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Music (Taught)

Cardiff University
1-2 Years
Full time/part time
Master's degree
Scholarships available

Program description

Music (Taught)

This MA is an opportunity to challenge yourself academically and musically, while developing a specialism in a research-led university environment. We place an emphasis on flexibility and student choice and have designed a program that allows you to personalise your course of study.

A significant proportion of module choices will be determined by your abilities and interests so that you can tailor your program of study to best meet your career goals and ambitions.

This program is ideal for performers, composers and music scholars with an interest in developing their area of expertise, learning valuable skills, and exploring a relevant course of study.

Areas of Study

You will have the opportunity to follow one of three pathways: Performance, Composition and Music Studies.


This pathway is designed for performers who are committed to improving their skills as instrumentalists and/or singers, both as soloists and in ensembles.


This pathway will equip composers with the techniques and practical experience to pursue their own creative goals to a professional level with confidence and imagination.

Music Studies:

This pathway is designed to allow students to develop a solid basis in research techniques and methods in the fields of Historical Musicology, Music Analysis, Popular Music, and Ethnomusicology, whilst exploring different music styles and traditions in their historical, analytical, and theoretical perspectives.

Distinctive features

You will have the option to specialise in one of three main areas:

  • Performance
  • Composition
  • Music Studies.

You will be taught by staff who are internationally-recognised experts in these subject areas.

Our reputation for international research was recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the UK government’s assessment of research across all higher education institutions, where we are ranked 8th in the UK amongst music departments for research excellence and 2nd for the quality of our research environment.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September.

Admission requirements

Entry requirements - A first or upper second class Honours degree, or equivalent in a relevant related subject area, such as Music, is required.

Applicants whose first language is not English are expected to have reached a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (with no subscore less than 5.5).

Application process – You should complete the University’s online application form and upload your supporting documents (two references (preferably academic) and copies of academic transcripts).

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

  • MA Research Skills
  • Music Leadership and Public Engagement
  • Disciplining Music
  • Composition Portfolio
  • Closed Recital
  • Doing Ethnomusicology
  • Introducing Music Studies
  • 20th and 21st Century Music
  • Postgraduate Ensemble
  • Cultures of Performance
  • Music and Politics
  • The World of Music
  • Studio Techniques
  • Studying Musical Multimedia
  • Teaching Music: techniques, disciplines and genres
  • Music and Sublimity
  • Thesis Composition
  • Public Recital
  • Dissertation

Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, please visit the university website.

Tuition fees

Full-Time Tuition Fees

  • UK and EU students: £8,450
  • Students from outside the EU: £18,450

Part-Time Tuition Fees

  • UK and EU students: £4,425
  • Students from outside the EU: £9,225


What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop a range of valuable discipline-specific skills, as well as employability, research, communication and presentation skills.

Performers will acquire specific skills, such as the practical and interpretative musical skills associated with your chosen instrument or voice, an understanding of the relationship between the history and practice of music, knowledge of repertoires and recent developments in performance practice, as well as participating in lecture-recital, public recital and ensemble recitals.

Composers can expect to acquire specific skills, such as knowledge and understanding of contemporary compositional techniques, IT skills in music notation inputting and editing, the ability to rehearse an ensemble, communicate musical intentions to performers via notation and written instructions, direct a rehearsal of your own composition as a conductor, and illustrate how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge.

If you are following the music studies pathway, you will acquire specific skills, such as the ability to analyse and processcomplex texts, ideas and concepts, develop different forms of academic writing, experience of oral and written presentations, gain an understanding of standard bibliographies, catalogues and other reference material in music, develop research techniques and choice of appropriate sources to aid individual research, undertake complex library-based research, undertake field work and interpret a range of quantitative and qualitative data.

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About this institute

Cardiff University

Founded in 1883, Cardiff University combines a prestigious heritage with impressive modern facilities, on one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK. As part of the Russell Group, our students benefit from our outstanding research quality and reputation, while...

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Contact info

Cardiff University

CF10 3AT Cardiff

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