Delve beneath the surface of music with this pathway, designed for students interested in the academic study of music.
The Musicology pathway of our MA Music programme combines music history with critical musicology, allowing you to deepen your knowledge of western art music in a critical and theoretically informed manner. By the time you graduate, you'll have the ability to evaluate complex ideas and to carry out independent research on musicological areas of interest. You will understand how your own work fits into the broader field of musicology, and will have the capacity to contribute to that field.
You're encouraged to attend the weekly Research Seminar series where invited speakers, staff members and PhD students give presentations about their latest work, giving you the opportunity to meet other postgraduate researchers. The Department has a broad community of staff and students working in many different areas of music history and critical musicology.
Our teaching is research-led and delivered by academic staff who are experts in their fields.
You'll have access to our extensive library facilities including the dedicated John Paynter Music Library, a weekly concert series featuring internationally renowned artists and a twice-yearly postgraduate forum.
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. 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.
As part of these modules, you’ll attend a weekly seminar related to the Musicology pathway.
In Project I, you'll examine in detail a selection of western art music dating from the 17th to the 19th century. Each case study will deal with a particular type of music within its historical context.
In Project II, you’ll investigate a selection of music dating from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Case studies are based around the expertise of the Department’s staff, so you will be exposed to leading research in the field for each of these seminars that you attend.
Throughout these modules you’ll receive advice, support and feedback from your academic supervisor. You’ll have the freedom to submit work on areas that interest you - our courses are designed to allow maximum flexibility and independence.
Critical Reflection in Musical Practice (20 credits) runs throughout the year. In this module you’ll develop sophisticated ways to articulate critical and reflective outlooks on musicological topics. In Autumn Term, your classes will introduce some of the research and critical skills needed in order to carry out work at postgraduate level, and in the spring, you'll explore theories and methods associated with critical musicology.
In Summer Term, your classes will prepare you for the MA conference, in which you will deliver a paper on a subject of your choice, and introduce you to further musicological topics based on staff research specialisms.
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 submit a dissertation of 12–15,000 words.
You'll receive advice and support from your supervisor during the Summer Term to help you develop your work.
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.
This course has provided me with a secure understanding of many aspects of critical musicology whilst allowing me to develop my own academic voice. I was able to hone my research, writing, and presenting skills in the areas of musicology that interest me the most. The seminars are engaging and I found my assignments fascinating to research and rewarding to write.Alice, MA Music (Musicology pathway)
Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
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.
Your teaching will largely take the form of weekly pathway seminars and regular one-to-one tutorials.
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.
We have a range of outstanding facilities, including the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall and dozens of teaching rooms and practice facilities. All spaces are designed to be flexible and are used for projects, seminars, ensemble rehearsals and recordings. Discover our facilities.
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. Both the physical collection and an extensive range of electronic resources are searchable through the library website (YorSearch).
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.
You will be based in the Department of Music on Campus West. 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 produce Guided Submissions for the first two terms and an Independent Submission during the summer term and summer vacation. These will take the form of written essays and presentations. You'll also present a paper at a conference organised by MA students in the Summer Term.
By the end of the programme, you will have gained a deep understanding of representative areas of western art music history. You will have enhanced your writing and critical thinking skills, and will be able to communicate your knowledge effectively; skills that are sought after in a wide range of careers. Your research skills will also leave you well prepared for PhD study and beyond.
|Undergraduate degree||2:1 or equivalent in Music or another relevant discipline. We will also consider your application if you have a 2:2 honours degree and relevant professional experience.|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS||6.0, minimum 5.5 in each component|
|PTE Academic||55, minimum 51 in each component|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||169, minimum 162 in each component|
|TOEFL||79, minimum 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing|
|Trinity ISE III||Pass in all components|
For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.
We recognise the difficulties in taking English language tests due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We have taken the decision to relax the English language requirements published above by 0.5 IELTS (or equivalent).
We are closely monitoring the situation as it evolves and are considering further options to support offer-holders in meeting their English language conditions. Further information about our responses to COVID-19.
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 IELTS 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.
You will need to demonstrate essay writing ability by submitting a piece of writing with your application.
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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