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

MA Music Production

Don't let your skills go unrecorded

Year of entry: 2022 (September)


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

Whether you are an electronic/computer-based composer or an early music specialist who wants to make the very best recordings, this course will provide you with the intellectual and practical skills to realise your goals.

Recordings and productions are the dominant way of engaging with music of all types. This programme explores the skills and knowledge relevant to this important musical activity, as well as understanding how it affects music more broadly.

You'll study practical, theoretical and analytical aspects of the creation, perception and reception of audio productions. You'll take an interdisciplinary approach, examining how creative studio practice is informed by science and engineering (acoustics, psychoacoustics, electroacoustics, signal processing) as well as composition, performance and musicology.

The course combines a very broad view of the techniques and applications of production for audio media with the subsequent development of more tightly focused individual skills and scholarship. You'll encounter a range of possible projects, from the creation of entirely synthetic material using computer-based techniques to the successful capture of acoustic performances, as well as the restoration and reconstruction of existing audio heritage. 

The course covers a range of theoretical and practical sessions, which allowed hands-on practice with a balanced analytical input. Recording opportunities are always available ranging from Classical, Jazz, and Experimental. This was really useful for increasing the sound palette and to engage in different collaborations.
Lynette, MA Music Production


Learn from the experts

Course staff have a wealth of industrial experience as well as being active researchers

Recording opportunities

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, offering a wealth of opportunities for recording projects.

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 core modules and complete an extended research project. Assessment will be both practical and essay based, as well as a short presentation as part of the Music Perception and Critical Listening module.

You'll cover both aesthetic and scientific approaches to music production, explore the history and context of a variety of genres and develop the practical skills needed to capture and edit musical recordings.


Core modules

Your core modules will cover topics such as:

The Music Perception and Critical Listening module is delivered by the Department of Electronic Engineering and is shared with students on its MSc in Audio and Music Technology.

Students on that programme also have the option of attending the Production Techniques, Technologies and Aesthetics module, giving you an excellent opportunity to work with peers from different disciplines and understand different perspectives.

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.

Research project

In the final stages of your course you'll complete a large-scale research project. This can take several different forms: you could produce a set of productions with accompanying commentaries, demonstrating either new practices and techniques or mimicking existing productions as a form of analysis; a dissertation analysing existing productions or developing and testing theories about aspects of production; or a combination of the two.

Previous research project titles include:

  • ‘Heaviness’ in heavy metal music
  • Combining minimalist composition and acoustic ecology in audio production.
  • Adaptive threshold noise-gating for drum recording.
  • Machine learning in music production.
  • Adaptive music systems for video game audio production.
  • Chipmusic: authenticity and emulation.

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:

  • Plan, create and critique audio artefacts that present western acoustic art music (and other music for whom those techniques are also relevant) in ways that successfully translate the sensations, ideas and contexts inherent in the music to the intended listening environment
  • Devise, create and critique artefacts that represent the practice of pop, rock and/or electronic production techniques and incorporate both simultaneous and non-simultaneous, realtime and non-realtime processes in the studio-based construction of music
  • Design, implement, test and describe, in both the time and frequency domains, musical audio signal creation and processing systems for use in sound recording and/or post-production contexts
  • Understand human sensation and perception of sound, making connections to relevant aesthetic judgements, and use this to guide and reflect upon their own practice
  • Place their practice within relevant historical and cultural contexts, differentiating between practice-norms and more experimental or innovative technique and make informed judgements about their appropriate deployment.
  • Evaluate and articulate the current state of the art in, and understanding of, audio production technology and culture by referring to relevant contemporary research
  • Devise and manage a large-scale practice or theory-based music production-related investigation that follows established and appropriate research methodology and is based on the current state of knowledge in the relevant area(s)
The freedom to do what I wanted, mixed with amazing equipment and staff who genuinely care about your development really helped set me up on the path I'm on now.
Dan Watts, MA Music Production

Producing and performing as DanAleX

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2022/23

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £10,800£24,500
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.

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. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).

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

Teaching is delivered via lectures, listening seminars (held in our renowned Rymer auditorium) and practical workshops. Lectures will usually take place over a series of weeks, with the weeks following focussing more on practical assessment work. You will also participate in weekly practical workshops, as well as weekly listening seminars.


Our department is home to the Music Research Centre, containing a large-scale neutral listening and performing space built to extremely low noise specifications (PNC15); a linked studio suite containing a dedicated performance space with configurable acoustics; and two mix down/control rooms (one with an SSL Duality console).

The Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall has a dedicated studio control room along with a suite of editing and programming rooms. You'll have access to a wide range of microphones and recording hardware/software and extensive computing facilities for practical work and research. We also have multiple sets of 5.1 monitoring and a full periphonic (ie with height) 16 loudspeaker ambisonic system for use with surround sound work.

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 largely be assessed through production portfolios, supported by commentaries where applicable, as well as essays and presentations, both to fellow students and in our collaborative, public-facing student symposium each year.

What I loved about York was that I was able to take learning into my own hands. I chose to do an international record production project, which took me on a crowdfunded album project to Colombia. While on this trip I learned what it was to truly manage and produce artists on my own project, and I discovered a new type of self-confidence in being able to produce my own truly unique vision.
Matt, MA Music Production

Founder, Music Alignment

Careers and skills

This course will provide you with a versatile skill-set which will be of value for both entrepreneurs or for those seeking professional appointments, be it with a small independent production house or a broadcaster with global reach. You will graduate with a set of robust skills which will transfer to many different scenarios along with a breadth and depth of understanding of Music Production which will allow you to create meaningful and significant audio content, as well as critically analyse the work of other producers.

Career opportunities

  • Music teacher
  • Music editor
  • Studio assistant
  • Music producer
  • Audio engineer
  • Freelance musician (teaching and performing)

Transferable skills

  • Time management
  • Critical analysis
  • Problem solving
  • Lateral thinking
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Research skills

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in Music or another relevant discipline. We will also consider unrelated first degrees provided you can demonstrate a good grasp of music theory and some practical ability in music making.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Additional requirements

You should provide a portfolio of short extracts (no longer than 5 minutes) of your previous work in music production to support your application. You can attach an mp3 (or AAC, AAC+ etc) file along with your application on the online system, although you may be asked to provide a link to a higher resolution version prior to interview.

Please also provide a short written statement (maximum 500 words) describing the portfolio items and how they were produced.

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 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in all other components
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 169, minimum 169 in Writing and 162 in all other components
Duolingo 100, minimum 100 in Production and 90 in all other components
LanguageCert B2 Communicator High Pass with 33/50 in each component
PTE Academic 55, minimum 55 in Writing and 51 in all other components
TOEFL 79, minimum 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 21 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.


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

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Learn more

Department of Music

Related courses

Discover York


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.