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Music

Taught MA programme

The flexible modular structure of our taught MA programme allows students to focus on a chosen area of specialism but simultaneously facilitates exploration of a wide range of research areas relating to music. It will provide an excellent foundation for undertaking postgraduate research at doctoral level, but will also benefit the professional development of musicians intending to pursue careers in teaching, arts administration, broadcasting, and other domains.

Students on the Taught MA programme join a vibrant international postgraduate community and study with scholars, composers, and performers who have achieved international recognition in their fields. The Music Department has been ranked in the top three music departments nationally in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 and the Complete University Guide 2016.

W3K707 Music MA Postgraduate Taught  2017

Essentials

Essentials

UCAS code W3K707
Degree MA
Mode of study Part Time + Full Time
Duration 1 year (full-time) or 2 years (part-time)
Start Date 02-10-2017
Location Durham City
Department(s) Website www.durham.ac.uk/music
Email music.pgadmissions@durham.ac.uk
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 2973
Download Download as a PDF

Course Content

Course Content

Description

The flexible modular structure of our taught MA programme allows you to focus on a chosen area of specialism but simultaneously facilitates exploration of a wide range of research areas relating to music. It will provide an excellent foundation for undertaking postgraduate research at doctoral level, but will also benefit the professional development of musicians intending to pursue careers in teaching, arts administration, broadcasting, and other domains.

Students on the taught MA programme join a vibrant international postgraduate community and study with scholars, composers, and performers who have achieved international recognition in their fields. The Music Department has been ranked in the top three music departments nationally in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 and the Complete University Guide 2017.

The MA Music programme will normally facilitate study of the following areas of specialism:

  • Musicology
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Composition (acoustic and electro-acoustic)
  • Performance.

In addition, other options typically available have included:

  • British Music
  • Indian Music
  • Music, Mind, and Culture
  • World Music Analysis
  • Audiovisual Documentation and Analysis
  • Choral conducting (with special focus on Anglican church music).

Course structure

You will choose modules from sections A, B, C, and D below:

A. Major project, weighted at 60 credits (a dissertation, a public recital, or a portfolio of compositions/orchestrations and arrangements – depending on your chosen area of specialism)

B. A 30-credit module linked to your chosen area of specialism

C. Two compulsory core 30-credit modules embedding research training and engaging with major intellectual issues attendant on all subject areas

D. An additional 30 credits of Music undergraduate modules/selected undergraduate OR postgraduate modules offered by another department OR another related specialism-specific module from list B, subject to approval of the Board of Studies in Music.

Example: MA with specialism in Musicology

A. A 12,000-word dissertation on a musicological topic weighted at 60 credits

B. 30-credit module ‘Contemporary Musicology’

C. Compulsory core 30-credit modules, ‘Core Research Seminars’ and ‘Research Methods and Resources’

D. 30 credits of Music undergraduate modules/selected undergraduate OR postgraduate modules offered by another department OR another related specialism-specific module from list B

Core Modules

  • Research Methods and Resources
  • Core Research Seminars

And

The following specialism-specific modules will be offered every year: 

  • Contemporary Musicology
  • Ethnomusicology in Practice and Theory
  • Compositional Techniques
  • Music Performance. 

Optional Modules

Optional modules in previous years have included:

  • British Music
  • Music Analysis
  • Practice and Theory of Choral Conducting
  • Advanced Organ Studies
  • Electronic Music
  • Orchestration and Arranging
  • Indian Music
  • World Music Analysis
  • Music, Mind, and Culture
  • Audiovisual Documentation and Analysis. 

To view our short film on this programme click here 

Learning and Teaching

Course Learning and Teaching

The programme is delivered through a mixture of seminars, practical sessions and one-to-one supervision. Seminars provide opportunities for you to discuss and debate particular issues, and to present your own original work, informed by the knowledge that you have gained through independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. Practical sessions in areas such as studio or field recording techniques help to prepare you for your own independent work. All students must undertake an independent project (dissertation, composition portfolio, or performance), which is developed with the help of one-to-one expert supervision. Finally, optional modules can be drawn from the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of Music or of other departments –these free-choice modules may involve other forms of staff-student contact, depending on the subject area. The Department actively promotes interdisciplinary approaches to the study of music and you are encouraged to engage with other disciplines in the humanities and sciences.

The contact hours experienced by each individual student will vary considerably, given a high degree of flexibility in the programme. You will typically attend between 2 and 4 hours of seminars per week in term time, as well as additional practical sessions as appropriate. Individual supervision of dissertations, performance projects and composition portfolios amounts to an average of 6 hours spread over the second and third terms.

Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to attend research seminars, both student-led and those involving staff or guest academic speakers (typically 1-2 hrs each week). You must also undertake their own independent study to prepare for their classes and assessments, to broaden your subject knowledge and to prepare your dissertations or portfolios. You are encouraged, as an integral part of your studies, to take advantage of other opportunities including participating in performance opportunities (including staff-led ensembles) and attending research and composition seminars, some of which are organised in conjunction with University research institutes.

There is a busy programme of musical performance, both within and outside the Music department, which complements your academic programme by providing opportunities both to listen to and to perform a wide variety of music. The many musical ensembles to which you can contribute includes both independent societies (including orchestras, choirs, opera and musical theatre as well as a Javanese gamelan) and department-run ensembles such as the New Music Ensemble and Korean percussion group.

Requirements and Admissions

Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

2:1 (or equivalent) in an undergraduate Music degree.

Applicants wishing to take the composition modules Compositional Techniques (MUSI40430) and Composition Portfolio (MUSI42560) should be aware of the requirement to satisfy the following prerequisite: 

  • Applicants must hold a good Music degree (2:1 equivalent or above) with a Level 3 composition portfolio on transcript. Alternatively they must show comparable experience, through a portfolio of works that demonstrates clear skills and competence.

Applicants wishing to take the module Performance Project (MUSI42660) msut satisfy the following prerequisite: 

  • An ABRSM Diploma in Music Performance (or equivalent) is required to be admitted to this module. Where no such document can be provided, a video recording of no less than 10 minutes has to be submitted that proves the candidate is of the required Diploma level. 

 

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply

Fees and Funding

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £6,900.00
Home Student £6,900.00
Island Student £6,900.00
International non-EU Student £16,500.00

Part Time Fees

EU Student £3,800.00
Home Student £3,800.00
Island Student £3,800.00
International non-EU Student £9,100.00

Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding

www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/finance

Open Days and Visits

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Overseas Visit Schedule

www.durham.ac.uk/international/office/meetus

Postgraduate Visits

PGVI or

www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit/

Postgraduate Funding Opportunities

Postgraduates

Postgraduate funding opportunities - find out more about scholarships available for postgraduate study.