio and post-production rooms. All have been designed to the highest standard in order to provide an excellent environment for postgraduate work. We have an array of loudspeakers for electroacoustic performance, live sound and collaborative arts projects. Students are encouraged to participate in these music concerts and interdisciplinary events, becoming part of the exciting artistic environment here at the University of Kent.


The programme aims to:

- enable students to develop an advanced understanding of music theory and practice taking into account developments in scholarship over the past few decades. In achieving this aim, students will focus upon theoretical and/or practice-based research methods and, in all cases, will engage a range of current research practices that address music critically.

- provide opportunities for students to develop their work through individual enquiry and through sharing and critiquing ideas

Format and assessment

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

- Specialist Project (60 credits)
- Advanced Audio Skills (30 credits)
- Critical and Historical Perspectives on Music (30 credits)
- Composition Techniques (30 credits)
- Collaborative Project (30 credits)
- Popular and World Music (30 credits)
- Interdisciplinary Project (30 credits)
- Technology in Performance (30 credits)
MU622 - Ensemble Performance (30 credits)
MU898 - Dissertation (60 credits)

Assessment is by a range of coursework, including individual projects, skills-based tasks, seminar presentations and written work.


A postgraduate degree in the area of music and audio arts is a valuable and flexible qualification, which can lead to career opportunities within the creative industries, music recording and production, audio software development, sound for film, composition and academic careers.

These possibilities are augmented by work in video games, the Internet, live sound for theatres and festivals, audio installations for museums, sonic arts and computer music. Postgraduates interested in a research career are supported by the University’s Graduate School Research Development Programme. The University’s Employability Weeks can also provide valuable support in terms of planning future careers.

How to apply: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

Why study at The University of Kent?

- Shortlisted for University of the Year 2015
- Kent has been ranked fifth out of 120 UK universities in a mock Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) exercise modelled by Times Higher Education (THE).
- In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Kent was ranked 17th* for research output and research intensity, in the Times Higher Education, outperforming 11 of the 24 Russell Group universities
- Over 96% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2014 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.
Find out more: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/why/

Postgraduate scholarships and funding

We have a scholarship fund of over £9 million to support our taught and research students with their tuition fees and living costs. Find out more: https://www.kent.ac.uk/scholarships/postgraduate/

English language learning

If you need to improve your English before and during your postgraduate studies, Kent offers a range of modules and programmes in English for Academic Purposes (EAP). Find out more here: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/international/english.html

Visit the MA Music (Research, Composition or Performance) page on the University of Kent website for more details!

Student Profiles

School of Music and Fine Art Scholarships - No. of awards TBC


Value of Scholarship(s)



Please see our web pages for more information on Scholarships

Application Procedure

Follow the link for more information

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A first or 2.1 honours degree, usually in a relevant humanities subject. In certain circumstances, the School will consider candidates who have not followed a conventional education path but who may have relevant experience in the industry. These cases are assessed individually by the Director of Graduate Studies. English Language requirements: View Website

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