With one of the largest postgraduate communities in the UK (typically around 50-60 research students and over 20 Masters students each year), we have established ourselves as one of the country's premier institutions for postgraduate education in Music. Our research profile is of international standing and is reflected in our commitment to excellence in all aspects of our postgraduate provision.
The MMus in Advanced Musical Studies is designed to meet the needs of those who wish to specialise in one particular area of advanced musical study, as well as those who want to take a more varied set of options.
The aim of the course is to develop your intellectual and creative abilities within the field of advanced musical study to a professional level. You will be well versed and well practised in your chosen discipline, fluent both verbally and technically, and able to present your ideas within coherent frameworks orally, in writing, and through performance and composition. You will be able to take the initiative in constructing your study programme and will be fully conversant with a broad range of issues of concern in current musical and musicological endeavour.
You will take a core course plus five elective courses in the first two terms before concentrating on your Special Study in the third term. The Special Study may be a Composition Portfolio (up to two pieces with a total performance time of 18-20 minutes), a Dissertation (12,000-15,000 words) or a Recital (lasting no more than 60 minutes). The core course and each elective count for 12.5% of the MMus degree, while the Special Study is worth 25%.
Core course units:
Skills in Advanced Musical Studies: This unit is a wide-ranging introduction to the methods and perspectives current in the study of music at an advanced level. You will engage critically with previously unfamiliar methods through independent research, writing and practice-based work. You will be provided with an overview of key contemporary debates in musicology, plus a solid foundation in research techniques to support your individual research.
You will also take one of the following:
Special Study: Performance- You will develop your interpretative and technical abilities as a performer at an advanced level and be provided with the kind of grounding that is analogous to that offered in a music conservatory.
Special Study: Composition- This study will promote your creative and intellectual independence at an advanced level and provide a specialist focus and grounding for those wishing to proceed to further study or research in composition. It will enable you to demonstrate a technical fluency and creative flair appropriate to the professional composer as well as reflect on work undertaken in Techniques of Composition 1 and 2 and/or Media and Computer Composition (see Elective Units).
Special Study: Dissertation-
You will develop your intellectual and scholarly independence at an advanced level. This may fall into a clear sub-disciplinary field (Ethnomusicology, Film Studies, Historical Musicology, Performance Studies, Theory and Analysis) or it may bridge such divisions.
Elective course units:
Historical Musicology I and II- These units cover a range of methods and techniques essential to the theory and practice of historical musicology in a broad interdisciplinary perspective. You will develop skills of close reading, and explore basic concepts in the aesthetics of music and in the relationship between music and literary texts. You will also be introducted to some aspects of the theorizing of musical notation, and familiarised with the problems of working with manuscript and early printed sources.
Studies in Musical Sources, 850-1450- You will examine in detail, a group of musical sources of the medieval period (circa 850-1450); the precise sources to be studied each year will be determined in response to the research interests of the student cohort. You will describe, interpret and compare these sources through bibliographic analysis, transcription and textual philology; explore the relationship between notated musical sources and related music-theoretical texts; and gain a broader awareness of the forms in which music circulated during the medieval period, and the ways in which these have been used in modern scholarship
Techniques of Performance Studies 1 and 2- These units will give you exposure to important and sophisticated scholarly literature on performance, especially the philosophies and ideologies of performance and historical performance practices. You will gain a broader awareness of the multi-faceted components of the performers art and the philosophical, historical and stylistic issues underpinning it, and engage critically with previously unfamiliar methods through independent research and writing.
Short Recital- You will develop your interpretative, analytical and technical abilities as a performer at an advanced level. In addition, you will develop skills in programming a recital built around a particular theme, idea or related group of works.
Techniques of Composition 1 and 2- These units will provide a thorough grounding in fundamental compositional techniques and introduce some advanced techniques of composition. You will be provided with practical opportunities to practise and obtain fluency in the use of such techniques, develop confidence in notating music to an advanced level, and develop advanced level knowledge of current trends in compositional techniques. You will examine, from a variety of perspectives relevant to composers, a broad range of contemporary vocal and instrumental concert repertoire as well as current and recent compositional theory and thought across a broad range of musical styles. These units form a solid foundation for composers entering the professional world or wishing to proceed to higher research degrees.
Music since 1900: Theory and Repertoire- The aim of this unit is to provide you with an understanding of the principal methodologies in accepted use for analysing twentieth-century music as well as the theoretical foundations on which they are based, It will enable you to use such understanding in independent writing and expose you to a wide range of twentieth-century music in the Western art tradition.
Media and Computer Composition- You will develop skills in media/film composition and computer/electronica/experimental composition, practise composition and develop a compositional voice in media and computer music. You will also study aspects of the history, theory and repertoire of media and computer music.
Techniques of Ethnomusicology-
You will explore a range of issues, perspectives and techniques relevant to the practice of ethnomusicology and develop skills in ethnographic, empirical and practice-led research.
This unit aims to provide students with specific performance skills (on a given instrument or in a chosen musical style/technique), and the ability to document and reflect critically upon music learning processes. The ethnographic dimension of learning to perform is stressed, where each student works closely with a consultant performer (teacher), and teaching methods, techniques, cultural expectations and learning strategies are closely analysed and documented. The development of this practical and critical skills-knowledge base is also intended to serve as preparation for the MMus Special Study and/or for doctoral research.
Musics of the Americas: Politics, Indigeneity and Performance-
This unit introduces a range of musical forms, practices and contexts from the Americas and examines the social and political dynamics of their creation, performance, dissemination and reception.
Topics in World Musics-
This unit examines case studies from world music cultures (contrasted in terms of theoretical/thematic approach and/or regional focus), introduces students to the critical study of music in global perspective and enables in-depth examination/analysis of specific issues relevant to specific world music traditions.
Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).
Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.
All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.