There are five pathways in this flexible MA programme:

  • Performance
  • Composition
  • Musicology
  • Medieval Music
  • Russian Music

The units you take will vary according to your chosen pathway, but all include shared training units, such as Research Skills for Musicians, specialised units specific to the pathway, and a large menu of optional units tailored to your interests. These are followed by a major project: a dissertation or edition for musicologists (including those on the Russian Music and Medieval Music pathways), a recital for performers, or a portfolio of compositions for composers.

Programme structure

There is one core unit, Research Skills for Musicians, which is common to all pathways, and there are a number of other core and optional units depending which of the five pathways you are following. The content especially of the pathway-specific and optional units in this MA programme relates closely to the research interests of the academic staff.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MA in Music.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree or international equivalent in Music.

Applicants for the Composition or Performance pathways are required to submit a portfolio of work. For further information on the required portfolio please see the Department of Music website. Non-traditional qualifications may also be considered.

For applicants who are currently completing a degree, we understand that their final grade may be higher than the interim grades or module/unit grades they achieve during their studies.

We will consider applicants whose interim grades are currently slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements. We may make these applicants an aspirational offer. This offer would be at the standard level, so the applicant would need to achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of their degree. Specific module requirements may still apply.

We will consider applicants whose grades are slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements, if they have at least one of the following:

  • evidence of significant, relevant work experience such as work in industry, or as a composer;
  • a relevant postgraduate qualification.

If this is the case, applicants should include their CV (curriculum vitae / résumé) when they apply, showing details of their relevant work experience and/or qualifications.

Applicants for the Musicology Pathway will need to ensure that their personal statement addresses the following areas:

1. What do you hope to gain from the Music (MA) programme and from your time in Bristol?

2. Which two texts on Western music history and analysis that you have read in the last two years have you found to be the most influential, and why? Please explain in what context you have encountered these writers.

3. What topic are you considering for your dissertation?

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level C.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£12,800 per year
UK: part-time (two years)
£6,400 per year
Overseas: full-time
£28,400 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2024/25

MyWorld Scholarships: UK offer holders for this programme may be eligible for a scholarship of up to £5,000 towards their tuition fees. Information about eligibility and the application process can be found on the MyWorld website

Funding and studentship opportunities are listed on the Faculty of Arts funding pages.

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

Students who complete the MA in Music have gone on to varied careers, some within the music industry (for example, as performers, senior music assistants, music teachers, arts administrators and self-employed composers). Some continue into doctoral studies. Others apply the transferable skills of the MA in Music to succeed in unrelated professional careers.

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