Music Education MA
The Music Education MA will introduce students to research and research-informed practice at the forefront of music education. The programme will provide tools for interrogating musical and educational assumptions, values and practices. It will help students to expand their understanding of effective music teaching, evaluation and assessment across the lifespan.
Undertaking the Music Education MA programme will allow students to develop their critical thinking and ability to interrogate current educational research, literature and practice in the overarching fields of music and music education. They will also have the opportunity to pursue specialist lines of enquiry that are related to their own professional and/or academic interests, working alongside prominent academics in the field.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), and either two optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits), or three optional modules (90 credits) and a report (30 credits).
The two core modules are founded on three key strands in the study of music education: philosophy, psychology and sociology. These include historically-significant and cutting-edge contemporary approaches, theories and philosophies across a wide range of topics.
The Critical Studies in Music Pedagogy and Practice module examines music education research and practice across a range of contexts. Music Technology in Education provides students with opportunities to engage with published commentary and also develop practical skills. Choral Conducting, Leadership and Communication develops the skills of effective choral conducting and rehearsing in educational contexts.
Students choose from a range of modules including:
- Critical Studies Music and Music Education
- The module will address historical, theoretical and curricular issues in music education, offering participants the opportunity to investigate and critically analyse the practical application of music teaching and learning, pedagogy and practice in its varying educational contexts. The module begins with a consideration of pedagogical approaches and their application to different musical learning contexts. This leads to an exploration of the historical context in the UK and how policy and practice reflect each other. The module moves on to discussions of the role of instrumental learning in music education and how informal learning practices are influencing instrumental teaching. Students then have the opportunity to explore issues regarding what authenticity in music education is and how this relates to music from other cultures, the role of mobile learning and new media and assessment in music education. The module is rounded off with an overview of current research in music education and how this is translated into practice. The module is discussion based, drawing on students' experiences of their own teaching and learning.
- Choral Conducting, Leadership and Communication
- This module is intended for participants who engage in conducting and directing choral activity in schools or in the community. It aims is to identify areas for development in participants' professional practice and theoretical understanding in choral conducting and explore ways forward for effective conducting, leadership and communication. The module provides a critical introduction to and development of choral conducting skills, concentrating specifically on the dynamic relationship between research and practice in the field. As singing has recently gained acknowledgement as a significant musical and educational activity by the Secretary of State, it is timely and opportune that this module addresses the issues of teachers' skills and knowledge in the choral conducting area in order to enhance and develop quality singing and vocal development in school and other contexts. The module offers students the opportunity to engage in practical conducing workshops, reflection on professional practice and critical review of research and theory. It is delivered in a mixed mode with face to face seminars on four separate days as well as study through a VLE.
- Music Technology in Education
The module provides a critical introduction to and development of specialist expertise in using music technology in six core areas of sound and its properties; basic audio processing; introduction to MIDI; digital audio basics; basic recording; and introduction to music sequencing. It will also address the dynamic relationship between research and practice in the field.
As music technology is now integral to the preparation of teachers in Music, participants will critically review music technology through focus on the issues and challenges of creative applications of music technology to music education; engage with key literature and commentary in relation to specialist use of music technology, teaching and learning with technology in music, electro-acoustic and electronic music; and engage in reflective self analysis in relation to their own practice in teaching and learning with creative music technology through further study of applications and pathways for creative music technology; the future of music technology; issues, challenges and implications for music technology and music education; and creative and aesthetic issues in music technology.
Please note: at the programme leader's discretion, a student might be able to import a maximum of 60 credits.
All students undertake an independent research project, which culminates in a 20,000-word dissertation or 10,000-word report.
Teaching and Learning
The main mode of delivery is through a combination of weekly lectures and seminars.
There are ten-week lecture courses for the two core modules, and also for Critical Studies in Music Pedagogy and Practice (optional module), with sessions held in the evenings at the UCL Institute of Education. However, the Choral Conducting Leadership and Communication optional module takes place over five full days at the UCL Institute, as well as through additional student-led sessions. Students are also required to engage actively with UCL's online learning environments across the programme. The Music Technology in Education optional module is delivered online. All students are entitled to face-to-face tutorials with their allocated tutors.
Assessment is predominantly through a written assignment for each taught module.
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
Normally a minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in music, music education and/or arts education, or a related field of study. There may be particular circumstances where professional experience and/or study or work portfolio is considered by the Programme Leader(s) in order to satisfy entry requirements.
English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
This programme is suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa - study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting October.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
Any available funding opportunities can be viewed here: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/about/global-engagement/scholarships-funding
The Music Education MA and EMI Music Sound Foundation are offering a 50% tuition-fee bursary, and additional support for resources, for eligible students. The bursary will enable successful applicants employed in a UK school or other music education context during their studies to undertake research-and-development as part of an individually-focussed MA dissertation. For further information and an application form, please contact Dr David Baker, Programme Leader at email@example.com
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- Now closed for 2019/20
- Overseas students
- 50% of tuition fees (with possibile additional £5,000 for resources) (1 year)
- UK students
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme are currently working as:
- advocates for the arts
- arts, health and wellbeing therapists
- doctoral and post-doctoral researchers
- freelance music teachers
- Further Education lecturers
- music education hub managers
- music teachers in primary and secondary schools
- primary music co-ordinators
- university lecturers
Why study this degree at UCL?
The Music Education MA at UCL is the only postgraduate programme of its type in the UK, and one of the largest recruiting programmes dedicated to music education in the world.
The programme is taught by leading academics with current and extensive expertise in externally-funded research. Research and publications from our lecturers have significant impact on educational policy and practice both in the UK and internationally. This informs learning and teaching on the programme whilst fostering the development of a research-based culture. Many of our students pursue further study at doctoral and post-doctoral level.
Our programme meets the needs of a wide range of professionals from across the international communities of music and music education. Our alumni have been and continue to be leading figures in education worldwide.
Department: Culture, Communication & Media
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Application fee: There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. More details about the application fee can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
This programme is suited to those with a passion for music and a specific interest in music education. Applicants are likely to have had previous experience in teaching, performing, composing, producing, advocating, and/or researching in the fields of music and/or arts education.
The programme is focused on scholarship relating to music teaching and learning, rather than musical performance, etc. Although a high standard of musical performance is expected, candidates must have a significant desire to engage with published research and academic literature, and to produce high-quality written work on music education themes. As such, international applicants must demonstrate English proficiency at the stated level. Experience of working in music and/or arts education is valued too. There is no audition for this programme, but candidates may be invited to an interview.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Music Education at graduate level
- why you want to study Music Education at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.