Explore and enhance your creative and entrepreneurial skills as performers and/or composers through a range of practical and research modules in the MA programme.
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, Performance and Performer-Composer pathways each offer discrete comprehensive specialist training.
- Provide advanced musical training at postgraduate level which encourages the demonstration of individual musical talent and scholarship, underpinned by articulate, informed and sophisticated critical self-reflection, at a highly professional standard.
- Enable 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 through focused activity in those areas.
- Acknowledge the significance of musical context, highlighting the relationship of music to wider artistic, historical, philosophical, cultural and/or social practices, issues and/or phenomena.
- Cultivate musicians who have the ability to work in a variety of complex musical groupings and multi-disciplinary environments, and to exercise initiative, personal responsibility, and leadership in professional practice.
- Create an environment which encourages risk and nurtures creativity and innovation, reflecting, wherever applicable, cutting-edge thinking within the profession, and taking advantage, where appropriate, of advances in digital and other technologies.
- Produce enterprising, entrepreneurial musicians equipped both for existing and developing high-level employment opportunities as performers/ composers/educators in today’s diverse, internationalised and ever-changing music profession.
This is a two-year full-time or four-year part-time Level 7 programme which enables graduates to create music as instrumentalists, vocalists or composers at a highly professional and employable standard. You will have established a secure artistic personality and developed a range of sophisticated professional skills. As an emerging artist you will have created music – solo, small and large ensemble – in a variety of settings and in relation to a range of audiences. You will have gained understanding of the music profession and its audiences in contemporary society. Through your understanding of audience you will develop collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurial skills in support of a professional career. The programme prepares you to communicate at the highest levels as an artist through your instrument/voice/compositions and to engage audiences through informed discussion and text where appropriate.
This programme comprises compulsory ‘core’ modules designed to develop students’ individual technical and interpretative skills in their principal study discipline through one-to-one and group tuition, as well as through a wide range of departmental and cross-department solo, small group/chamber music, and large ensemble activities, in which settings you will be able to develop a range of artistic and related skills relevant to their professional aspirations. 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.
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
Music Pedagogy for the 21st Century
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 at Level 8.
Our world-class teaching staff play with leading chamber ensembles and orchestras, sing with opera companies, and are renowned composers and acclaimed recitalists. This extensive in-house expertise is enhanced by an international cast of visiting artists, mentor ensembles and placement partners.
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, small-group/chamber, and large-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 (e.g. with other musicians, dancers or other artists in a working relationship). 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.
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.
The Master of Arts (MA) assumes 2,100 (1,800) learning and teaching hours with at least 580 hours average contact time.
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.
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. These will be supplemented by written/oral assignments requiring critical reflection on a range of contextual matters (the wider profession, audience, the concept of the informed performer etc). Other programme components, including Research Lab, CoLab, the Electives and The Entrepreneurial Musician 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.
- 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
Admission to the MA programme within ‘intensive’ mode will only be considered for candidates achieving a grade of 70% or above within the performance/composition component of the audition process. During interview, MA ‘intensive’ mode candidates will also be required to additionally discuss their ability to dedicate themselves to their studies for the duration of the programme and to demonstrate, through their responses clear academic aptitude and experience. (NB It is generally considered that it is not viable for students on the ‘intensive’ study mode to undertake part-time work concurrently with their studies.)
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 display both a critical awareness of the implications of their topic, and the ability to synthesise and communicate their ideas effectively.
Applicants for whom English is not their first language should demonstrate proficiency in English equivalent to IELTS 7.0.
Fees and Finance
Fees for this course can be found on our current Music Fees table. (Please note that fees for Vocal Studies students are listed separately on this table).
It is not possible to confirm fees for future academic years, as fee changes are linked to government policy. Fees may increase by up to 5% each year.
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||803M (Intensive) / 800M (Full-time) / 801M (Part-time)|
|Location||King Charles Court|
|Duration||1 year (Intensive) / 2 years (Full-time) / 4 years (Part-time)|
|Start Date||September 2019|
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