The Master of Arts (MA) is designed for students wishing to be professional musicians: performers and composers. It aims to equip students with the necessary musical skills, insight and and experience required by the contemporary profession in its widest sense but with a focus on the Western Classical and Jazz traditions; the Composition, Ensemble, Jazz, and Performance pathways each offer discrete comprehensive specialist training.
- Enables musicians of proven ability, and with the potential for further training, to advance and refine their skills and specialism/s and deepen their professional expertise.
- Provides advanced musical training at postgraduate level which encourages the demonstration of individual musical talent and scholarship.
- Acknowledges the significance of musical context, highlighting the relationship of music to wider artistic, historical, philosophical, cultural and/or social practices, issues and/or phenomena.
- Cultivates musicians who have the ability to work in a variety of complex musical groupings and to exercise leadership in professional practice.
- Creates an environment which encourages risk and nurtures creativity and innovation, reflecting cutting-edge thinking within the profession.
- Produces enterprising, entrepreneurial musicians equipped both for today’s diverse, internationalised and ever-changing music profession.
*Please note that for 2020/21 this programme will not offer a 1 year intensive option.
This is a Level 7 programme which enables graduates to create music as instrumentalists, vocalists or composers at a highly professional and employable standard. The programme can be completed over two years (full-time), or four years (part-time).
Successful completion of the MMus programme of study can lead to one of the following postgraduate awards:
- Master of Arts (Composition)
- Master of Arts (Ensemble)
- Master of Arts (Jazz)
- Master of Arts (Music Performance)
The programme comprises compulsory 'core' modules designed to develop students’ technical and interpretative skills through one-to-one and group tuition, and ensemble activities. In addition, you will undertake an intensive research module which provides a foundation for Masters level critical thinking to underpin all aspects of the programme. Students are also offered a range of electives.
- Professional Studies
- Research Lab
- The Entrepreneurial Musician
- Electives (see below)
The programme also offers a range of Electives, through which you will be able to develop and explore subjects appropriate to your developing artistic profile and which will enhance your employability in the professional world. These options will usually include:
- Arranging and Musical Techniques
- Creative Leadership
- Digital Musician
- Music Now
- Music Pedagogy for the 21st Century
- Musical Direction
- Psychology in Music Performance
The programme is designed to allow the skills and experience of the individual student to flourish and for new skills and insights to be gained. The programme is structured to enable progressive development through the material studied and the assessments undertaken, leading to your increased autonomy and independence as a learner, in preparation for professional life and/or study on the MPhil/PhD programme.
Teaching and Learning
This programme assumes 2,100 learning and teaching hours with at least 580 hours average contact time.
How you learn
The programme aims to enable you to develop independent learning strategies for lifelong learning. Your tutors will regularly encourage you to reflect on learning and to formulate personal programmes of study and targets for learning.
Learning takes place through a blend of formal tuition, experiential learning and personal study. Instrumental, composition, or vocal tuition is the central element of the provision, consisting of individual one-to-one learning, group tuition, rehearsals, workshops, seminars and masterclasses. Students will develop and contextualize their individual tuition within a broad range of solo, group, and ensemble activities. Most tuition within the Research Lab and Electives modules is delivered through formal taught sessions, seminars and tutorials, and consolidated in extensive self-study.
CoLab module learning is largely student-led, supported by mentors and interventions from a range of internal and external professional colleagues including staff from the Faculty of Dance.
All learning is delivered in small groups, and wherever possible practical experience is blended with theoretical knowledge to develop students’ informed musicianship and employability skills. Throughout the programme, visiting artists, ensemble directors and lecturers expose the students to a variety of views and approaches current within the profession.
Certain modules/components in the programme may involve you studying with another student or students in a collaborative way. This may involve you working alongside, and/or undertaking leadership or supervisory responsibilities for other (possibly undergraduate) students engaged in projects with you as, for example, assistant directors or performers. Collaboration is considered to be at the heart of professional artistic life and, as such, opportunities such as these represent valuable learning experiences.
View the list of music Teaching staff.
How you will be assessed
Assessment methods mirror professional contexts as far as possible. In the assessment for Professional Studies performance/composition activities will include a combination of solo, chamber/small ensemble, large ensemble and technical work.
Other programme components, including CoLab, Research Lab, and the Electives will feature a blend of written and practical assessment methods (including, but not exclusive to: essay, analysis, composition, improvisation, performance, editions etc.) arrived at through negotiation between the student and tutor depending on the material under consideration. Elective assessments will focus on employability skills and knowledge.
Our graduates go on to follow careers in solo, ensemble and orchestral performance, composition and arranging, creative project work, instrumental/vocal teaching, community project work, collaborative projects with other media/art forms, postgraduate performance/composition study, other related postgraduate study or PGCE.
- Good 2:1 pass in a BMus (Hons)
- Or an equivalent qualification such as a Performer's Diploma (LTCL, LRAM, LRSM, ARCM etc.)
- Other equivalent qualifications and/or relevant prior experience may be considered
Applicants must demonstrate through the application, audition and interview procedure the potential to carry out detailed investigations of topics in which they have a particular interest, and to communicate their ideas coherently and effectively to others. They will show the capability to deliver, at the end of the relevant programme, a series of performance, written and/or oral submissions, which will display critical awareness and the ability to communicate their ideas effectively.
English language Requirements
Applicants for whom English is not their first language should demonstrate proficiency in English equivalent to IELTS 7.0.
Fees and Finance
Fees for 2020 Entrants
Fees are reviewed annually and may increase by up to 5% each year. The following fees are confirmed:
MA Music (Composition / Ensemble / Jazz / Music Performance / Performer-Composer)
|Full-Time: September 2020 Entrants|
|Year||HOME / EU / ISLAND||INTERNATIONAL|
|Year 1: 2020/21||£10,300||£20,550|
|Year 2: 2021/22||£10,610||£21,170|
|Part Time: September 2020 Entrants|
|Year||HOME / EU / ISLAND||INTERNATIONAL|
|Year 1: 2020/21||£6,650||£13,240|
|Year 2: 2021/22||£6,850||£13,640|
MA Music (Vocal Studies students)
|Full Time: September 2020 Entrants|
|YEAR||HOME / EU / ISLAND||INTERNATIONAL|
|Year 1: 2020/21||£11,190||£21,140|
|Year 2: 2021/22||£11,840||£22,400|
|Part Time: September 2020 entrants|
|YEAR||HOME / EU / ISLAND||INTERNATIONAL|
|Year 1: 2020/21||£7,320||£13,910|
|Year 2: 2021/22||£7,540||£14,330|
You can also view our Current and Past Fees.
Accommodation and Living Costs
This information can be found on our Costs of Living page.
Read about financial awards and external funding opportunities in the Fees and Finance section.
|UCAS||800M (Full-time) / 801M (Part-time)|
|Location||King Charles Court|
|Duration||2 years (Full-time) / 4 years (Part-time)|
|Start Date||September 2020|
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