Best Schools for Master’s in Music in the UK

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Master’s in Music

A Master’s in Music in the UK provides students with a high-level postgraduate education in one of several pathways available to music scholars. Students may choose to specialise in areas such as performance, music theory or composition. Music programs are offered at many top schools throughout the UK. Generally, Master’s programs in Music strive to balance history and tradition with contemporary and experimental directions.

What Is a Master’s in Music?

A Master’s in Music is an advanced course of study that usually takes from one to two years to complete in the UK. Many programs offer a great degree of flexibility through part-time options that enable students to continue working.

Most Master’s programs offer several tracks for students to specialise in, depending on their proficiencies and interests. Some also require all students to take a few core courses, which usually consist of a comprehensive overview of the discipline with emphasis on important issues and debates. Other coursework may consist of a balance of electives and requires training. The most common postgraduate Music disciplines consist of:

  • Performance
  • Musicology / Music Theory
  • Composition
  • Studio Production

Depending on what your chosen discipline is, your final project may consist of a heavily researched dissertation, a professional recital or a composition portfolio. Students who will be submitting a dissertation may be required to take a course in research techniques.

Musicology students can expect to take many research-intense courses, including music history, cultural study of music, current theory, music and technology and contemporary issues in music. Those who focus on performance, production or composition will take a mix of technique-honing seminars and practice courses. Many programs assign individual tutors or academic supervisors to assist students in formulating their academic path and reaching their goals.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Music in the UK?

Many excellent schools in the UK offer Master’s in Music programs with a high level of instruction by recognized experts. Continuing your musical education by pursuing this advanced course of study allows you to raise your performance technique to a higher level. Performing, composing and production students gain exposure to high-level techniques in their respective crafts, while acquiring a grounding in the underlying history and theory. Musicology students benefit from a research-intense environment and access to important materials. They also have the opportunity of interacting with top theoretical thinkers and engaging in critical dialogue with history and contemporary issues in music.

In addition to formal instruction, many UK programs offer several types of education-enhancing activities. These may include guest speakers, conferences and opportunities for students to present research, performances or compositions.

Earning a Master’s in Music from a UK school is a great way for both UK and international students to hone their skills and interact with leading musicians, composers and theoreticians. It also allows students to focus on specific areas in musical knowledge such as ethnomusicology or the use of music in film.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s in Music?

A Master’s in Music is an important enhancement to any musical career. Employers understand that an advanced degree in music means not just high-level skills but also the ability to communicate, organise, think independently and complete substantial, complex projects. Careers for Master’s in Music degree holders may include many different types of employment. Those seeking a traditional performance career may choose one of the following professions:

  • Orchestra musician
  • Conductor
  • Soloist
  • Vocal performer
  • Composer
  • Choral director
  • Film scorer

Other graduates may be interested in production or technology oriented careers, which may include:

  • Audio producer
  • Digital aggregator
  • Audio engineer
  • Synthesis specialist
  • Instrument designer
  • Music editing engineer
  • Instrument builder and repairer
  • Recording producer
  • Sound designer

Graduates who have specialised in theory, or who simply wish to pursue a less performance-focused career may pursue employment in music-related fields, including:

  • Band promoter
  • Talent scout
  • Radio programming director
  • Orchestra personnel manager
  • Music publisher
  • Music curator
  • Music critic

A Master’s in Music can also be valuable for someone who wishes to obtain an instructor position, especially at an advanced college level. Some graduates who pursued the music theory track may wish to continue their studies and obtain a PhD in music theory.

University of Southampton

Southampton, United Kingdom

  • 72SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 25,243Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

University of Southampton (Southampton) is a public institution located along the University Road in Southampton, United Kingdom. Southampton offers a wide range of master's degree programs across its five academic faculties namely: Arts and Humanities; Engineering and Physical Sciences; Environmental and Life Sciences; Medicine; and Social Sciences....

University of Chester

Chester, United Kingdom

  • 125SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 15,404Average Tuition
  • 65%Acceptance Rate

The University of Chester is one of the oldest universities in the UK. Founded in 1839, it is a public university situated in Chester, England. The University has dedicated faculties, through which it delivers master’s degree programs to local and international students. ...

Bath Spa University

Bath, United Kingdom

  • 132SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 17,544Average Tuition
  • 89%Acceptance Rate

Bath Spa University (Bath Spa) has campuses located in Newton Park and Sion Hill, Bath, United Kingdom. Bath Spa also has a campus located in the market town of Corsham. Bath Spa offers over a 100 master’s degree programs across its 4 academic schools, namely: Bath Business School; Bath School of Art and Design; College of Liberal Arts; and the Institute for Education....

Brunel University London

Uxbridge, United Kingdom

  • 251SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 21,709Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Brunel University London (BUL) is a research-intensive public university located in Uxbridge, West London, United Kingdom. Through its academic schools, the university offers master’s degree programs in a wide range of disciplines including television studies, social work, health and exercise Sciences, sports, education, engineering, psychology, and environmental studies. ...

Goldsmiths, University of London

London, United Kingdom

  • 256SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 20,194Average Tuition
  • 9.3%Acceptance Rate

Goldsmiths, University of London (Goldsmiths) is a public university located in New Cross, South East London, UK. Goldsmiths offers a wide range of master's degree programs across its academic faculties including: Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE); Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance; Media, Communications and Cultural Studies (MCCS); Institute of Management Studies (IMS); and Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies (STaCS)....

Bangor University

Bangor, United Kingdom

  • 320SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 18,641Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Bangor University (Bangor) is located in Bangor, in coastal Wales, United Kingdom. Bangor offers over a 100 master’s degree courses through its 3 academic colleges, namely: the College of Arts, Humanities and Business; the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering; and the College of Human Sciences....

University of Hull

Hull, United Kingdom

  • 412SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 19,311Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

The University of Hull (Hull) has a single-site campus located in Hull, United Kingdom. A wide range of master’s degree programs are offered at Hull through its 4 academic faculties, namely: Faculty of Health Sciences; Faculty of Business, Law and Politics; Faculty of Arts, Culture and Education; and the Faculty of Science and Engineering....

University of the West of Scotland

Hamilton, United Kingdom

  • 417SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 14,956Average Tuition
  • 23%Acceptance Rate

The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) has 4 campuses across West Scotland, and a campus in London, United Kingdom. UWS offers over 60 master’s degree programs through its 5 academic schools, namely: School of Health and Life Sciences; School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences; School of Business and Enterprise; School of Media, Culture and Society; and the School of Education....

Ulster University

Belfast, United Kingdom

  • 472SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 18,301Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Ulster University (Ulster) is a public university with campuses located across Northern Ireland, UK. Ulster offers a wide range of master's degree programs through its four academic faculties namely: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment; Life and Health Sciences; and the Ulster University Business School (UUBS)....

Middlesex University

London, United Kingdom

  • 493SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 12,500Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Middlesex University is located in London, UK. The courses offered at a Bachelor\u2019s level are in areas that include Art and Design, Business, Education, Social Sciences, Film, Media and English, Computer Science, Engineering and Maths. One of the focuses in the area of Art and Design is Animation, with many facilities that include a recording studio and communication arts studios.Middlesex University is located in London, UK. The courses offered at a Bachelor’s level are in areas that include Art and Design, Business, Education, Social Sciences, Film, Media and English, Computer Science, Engineering and Maths. One of the focuses in the area of Art and Design is Animation, with many facilities that include a recording studio and communication arts studios....