Music MMus, PGDip

Music MMus, PGDip

MMus - full time: 12 months, part time: 24 months


These courses offer a flexible route to advanced musical study including classical, popular, world, contemporary, early, folk and traditional. You can pursue these research-based courses through creative practice (eg composition, performance, improvisation, musicology, or a blend of these) or musicological study in a field of your choosing.

Practitioners are able to study in areas such as performance, composition, studio-based work, improvisation, sound-art and mixed media – focusing in any one of these, or blending them according to their creative needs. Musicologists are able to study in areas such as critical and cultural musicology, ethnomusicology and world music, folk music studies, early music, popular music studies, and music theory and analysis. It is also possible to combine practice-based and musicologically orientated projects.

The Music Research Training module teaches essential skills and methodologies for the rest of the research-focused course. A series of three elective projects allows you to pursue research selected from a range of topics taught in staff-led seminar groups, or undertake supervised solo study in practice-based or musicological research.

Elective projects offered in recent years include:

  • Urban Musicology
  • Improvisation for Creative Practice
  • Debates in the Philosophy and Theory of Music
  • Advanced Studies in Ethnomusicology, Folk and Traditional Music
  • Environmental Sound Art
  • Indian Music in Practice
  • Studying Popular Music
  • Projects in Music Analysis
  • Early Music Notation and Editing
  • Early Modern Music Materials

The MMus and PGDip can be regarded as qualifications in their own right, but they also offer preparation for doctoral study, not least because of the strong research emphasis.


This course is delivered on the Newcastle campus (with options for a short period of study abroad in the case of the MMus).  You will attend seminars and tutorials during semesters one and two. As an MMus student you spend the third semester working on your final dissertation or major creative project.

The flexibility of our course benefits part-time students, though staff-led research projects normally take place during normal working hours.  All students – part-time and full-time – are required to complete the Music Research Training module across their first two semesters of study.

The MMus course comprises of compulsory and optional modules. Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) students follow a similar course, but with a smaller amount of creative project work.

The course is delivered through a series of one-to-one teaching (eg with an instrumental or composition teacher), lectures, seminars, specialist presentations, masterclasses, and workshops in which you will have the opportunity to share your experiences and debate your ideas with other students.

You will also be able to attend music research seminars in which visiting experts address the postgraduate community. The International Centre for Music Studies (ICMuS) provides information about research-related events (including research seminars), research projects, ICMuS researchers and the impact of their research in the wider world.

You will normally be assessed by a combination of:

  • portfolio work, eg composition or examples of academic writing
  • essays
  • commentary on creative practice work
  • oral examinations
  • unseen written examinations

Related Degrees

  • Music MLitt

    Our Music MLitt enables you to develop a flexible individual research programme in classical, popular, world, contemporary, early, folk and traditional music, applying approaches of interest to you (eg historiographic, theoretical, cultural, critical), under the supervision of specialists who are leaders in their field.

  • Music MPhil, PhD

    Our Music MPhil and PhD programmes enable you to pursue advanced research in the areas of classical, popular, world, contemporary, early, folk and traditional music through a range of approaches. These include practice-based research, and musicological and theoretical inquiry.

All related programmes


Student Profile

I value the technical and academic staff whose expertise makes learning and furthering my education a lot more enjoyable.”

Callum's student profile
Callum Y


You will study modules on this course. A module is a unit of a course with its own approved aims and outcomes and assessment methods.

Modules for 2018 entry

Module changes

Module changes

Modules change annually to take account of:

  • changing staff expertise
  • developments in the discipline
  • the requirements of external bodies and partners
  • student feedback.

Most module information for 2019 entry will be available from mid-May 2019.


Curious about what our graduates have gone on to do? Find out about opportunities they’ve pursued, and how we can help you develop your career.

Graduate destinations

Careers Service

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Work experience

Work experience placements are a great way to develop relevant skills to excel in your chosen career.

Find out about paid and unpaid work experience options and other ways you can add to your degree.

Fees & Funding

2018-2019 fees

Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.

EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.

Funding opportunities

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in music or a related subject.

We will also consider applicants on an individual basis with degrees in other areas and those with appropriate evidence of musical and general critical knowledge and ability.

Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.

Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: for further information.

English Language Requirements

Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.

Please email us at for further information.

If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a pre-sessional English course. 

How to Apply

You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step by step guide can help you on your way.

When you apply you need to select the relevant degree code on the 'Programme of Study' page:

  • MMus - full time: 5811F, part time: 5811P
  • PGDip - full time: 3366F, part time: 3366P


If you apply for the Creative Practice route you need to submit recent and representative examples of your work. We suggest that you provide two contrasting examples. These may include:

  • scores
  • audio recordings
  • video recordings
  • any other type of document that best represents the nature of the work

Please ensure that your files are compatible with both Windows and Apple operating systems.

For the academic Musicology route, you need to submit a sample of written work or an essay on a musical topic.

Start dates

The course starts in September. There is no application closing date for this course.

We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.


If you live outside the UK/EU you must:

  • pay a deposit of £1,500
  • or submit an official letter of sponsorship

The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.