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Creative Musicianship - MMus - Video

A flexible, practice-based course for musicians wishing to develop or refresh their professional expertise for work in the creative industries.

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Overview

A flexible, practice-based course for musicians wishing to develop or refresh their professional expertise for work in the creative industries.

Summary

The MMus in Creative Musicianship at Ulster University is a series of linked postgraduate awards offered both full-time (1 year) and part-time (2 years). With a particular emphasis on a practice-based study the programme has been designed to appeal to musicians from a variety of backgrounds and genres, interesting in pursuing one of three named pathways:

  • Performance Studies (classical, Irish traditional, jazz, rock or popular styles)
  • Composition and Creative Audio (including the combination of acoustic and electronic sources, film music, interactive and mixed media)
  • Music and Communities (including disability arts and traditional music communities)

Taught by a dedicated course team of leading professional musical practitioners and researchers and with further guidance from industry experts, the programme will enable you to refine your skills as a musician, while giving you the confidence to apply critical and practical approaches to the creation and performance of music across a range of creative environments.

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About this course

In this section

About

The MMus in Creative Musicianship is a flexible postgraduate programme which aims to produce informed, skilled and insightful musical practitioners across a wide range of musical genres working in three practice-based fields: Performance, Composition & Creative Audio or Music and Communities. Whether opting to spend a short, focused period of study honing your musicianship skills as part of a PGCert or expanding your studies into a PGDip or Masters, this is the ideal programme for those who wish to develop, refine or refresh their professional expertise for work in the creative industries while also providing the perfect springboard for further postgraduate and/or PhD study.

Over the first two semesters, two complementary Specialism modules (20 credits each) familiarise students with the most important recent developments in their specialist pathway, training them in essential technical, research and communication skills while providing them with opportunities to put their expertise to practical use. The Practice module is devoted entirely to developing the individual's creative practice in their chosen field affording opportunities for one on one tuition. Meanwhile, the Seminar module provides a platform for contextual, aesthetic and theoretical study in their chosen discipline via group tutorial work and practice-based workshops.

In addition, modules in Music Business, Research Project and Placement provide opportunities for students to compliment their chosen pathway through project work both in and outside the university.

For those continuing their study to MMus level, the third semester Final Project (60 credits) allows the student to undertake a sustained period of self-directed, practice-based work related to their chosen specialism.

Attendance

Full-time: three semesters (one calendar year in total) for MMus or two semesters for PGDip and PGCert

Currently timetabled as two contact days per week full-time, plus any relevant instrumental/vocal tuition and work in the library.

Part-time: six semesters (two calendar years in total).

Currently timetabled as one contact day per week, plus any relevant instrumental/vocal tuition and work in the library.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Content

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor

- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement

- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

Assessment

Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Composition Seminar 1

Year: 1

This module is optional

Composition Seminar 1 will facilitate the development of a student's technical work in composition and creative audio through its coverage of its coverage of a range of theoretical and aesthetic issues their connection with aspects of creative practice.

Composition and Creative Audio Practice 1

Year: 1

This module is optional

Composition and Creative Audio Practice 1 will nurture the development of original musical, audio and sound compositions through supervision and workshop/performance activity.

Music and Communities Seminar 1

Year: 1

This module is optional

Music and Communities Seminar 1 will explore the role of the musician in community arts, developing knowledge of theory and practice which will equip them to engage in a range of aspects of community-based arts projects.

Music and Communities in Practice 1

Year: 1

This module is optional

Music and Communities in Practice 1 will explore the practical roles of the musician in community music, developing skills which will equip students to contribute positively in a range aspects of community-based arts projects.

Performance in Practice 1

Year: 1

This module is optional

Performance in Practice 1 aims to give students professional training in a variety of areas of practical and intellectual musicianship. Students are encouraged to evaluate critically and give appraisals of their own performance skills and those of their peers. Projection of a course of action for this module and beyond is a central focus.

Performance Seminar 1

Year: 1

This module is optional

Performance Seminar 1 aims to give students professional training in a variety of areas of practical and intellectual musicianship. Students are encouraged to evaluate critically and give appraisals of their own performance skills and those of their peers. Projection of a course of action for this module and beyond is a central focus.

Music and Communities in Practice 2

Year: 1

This module is optional

Music and Communities in Practice 2 will explore the role of the musician in community
arts, developing skills which will equip students to provide leadership in all aspects of
community-based arts projects.

Composition and Creative Audio Practice 2

Year: 1

This module is optional

Composition and Creative Audio Practice 2 will nurture the development of original musical, audio and sound compositions through supervision and workshop/performance activity.

Research Project 1

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module will allow students to present a research project representing the fruits of a sustained piece of individual research. Having agreed a topic with an appointed supervisor that will offer scope for higher academic study and/or professional development, the student's work will be supported by regular tutorial contact.

Year two

Music and Communities Seminar 2

Year: 2

This module is optional

Music and Communities Seminar 2 will explore leadership roles of the musician in
community arts, developing skills which will equip students to provide leadership in a
wide range of aspects of community-based arts projects.

Composition Seminar 2

Year: 2

This module is optional

Composition Seminar 2 will develop students' technical work in composition and creative audio through original composition, analytical work and research training.

while while composition composition, analytical work and research training.

Performance in Practice 2

Year: 2

This module is optional

Performance in Practice 2 aims to give students professional training in a variety of areas of practical and intellectual musicianship. Students are encouraged to evaluate critically and give appraisals of their own performance skills and those of their peers. Students are engaged with building a repertoire as solo and/or ensemble musicians and the development of skills in musical direction.

Performance Seminar 2

Year: 2

This module is optional

Performance Seminar 2 aims to give students professional training in a variety of areas of intellectual musicianship. Students are encouraged to evaluate critically and give appraisals of their own performance skills and those of their peers. Students are engaged with building a repertoire as solo and/or ensemble musicians and the development of skills in musical direction.

Research Project 2

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module will allow students to present a minor project representing the fruits of a sustained piece of individual research. Having agreed a topic with an appointed supervisor that will offer scope for higher academic study and/or professional development, the student's work will be supported by regular tutorial contact.

Year three

Major Project

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module allows students to present a major project representing the fruits of a sustained piece of individual research. Having agreed a topic with an appointed supervisor that will offer scope for higher academic study and/or professional development, the student's work will be supported by regular tutorial support.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

Entry Requirements

Applicants must meet the University's minimum entrance requirements and, in addition, a) hold a second-class honours degree or better in music or another relevant discipline from a recognised institution, or b) an equivalent qualification or c) be able to provide other evidence of ability and experience appropriate to the course. International applicants whose first language is not English must attain either of the following English competency standards:

A written proposal outlining the intended area of individual study (i.e. the Specialism and, ideally, an idea of what the third-semester project might involve) should support the application; all applicants will be interviewed and/or auditioned.

The University will consider applications on the basis of experiential learning for those who do not hold the normal entry qualifications. The onus is on the applicant to evidence that they have relevant experience equating to degree study at the honours level.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Exemptions and transferability

Studies pursued and examinations passed in respect of other qualifications awarded by the University or by another university or other educational institution, or evidence from the accreditation of prior experiential learning, may be accepted as exempting candidates from part of the programme provided that

(a) they shall register as students of the University for modules amounting to at least the final third of the credit value of the award at the highest level.

(b) the Final Project module is not exempted for those wishing to complete the MMus award

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

-Professional work in the creative industries

-Further academic or practical study

-Community-based education and/or creative work

-Technical positions in the music industry

-Teaching work

Work placement / study abroad

Work placements are available as an option within Research Project.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Apply

How to apply Request a prospectus

To arrange an interview/audition or to discuss informally any aspect of the course, please get in touch with the Course Director.

Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

The deadline for submission of applications is 15th May. We will consider late applications but these may experience delays in processing.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
£5,900.00

International:
£14,060.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

None.

Additional mandatory costs

None.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.

Contact

Course Director: Dr Adam Melvin

T: +44(028)71675566

E: a.melvin@ulster.ac.uk

Admissions Office

T: 44(028)70123210

E: admissions@ulster.ac.uk

International Admissions Office

E: internationaladmissions@ulster.ac.uk

For more information visit

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School of Arts and Humanities

Disclaimer

  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.

Testimonials

"Choosing the MMus at Ulster was one of the best decisions I ever made. As a traditional musician the level of tuition I received was world class - and opportunities my tutor created for me to perform and to enage with the traditional arts from an industry perspective was amazing. I wish I could do it every year!" Maggie Maguire, Co. Fermanagh (MMus, 2011)