Music Production MA

Our MA Music Production programme provides a stimulating vehicle for the expansion of your music production practice in the context of academic study at postgraduate level. The course is designed to help you to develop a sound understanding of concepts of practice-based research in reference to emerging knowledge within the music production discipline and will culminate in the development of a portfolio of work reflecting the application of these ideas within your own creative practice.

York St John University
Course fees
2019 - 20 Full-time Home & EU students: £6,500, International (non EU) students: £12,750 per annum2019 - 20 Full-time Home & EU students: £5,000, International (non EU) students: £12,750 per annum
Full-time & Part-time options available
Start date
September 2019
Performance & Media Production

Course overview

You will undertake two taught modules in Semester 1 where you will develop the necessary frameworks of thought enabling you to formulate a successful proposal for the larger project that constitutes the main focus of your degree. The first module (MPR231) explores the theories and concepts that surround practice-based research with reference to a range of artistic disciplines in addition to your own. The second (MMU005) concentrates on ideas and developments that are informing the academic discourse that surrounds the practice of music production, providing a solid foundation in the traditions of thought that have informed the discipline’s evolution over the last few decades. In Semesters 2 and 3 you will undertake a supervised independent music production project (MMU006) in which you will put into the practice the ideas you have explored in both taught modules.

For full time students the course runs across a single academic year and for part-time students across two consecutive academic years.

The course is taught by staff who have achieved professional profiles within the field of music production or within the music industry as practitioners, as well as academics who have developed international research profiles for their work within the academic discipline of music production studies. The Music Production department has a high profile within the academic publishing arena, most notably with the currently evolving Perspectives on Music Production series published Routledge.

You will also be able to participate in research seminars held by the University, as well as contributing to the York St John University Music Symposium (Music Production Student Conference) held annually in January. 

Course structure


Perspectives on Music Production (MMU005)

This discipline-specific module is designed to provide you with an understanding of the theoretical and musicological heritage that has framed the study of music production. This entails the study of concepts that have shaped the study of music production as well as an examination of the epistemological and ideological frameworks that underpin these concepts.

 The module focuses on the following:

  • Exploring the ontology of music production from a range of perspectives.
  • Contemporary debates and discussions about the art of record production.
  • Research methods for analysis and criticism of recorded music.
  • Considering the factors have shaped the evolution of the field – technological, economic, social and cultural.
  • Understanding the relationship between one’s own music production practice and the economic and social structures which impact upon this.
  • Understanding what critical reflection means in relation to personal practice.

Through group discussion and exploration you will also be asked to consider your own practice in reference to the above and will also be encouraged to consider cross-disciplinary practices, vocabularies and methodologies.

The Reflective Practitioner (MPR231)

In this module you will interrogate concepts and methodologies of practice-based research through lectures, critical discussion and reflective engagement with your own practice. You will be invited to consider how knowledge can be generated, questioned and communicated through practice, through making, doing and experiencing.

The focus will be on how you can position your own Music Production practice undertaken as research.

The following are indicative of the questions or themes that might be explored through seminars and workshops:

  • Typologies of research of the arts, into the arts and through art.
  • Notions of reflection in action and on action.
  • Explore models of knowledge (propositional, experiential, presentational, practical) and apply these to arts practice.
  • Explore the ethical implications of undertaking research in a variety of arenas.
  • Examine the ideological assumptions implicit within various research methodologies and conceptualisations of knowledge.
  • Engage with forms of reflection and documentation and presentation of practice-based research. 

Music Production Independent Project

This module offers the opportunity for the you to engage with the production of a significant work or body of works that represent the culmination of their skills, knowledge and creativity. Along with this body of practice you will develop reflective, critical and contextual work that articulates and communicates an understanding of their practice.

Projects are student led and as such you will develop your own aims in negotiation with the supervisors which will be driven by the following:

  • Originality and technical mastery
  • Research and enquiry driven art work
  • Self-direction, autonomy and independence of learning

The weight of the MA award lies firmly in this module, it emphasises the importance of the making and articulating of this significant output and aims to be the showcase of the artist and professional that you wish to be.

The exact nature of the Independent Project is open to negotiation, which will take place between each yourself and your supervisor, but it is anticipated to take the form of a performance, event, exhibition, installation, artefact, workshop or programme of activity which will be supported by documentation, reflective commentary and analysis.

Project Examples

A typical Music Production Project may take one of the following forms:

  • A music product with accompanying critical reflection
  • A research project which includes both a music product and related dissertation
  • A dissertation on an area of applied music production

 Typical examples of a ‘music product’ include (but are not limited to):

  • A self-produced recording of your own music in an established format – e.g. album or live concert
  • Recording and production of another artist’s music
  • Production portfolio of self-authored music for other forms of media – e.g. film/TV or videogames

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Disability Advice

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of disability advice services to assist students throughout their studies.

Entry requirements


Candidates for the MA Music Production programme will be considered on the basis of the whole portfolio of evidence provided for the application process. This will include examples of your existing production practice, evidence of critical engagement, reflective practice, and academic qualifications.

Normally, all candidates will be interviewed. As part of this process candidates will be asked to prepare a short presentation, and to bring a portfolio of their work for consideration.

The criteria for the interview process (including the portfolio) are:

  • demonstration of preparedness for graduate level study and practice;
  • evidence of existing music production practice (professional or academic);
  • evidence of engagement with critical and reflective thinking

In addition to providing a robust and fair consideration of applications, this process will provide candidates with the opportunity to find out more about the programme.

You will be expected to attend for interview in person, though reasonable exceptions will be made, for example, in the case of overseas candidates where telephone or Skype™ interviews may be appropriate.

International Students

International students will need to demonstrate that they have equivalent experience /qualifications as home students (ie the same entry criteria as above). If their first language is not English they must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 / 20

The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this postgraduate course is £6,500 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

For part-time options, see the Fees & Funding webpages for more information.

Postgraduate Loan: A Postgraduate Loan is now available to help you pay for your Master’s course for students commencing in the 2019-20 academic year. Find out more about the postgraduate loan.


The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this postgraduate course is £5,000 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

For part-time options, see the Fees & Funding webpages for more information 

Postgraduate Loan: A Postgraduate Loan is available to help you pay for your Master’s course. Find out more about the postgraduate loan.

A 10% discount is applicable to all YSJU Alumni (subject to a minimum of 120 credits and achievement of a recognised award) undertaking PG level study (excludes PGCE).

Overseas 2019 / 20

The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this postgraduate course is £12,750 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, International Students on a Tier 4 visa must be studying full-time. For more information about Visa requirements and Short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration webpages.

International Fees & Funding

The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this postgraduate course is £12,750 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, International Students on a Tier 4 visa must be studying full-time. For more information about Visa requirements and Short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration webpages.

International Fees & Funding

How to Apply

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now links. Please select the variant of the course that you intend to undertake (e.g. full-time or part-time) as the link will take you to a customised form for the specific course. You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

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