A unique opportunity to study in the city of Liverpool, home of The Beatles and with access to leading Popular Music academics and Beatles specialists, this MA is the only one of its kind in the UK and the world.
This MA will examine the significance of the music of The Beatles in the construction of identities, audiences, ethnicities and industries, and localities; by doing so it will suggest ways to understand popular music as a social practise, focusing attention on issues such as the role of music in the construction of regional identities, concepts of authenticity, aesthetics, meaning, value, performance, and the use of popular music as a discursive evocation of place. Furthermore, in a consideration of popular music as a text, popular music semiotics will also be employed.
This MA will be of interest to those working in the fields of popular music studies, cultural studies, social anthropology, politics, gender studies, and musicology, among others. Such a course is an essential addition to the discipline of Popular Music Studies.
Currently four taught modules are offered on this programme.
• Texts and Contexts: Understanding Popular Music - This will offer the student an understanding of how Popular Music Studies has expanded and developed to deal with the changing nature of popular music over the past 50 years. Via several Beatles-related case studies this module will offer contextually-related research methods.
• Topics in History: Liverpool - This module studies the varied representations of Liverpool via film, TV and radio, leading up the advent of the Beatles. It also provides specific musical and social case studies which ask the student to consider and question Liverpool as the ‘musical’ city from which the Beatles emerged.
• Musicology and The Beatles - In this module students will take a popular music semiotics approach and will textually analyse a variety of Beatles material.
• Historical and Critical Approaches - Students will be invited to study a more ethnographic approach to The Beatles, the various cultural discourses surrounding their music, and the local tourist industry established in Liverpool to capitalise on the group
2:1 degree in a relevant subject, which ideally includes some element of Popular Music Studies. However, other pathways will also be considered, for example Cultural Studies, History, English, Music, Media. The programme is taught in English. Students whose first language is not English are normally required to have an IELTS 6.5, TOEFL paper based 560, TOEFL ibt 83 or other equivalent recognised English qualification.