The programme offers you the opportunity to enhance your musical, compositional, performance, analytical, critical and research skills. In addition, you will apply these skills to your individual areas of interest in specific optional modules in written and practical disciplines.
Within the course, you'll take modules to a total of 180 credits.
You'll choose from one of the following individual study areas (60 credits each):
- Performance (solo instrumental or vocal performance with a specialism in classical music, jazz, or commercial music
- Composition/Creative Audio (e.g., acoustic composition, electroacoustic composition, popular song writing, sound art, music production)
- Research Project in a chosen area of musicology (e.g., music psychology, music education, music and health, historical musicology, contemporary musicology)
You have four CORE modules to complete (4 x 20 credits):
- Research Methods
- Contextual Studies
And then you choose one each from the following pairs of OPTIONAL modules (2 x 20 credits):
- Aesthetics OR Music Psychology, Health and Education
- Performance Project OR Creative Project
Parttime students will complete two core modules in their first year (Research Methods and Contextual Studies) and two optional modules (one of Aesthetics or Music Psychology, Health and Education and one of Performance Project or Creative project), as well as starting work in your individual study area. Then, in the second year, parttime students will complete the remaining two core modules (Analysis and Criticism) and complete the work for the individual study area.
The performance module is focused on your command of advanced instrumental or vocal technique. You will creatively and independently apply this through the development and presentation of musical performances of a professional standard. Your expertise will be informed by a critical awareness of stylistic approaches relevant to your instrument and genre of performance, and by a thorough knowledge of your specialist repertoire in its broader context. You will develop your approaches to audience engagement by communicating knowledge and skills relevant to your repertoire in the form of a final public recital and a portfolio of work reflecting on your professional skills.
This module aims to develop advanced conducting technique. You will apply this technique in individual tutorials and workshops with a range of ensembles suitable to your chosen style, including instrumental and vocal ensembles. You will develop your technical and rehearsal skills, working towards the development and presentation of ensemble performances at a professional standard. Your work will be informed by a thorough knowledge of your repertoire, its context, and the stylistic approaches taken by conductors. You will communicate knowledge and skills relevant to your repertoire in the form of a final public recital and a portfolio of work reflecting on your professional skills.
The module aims to develop your practical, creative and technical skills in original composition and/or creative audio to a sophisticated level. You’ll develop a portfolio of substantial and innovative composition/ sound projects exploring ambitious techniques, whatever your chosen genre. In all cases the emphasis is upon developing creativity and individuality, while securing a high professional level of technical, presentational and, if relevant, notational or programming competence. You’ll also produce a portfolio of work reflecting on your professional skills.
By undertaking a research project you will develop your research skills both deeply and broadly in one sub discipline of music studies. This may include, but may not be limited to: historical musicology; analysis; ethnomusicology; cultural study of music; music sociology; music aesthetics; music psychology; music, health and wellbeing; music education. Emphasis is placed on original thinking, planning and the professional implementation of strategies and methodologies. You will be assessed through an extended dissertation.
You'll also take these four 20 credit CORE Modules, all of which are assessed through coursework, the majority of which you can tailor to your individual interests:
A practical and theoretical introduction to a range of research methodologies relating to the study of music in performance, composition, and musicology; together with an introduction to issues in empirical research. It will introduce various types of research tools, and will enable you to use the internet and other information technology as resources in musical research. Develop knowledge and understanding of performance and composition as a research technique, deal with specific topics for research in the study of recordings and acquire transferable skills in relation to researching and presenting academic work.
Contextual Studies offers you the opportunity to consider, present and discuss your specialist work in context. Relationships between performance, composition and related research areas will be articulated and explored as you draw explicit connections between your specialist area and the discipline as a whole. This module supports you in developing the ability to articulate and respond to critical debate among peers, in and beyond your specialist field.
This module develops your critical ability to study your area of specialism amid the range of approaches to the study of music in the present day. Your approach will be based in your independent study choice but will also take in a variety of approaches presented by your peers.
This module will equip you with the ability and methodological tools to analyse a range of music, and to interpret music in all of its forms. Examples will be selected from the specialisms of the students undertaking the programme.
And choose TWO of the following 20 credit options:
This module explores several of the most essential and contemporary problems of musical aesthetics, locating them principally in the context of contemporary research and practice in music and contemporary musical practice in performance and composition. It considers issues of musical meaning and interpretation in relation to Western art music, including the roles of subjectivity, identity and society. You'll become familiar with the work of several important authors in musical aesthetics and twentieth century continental philosophy and you will be able to apply these debates and positions to your own area of study. Assessment will be through coursework.
Music, Psychology, Health and Education
This module develops your awareness and application of methods and theories in areas of musicology that have an empirical aspect. This may include, but may not be limited to, music psychology, music and health and music education. These will be linked with the areas of study of the students undertaking the module. Assessment will be through coursework.
This module gives you the opportunity to develop creative approaches to performance in a range of professional settings. These may include, but may not be limited to, ensemble and choral rehearsals, accompaniment and historically informed performance. Performance related skills may include use of technology, style or genre-based performance practice, historical performance practice, accompaniment, ensemble communication, musical interpretation and historical interpretation. You will design and realise your project in consultation with your tutor. Assessment will be through a workshop and a final project.
Your creative project equips you with the skills to develop creative approaches in a range of professional settings. These may include, but may not be limited to, improvisation, group composition, ensemble work, music in the community, music in education and studio work. Creative approaches may include issues of leadership, collaboration, professionalism and responding to client briefs, along with multimedia and interdisciplinary approaches (for example, visual art, film, lighting design, writing and acting). You will design and realise your project in consultation with the tutor. Assessment will be through a workshop and a final project.