Introduction

The MMus in Music capitalises on research strength within the department of music and is intended for composers (vocal, instrumental, or electronic), performers, sonic artists, musicologists, music education and community music practitioners with a specific interest in an area of musical study. Our MMus students can design their study by selecting one or two study concentrations from six paths: Composition, Community Music, Musicology, Music Education, Performance, and Sonic Arts. A wide range of our programmes allow the students to shape their chosen study path.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MMus
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September or January
Location of Study
Aberdeen
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At the centre of the MMus in Music is an Extended Project (MU5006 or MU50EP) where the students can realise a large-scale project based on their coursework. The medium of the project will be determined by the student’s interests and research and our programme offers considerable flexibility in approach. This allows our students to build a significant portfolio of work that will work as a springboard toward their future career whether it is in their chosen industry or in academia.

The MMus in Music will serve the needs of graduates who may want to continue their studies at postgraduate level, either prior to employment or as a bridge to higher postgraduate qualifications.

The aim of the programme is threefold:

  • To provide a natural development from undergraduate programmes, both with and outwit the University of Aberdeen, to postgraduate study in the university in the areas of composition, community music, musicology, music education, performance, or sonic arts or any combination of these paths;
  • To help the students develop and explore options in their future career in academia or in industry;
  • To continue to develop the research environment in the Department of Music.

The MMus in Music will also offer an opportunity for those who have already worked for a number of years after their undergraduate or postgraduate study and would like to return to hone their chosen skills at university as part of their continuing professional development (either on a full-time or part-time basis).

Available Programmes of Study

Music

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
MMus 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses
Music Research Skills (MU5003)

30 Credit Points

This course provides students with a thorough grounding in advanced research skills relevant to all three sub-disciplines (i.e., composition, performance and musicology) and highlights the interrelationships between them. Students will acquire the skills which will underpin work done for the Extended Project and which will also relate to the Music Research Seminar course. The function and purpose of research proposals will also be addressed and students will submit (as assessment for this course) a proposal which relates directly to their specialism.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

You can choose to study:

  • MU5016 Contemporary Issues in Aesthetics
  • MU5019 Space and Immersive Sound

as well as those listed below.

Renaissance Counterpoint (MU5007)

30 Credit Points

This course is intended both for those interested in Renaissance music and for composition students who wish to explore the many possibilities of musical invention within a very controlled compositional environment. To acquire the basic tools of Renaissance composition, students progress through counterpoint exercises in two and three voices. Through more advanced exercises in motivic placement, canon, invertible counterpoint, and the fundamentals of improvised counterpoint, students learn to structure a complete composition, culminating in a motet for three voices. In addition, works are studied through analysis of compositions.

View detailed information about this course
Vocalstration (MU5008)

30 Credit Points

This course is designed to encourage composers and performers to engage with the ‘orchestrational’ aspects of composing for choir, with particular emphasis upon each section of the choir, its characteristics, compass and blend, and how each part relates to the whole; creating chords that utilise the choir fully, blending choral chords, voice-leading, structuring choral music; the joys and problems when composing for choir with accompaniment (piano, organ & orchestra) and arranging for the voice.

View detailed information about this course
Muicking (MU5017)

30 Credit Points

This course is based around Christopher Small’s book Musicking. Small proposes that ‘Music is not a thing at all but an activity, something that people do.’ From this basis the course will develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of the various ways in which Community Musicians engage with a broad range of community settings and participants in the activity of musicking. The course will look critically at selected Community Music case studies from the UK, Europe and the USA exploring varying pedagogical underpinnings for project design, initiation, delivery and evaluation.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Optional Courses

You can choose to study:

  • MU5516 ASN & Community Music
  • MU5518 Advanced Sound Design for New Media

as well as those listed below.

Music Research Seminar Series (MU5004)

30 Credit Points

This course provides students with an applied understanding of advanced research skills relevant to all three sub-disciplines (i.e., composition, performance and musicology) and highlights the interrelationships between them. Students will engage directly with current issues in music research, experiencing different methods of dissemination of research through attendance at Research Seminars. These seminars are a forum for both external and internal speakers to present aspects of recent research undertaken. Students will carry out research for their own seminar (with accompanying written paper), based on a topic of interest to them.

View detailed information about this course
Words and Music (MU5503)

30 Credit Points

This course aims to explore the link between words and music and how composers set various texts through many and varied genres, including eastern music, western music and popular music, and nonsense texts. Intended primarily for composers, this course would also be of interest to singers, conductors and musicologists with an interest in text-setting. Word-painting, structural design and poetic understanding will all be explored.

View detailed information about this course
Contemporary European Opera (MU5504)

30 Credit Points

In the mid-twentieth century, it seemed that opera was a dying art form, surviving at best on the back of a canon of great historical works. While its future prospects looked bleak, the composition of over 150 new operas in the period between 1978 and 2003 marked a perhaps unexpected renaissance of the genre. Students on this course will study the factors which led to the resurgence of operatic/music theatre composition in Europe. A range of key operatic/music theatre works by composers from France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom will be considered from a number of points of view.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses
Extended Project (MU50EP)

120 Credit Points

This course enables students to be creative in developing their own independent and individual ideas through an extended research project in musicology and/or composition and/or performance resulting in a substantial piece of original work. They will acquire a range of skills, techniques and understanding enabling them to become effective researchers. The project outcome will be a dissertation and/or portfolio of compositions and/or a performance recital demonstrating original research. The exact nature of the project is the result of negotiation between supervisor (or supervisory team) and student, subject to the approval of the programme coordinator.

View detailed information about this course
Extended Project Module B (MU5006)

60 Credit Points

This course enables students to be creative in developing their own independent and individual ideas through an extended research project in musicology and/or composition and/or performance resulting in a substantial piece of original work. They will acquire a range of skills, techniques and understanding enabling them to become effective researchers. The project outcome will be a dissertation and/or portfolio of compositions and/or a performance recital demonstrating original research. The exact nature of the project is the result of negotiation between supervisor (or supervisory team) and student, subject to the approval of the programme coordinator.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £9,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £19,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
MMus 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Optional Courses

You can choose to study

  • MU5516 ASN & Community Music
  • MU5518 Advanced Sound Design for New Media

as well as those listed below:

Music Research Seminar Series (MU5004)

30 Credit Points

This course provides students with an applied understanding of advanced research skills relevant to all three sub-disciplines (i.e., composition, performance and musicology) and highlights the interrelationships between them. Students will engage directly with current issues in music research, experiencing different methods of dissemination of research through attendance at Research Seminars. These seminars are a forum for both external and internal speakers to present aspects of recent research undertaken. Students will carry out research for their own seminar (with accompanying written paper), based on a topic of interest to them.

View detailed information about this course
Words and Music (MU5503)

30 Credit Points

This course aims to explore the link between words and music and how composers set various texts through many and varied genres, including eastern music, western music and popular music, and nonsense texts. Intended primarily for composers, this course would also be of interest to singers, conductors and musicologists with an interest in text-setting. Word-painting, structural design and poetic understanding will all be explored.

View detailed information about this course
Contemporary European Opera (MU5504)

30 Credit Points

In the mid-twentieth century, it seemed that opera was a dying art form, surviving at best on the back of a canon of great historical works. While its future prospects looked bleak, the composition of over 150 new operas in the period between 1978 and 2003 marked a perhaps unexpected renaissance of the genre. Students on this course will study the factors which led to the resurgence of operatic/music theatre composition in Europe. A range of key operatic/music theatre works by composers from France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom will be considered from a number of points of view.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses
Extended Project (MU50EP)

120 Credit Points

This course enables students to be creative in developing their own independent and individual ideas through an extended research project in musicology and/or composition and/or performance resulting in a substantial piece of original work. They will acquire a range of skills, techniques and understanding enabling them to become effective researchers. The project outcome will be a dissertation and/or portfolio of compositions and/or a performance recital demonstrating original research. The exact nature of the project is the result of negotiation between supervisor (or supervisory team) and student, subject to the approval of the programme coordinator.

View detailed information about this course
Extended Project Module B (MU5006)

60 Credit Points

This course enables students to be creative in developing their own independent and individual ideas through an extended research project in musicology and/or composition and/or performance resulting in a substantial piece of original work. They will acquire a range of skills, techniques and understanding enabling them to become effective researchers. The project outcome will be a dissertation and/or portfolio of compositions and/or a performance recital demonstrating original research. The exact nature of the project is the result of negotiation between supervisor (or supervisory team) and student, subject to the approval of the programme coordinator.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses
Music Research Skills (MU5003)

30 Credit Points

This course provides students with a thorough grounding in advanced research skills relevant to all three sub-disciplines (i.e., composition, performance and musicology) and highlights the interrelationships between them. Students will acquire the skills which will underpin work done for the Extended Project and which will also relate to the Music Research Seminar course. The function and purpose of research proposals will also be addressed and students will submit (as assessment for this course) a proposal which relates directly to their specialism.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

You can choose to study

  • MU5016 Contemporary Issues in Aesthetics
  • MU5019 Space and Immersive Sound

as well as those courses listed below.

Renaissance Counterpoint (MU5007)

30 Credit Points

This course is intended both for those interested in Renaissance music and for composition students who wish to explore the many possibilities of musical invention within a very controlled compositional environment. To acquire the basic tools of Renaissance composition, students progress through counterpoint exercises in two and three voices. Through more advanced exercises in motivic placement, canon, invertible counterpoint, and the fundamentals of improvised counterpoint, students learn to structure a complete composition, culminating in a motet for three voices. In addition, works are studied through analysis of compositions.

View detailed information about this course
Vocalstration (MU5008)

30 Credit Points

This course is designed to encourage composers and performers to engage with the ‘orchestrational’ aspects of composing for choir, with particular emphasis upon each section of the choir, its characteristics, compass and blend, and how each part relates to the whole; creating chords that utilise the choir fully, blending choral chords, voice-leading, structuring choral music; the joys and problems when composing for choir with accompaniment (piano, organ & orchestra) and arranging for the voice.

View detailed information about this course
Muicking (MU5017)

30 Credit Points

This course is based around Christopher Small’s book Musicking. Small proposes that ‘Music is not a thing at all but an activity, something that people do.’ From this basis the course will develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of the various ways in which Community Musicians engage with a broad range of community settings and participants in the activity of musicking. The course will look critically at selected Community Music case studies from the UK, Europe and the USA exploring varying pedagogical underpinnings for project design, initiation, delivery and evaluation.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £9,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £19,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Assessment is by research proposal (Music Research Skills), oral presentation and supporting documentation (Music Research Seminar Series) and project portfolio (negotiated) with accompanying commentary (Extended Project).

Why Study Music?

  • Expert tutorials and courses from specialists across the musical spectrum
  • A wide range of interesting and imaginative courses
  • Flexibility in tailoring the degree to your specialism
  • A vibrant research environment offered by the Department of Music and the University
  • Opportunities to join various ensembles, music societies, research groups
  • Create multi-channel (8.2.4) electroacoustic and sonic arts project at a state-of-the-art electroacoustic studio (Bennachie EA Studio) that offers ambisonic sound acquisition and production capability

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Candidates must normally possess a degree at 2(ii) or above, or an equivalent qualification or proven experience in Music.

References are not required in order for applicants to submit an application. They are not usually required in order for a decision to be made but in certain cases applicants may be asked to provide a single academic reference at the request of the academic selector.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 54; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The SFC Postgraduate tuition fee scholarship may be available for those classified as Home/EU fee status students for this programme. Visit the scholarship page for more information.

There is one other scholarships available through the University of Aberdeen Development Trust:

  • Carlaw-Ogston Master of Music Scholarship

Scholarships

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Careers

Students entering the MMus might have specific career aspirations from the start, i.e. composition or musicology or may want to use it as a means of leading to further study (i.e. PhD) or who wish to generalise and simply learn more about their subject.

The courses are designed for in-depth work and to enable students to understand and experience a number of different aspects of music research and the music profession. The degree can also be used as an entry to other professions, as is the case with other postgraduate degrees, where subject specialism is not important.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture
University of Aberdeen
King's College
Aberdeen
AB24 3UB