MA in The Beatles, Popular Music and Society

Liverpool Hope University

Program Description

MA in The Beatles, Popular Music and Society

Liverpool Hope University

MA in The Beatles, Popular Music and Society

A unique opportunity to study in the city of Liverpool, home of The Beatles and with access to leading Popular Music academics and Beatles specialists, this MA is the only one of its kind in the UK and the world.

This MA will examine the significance of the music of the Beatles in the construction of identities, audiences, ethnicities and industries, and localities; by doing so it will suggest ways to understand popular music as a social practice, focusing attention on issues such as the role of music in the construction of regional identities, concepts of authenticity, aesthetics, meaning, value, performance, and the use of popular music as a discursive evocation of place. Furthermore, in a consideration of popular music as a text, popular music semiotics will also be employed.

This MA will be of interest to those working in the fields of popular music studies, cultural studies, social anthropology, politics, gender studies, and musicology, among others. Such a course is an essential addition to the discipline of Popular Music Studies.

Study Details/Module Information

Currently four taught modules are offered on this programme.

  • Texts and Contexts: Understanding Popular Music - This will offer the student an understanding of how Popular Music Studies has expanded and developed to deal with the changing nature of popular music over the past 50 years. This module will also provide students with contextually related research methods.
  • Topics in History: Liverpool - This module will introduce and discuss musical production and consumption within the post WWII era and will discuss the roles of locality, economics, space and place, and other issues specifically relating to Merseyside.
  • Musicology and the Beatles - In this module students will take a popular music semiotics approach and will textually analyse a variety of Beatles material.
  • Historical and Critical Approaches - Students will be invited to study a more ethnographic approach to the Beatles, the various cultural discourses surrounding their music, and the local tourist industry established in Liverpool to capitalise on the group.

The Dissertation module will be introduced to students towards the end of the Topics in History module with a request for student abstracts, the allocation of supervisors, and the agreement of research areas.

Please Note:

  • The Postgraduate Certificate will be awarded on the successful completion of 60 credits. This will consist of two taught modules.
  • The Postgraduate Diploma will be awarded on the successful completion of 120 credits. This will mean the completion of all modules apart from the Dissertation.

Research Environment

The Course Director, Dr Michael Brocken is a highly qualified Popular Music Studies specialist – one of the first in the world to receive a doctorate in Popular Music Studies. He is research-led and research-active and possesses an appropriate level of subject expertise, as well as a range of publications, to under-pin the teaching of the course. The programme team are also either highly qualified or pursuing the highest qualifications in their chosen areas.

Career Opportunities

Although this course will have a wide appeal, it would be beneficial to those teaching in schools or in FE or HE. There is evidence to suggest the importance of postgraduate qualifications for those teaching Music or Popular Music. As with other areas of industry, within the music industry itself postgraduate qualifications are of increasing importance.

Key Information

Award: MA The Beatles, Popular Music and Society

Mode of Study: Full-time and Part-time

Duration: 12 months (full-time); 24 months (part-time)

Study Pattern: September entry only

Entry Criteria:

  • Normally an Honours degree (minimum 2:1) in a relevant subject.
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2016
Part time
Full time
4,600 GBP
Start date Aug. 2016
United Kingdom Liverpool, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration Request Info
Price 4,600 GBP
Home Fee; International Fee: GBP 8,400