School of Art, Design and Architecture

MA Music


1 year

Course type

Full-time, Part-time route available

Study location Plymouth

MA Music students enjoy a vibrant academic environment, which actively promotes a critical understanding of music through musicology, composition, performance and music technology. The course is taught by world-renowned staff who offer authoritative guidance in their respective fields and facilitate inter-disciplinary study. The course will help you to further explore your musical interests towards advancing your career and learn about cutting-edge research in the field.


Key features

  • Join an interdisciplinary research community with opportunities to be tutored by staff who are world-renowned in their respective disciplines, including musicology, composition, performance and music technology.
  • Enjoy access to music rehearsal and recording facilities, including individual practice rooms, a professional recording environment, digital audio workstations, and instrumental facilities ranging from Steinway and Bosendorfer pianos to valve guitar amps, electronic keyboards, and analogue synthesisers.
  • Experience the University's cultural programme – including music, theatre, dance, visual arts and cinema - in stunning venues like the House theatre, the Jill Craigie Cinema and Sherwell Church.
  • Students have the unparalleled opportunity to access the expertise and facilities of the cutting-edge Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR).
  • A range of societies and groups are on offer for students to participate, such as a gospel choir, concert band, ukulele society, gamelan group, orchestra, and many more.
  • Benefit from real-world job experience and placements while studying. Our Professional Opportunities Scheme facilitates placements in areas such as community music, music tutoring, film composition, sound design, performing, live sound, and studio recording.
  • The teaching team recognises and supports musicians from a variety of backgrounds and promotes stylistic freedom, exploration, and creative risk-taking.
  • Plymouth offers a vibrant cultural scene, and beautiful rural surroundings and sea coast. Plymouth promotes tolerance and diversity. The University is located at the heart of the city centre. It is not in a remote campus separating students from the city’s vibrant life.
  • The University runs a number of initiatives to support overseas students to perfect their domain of the English language. Find out more about the English Language Centre.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • The MA Music can be studied full time over one year or part time split across two years. The course consists of 5 modules, one of which is the master’s research project that spans over the whole year.

    Core modules

    • MA Project (MAMU700)

      In this module, students undertake a significant programme of work in an area of personal musical interest. The focus of the work is negotiated between learners and teaching staff. Throughout the module, students will be provided with specialist tutorial support and advice about aspects of the project.

    • Sound Recording in Context (MAMU701)

      This module explores the theories and practices around recording sound for different contexts. Students will be introduced to critical theories, advanced sound recording methodologies, and approaches to evaluating sonic materials.

    • Music and Culture (MAMU702)

      This module explores musical practices in various geographic or cultural areas. Students will explore the latter through the eye of an ethnomusicologist to gain a deeper understanding into ethnomusicological approaches that aids the student to apply and further enhance their own area of specialism. Ethnomusicology is a fusion of anthropology and musicology. Students will have the opportunity to engage in key methodologies, including ethnographic research and musical performance as a research technique. This module also serves as an introduction to the MA Music programme, providing learners with an introduction to master's level academic expectations and the university's facilities.

    • Music and Impact (MAMU703)

      This module explores how music and sound has and can be used as a medium for impact. Taught sessions will cover a range of political, social, and cultural movements in which music has played a role in driving change. Students will explore how to apply this knowledge to global challenges.

    • Professional Portfolio (MAMU704)

      This module provides students with the opportunity to develop a portfolio of professional work in an area of their choice in music. The body of work will allow learners to evidence the experience required to enter careers in the cultural, creative, and academic areas.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MA Music programme specification_6902

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

A 2:1 degree in a music-related subject or equivalent is desirable. Graduates from other disciplines will be considered on an individual basis.Accreditation of Prior Learning will be considered, where appropriate, on a case-by-case basis and in line with the University’s academic regulations.
English language requirements.We welcome applicants with international qualifications. 
To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,700
International £16,500 £17,600
Part time (Home) £510 £540
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Tuition fee discount for University of Plymouth graduates

If you studied your undergraduate degree at Plymouth, you may be eligible for a fee discount if you complete your postgraduate studies here as well.
  • 10% or 20% discount on tuition fees for home students 
  • For 2024/2025 entry, a 20% discount on tuition fees for international students (International alumni who have applied to the University through an agent are not eligible to receive the discount)

How to apply

When to apply
Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full.
Before you apply
Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance. 
Disability Inclusion Services
If you have an impairment, health condition or disability, learn about the additional support the University provides.
International students
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office. Take a look at our how to apply information or email
Submitting an application
Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page). 
What happens after I apply?
You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeksof us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.
We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. 
If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:
Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858
Admissions policy
More information and advice for applicants can be referenced in our admissions policy which can be found on the student regulations, policies and procedures page. Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

Join the MA Music programme

At Plymouth we believe that music can make the world a better place. Music can drive social change, wellbeing and economic growth. You can make the difference.

Insight: Music and Impact module

This module explores how music and sound has and can be used as a medium for positive change.
It encourages students to consider the difference they can make to Society through their musical practice, whether as a performer, composer, educator or organiser.
University works with patients at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability on a world first and potentially life-changing musical performance
Contemporary Music Festival

Contemporary and experimental music concerts

A showcase of extraordinary new technologies and approaches to composition and performance that are pushing the boundaries of music.
ICCMR organises concerts throughout the year to showcase new technologies and creative practices developed by staff, students and associates.


 A £2.7 million project, RadioMe uses artificial intelligence to adapt and personalise live radio, with the aim of transforming lives for people living alone with dementia. Funded by The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), it addresses key causes of hospital admission for people with dementia, such as agitation and not taking medication correctly. Led by Professor Eduardo Miranda from the University and including other university partners, it will develop a way to remix live digital broadcast so that listeners will receive personal reminders, information and music to improve quality of life and allow people to remain living independently at home for longer.
Learn more about RadioMe

Discover Dr Robert Taub 

Music Director of The Arts Institute
Dr Robert Taub, Music Director of The Arts Institute talks about his illustrious career as an acclaimed concert pianist and his role here at the University of Plymouth.

Meet the MA Music team

International applicants

Postgraduate scholarships for international students
We offer several scholarships for international students wishing to study on this programme, including the International Academic Excellence Scholarship worth 50% off your tuition fees and the Postgraduate Taught International Student Scholarship worth £2000 off tuition fees. 
Study with us
At the University of Plymouth, we have a thriving international community made up of 2,000 students from over 100 different countries.
International students at a welecome event at the University of Plymouth