The University of Southampton
HumanitiesPostgraduate study

W300 MMus Music (Performance, Composition, Musicology) - 1 yr(s)

We offer a broad-based MMus programme with three pathways: musicology, performance and composition. All three pathways can be used as professional training for themselves, or as preparation for PhD study. Students in our MMus programme benefit from intensive one-to-one instruction with world-leading experts in music history, cultural studies of music, performance studies and analysis; internationally noted performers with active solo and ensemble careers; and prominent composers of contemporary art music, electronic music, media music (including film, television and video game music) and jazz.

Introducing your course

Do you want to know how great film scores were composed? Are you interested in the ideas behind musical performances? Expand your knowledge of the components and aspects of music with the MMus Music (Performance, Composition and Musicology) at the University of Southampton and enhance your musical talents. This broad MMus programme will teach you the elements of musical performance, as well as the different genres of music. Gaining this experience across a variety of categories will prepare you for a successful career in the music industry.


The MMus programme in music provides a flexible course of study. Its goal is a professional research project, recital or composition portfolio. Tutors work with each student from the outset of the course to form a portfolio relevant to the student's specific professional aims, whether further research at doctoral level, a career in the music industry or the wider cultural sector, or work as a teacher or free-lance musician. We recognise that music has increasingly become a 'portfolio career' and aim to provide our MMus students with a platform for success in whatever area of music their aspirations lie. Thus the broad modular structure of our programme allows for cross-over between the pathways.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

To apply for a postgraduate course please visit the How to Apply page or click on the apply button below.

Application process and required supporting documents

  • University online application including a personal statement
  • Transcript
  • 2 references
  • English language (if relevant)

In addition to the above:

  • MMus (Musicology Pathway) – Two samples of written work, between 1500 and 2500 words each, on musicological questions of your choosing
  • MMus (Composition Pathway) - A sample of 4-6 composition pieces, totalling 40-60 minutes of music. Please send files through
  • MMus (Performance Pathway) - A sample of recorded performance. Please send files through

These should be uploaded with your application form and submitted or alternatively sent using the Dropoff service as detailed below. You have a 30 day period once your application is submitted to complete this and you will receive reminder emails of the process. After this your application will automatically be withdrawn from the decision making process.

University of Southampton Dropoff Service: Please follow the instructions and guidelines on the Dropoff page and the Dropoff Instructions in the Useful Downloads section of this page. All files should be addressed via Dropoff to the Admissions Team at

If you have a question or would like further information, contact our admissions team:
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 8062

Programme Structure

This programme is divided into 180 credits. 105 credits are obtained from taught modules with the remaining 75 credits relating to the dissertation.

Key Facts

Duration: 1 year (full-time); 2 years (part-time)

Start date: September

Funding: AHRC Block Grant; Faculty studentships may be available

Closing date: 1st September (an application decision cannot be guaranteed in time unless a complete application is received by this date - students requiring a visa to study should also allow extra time for visa processes)

Useful Downloads

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International students

The Southampton pre-Masters can be taken if you have qualifications or grades that do not meet University of Southampton direct entry criteria but meet the minimum entry criteria for the pre-Masters further details). You will be guaranteed a place on your chosen masters degree programme subject to successfully completing the pre-Masters. Visit our pre-Masters Programme to find out more about these degree programmes.

Did you know?

The Southampton pre-Masters can be taken if you have qualifications or grades that do not meet University of Southampton direct entry criteria. You will be guaranteed a place on this course subject to successfully completing the pre-Masters. Visit our pre-Masters Programe to find out more about these degree programmes.

The Writing Workshops

Advanced PGR students run a fortnightly Writing Workshop, where all post graduate students can receive constructive advice on any piece of writing they wish to present, from a small paragraph, to a full chapter. Please click here for more information.

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements


First- or upper second-class honours degree, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in Music or a cognate discipline

Selection process

Intake: Variable

Average applications per place: 4

Academic entry requirements: First or upper second class honours degree, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in Music or a cognate discipline.

English language entry requirements:

MMus Musicology & Composition 

-  IELTS 7.0 overall, with minimum of 7.0 in writing, 6.5 in reading, listening and speaking, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

MMus performance                    

IELTS 6.5 overall, with minimum of 6.5 in reading and writing, 6.0 in listening and speaking, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Selection process: Online application and audition

Interview may be required on a case by case basis to assess suitability of course


This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

  • Core module: Composition portfolio
  • Compulsory modules: Composition seminar, Analytical Techniques, Individual Research Project
  • Optional module: Analytical Techniques can be replaced by Individually negotiated topics, Critical Practice or modules from other music pathways or another Humanities MA programme


  • Core: Dissertation (20,000 words)
  • Compulsory modules: Analytical Techniques; Critical Practice in Musicology; Research skills 1 and 2, Individual Research Project
  • Optional modules: Analytical Techniques can be replaced by negotiated topics or modules from other music pathways or another Humanities MA programme


  • Core: Professional Recital 2
  • Compulsory modules: Elements of musical performance; Performance teaching seminar; Professional recital 1, Individual Research Project
  • Optional module: Analytical Techniques and Performance teaching seminar can be replaced by Individually Negotiated Topic, or another Humanities MA module.

Year 1

  • Different core and option modules apply for the different pathways. These are shown by letters after the module codes. M = Musicology, P = Performance and C = Composition
  • By special arrangement Performance pathway students may choose MUSI6026 in Semester One although this will result in a high workload
  • Students may take a 'free elective' for all music pathways - they should contact MMus Convenor if they wish to take a non-Music option
  • MUSI6035 Individuual Reserach Project is Compulsory for all MMUs pathways, but students can choose whether to take the module in Semester 1 or Semester 2 (Therefore it is listed below in both smesters, but this does not mean it is started in Semester 1 and contuined into Semester 2).

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay for:

Printing and copyingWhere possible, coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently: A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour). Please note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account. You will be given a printing allowance of £1 per 7.5 ECTS FREN towards the costs of printing lecture handouts and/or practical scripts. The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found here: They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here: £0.05-1.00

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentInstruments and equipment: Hartley Library holds a very large collection of sheet music which students can borrow free of charge. Students who want or are advised by teachers to buy their own music, perhaps in order to mark it up, will be expected to cover the cost themselves. The Music Department has a large collection of keyboard instruments to which keyboard students are allowed free access. It owns a number of other instruments (piccolo trumpet, bass sax, basset horn etc.) which students can borrow on their teacher's recommendation. We do not charge for the use of them but do recommend that students make private insurance arrangements when taking them off campus, especially on tour. If not returned intact they must be replaced like for like at the student's expense or at their insurer's. Students may wish to hire professional accompanists to play with them in performance exams. Accompanists charge varying levels of fee (rarely more than £60.00 per exam accompaniment, including prior rehearsal) and students are expected to pay the fees themselves.
EquipmentIT: Computer discs or USB drives Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device.
EquipmentIT: Software licenses All software is provided.
EquipmentIT: Hardware It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

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