Music psychology explores the deep and complex relationship between music, the human mind and the brain. Understanding more about how they interact may help reveal why music is so meaningful to us.
In this pathway of our MA Music, you'll learn about the basic mechanisms of the auditory system and delve into the perception and cognition of musical elements, such as melody, timing, harmony and timbre. You'll look at the mechanisms underpinning music performance. Finally, you'll discover higher level structures such as compositional form and expressiveness, alongside the basic principles underlying how we experience and appreciate music as listeners.
The course is run in close collaboration with the York Music Psychology Group.
We encourage you to get involved in the lively community of our department, from participating in department ensembles to attending our weekly research and composition seminars and performance classes.
Music Psychology is such an exciting field - its applications range from health care to advertising. I spent the majority of my year researching empathy and how it regulates emotional responses to music. By the end I was equipped to conduct research independently and with skills that will continue to be useful far beyond the end of the MA.Katherine, recent graduate
You'll automatically be a member of the York Music Psychology Group, who meet once a week to discuss projects, papers and theories.
You'll have access to a wide range of specialist equipment such as listening laboratories, state-of-the-art psychophysiological measurement devices and our unique audience response system.
From choral to orchestral, jazz and folk to improvised electronica, gospel to gamelan, almost every kind of music is performed by the Department’s many ensembles.
All pathways for the MA Music follow the same structure. However their taught content is completely adopted to the respective field. We place an emphasis on independence and creativity - you will have the freedom to study the areas that interest you.
Over the year, you’ll take four modules:
In addition to these modules, we strongly encourage you to participate in department ensembles and attend weekly research seminars, performance classes and composition seminars relevant to your studies.
You’ll take the modules Project I and Project II (30 credits each) in the Autumn and Spring/Summer Terms respectively.
Project I will focus on music performance research, while Project II looks at perception and cognition research.
At the end of each module, you’ll produce a ‘guided submission’:
As part of these modules, you’ll attend a weekly research colloquium within the York Music Psychology Group.
Throughout the year, you will be taught research skills in a specially designed module covering the planning, conducting, analysing, and presentation of research in Music Psychology. This module will be assessed through two in-class presentations (Autumn and Spring Term) and a paper at a conference organised by MA students (Summer Term).
Throughout these modules you’ll receive advice, support and feedback from your academic supervisor. Furthermore, there there are regular class-room tutorials on writing, conducting, and analysing research enabling you to excel in your particular academic instrests. You’ll have the freedom to submit work on areas that interest you - our courses are designed to allow maximum flexibility and independence.
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
During the Summer Term and summer vacation, you will work on Project III (100 credits), an extended individual project.
The extended project is considerably more complex than your first two submissions - you'll conduct an independent empirical research project and submit a research report about it of 10,000 words.
You'll receive advice and support from your supervisor during the Summer Term to help you develop your work. There are also regular tutorials and additional sessions on methodology and statistics as required.
Recent projects have included:
An Investigation Into the Effect of Induced Empathy on Subjective Response to Music
Practice makes perfect: The impact of preparation techniques on music performance anxiety among student musicians
Rhythmic complexity in contemporary music and embodied timekeeping gestures
Listening to Quran Recitations: ‘Does It Affect Psychophysiological Measures of Emotion?"
A lifetime of memories: the effect of ageing on emotion and vividness ratings of autobiographical memories and self-selected music
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. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.
|Full-time (1 year)||£7,810||£17,370|
|Part-time (2 years)|
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee
Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).
UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.
Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.
If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.
The Department of Music offer a number of postgraduate scholarships, awards and bursaries. See funding options on our website.
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.
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. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.
Your teaching will largely take the form of weekly pathway seminars, regular one-to-one tutorials, research seminars and a weekly research colloquium.
You will have regular meetings with your supervisor, who will advise you and help develop your ideas as you progress through your studies.
We encourage you to get involved with our lively departmental community, from our ensembles to our weekly seminars, performance classes and research seminars.
The Music Psychology pathway has exclusive access to the YMPG listening laboratory that allows to conduct various psychophysiological response experiments.
Our department has a variety of seminar rooms for class teaching. These rooms have an array of specialized teaching equipment including pianos, interactive whiteboards and audio equipment.
John Paynter Music Library
The John Paynter Music Library is an elegant facility, located within the University's JB Morrell Library, and houses the main music collections. It is also equipped with digital pianos and media replay equipment. The physical collection as well as an extensive range of electronic resources are searchable through the YorSearch.
The University Library houses and 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.
Almost all of your teaching will take place within the department.
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.
You'll write a literature review, conduct a replication study, submit your MA thesis, and complete three presentations throughout the year.
This course will give you a thorough grounding in many aspects of Music Psychology and prepare you for a wide range of careers.
With additional qualifications, you could also work in music therapy and clinical settings.
Recent graduates have gone on to careers in areas such as:
By the end of the course, you'll develop the following transferable skills:
A Bachelor's degree with a 2:1 (hons) or above in music or another relevant discipline. We will also consider your application if you have a 2:2 honours degree and relevant professional experience.
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability.
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.
Please indicate clearly in the written title of your application which MA Music pathway you wish to apply for.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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