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MA Music Education: Group Teaching and Leadership

Lead the way in music education

Year of entry: 2022 (September)


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2022 (term dates)

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Work with research-active staff to develop and refine your group teaching and leadership skills with an MA in Music Education.

This unique course integrates theory and reflective practice so you can gain an understanding of the philosophy and psychology of music education. You’ll explore inclusive approaches to supporting musical development in early childhood, primary and secondary education, and with learners with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

You'll deepen your knowledge of music education, focusing on scholarship relating to effective and inclusive pedagogy. You'll then have opportunities to apply this knowledge in practical group settings.

Our friendly teaching team of professional music leaders and educators will provide the support and resources you need to succeed in your professional and personal development.

You'll be part of a lively and inclusive departmental community, and we will encourage you to participate in our departmental ensembles, attend weekly concerts and research seminars, and take full advantage of our departmental facilities.

Boost your career

The skills and experience you'll gain on this course are directly applicable to your career as a music educator.

Research excellence

96% of the Department's research activity is classed as 'world-leading', 'internationally excellent' or 'internationally recognised'.

Research Excellence Framework 2014

University of the Year shortlisted

We're proud to announce that we've been shortlisted for two prestigious University of the Year awards.

  • Times Higher Education Awards 2021
  • The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

Find out more about our nominations

Course content

You'll study a series of taught core modules and option modules.

You'll also complete an independent study module through practical work with reflective commentary, an extended essay or a research project.


Core modules

Option modules

Your option modules will cover topics such as:

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.


You'll complete your independent study module towards the end of your course.

  • Independent Study Module

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Examine and evaluate current research and debates in music education, and relate these to their own practice
  • Plan, facilitate, and assess effective music learning activities confidently and flexibly in a range of settings and with a variety of learners
  • Apply critical understanding of professional issues, including safeguarding and inclusive practice, to their work in music education settings
  • Exercise music education leadership, such as curriculum development, grant-application writing and project management
  • Articulate their individual teaching, leadership, and facilitation practices and philosophies, based on critical awareness of their own skills, expertise and identity as a music educator
  • Engage in effective continuing professional development and enhancement by applying developed skills of self-evaluation and reflective practice
  • Communicate persuasively and credibly in written work by identifying and deploying appropriate writing styles for a range of outputs, for example, session plans, curricula and policies, reflective commentary, essays, and dissertation
  • Develop knowledge and critical awareness through research and practice that may lead to further postgraduate study and/or employment opportunities
My professors gave me a wonderful learning experience which I really enjoyed. My tutors gave me many constructive suggestions about applying for a PhD that has made my future goals clearer.
Ka, MA Music Education: Instrumental and Vocal Teaching

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2022/23

Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2022/23 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Funding opportunities

Departmental funding

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

You'll be taught via seminars and practical sessions in which you'll have the opportunity to teach others and receive feedback. You'll complete a variety of assessment types, choosing from essay, poster presentation, literature review, report, assessed lesson with commentary, and digital portfolio formats. Regular meetings with course tutors will allow you to discuss your progress and prepare for assessments.


The Department of Music is home to outstanding facilities, including a variety of seminar rooms for class teaching. These rooms have an array of specialised teaching equipment including pianos, interactive whiteboards and audio equipment.

The John Paynter Music Library is an elegant facility, located within the University Library, and houses the main music collections. It is also equipped with digital pianos, and media replay equipment.

The University Library houses an extensive collection of CDs and DVDs, which are available for listening and research. There are also archival recordings available for student use in the University of York Sound Archives.

The Document Supply Centre of the British Library is located in Boston Spa, near to York. A weekly bus service runs during term-time.

Teaching location

The Department of Music is located on Campus West. Almost all of your teaching will take place within the department.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

Modules often include a choice of assessment formats, including essay, poster presentation, literature review, conceptual analysis, report, assessed lesson and commentary, digital portfolio and dissertation.

Throughout your course, you submit work which does not count towards your final grade. This is a chance for you to receive feedback from your tutors, discover your strengths and identify areas for improvement.

Careers and skills

The skills developed in this programme will contribute to enhanced professional ability as a music leader, educator, or instrumental teacher in educational contexts both inside and outside of schools.

You'll also be equipped for further postgraduate study in the field of Music Education.

Career opportunities

  • Music teacher
  • School teacher
  • Education specialist within arts organisations
  • Community arts worker
  • Research and PhD study

Transferable skills

  • Critical awareness and self-reflection
  • Persuasive communication
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Confidence with theoretical concepts and their application within education settings
  • Facilitation skills
  • Awareness of leadership and management issues

Entry requirements

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

Apply for this course

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Department of Music

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