MA Psychology of Music

Department of Music, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

We have expertise in everything from musicology and ethnomusicology to performance, composition and music management.

You’ll work alongside professional musicians and researchers with visits and masterclasses from guest performers and teachers.

About the course

This comprehensive course is the longest-established masters in music psychology in the UK. Course tutors Nikki Dibben, Stephanie Pitts, Renee Timmers, Victoria Williamson and Vicki Rowe have each published widely in music psychology and education.

Music Psychology uses psychological methods and theory to interpret and understand musical behaviours, sounds and ideas. The interdisciplinarity of the subject, and its use of a wide range of empirical approaches, offers a unique perspective on music.

Our on-site course introduces students to a wide range of areas including auditory perception, music cognition, musical development, music in everyday life, and musical performance. Students specialise within an area through a written dissertation, and the pursuit of original research, which generally includes an experimental or observational empirical investigation. Students also have the option to take cognitive neuroscience modules within the Department of Psychology.

Course content

Module information on department website

Teaching

  • Seminars
  • Laboratory-based demonstrations
  • Individual tutorials

Assessment

The taught programme is continuously assessed. The continuous assessment takes a variety of forms such as reports and essays. They are usually individual assessments, even if they concern the processes and outcomes of group work.

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MA Psychology of Music student


Key facts

Course duration

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

You'll need a 2:1 in music or a combined degree with a substantial music component.

Other qualifications may be acceptable depending on your background, for instance a degree in drama, psychology or another subject, equivalent life experience or a performance diploma from a conservatoire or academy.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

University and faculty funding is available each year. The closing date for applications is mid-January. The department has a small number of tuition studentships available. The closing date for these is the end of April. You can also apply for a small grant to support your postgraduate research project.

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Funding information on the Department of Music website

Your career

Many of our graduates work in education. Others are performers in various popular genres, in the UK and abroad. Some work in recording studios. Employers include universities, colleges, concert agencies and music promoters.

Studios and equipment

We have a postgraduate research suite and several studios for advanced compositional work, software development, sound recording, laboratory and field experimentation, transcription, music notation and other research applications. You will have access to scores, books, periodicals, recordings and online resources.

Through a series of graduate study days you will be able to use the tools for digital recording, video and film. We also have excellent practice facilities and collections of historical and world music instruments.

Our team of professional musicians bring performance expertise to the department – including clarinettist Sarah Watts, pianist Inja Davidovic and North Indian tabla and santoor performer John Ball.

About us

Music at Sheffield attracts world-leading academics and musicians working in a wide range of specialist fields. This is reflected in the diversity of the MA programmes we offer, both onsite and by distance learning. Our courses are taught by experts and backed by world-class research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) 84 per cent of our work was rated internationally excellent or world-leading.

We are influential in composition, ethnomusicology, musicology, performance, music technology, music management and psychology of music. Our MA programmes allow students to take advantage of the Department’s distinctive interdisciplinary research environment and to be part of a strong postgraduate community by taking modules from other specialist areas. Our three research centres, Music, Mind, Machine, Sheffield Performer and Audience Research Centre, and Music & Wellbeing provide a hub for research collaborations in music psychology and audience research.

Performance is an important part of our work. You will have the chance to participate in orchestras, music theatre, contemporary music, folk and world traditions. We have strong links with the community, giving you the chance to make music or investigate uses of music outside the University.

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Postgraduate Online Application Form

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

E: music@sheffield.ac.uk
T: +44 (0)114 222 0461