Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications

School of Music

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MA Applied Psychology of Music

If you have a background in music or psychology, this programme will allow you to study existing research and theories in the psychology of music while continuing to follow your own musical interests.

You’ll develop your knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods, building your own research skills while learning to critically evaluate studies in the field of music psychology. Using real-world case studies you’ll explore areas such as music education, therapy, advertising, science and technology – but you’ll also be able to take optional modules in composition, performance, musicology, aesthetics, editing, electronic and computer music or other aspects of music.

Taught by experts in world-class facilities, you’ll gain an insight into the importance and role of research in music psychology to prepare you for further research or a wider range of careers.

We have a variety of excellent facilities to support your learning, including rehearsal, performance and practice spaces, a lab for studying the psychology of music and studios for sound recording, software development and computer music composition.

We also have good working relationships with a range of prestigious arts organisations: we host BBC Radio 3 concerts, Leeds Lieder and the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, as well as enjoying a close partnership with Opera North and many others in a city with a thriving music and cultural scene.

Take a virtual tour of the School of Music.


Core modules that run throughout the year will develop your knowledge of music psychology, as well as your understanding of research methods. You’ll focus on case studies in different areas of the subject, gaining a sense of the key issues, debates and theories and becoming confident evaluating and using quantitative and qualitative techniques to collect data.

At the same time, you’ll select from optional modules that allow you to pursue your interests in different areas of music such as aesthetics, musicology, audience engagement, composition, performance, editing and archival studies, electronic and computer music or musicology. For some of these modules, we may need to see evidence of your ability before you begin – see ‘How to apply’ for more information.

By the end of the programme, you’ll be able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you’ve gained when you submit your dissertation – an independent piece of research, with an empirical component, on a topic of your choice within music psychology.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.


Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Professional Studies 30 credits
  • Dissertation 60 credits
  • Case Studies in the Applied Psychology of Music 30 credits
  • Research Techniques in the Applied Psychology of Music 30 credits

Optional modules

  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Short Dissertation 30 credits
  • International Research Project 30 credits
  • Composition Studies 30 credits
  • Instrumental or Vocal Recital 30 credits
  • Concerto/Song-Cycle/Extended Work 30 credits
  • Applied Performance Studies 30 credits
  • Editing and Archival Studies 30 credits
  • Issues in Critical Musicology 30 credits
  • Aesthetic Theory 30 credits
  • Computer Music Practice 30 credits
  • Computer Music Contexts 30 credits
  • Audience Engagement and Impact 30 credits

Learning and teaching

You’ll benefit from a range of teaching and learning methods. These will include seminars, tutorials and lectures in some modules, as well as instrumental or vocal lessons with our expert tutors if you select performance modules. However, independent study is crucial to this degree, allowing you to develop your skills and pursue your interests at your own pace.

Assessment

You’ll also be assessed using a range of methods, including presentations, bibliographic exercises, essays and group project work. Specialised music modules will also use relevant methods of assessment, such as compositions, recitals, critical editions and commentaries on musical sources.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in music, psychology or related discipline.

We will consider other relevant experience if you can demonstrate a good level of musical understanding or practical experience when you apply.


International qualifications

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Music admissions team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

  • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
  • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

How to apply

Application deadline

We will consider applications from 1 October – 1 September.

However, we recommend you apply as early as possible, especially if you are planning to apply for external funding. You will usually be expected to have an offer of a place on a programme before you apply for funding. You may also need to leave time to make arrangements such as visa applications or relocating to Leeds.

This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
 
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you need

Your degree certificate and transcript, or a partial transcript if you’re still studying.

Two academic references If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide evidence of your English language qualification. A copy (or draft) of an undergraduate dissertation, or an essay in English of a minimum of 2,000 words (preferably 4,000). Applicants may be asked to provide a second example of their writing, to provide a fuller assessment of their potential.

If you want to take performance as your specialism in music, we need to see evidence of your performance standard. You can either audition in person or submit a recording on DVD, or a link to a video of your performance online.

If you wish to take Composition for your Music specialism, please submit one recent composition (if score, no larger than A4, reduce if necessary) with recordings. These can include links to websites, Dropbox, Soundcloud, or similar.

Admissions policy

School of Music Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy

Fees

UK/EU: £6,750 (total)

International: £16,250 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.


Career opportunities

This programme will allow you to gain a range of transferable skills in research, analysis, interpretation and oral and written communication. All of these can be applied in musical as well as non-musical contexts.

Recent graduates have gone on to launch careers within the fields of music education, music advertising, business development, marketing and administration, and artist management. Others have also continued with their research at PhD level.

We also offer additional support as you develop your career plans: the School of Music boasts a unique Alumni Mentoring Network, where students can be supported by past students as they start to plan their next steps.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.


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