Further information on submitting a proposal for the MA by Research in Professional Studies is available from Dr Liz Haddon: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Masters by Research in Professional Studies is aimed at professional musicians who may be working in, or are about to commence portfolio careers, or who are working in a professional musical environment. It provides the opportunity to reflect on practice and develop further understanding of pedagogical, creative, administrative, artistic and holistic skills. Students opting for this MA will have already had some experience working as musical, creative and organisational agents in a community of practice. This MA enables reflection on and study of practice-as-research. Students will articulate and examine their current experiences as portfolio and professional musicians (for example, as teachers, outreach musicians, composers, administrators etc.) and explore in close detail through written work some examples of practice drawn either from their own experience or from documented study of that of other musicians/organisations.
Students taking this course will submit a dissertation of between 30,000 and 40,000 words investigating the candidate's registered topic. This might involve documentation of the development of a project and the relevant supporting materials; project evaluation; a case study of a defined area; research on a particular audience and/or community group; development and evaluation of a promotional strategy; innovation in creative and/or pedagogical work, evaluation of self-development; action research to create and explore change; issues raised through consideration of different co-existing cultural attitudes and practices, etc. The written work will demonstrate knowledge of the topic, reflective and research skills and original thinking, presented to a professional standard and accompanied by a comprehensive resource list of relevant materials (including scores, analyses, published texts such as articles, books and concert ephemera, internet and audio-visual resources, etc.).
Students will have opportunities to engage in the many ensemble and performance, educational and outreach activities on offer in this vibrant music department. In addition to gaining a professional qualification, the work undertaken by students completing the MA in Professional Studies will directly inform and enrich each student’s own practice.
The MA in Music by Research offers postgraduate opportunities to individuals who prefer to study independently rather than through classroom teaching, working under the close supervision of an expert in their field. This is a research degree, not a taught course programme, and applicants will need to have a clearly-focussed research proposal in their given area in order to be considered for admission to the research MA. Supervision and tutorial meetings are held on either a weekly or fortnightly basis throughout the academic year and by arrangement over the summer vacation. There is also an opportunity for all MA by Research students to interact with one another: the MA Research Forum. Meeting on Wednesday mornings, this is a discussion group that engages with common themes, such as issues of writing about music, while offering the opportunity for individual students to present aspects of their research topics to the larger group. Students are also encouraged to attend the weekly Research Seminar series (on Wednesday afternoons) where invited speakers, staff members and PhD students give presentations about their latest work, and there are opportunities to meet other postgraduate researchers.
The MA in Music by Research lasts one year for full-time study or two years for part-time study. Candidates may elect to apply to the MPhil/PhD programme subject to satisfactory completion of the MA by Research, though progression is not automatic. The submission of a final dissertation or portfolio of work is the product of a series of carefully-structured elements produced throughout the duration of the programme in conjunction with supervisory guidance.
The following submission alternatives are available for MA by Research candidates. All are subject to supervisory agreement:
Please include as part of your application a research proposal detailing your proposed topic and how you plan to investigate it. This should include a paragraph explaining the relevance of your research or professional experience to date and another explaining why you think your work has the potential to make a new contribution to your field of interest. In addition, please include a selective resource list (maximum length: one page) of significant items (e.g. scores, analyses, published texts such as articles, books and concert ephemera, internet and audio-visual resources, etc.) that you have consulted in exploring your topic and preparing your proposal.
The Department will assist you in matching your research interests to our supervisory expertise. Please note that acceptance into the MA by Research programme requires approval by your potential supervisor.