Degree Title: BMus (Hons) in Popular and Contemporary Music
Year of Graduation: 2007
Post-Graduation Qualifications: M.Litt. Music (Newcastle)
Current Status: D.Phil. candidate in Music (University of Oxford)
Two main threads of my degree really stand out: cultural theory and practical studies. I found the lectures on music and cultural theory intellectually stimulating and refreshing. I also greatly enjoyed the opportunity to develop my performance practice through regular instrumental lessons and performances (including at the world-renowned Sage Gateshead). More broadly, other students – from wide ranging backgrounds – on the course created a rich and vibrant atmosphere within which to discuss concepts and issues.
I have continued in academia and am in the final stages of preparing a doctoral thesis in music at Oxford. My thesis – on Pakistanis and music – builds on themes first developed during my undergraduate dissertation in ethnomusicology at Newcastle. For my doctorate, I have become fluent in Urdu and the research has taken me to Pakistan, India and Bradford. I also teach a range of courses at Oxford, including History of Music, Ethnomusicology and Musical Thought & Scholarship. Additionally, I occasionally write articles based on my research for the New Statesman and The Times.
How your degree prepared you for your career
Studying at Newcastle was the first time I had thought and written critically about music. Lectures given by leading academics provided me with the critical framework with which to develop my doctoral project. Many central themes of my doctorate at Oxford thus had their genesis at Newcastle. Without the discussions, debate and support of my time at Newcastle it is hard to imagine I would have been well enough equipped to pursue my career in academia.