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The course aims to meet the needs of those who wish to develop or refresh their professional expertise and/or to prepare for study at PhD level.


Study Music at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

The MMus is designed to appeal to musicians from a variety of backgrounds, particularly those with strengths in one of five main areas: Performance (classical, Irish traditional, jazz, rock or popular styles), or Musicology (including the study of popular music and film music), or Composition (including including the combination of acoustic and electronic sources, and mixed media), or Technology (including electroacoustic composition and mixed media digital arts), or Music in the Community.

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About this course

In this section


The course aims to meet the needs of those who wish to refresh or develop their professional expertise and/or to prepare for study at PhD level.

In addition, there are opportunities for students to conduct their own self-directed projects, get a grounding in business skills appropriate to the subject, and/or undertake work outside the university as part of a well established placement module.

The Major Project module allows students to undertake a sustained period of reflective study in a topic related to their chosen specialism.

Over the first two semesters full-time students take Specialism-specific (40 credits) and complementary modules (20 credits) intended to familiarise them with the most important recent developments in the field, train them in essential research and communication skills, and give them opportunities to put their expertise to practical use; the third semester project (60 credits) comprises independent work conceived by the student and carried out under the supervision of a single member of staff.


Full-time: three semesters (one calendar year in total).

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 2016
How to apply

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 competence 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 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.

Teaching and learning assessment

A number of formats for teaching and learning will be offered including lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops.

The performance of candidates shall be assessed by the Board of Examiners in accordance with the Regulations Governing Examinations in Programmes of Study.

Candidates shall be assessed in the modules for which they have enrolled in each year of study. At the discretion of the Board of Examiners candidates may be required to attend a viva voce examination.

Within each module candidates shall be assessed by 100% coursework.

The pass mark for the module shall be 50%.

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 MMus Major Project is not exempted.

Careers & opportunities

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Career options

Further academic or practical study

Freelance creative work

Community-based education and/or creative work

Technical positions in the music industry


Work placement / study abroad

An module in Placement is available as an option.

Academic profile

Dr. Liz Doherty (MMus Course Director) is a fiddle player, academic, educator and consultant within the traditional arts community in Ireland and internationally.

Prof. Frank Lyons has research interests in Composition, Musicology, Music and Community.

Dr. Adam Melvin is a composer and saxophonist.

Dr. Brian Bridges is a composer and researcher.

Dr. Shaun Ryan is a performer and conductor of the Ulster University Choir.


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

Application is directly to the University via an online system. See and

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

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Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.

Scholarships, awards and prizes


Additional mandatory costs


Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. 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.


Course Director: Dr. Liz Doherty

T: +44 (0) 28 7137 5134


Faculty Office (Ms Wenli Xu)

T: +44 (0) 28 7012 3373



"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)