School of Humanities and Performing Arts

MA Music

MA Music students enjoy a vibrant academic environment, which actively promotes interdisciplinary studies with other disciplines in the arts and sciences. The course is taught by world-renowned staff who offers authoritative guidance in their respective fields. The course will help you to further explore your musical interests towards advancing your career and exploring novel opportunities in the job market.

Characterised by its lively cultural scene, great quality of life and tolerance, the city of Plymouth welcomes students from diverse backgrounds from all over the world.

Key features

  • Join an interdisciplinary research community with opportunities to be tutored by staff who are world-renowned in their respective disciplines. 
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

    Project Module for Semesters 1 and 2

    MAMU700 - MA Project (60 credits):
    In this module, students undertake a significant project in an area of personal musical interest. The focus of the project is negotiated between the students and teaching staff. Throughout the module, students will be provided with tutorial support and advice about aspects of the project. One of the main aims this module is to encourage autonomous learning where students can plan and execute a substantial research project.

    Modules for Semester 1

    MAMU701 – Sound Recording in Context (30 credits):
    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. The module will equip students with advanced and versatile skills around the capture and manipulation of sound.

    MAMU702 – Music and Culture (30 credits):
    This module explores musical practices in various geographic or cultural areas, including urban and medical ethnomusicology. It is aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of ethnomusicology, with a view on aiding students to apply and further enhance their own area of specialism; e.g. composer, performer, community musician, intercalated student, technologist, educator or researcher. Students will have the opportunity to engage in key methodologies including ethnographic research and musical performance as a research technique as well as embrace experiential learning. 

    Modules for Semester 2

    MAMU703 – Music and Impact (30 credits):
    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. It will introduce students to a range of political, social, and cultural movements and will equip them with the tools to undertake practical work that is critically informed. This module will encourage students to position themselves as actors of meaningful change in society.

    MAMU704 – Professional Portfolio (30 credits):
    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.

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

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU N/A £7,800
International N/A £14,800
Part time (Home/EU) N/A £450
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.

Alumnus loyalty reward for postgraduate study

The University applies a discretionary alumni reward where alumnus meet certain criteria on particular postgraduate taught courses.

  • a 20% discount on home/EU tuition fees
  • or a £2,000 discount on international tuition fees.

PGCE programmes, Master of Architecture, MChem, MEng, MGeol, MPsych, MSci, ResM, MSc Psychology, MSc Advanced Psychology, MSc Clinical Psychology, MSc Occupational Therapy, MSc Environmental Consultancy, MSc Sustainable Aquaculture and postgraduate research degrees are not included in this reward. Please note that students must have applied directly to be eligible.

For further details, and contact information, please review our alumni discount policy.

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 services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. 

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage 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 weeks of 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 by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

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.

Combining artistic creativity with scientific development


You’ll have access to ICCMR’s well-resourced research lab and music studios. ICCMR is located in the newly completed multi-million pound building, The House, where you’ll mix with other staff and students from across the arts faculty.

This creates opportunities for interdisciplinary and practice-based research.

Find out more about The House

Balinese Gamelan

Experience music from sources other than western cultures and understand how the way people think about music differs around the world.

The 20 instruments of the Gamelan – which originate from Indonesia – are made of bronze and are built and tuned to be played together as an orchestra.

Find out how you can learn to play the Gamelan