About this course
Expand your knowledge of music performance with our master’s degree at the University of Southampton. Our programme gives you the opportunity to specialise in various elements of musical performance. You’ll graduate with the knowledge and skills for a career in music or further research on a PhD.
Our MMus Music Performance master's degree gives you the opportunity to specialise in various elements of musicology. On this course, you’ll study:
- principles and presentation skills of performance
- key skills in music performance and research
- concert/festival programming and music management
- the technique, history and repertoire of your instrument or voice
Our academic staff are internationally noted performers with active solo and ensemble careers, and established composers of contemporary art music, electronic music, media music (for example, in film, TV and videogames), and jazz. These world-leading experts can offer you intensive one-to-one tuition in music history, culture and performance.
We offer a broad-based MMus programme with 4 specialist pathways:
On the Performance pathway, you’ll work towards the final goal of a professional recital. We’ll work with you to create a portfolio that’s relevant to your career aspirations. Once you graduate, you’ll be ready to:
- continue your research at a doctoral level
- work in the music industry or wider cultural sector
- become a teacher
- work as a freelance musician
You can mix your Performance modules with topics from other MMus pathways to develop a wider range of skills and personalise the course to your interests.
The part-time study option for this course will not be running for the 2020/21 academic year.
If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:
- a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years
Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.
Your course leader has research interests in jazz, East Asia and the global history of music. Visit Dr Thomas Irvine’s staff profile to learn more about his work.
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
In light of COVID-19, we’ve made changes to some elements of course delivery for 2020-21. For details as to how this has changed delivery for this course, please view the Addendum to the Programme Specification PDF.
You'll need a 2:1 degree in Music or a related subject.
For the Performance pathway, you'll need to submit samples of recorded performance. These should be 2 to 3 contrasting pieces for a total of 20 to 30 minutes, showing your technical proficiency and interpretive ability. You must be able to read at sight and learn pieces quickly.
If you are over 21 and feel you would benefit from degree-level studies, we can be more flexible with our entry requirements. We'll expect you to show your commitment by means of some recent completed study, such as:
- at least 1 A level
- an Open University foundation course
- a relevant Access course
Recognition of professional experience
If you don't have the exact entry requirements, but you have significant work experience in this sector we’ll assess your relevant professional experience, your subject knowledge and your aptitude for learning.
Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.
Got a question?
If you're not sure that you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course please contact our enquiries team; we're very happy to help.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
COVID-19: we've made some changes to the structure of the course for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
This is a full-time master’s course. You’ll study for 12 months, from September to the following September.
In the first 9 months (semesters 1 and 2) you’ll study the taught part of your course.
This is made up of modules that everyone on the course takes, and modules we'll ask you to choose from a list of options. Some of these modules are shared with our other MMus pathways.
You'll also prepare a recital for a lunchtime or evening performance, and begin working towards your final recital during this time.
For the last 3 months, over the summer, you’ll work independently on your final project.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our modules for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
For entry in Academic Year 2020-21
You must study the following modules in year 1:
You must also choose from the following modules in year 1:
Learning and assessment
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our learning and assessment methods for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
We’re committed to giving you a relevant, modern and above all enjoyable experience that will ensure you graduate with the skills and understanding you need for your chosen career or further research.
The learning activities for the Performance pathway include:
- tutor and student-led seminars
- individual instrumental or vocal lessons
- study visits
- independent study and practice
Depending on the modules you choose, we'll assess you through a combination of:
- group and individual presentations
- essays and analyses
For your final recital, you’ll plan and deliver a performance of a professional standard, including the choice of repertory.
You'll have access to:
- historic, modern and electric pianos
- less-common orchestral and historic instruments
- drum kit and basic PA system/amps
- a loud rehearsal room and department practice rooms
- recording studios
- recording studios
- use of Turner Sims concert hall facilities for recitals
We recognise that music has increasingly become a 'portfolio career' and aim to provide our students with a platform for success in whatever area of music their aspirations lie.
A master's degree will help you to develop the key skills that employers look for, such as:
- time, deadline and project management
- problem solving
- teamwork, relationship-building and working independently
- cultural awareness
- critical thinking and research analysis
Above all, you will learn to communicate your ideas and enthusiasm to a wide range of audiences.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK/EU students pay £9,250.
- International students pay £18,812.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK and EU nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
How to apply
You can apply directly through our online form by using the apply button on this page.
You must get your application to us by the end of the day on 1 September 2020. You must supply all supporting documentation at least 2 weeks before starting your course.
We cannot guarantee you'll be able to start your course if you do not meet these deadlines.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
You may also be asked to provide:
- a sample of music composition/performance
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll get back to you within 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
We may invite you to an interview, which will take place by phone if you live abroad. You'll get an email from the admissions tutor if we'd like to talk to you before offering you a place.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000