Skip to content Accessibility statement
Home>Study at York>Postgraduate taught>Courses 2022/23>Music (Musicology pathway) (MA)

MA Music (Musicology pathway)

Explore what underpins and informs musical practice.

Year of entry: 2022 (September)
Show year of entry: 2023

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2022 (term dates)

Meet us

Speak with us about postgraduate study at York through our range of events.

Find out more

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 School has a broad community of staff and students working in many different areas of music history and critical musicology.

Work with the experts

Our teaching is research-led and delivered by academic staff who are experts in their fields.

Outstanding facilities

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.

School ensembles

From choral to orchestral, jazz and folk to improvised electronica, gospel to gamelan, almost every kind of music is performed by the School's many ensembles.

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

​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 study a series of core modules. In addition to these modules, we strongly encourage you to participate in school ensembles and attend weekly research seminars, performance classes and composition seminars relevant to your studies.

Modules

Projects I and II

As part of the modules Project I and Project II, 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 School'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

Critical Reflection in Musical Practice runs throughout the year. In this module you’ll develop sophisticated ways to articulate critical and reflective outlooks on musicological topics. Your classes will introduce some of the research and critical skills needed in order to carry out work at postgraduate level. You'll then explore theories and methods associated with critical musicology.

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.

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.

Dissertation

Project III

Project III is an extended individual project. It 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 throughout the project to help you develop your work.

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:

  • ​Research independently and collaboratively with the sophistication, close attention to detail and creative flair developed through the advanced study of music at Masters level
  • Lead, or constructively contribute to, advanced-level musical activity, for example by performing, composing, critical listening and thinking, analysing, editing, improvising, notating or employing studio techniques and digital literacy at a professional level
  • Apply the musical and transferable skills gained throughout the programme with confidence and aptitude in a range of national and international professional contexts, for example performance, composition, teaching, management, academic work, and collaborative projects
  • Communicate at an advanced level on a range of issues relating to music, the arts, society and culture, using appropriate written and oral media and music-making activities
  • Plan and execute focused individual research projects, composition portfolios or recitals through rigorous planning and the application of appropriate principles, theoretical knowledge, methodologies, techniques and experience
  • Apply self-evaluative skills of reflective practice to inform current work and continuing professional development – whether through written work, compositions or performance – with creativity, imagination and initiative
​This course has provided me with a secure understanding of many aspects of critical musicology while 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)

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2022/23

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £9,290£19,950
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
£4,645£9,975

Students on a Student Visa (formerly 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.

  • UK (home) fees may increase in subsequent years (up to a maximum of 2%).
  • International fees may increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

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

Subject-specific scholarships

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

​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.

Facilities

​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).

Sound resources

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, and a bus provides transportation from the library to there once a week during term-time.

Teaching location

You will be based in the School of Arts and Creative Technologies on Campus West. Almost all of your teaching will take place on Campus West.

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

​You’ll produce Guided Submissions in the first section of your course and a larger Independent Submission towards the end. These will take the form of written essays and presentations. You'll also present a paper at a conference organised by MA students.

Careers and skills

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.

Career opportunities

  • Music producer
  • Music therapist
  • Secondary school music teacher
  • Sound designer
  • University teacher
  • Sound technician, broadcasting/film/video

Transferable skills

  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Critical reflection
  • Presentation
  • Sophisticated writing skills
  • Research management

Entry requirements

Typical offer
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

Additional requirements

You will need to submit a sample of your creative work with your application. Please see our guidance on submitting creative work.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.0, minimum 5.5 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 169, minimum 162 in each component
Duolingo 100, minimum 90 in all other components
LanguageCert B2 Communicator High Pass with 33/50 in each component
PTE Academic 55, minimum 51 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.

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.

Applying

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 sample academic essay with referencing on a music-related subject of your choice.

Please indicate clearly in the written title of your application which MA Music pathway you wish to apply for.

Apply for this course

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Learn more

School of Arts and Creative Technologies

Discover York

Accommodation

We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to premium.

Student life

Explore campus and city life and hear what our current students have to say about living here.

The city

Lively, full of culture and beautiful, York is regularly voted one of the best places to live and visit in the UK.

Meet us

Find out more about York. Chat to staff and students and take the tour, on campus or online.