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MA in Music (by research): Improvised Music and Jazz

University of York

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MA - Master of Arts

  • Location

    University of York

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    JUL-22, OCT-22, JAN-23, APR-23, JUL-23

  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary

The MA by Research in Improvised Music and Jazz welcomes applicants who wish to pursue a programme of research focussing on the application, or study, of musical processes that prioritise improvisation. As this is a research degree applicants should be able to demonstrate a secure understanding of an improvised practice that is relevant to their chosen area of interest. This understanding can be theoretical or practical and it is important to note that both are equally valued. Interdisciplinary research proposals are also encouraged (whether they be cross art form - e.g., dance and music - or seek to connect distinct musical practices in interesting ways).

The University of York archives hold a range of material directly relevant to research in jazz and improvised music, including the J. R.T. Davies collection of pre-1950s jazz (mainly on 78rpm disk) and the ECMRecords collection. The programme is also directly supported by individual coaching and workshops from members of the Julian Argüelles Octet and other visiting musicians. The University Jazz Orchestra is a key resource for practical work (performance and composition), as well as the recording and rehearsal facilities of the mrc.

The MA in Music by Research offers postgraduate opportunities to individuals who prefer to study independently rather than through classroom teaching, working under the close supervision of an expert in their field. This is a research degree, not a taught course programme, and applicants will need to have a clearly focussed research proposal in their given area to be considered for admission to the research MA. Supervision and tutorial meetings are held on either a weekly or fortnightly basis throughout the academic year and by arrangement over the summer vacation. There is also an opportunity for all MA by Research students to interact with one another: the MA Research Forum. Meeting on Wednesday mornings, this is a discussion group that engages with common themes, such as issues of writing about music, while offering the opportunity for individual students to present aspects of their research topics to the larger group. Students are also encouraged to attend the weekly Research Seminar series (on Wednesday afternoons) where invited speakers, staff members and PhD students give presentations about their latest work, and there are opportunities to meet other postgraduate researchers.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 23,900per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of York

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of York, Heslington, York, York, YO10 5DD, England

Inspiring teaching from eminent researchers who bring real-world expertise into their subjects, equipping students for the global workplace.
Dedicated international support, including funding opportunities, immigration advice, welcome communities, Maths and Writing Skills Centres, and much more.
Home to over 20,000 students from more than 150 countries, creating a diverse, inclusive community that offers a lifelong global network.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    17th out of 86

  • Entry standards

    / Max 214
    144 67%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    72.0 72%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.10 82%



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