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MA Critical and Applied Musicology

Course Description


Music is a vital form of cultural expression that shapes and is shaped by society around it. This programme allows you to study the critical theories and perspectives that have influenced the way we study music – how it is composed and performed as well as the role it plays in different communities.

Core modules will allow you to explore issues in musicology such as race, class, gender, sexuality, popular music and mass culture, as well as how music has been received and interpreted and how musical ‘canons’ are formed. You’ll also develop your understanding of research methods in musicology, and have the chance to gain knowledge of aesthetic theory or editing and archival studies, allowing you to balance critical and applied forms of musicology.

In addition, you’ll choose from optional modules from across the School of Music allowing you to focus on topics that interest you, from performance or electronic and computer music to composition and psychology of music.

The degree is also available to study part-time over 24 months. The part-time MA may be of special interest to those who are working in related fields as part of their career development.

Facilities and Resources

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.

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

You’ll study core modules that develop your understanding of both critical and applied forms of musicology. One of these will allow you to explore issues and topics that have emerged in the past few decades – questions of race, gender, politics, deconstruction and more. You’ll also choose one or two from a cluster of optional modules, giving you an insight into editing and archival studies or introducing you to aesthetic theory.

In addition, you’ll have the chance to pursue another area of musical interest when you select from a range of optional modules. Whether you’re interested in computer music or psychology of music, or you want to continue to improve your performance or composition skills, you can pick one module allowing you to gain specialist knowledge in a field outside of musicology.

Throughout the year you’ll study a core module that develops your knowledge of research methods in music and musicology, laying the foundations for the rest of your studies. You’ll also be able to put the research skills you gain into practice if you choose to do a dissertation by the end of the programme – an independently researched project on a topic of your choice. Alternatively, you can complete a major editorial project, producing an extended edition of professional standard based on original musical sources.

Visit the MA Critical and Applied Musicology page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in music. IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Please contact us for more information.

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Recipient: University of Leeds

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