The curriculum, which also supports awards at
Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma levels, is
uniquely designed and focused on developing artists' abilities and
capacities for professional and academic innovation. We emphasise
relationships between composition, reflection, practice and
dissemination. Teaching, learning and research on the programme
will enable discovery of the variety of ways in which composition,
creation and dissemination in music composition has evolved into
its present media and forms.
This degree enables students who already have
some experience of music composition to expand their artistic
horizons, develop their reflective abilities and expand their
portfolio as thinking practitioners.
You will follow two strands of modules through the
Practice, Reflection, Dissemination
This strand, consisting of two 40-credit modules,
is designed to enhance your abilities as a self-reflective
practitioner. It recognises the deep interrelationship between
composition, reflection and dissemination, in terms of the
development of an artist's work and its function and operation
within critical and public domains. You will be introduced to the
variety of ways in which composition, creation, dissemination has
evolved into its present media and forms. These modules will be
primarily focused around your own practice, contextualised by
examination of various key practitioners, modes or theories.
Creativity & Knowledge
This strand, consisting of two 20 credit modules,
is designed to deepen students’ understanding of key
interdisciplinary questions, concepts and methodologies in the
Creativity and Knowledge 1 invites students to
interrogate a range of key themes relating to the relationship
between art and the wider cultural, social, economic circumstances
of its production and reception. Creativity and Knowledge 2
consists of investigation into concepts of practice-based research
in the arts and the examination of the epistemological and
ideological implications of the widening of traditional concepts of
research that such developments entail.
This strand of modules is taught
cross-disciplinarily with students on the MA programmes within
Masters Independent Project
Together these taught elements lead MA candidates
into the final Independent Project module, where you will undertake
an extended period of supervised practice-based research which is
expected to draw together and implement the resources provided
earlier in the programme.
Why study MA
- Your own practice is at the centre of
The MA programme is built around deepening and extending your own
composition practice. You will take practice-based modules
throughout the degree, whether you are enrolled full-time or
- Fluid interrelationship between theory and
Delivery of the degree programme will make use of workshop, studio,
seminar and virtual environments, providing an opportunity to
explore the interrelationships between practice, reflection and
- Opportunities for cross-disciplinary
The existence of parallel MA Fine Arts and MA Performance
programmes will provide you with opportunities to develop
cross-disciplinary awareness and practices.
- Focus on reflection and dissemination
The programme is designed to enhance the reflective strategies you
employ in your creative decision making and your awareness of
issues of dissemination within your present and future
How can I
You can study the MA programme:
- Full-time: One year
- Part-time: Two years
The programme begins in September each year. The
taught modules will normally consist of weekly sessions scheduled
on one day a week. There may also be the occasional intensive
Will I get
any practical experience?
The MA programme is built around deepening and
extending your own composition practice. You will take
practice-based modules throughout the degree, whether you are
enrolled full-time or part-time.
skills will I acquire?
You will acquire advanced skills in compositional
practice and develop your understanding of how this relates to
questions of knowledge, creativity and dissemination.
will I be assessed?
Assessment is through a variety of forms,
including portfolio of work, public performances, critical essays
and annotated reflective document.
get involved with departmental activities?
The MA community at York St John integrates
closely with the Faculty of Arts as a
whole, most explicitly through a regular series of lunchtime
Degree programme information