Taught course

Jazz Studies

Birmingham City University · Birmingham Conservatoire

Entry requirements

Candidates normally need to have a 2:1 Bachelor's degree or higher in a relevant subject area and normally evidence of work in, or a familiarity with, jazz music industry or jazz media.

We welcome non-traditional applications, particularly from applicants with substantial professional or musical experience. Prior experiential learning is an acceptable route to the course.

Months of entry

September, February

Course content

Jazz has been, for different people at different times, a mainstream pop music for teenagers, an art music for the cognoscenti, and a folk music for a people. Today it remains a significant cultural force with musicians and fans who feel a strong sense of commitment to its traditions and contemporary innovations. This masters course will provide you with the opportunity to explore jazz as a world-wide musical culture. We will cover the core issues which occupy jazz academics, fans and musicians alike, and jazz as a popular music culture. You'll be able to take a further option that allow you to explore ways to make a living out of jazz, curate its heritage, or study its place as in the cultural industries and cultural policy. You will work closely with other students and staff from across the world who study on our Music Industries, Music Heritage and Cultural Policy MAs.

The course is organised by the researchers in the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, and you will work on case studies drawn from our research and industry projects. The team is led by Tim Wall, Professor of Radio and Popular Music Studies, who has produced a well-respected body of research on jazz and works with jazz musicians and promoters. You will also work with Andrew Dubber, Reader in Music Industry Innovation, and internationally renowned for his insightful analyses of the possibilities for jazz in online media, and Dr Simon Barber, who is a musician himself, and has researched jazz record labels, jazz radio formats and jazz collectives. We worked with jazz performance staff at Birmingham Conservatoire to develop the curriculum on this MA, and many of the learning materials have been produced by highly regarded jazz scholars from across the world.

You will work in a very practical way, operating in groups, trying out ideas, and putting your new knowledge and skill into practice straightaway. Your academic and entrepreneurial skills will be developed, and you will make strong professional contacts and build relationships with jazz music organisations. You can even study for the course as a distance-learning student taking full advantage of our online learning materials and participating in group work through social media with support from the course tutors. This really is the course for you if you aspire to a career as a jazz studies academic, work in the jazz music industry or in jazz heritage, or in arts organisations which support and develop jazz.

If you are more interested in a jazz performance masters course you should take a look at our MMus Jazz award.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team
+44 (0)121 331 5595