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  1. Music
    1. 2017
Courses

Music

MA |
Join one of the UK’s leading institutions environments for the study of music, combining world-leading research, exceptional teaching and a vibrant musical community in the heart of global London.

Key Information

Start date

September 2017

Duration

Full-time: One year

Part-time: Two years

Fees

UK/EU

Full-time: £7,500

Part-time: £4,000 per year

Non-EU

Full-time: £13,500

Part-time: £6,750 per year

Who is it for?

Students interested in extending their knowledge and develop critical and research skills in the broad area of music studies. The course provides a rigorous training relevant to a range of professional careers, including further study at doctoral level.

We welcome students from all over the world and from a range of backgrounds.

Objectives

Combining academic rigour with a flexible course structure, the MA Music offers a range of options and students are able to focus project work on areas of individual interest.

The course introduces students to a range of current issues and debates in the broad field of music studies and provides a rich creative environment in which to develop critical approaches to musical practice and study. Students engage with a diverse range of repertoires, including western art music art and popular music, world music, contemporary music and electronic music, and are encouraged to explore the complex interrelationships between music and other subjects and between theory and creative practice. The course also provides training in fundamental research skills.

We have an outstanding reputation for dynamic, inspiring and rigorous postgraduate education and offer exceptional support to our students.

Our students come from all over the world and benefit from our location in the heart of London, one of the world’s greatest cultural hubs.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

Applicants shoud normally hold (or expect to gain) an upper second class honours degree. Whilst most students come with a first degree in music, we do consider applicants with a good honours degree in cognate subjects in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

English requirements

If your first language is not English, you will need to achieve one of the following English language test scores:

  • IELTS: an overall score of 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in each sub-test).
  • Cambridge Proficiency grade C or above.
  • Evidence that the medium of instruction for your first degree was in English.

Your English test should have been taken in the last two years.

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

INTO English language programmes
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner, INTO City, University of London, offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree. Please follow the links below for more information.

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

The MA Music attracts a very high number and standard of applications. To make sure you have the best opportunity of gaining a place please apply as early as possible. When making your application you should note the following:

  • Each application is carefully assessed against the entry requirements so it is important that you include all the required information with your application (for example, degree certificates, certificates of language proficiency levels etc). The processing of your application may be delayed if you do not include these documents.
  • As part of your application you are asked to provide a personal statement. It is important that you use this opportunity to demonstrate clearly why you want to undertake the MA and how this relates to your future career plans.

Applicants should submit the following:

  • Online application form
  • A transcript of your undergraduate degree
  • An essay (2,000-3,000 words) on a musical topic. The essay should demonstrate critical skills and writing ability, and conform to standard academic guidelines for formatting and referencing. Most applicants submit an essay completed as part of their undergraduate studies.
  • Two academic references
Research Excellence
88% of our research was described as either world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2014).
Central London location
We are within walking distance of many internationally important art and culture venues.

Scholarships

We are offering one full fee-waiver scholarship for entry to any of our MA pathways in September 2017.

The Robert Anderson Scholarship provides a full-fee waiver at UK/EU rates. International students are also eligible to apply and if successful will have the equivalent UK/EU fee amount deducted from the international fee. The deadline for applications is Friday 5th May 2017.

In addition to your main application, scholarship applications should include:

  • a CV indicating your studies and achievements to date
  • a statement indicating why you feel you are particularly deserving of such an award and outlining the contribution you will make to the Music Department

Find out more about British Council scholarships and financial support

Find out more about scholarships for Turkish students wishing to study in the UK

Find out more about scholarships for Malaysian students wishing to study in the UK

Find out more about scholarships for German students wishing to study in the UK

Find out more about the International directory of scholarships.


The School of Arts and Social Sciences is also delighted to offer a number of UK scholarships for this course. The scholarships are worth £2,000 towards tuition fees awarded on the basis of academic merit and applicants' personal statements. Applications should be made on the Scholarship Application Form and should be submitted by Thursday 31st March 2017. Successful applicants will be notified in May 2017.
Find out more about Scholarships for the Arts and Social Sciences.

Placements

The professional work placement is an elective module giving you the opportunity to work in the cultural sector to apply the skills you have gained from the programme so far.

When it comes to the organisation, it is totally up to you. Previous students have gained experience with the Southbank Centre, The British Library, IMG Artists, LIFT, Arts Council England and the British Film Institute.

Academic facilities

Music students can take advantage of our advanced recording and composition studios, a professional performance space, computer laboratories, rehearsal rooms, practice rooms and world music instruments.

Our composition studios include three surround (8.1/ 5.1) studios, one of which is dedicated to film and live electronics work, and three stereo composition studios. All of the studios are equipped for sound editing, processing and mixing. As well as general software such as Logic, Sibelius and Pro Tools, these studios are equipped with Native Instruments Komplete.

The recording studio is equipped to deliver multitrack recording and mixing to a professional standard.

As well as the excellent library facilities at City and close by, such as the British Library, as part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply

Teaching and learning

Teaching is through lectures, small group seminars and one-to-one tutorials in which students receive supervision from world-leading researchers.

In addition, we arrange off-site visits, such as to the British Library or to relevant conferences. Project work also often involves engaging with external organisations or local communities.

Assessment

We use a range of assessment types, including extended projects, portfolio submissions and written examinations. Assesment will depend on the particular modules chosen by students

We have a vibrant postgraduate community and there are plenty of opportunities for involvement in our many ensembles. We host a regular concert series and an annual summer music festival. In addition, there are regular workshops, visiting speakers and postgraduate research seminars, and we also host occasional conferences.

In addition to our many ensmbles at City, MA students are also eligible to audition for the University of London Symphony Orchestra

Modules

MA Music students take two core modules (total 60 credits), two or three elective modules (total 30 or 60 credits), and also produce a 12-15,000 (60 credit) or 15-20,000 (90 credit) word dissertation.

A typical 30 credit taught module involves two hours of lectures/seminars per week over a 10-week teaching term, plus a total of one hour tutorial supervision over the course of the module (usually two half hour meetings).

In addition, the MA involves a significant amount of self-directed study, including preparation between classes, and researching and writing projects, equivalent to about 18 hours per week over a 15 week period (from the start of teaching to the final assessment).

Core modules

Students take two core modules in term one, followed by elective modules in term two (for part-time students the modules are spread over two years).

  • Critical Readings in Musicology (30 credits)
  • Researching Music in Contemporary Culture (30 credits)

Elective modules

  • Music Special Project (30 credits)
  • Interdisciplinarity and Collaborative Process (30 credits)
  • Urban Ethnomusicology (30 credits)
  • Historical Musicology (30 credits)

Plus a range of elective modules in the Departments of Sociology and International Politics:

  • Professional Placement (15 credits)
  • Audiences and Marketing (15 credits)
  • Digital cultures (15 credits)
  • Culture (15 credits)
  • Cultural Policy (15 credits)
  • Public Culture: the Politics of Participation (15 credits)
  • Global Cultural Industries, Ethics and Social Responsibility (15 credits)
  • Celebrity (15 credits)
  • Global Ethics: Principles, Power and Politics (30 credits)

(NB: Elective module choices are subject to availability and timetabling constraints).

Dissertation

The MA culminates in a 12-15,000 (60 credits) or 15-20,000 (90 credits) dissertation, running through the spring and summer terms, which students complete by the end of August.

Examples of previous dissertation projects include:

  • ‘Hybridity, Afro-Modernism and Double Consciousness in the Music of Kanye West’
  • ‘Computer Music and Post-Digital Aesthetics’
  • 'The Rise of Cross-Dressing and Male Impersonation in the Music Halls of Victorian London'
  • 'Searching for Satori: Psychedelia in the Music of Bauhaus'
  • Student
    Lecturers were incredibly helpful in guiding my dissertation, discussing work with me and suggesting further study options.

Career prospects

The MA Music has excellent employment statistics. Students  have gone on to teach, compose and perform in a wide variety of settings and are also employed in areas such as music publishing, broadcasting, music management, arts administration and further musical study at MPhil or PhD level. Alumni are currently working in high-profile roles, including in organisations such as the Southbank Centre and the Halle Orchestra.

Examples include:

  • Justine Fancy, PR Manager at MAMA & Company, live music company
  • Rachel Swindells, Gamelan & Community Projects Officer, Halle Orchestra
  • Meliz Serman, Head of Music, Davenport Foundation School
  • Javier Alvarez, International Award-Winning Composer

The MA Music attracts a very high number and standard of applications. To make sure you have the best opportunity of gaining a place please apply as early as possible. When making your application you should note the following:

  • Each application is carefully assessed against the entry requirements so it is important that you include all the required information with your application (for example, degree certificates, certificates of language proficiency levels etc). The processing of your application may be delayed if you do not include these documents.
  • As part of your application you are asked to provide a personal statement. It is important that you use this opportunity to demonstrate clearly why you want to undertake the MA and how this relates to your future career plans.

Applicants should submit the following:

  • Online application form
  • A transcript of your undergraduate degree
  • An essay (2,000-3,000 words) on a musical topic. The essay should demonstrate critical skills and writing ability, and conform to standard academic guidelines for formatting and referencing. Most applicants submit an essay completed as part of their undergraduate studies.
  • Two academic references

Contact details

Request a prospectus

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London EC1V 0HB

United Kingdom

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.