Taught course

Popular Music

University of Chester · Department of Performing Arts

Entry requirements

Applicants will normally hold a 1st or 2:1 honours degree in a related subject. Where applicants are not progressing directly from a degree, professional experience and expertise may be taken into account.

Applicants will be expected to attend an audition and/or interview and/or produce a portfolio of compositions in order to demonstrate their suitability for the course.

Months of entry


Course content

This is a modular course leading to the award of MA in Popular Music. The course will be of interest to those concerned with the exploration of all aspects of performance, songwriting and composition or popular music studies, and is designed to develop your creative skills and theoretical understanding to an advanced level.

Our MA in Popular Music has pathways in: performance; songwriting and composition; and music studies.

Initially, you will follow a core curriculum that seeks to contextualise your own practice and start an engagement with the general field of study.

Our course offers you the opportunity to shape your learning through a series of modules that will enable you to integrate scholarly work with your own practice as a musician, composer or musicologist. Our modules consider current theoretical and practical debates in the subject area, and will guide you through the kind of research methodologies required at Master's level. You will be given the opportunity to negotiate the most effective means of approaching your subject, with a view to producing an intensive study of your specialism.

Teaching is by lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops. Contact time is 3-4 hours (full-time) or 1.5-2 hours (part-time) per week. Workload is 40 hours (full-time) or 20 hours (part-time) per week.

Assessment can take the form of:

  • performances
  • essays
  • practical presentations
  • lecture demonstrations
  • oral assessments
  • the submission of portfolios of original music.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Department of Performing Arts