Postgraduate study in Music


As a postgraduate student in Music you will join one of the most vibrant and exciting Music Departments in the world. We are an international leader in research - ranked joint second in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008).

We have an excellent record of postgraduate employment, with many former students holding academic posts at institutions such as the University of Manchester, Edinburgh University, the University of Sheffield, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, the University of Malaysia, and Harvard University.

All our postgraduate programmes are available full and part-time. Some are available through a Distance Learning option. Read more about our programmes via the links below.

Taught programmes

The Music MA is a flexible programme designed to cater for those with a wide range of interests and specialisms. It is conceived as a 'next step' after the undergraduate degree, either as a stepping stone to research, as a qualification for teaching in the FE sector or simply to satisfy a thirst for development. There are 12 specialist pathways that you can choose from; each includes a range of core and optional taught modules and you will complete the course with a dissertation, recital or composition portfolio.

MA Music with Integrated Pre-Masters

This two-year full-time course is suitable for students who do not meet the entry requirements for the one-year MA course. Aimed at highly motivated international learners with an excellent academic record, the Pre-Masters year is designed to bridge the gap between your current qualification and the postgraduate programme at Birmingham. Applications will open shortly – but to find out more in the meantime, visit MA Music with Integrated Pre-Masters.



For information on available funding for 2014/15, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.


All prospective students must submit sample work.

  • Applicants in musicology or performance practiceshould send one example of their written work, of at least 2,000 words in length
  • Applicants for degrees in music compositionmust send two or three scores and/or recordings of their previous compositional work
  • All applicants for performance pathways of the MAshould submit a repertoire list. Overseas applicants should also submit a DVD of their playing of approximately 20 minutes' duration; home applicants should be prepared to audition.

Sample work in musicology or performance practice should be sent to:
Dr Matthew Riley -

Sample work in composition should be sent to:
Dr Scott Wilson -

Materials can also be sent by post to:Music Department, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT

N.B. Although there is not a formal deadline for applications there are deadlines for funding, and competition can be fierce for the limited number of places available each academic year. Students will not normally be considered for funding if they have not already accepted an offer. It is thus necessary to make an application to study well in advance of funding deadlines. For this reason we recommend applyingas early as possiblein the previous academic year.


87 AHRC PhD Scholarships for 2015/16

The Department received a 98% overall satisfaction rating in the latest National Student Survey