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MA Music (Musicology pathway)

Explore what underpins and informs musical practice

Year of entry: 2019

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

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.

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.

Departmental ensembles

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.

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 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.

Modules

Projects I and II

You’ll take the modules Project I and Project II (30 credits each) in the Autumn and Spring Terms respectively, with further teaching in the Summer Term.

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 sudies 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

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.

Dissertation

Project III

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.

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. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

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 Master’s level.
  • Lead, or constructively contribute to, advanced-level musical activity, for example by performing, composing, critical listening and thinking, analyzing, 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 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)

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2019/20

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year)£7,810£17,370
Part-time (2 years)
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
£3,905
year 1 fee
£8,685
year 1 fee

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

Fees information

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.

Funding information

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.

Home/EU students

International students

The Department of Music offer a number of postgraduate scholarships, awards and bursaries. See funding options on our website.

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. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

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 Department of Music 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

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.

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

  • PhD studies
  • School teaching
  • University lecturing
  • Working within the commercial music industry

Transferable skills

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

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Degree

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.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability:

  • IELTS: 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in each component
  • PTE: 55, with no less than 51 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (taken from January 2015): 169, with no less than 162 in each component
  • TOEFL: 79, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Pass in all components

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 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.

Apply for this course

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Department of Music

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