The programme features a single core module, allowing you to tailor the content to areas of specific interest with your choice of optional modules. This programme is ideal for those who wish to extend their study of historical musicology and/or ethnomusicology further and explore particular topics in-depth, and it can also be used as a route into PhD research.
The MA in Music at Birmingham offers first-class, world-recognised staff who are experts in their fields meaning students learn from people who really are the best at what they do.
Students study within the excellent facilities available with the Elgar Concert Hall, which is one of the most flexible concert halls of its type in any UK university.
Masters Scholarships available for September 2021 Entry
From £1500 discounts for current students, £1500 scholarships for our very best candidates, to our College of Arts and Law Masters Fees Scholarship, there are lots of funding opportunities available to study with us in September 2021.
Why study this course?
Long-standing history – The Department of Music is one of the most distinguished in the UK, with a history stretching back to 1905 when Edward Elgar was appointed the University's first Professor of Music.
Exceptional facilities – You will benefit from some of the best facilities for music study and practice in the country, including state-of-the-art facilities in our Bramall Music Building along with practice rooms, electro-acoustic music studios, early instruments, computer workstations. You will also have access to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, with its magnificent Art Deco Concert Hall and Library. The Barber Institute Library is one of the best in the country, with Special Collections centred on 20th century English music, including Elgar diaries, manuscript scores and early editions, 20th-century Italian music, and Baroque music. We are also home to the Centre for Early Music Performance and Research (CEMPR); the Centre for Composition and Associated Studies (COMPASS); and Birmingham Electroacoustic Music Studios (BEAST).
Employability – we have an excellent record of postgraduate employment, with many former students holding academic posts at institutions such as the University of Manchester, Edinburgh University, the University of Sheffield, the Royal Scottish Academic of Music and Drama, the University of Malaysia, and Harvard University.
Flexibility - you have the opportunity to study this programme full or part-time.
You will study one core module:
Introduction to Musicology
This module prepares you for the field of Musicology by examining key issues, theories, and methodologies in the field. It is taught as a series of seminars by a number of staff in the Department of Music, and any research presentations organised for department staff and visiting scholars.
Assessment: Two 2,500-word essays
You will also choose optional five modules from a range which typically includes:
Advanced Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music
Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art
British Music Studies 1850-1975
Contemporary Music Studies
Experimental Music and Sound Art
Introduction to Global Popular Musics
You may also select one undergraduate module to take at the MA level. Modules may include:
Love, Death, Religion and Music in the Renaissance
Music, Protest and Social Activism
Music Scholarship and Bibliography
Ralph Vaughan Williams and His World
Optional modules outside of Music
You also have the opportunity to take one optional module outside of Music. Modules may include:
Empire and Identity
Ideas, Ideals and Ideologies
Sexuality, Gender and Representation
In addition to your taught modules, you will conduct a piece of independent research with the support of a supervisor, culminating in a 15,000-word dissertation.
Please note that the optional module information listed on the website for this programme is intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.
The deadline for international students (including EU) to apply is Thursday 1 July 2021. The deadline for UK students is Thursday 9 September 2021.
Our Standard Requirements
We usually ask for a good Honours degree (2:1), or equivalent, in Music or a related subject with a substantial musical component. Degrees in other subjects will be considered where candidates have significant professional musical experience and relevant qualifications.
Your application should include a personal statement of approximately 5,000 characters. You should use your personal statement to explain why you are interested in studying this programme. In order to expedite processing, please clearly state the pathway to which you are applying within the first paragraph of your personal statement.
All prospective students for pathways in musicology must also submit a sample of written work of at least 3,000 words - in English - in addition to the usual supporting documents. This should focus on a musical topic, with academic bibliography and references. This should be submitted at the time of making your application or uploaded within two weeks of submitting your application. If this is not provided within the stated timeframe your application may be declined.
Academic requirements: We accept a range of qualifications from different countries - use our handy guide below to see what qualifications we accept from your country.
English language requirements: standard language requirements apply for this course - IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band. If you are made an offer of a place to study and you do not meet the language requirement, you have the option to enrol on our English for Academic Purposes Presessional course - if you successfully complete the course, you will be able to fulfil the language requirement without retaking a language qualification.
IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band is equivalent to:
TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 21 Listening, 22 Speaking and 21 in Writing
Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 59 in all four skills
Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced - Minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component
Your degree will provide excellent preparation for your future career, but this can also be enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University and the College of Arts and Law.
The University's Careers Network provides expert guidance and activities especially for postgraduates, which will help you achieve your career goals. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team that offer tailored advice and a programme of College-specific careers events.
You will be encouraged to make the most of your postgraduate experience and will have the opportunity to:
Receive one-to-one careers advice, including guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique, whether you are looking for a career inside or outside of academia
Meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs and employer presentations
Attend an annual programme of careers fairs, skills workshops and conferences, including bespoke events for postgraduates in the College of Arts and Law
Take part in a range of activities to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers and enhance your CV
What’s more, you will be able to access our full range of careers support for up to 2 years after graduation.
Postgraduate employability: Music
Birmingham's Music postgraduates work in a wide range of careers within and beyond the music world. A postgraduate degree in Music develops a broad base of skills including general skills such as communication, problem-solving and research, and also specific skills developed by practice and performance such as self-management, teamwork and presentation.
Over the past 5 years, 75% of Music postgraduates were in work and/or further study 6 months after graduation (DLHE 2012 - 2017). While some graduates pursue music-related careers, or go on to teaching and lecturing roles, others choose to use their transferable skills to follow career paths in fields including teaching, social care and publishing.