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.
Modes and duration
Only parts of the MA are available by distance learning; in order to complete the programme, students will need to attend lectures in London.
Tuition fees (2021/22)
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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. 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
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses
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 Student 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:
About this degree
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).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Music Education.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
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.
- Disciplines of Music Education - Philosophy, Sociology and Psychology: Part I
- Disciplines of Music Education - Philosophy, Sociology and Psychology: Part II
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 in Music Pedagogy and Practice
- Choral Conducting, Leadership and Communication
- Music Technology in Education
Visit the UCL Institute of Education website for more information, including module descriptions, which can be seen by clicking on the module title.
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 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.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
Available funding opportunities can be viewed here: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/about/global-engagement/scholarships-funding
The Music Education MA and Universal Music UK 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- £5,000 (One year)
- Based on financial need
- Deadline: 31 December 2020
- Full tuition fees and some allowances (Up to 3yrs)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
- Full tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
- Tuition fees, stipend, flights (1 year)
- 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 one of the largest recruiting programmes of its type dedicated to music education in the world. It offers a detailed, broad-based view of music education through deep engagement with cutting-edge scholarship. It is an excellent platform e.g. for instrumental or class music teachers to develop their practices, or for aspiring music educators, community music leaders, or academics, to learn about key underpinning philosophies, research, and pedagogical approaches essential to music teaching and learning.
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
What our students and staff say
"As such a highly regarded institute, I do think studying at the IOE is a good investment. The Universal Music UK Sound Foundation bursary allowed me to change from flexible to part-time study, which means I am more focussed. [Our professors and lecturers] are always willing to engage in discussion and are readily available via email or one-to-one tutorials. I have already seen the impact on my own teaching practice, and have been able to bring transferable ideas to the wider teaching community. I also enjoy having the opportunity the come together with other music educators from both primary and secondary schools, and those working outside of the education sector. I can’t express just how much I am enjoying this new challenge of not only postgraduate study, but study in London itself. Q&A with Kate Retelsdorf."
Kate RetelsdorfMusic Education MA
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.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: 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.
- Visa nationals
- 21 May 2021
- UK nationals and Republic of Ireland nationals
- 31 May 2021
- Citizens of Crown Dependencies and those with Pre-settled or Settled status
- 31 May 2021
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.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.