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MA in Music (by Research): Professional Studies

University of York

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MA - Master of Arts

  • Location

    University of York

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    JAN-22, APR-22, JUL-22

  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary

The Masters by Research in Professional Studies is aimed at professional musicians who may be working in, or are about to commence portfolio careers, or who are working in a professional musical environment. It provides the opportunity to reflect on practice and develop further understanding of pedagogical, creative, administrative, artistic and holistic skills. Students opting for this MA will have already had some experience working as musical, creative and organisational agents in a community of practice. This MA enables reflection on and study of practice-as-research. Students will articulate and examine their current experiences as portfolio and professional musicians (for example, as teachers, outreach musicians, composers, administrators etc.) and explore in close detail through written work some examples of practice drawn either from their own experience or from documented study of that of other musicians/organisations.

Students taking this course will submit a dissertation of between 30,000 and 40,000 words investigating the candidate's registered topic. This might involve documentation of the development of a project and the relevant supporting materials; project evaluation; a case study of a defined area; research on a particular audience and/or community group; development and evaluation of a promotional strategy; innovation in creative and/or pedagogical work, evaluation of self-development; action research to create and explore change; issues raised through consideration of different co-existing cultural attitudes and practices, etc. The written work will demonstrate knowledge of the topic, reflective and research skills and original thinking, presented to a professional standard and accompanied by a comprehensive resource list of relevant materials (including scores, analyses, published texts such as articles, books and concert ephemera, internet and audio-visual resources, etc.).

Students will have opportunities to engage in the many ensemble and performance, educational and outreach activities on offer in this vibrant music department. In addition to gaining a professional qualification, the work undertaken by students completing the MA in Professional Studies will directly inform and enrich each student’s own practice.

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 in order 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)

£ 22,250per 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 delivered by leading academics, integrated with award-winning employability programmes, equips students for the international labour market.
A diverse campus community of students from over 150 countries that offers a lifelong global alumni network.
Specialist international student support includes orientation, immigration advice, Language Skills Centres, and International Pathway College programmes.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    17th out of 87 3

  • Entry standards

    / Max 214
    151 74%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    70.0 70%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.31 86%



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