SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

MA Music (Development Pathway) (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment

Overview

Overview and entry requirements

The MA Music (Development Pathway) programme provides theoretical and practical grounding in the discipline of ethnomusicology, as well as the opportunity to develop performance and ethnographic skills. On this programme students gain a practical understanding of how music can work in the sphere of social development and an in-depth study of global musical styles. The MA programme has three pathways in Ethnomusicology, Development and Performance, tailored for musicians and musicologists, anthropologists and development practitioners, teachers and composers, as well as those dedicated to developing an in-depth knowledge of a specific music tradition.

You will study with a world-leading group of ethnomusicologists who are all experts in the musical traditions of Africa and Asia. You will be part of a thriving culture of performance, research and active engagement with music around the globe.

This MA Music (Development Pathway) programme, which replaces MA Music in Development, will suit those looking for a springboard into further research or employment in a range of music-related fields including journalism, industry, NGOs and education, and often serves as a conversion route for those trained predominantly in western music traditions.

See Department of Music

Why study Music Development at SOAS

  • SOAS is ranked 44th in the world in the 2021 QS World University Rankings for Arts and Humanities
  • SOAS has the only Music department in the UK devoted to the study of world music.
  • very active musical life, including concert series, student ensembles and a successful summer school in which students can become involved
  • taught in the heart of London, home to many vibrant and diverse communities and to a breath-taking array of world music concerts, workshops and festivals.
  • students actively participate in this rich and varied musical scene
  • graduates possess not only musical and cultural expertise, but also a portfolio of widely transferable skills sought by employers in professional and creative industries. 

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

Featured events

duration:
Duration: One calendar year (full time). Two or three years (part time, daytime only). We recommend that part-time students have between two and a half and three days free in the week to pursue their course of study.

Convenors

Structure

Structure

The MA Music (Development Pathway) programme involves taking 120 credits taught modules in addition to writing a dissertation (60 credits). In addition to these formal elements, students are expected to attend regular postgraduate and public seminars and may also participate in performance ensemble classes and other activities.

Part-time

Students may be allowed to study for the MA on a part-time basis.

  • The part-time MA may be taken over two years, in which case the student takes two 30 credits modules (or equivalent 15 credits modules) in the first year, and two 30 credits modules (or equivalent 15 credits modules) and the dissertation in the second year.
  • Alternatively, it can be taken over three years, in which case the student can distribute the 120 credits modules evenly in each of the three years. The dissertation can be written in year two or three, but it is strongly recommended that this be undertaken in the final year of the programme. It must be submitted in September of the year in which the student registers for it.

Occasionally the availability of optional modules changes as a result of staffing and other circumstances. Students who had signed up for such modules will be notified as soon as possible and given the opportunity to choose from available alternatives.

Programme

Dissertation
Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Music 15PMUC999 60 Full Year
Taught Component
Core Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Music in Development 15PMUC034 15 Term 2
Theory and Method in Ethnomusicology 15PMUH030 15 Term 1
AND

Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from List A

AND

Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from List A or List B

AND

Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from List B, List C or List D

List A: Area Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Music in Africa: Travelling on a Song 15PMUH026 15 Term 2
Music in Morocco: Saints, Shrines and Scrolls 15PMUH033 15 Term 1
Music, Place and Politics in Cuba 15PMUH015 15 Term 1
Pop and Politics in East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH014 15 Term 1
Sacred Sound in South Asia 15PMUH021 15 Term 2
List B:Additional Music Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Podcasting 15PMSH022 15 Term 2
Key Themes in Hip Hop Studies 15PMUH032 15 Term 2
Music in Global Perspective 15PMUH031 15 Term 2
Performance 15PMUC002 30 Full Year
Sound Recording and Production 15PMSH025 15 Term 2
The Music Business (Masters) 15PMUH003 15 Term 2
List C: Music Modules Taught at King's College

SOAS MA Music students can also take as a credited part of their programme up to 30 credits at Kings College London Music Department, choosing modules from the list on the KCL website.

Please note that

  1. modules in Performance and Composition are not permitted as part of the agreement; and
  2. you will need to obtain the written consent of the convenor of the KCL course before enrolling.

Please check with modules tutors at King’s for requirements.

List D

Modules at SOAS from other departments or MA Area Studies Modules (including languages). Module choices are subject to the agreement of both the module convenor and the MA Music in Development convenor. Modules will normally relate to the same geographical region chosen from List A Module(s). Please note that not all option modules may run every year.

 

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

The aim of the MA Music (Development Pathway) programme is to develop:

  • critical understanding of music as a culturally embedded system that has wide-ranging application as a communication tool and process in a variety of development contexts;
  • a critical understanding of relevant theories in Ethnomusicology and allied disciplines, such as Development Studies and Anthropology;
  • a critical understanding of participatory research methodologies and applications;
  • the development of workshop modelling and management skills aimed at linking musical performances and meanings to social action and advocacy work; and
  • a critical knowledge of the musical practices, meanings and performance contexts from select regions of the world.

The programme is designed to prepare students for entry into a range of professional sectors, namely International Development, Social Music Therapies, Cultural Research and Policy, Sound and Audio-Visual Archiving, Media for Development, and documentation and research for the UNESCO Intangible Heritage Programme.

Contact hours

All Masters programmes consist of 180 credits, made up of taught modules of 30 or 15 credits, taught over 10 or 20 weeks, and a dissertation of 60 credits. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional. 

As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study, including reading and research, preparing coursework, revising for examinations and so on. It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary.

More information is on the page for each module.

SOAS Library

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Pre-entry reading

  • Conquergood, D. 2004. Performance Studies. Interventions and Radical Research. The Performance Studies Reader. H. Bial. London and New York, Routledge
  • Crewe, Emma and Axelby, Richard. 2012. Anthropology and Development: Culture, Morality and Politics in a Globalised World. Cambridge University Press.
  • Denzin, Norman K. 2003. Performance Ethnography: Critical Pedagogy and the Politics of Culture. New York: Sage Publications.
  • Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum, 2007.
  • Madison, D. Soyini. 2010. Acts of Activism: Human Rights as Radical Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Quarry, Wendy and Ricardo Ramirez. 2009. Communication for Another Development. Listening before Telling. London, New York: Zed Books.
  • Sanford, Victoria and Asale Angela-AJanuaryi (eds). 2006. Engaged Observer. Anthropology, Advocacy and Activism. New Brunswick New Jersey and London: Rutgers University Press
  • Schech, Susanne and Jane Haggis. 2000. Culture and Development: A Critical Introduction. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Turino, Thomas. 2008. Music as Social Life. The Politics of Participation. Chicago, London: The University of Chicago Press.

Employment

Employment

Students in the School of Arts develop a ​​critical and theoretically informed approach to global arts and culture. In addition to an intercultural awareness and practical expertise, graduates gain a wide portfolio of transferable skills which are especially sought after in the creative and cultural industries.

Recent School of Arts graduates have been hired by:

  • Christie’s
  • Christine Park Gallery
  • Crisis
  • Design Museum
  • Hong Kong Museum Of Art
  • India Foundation For The Arts
  • Japanese Gallery
  • Museum of East Asian Art
  • Music in Detention
  • National Gallery
  • Pan Arts
  • People Projects Culture & Change
  • Roundhouse Trust
  • Somerset House Trust
  • Songlines Magazine
  • Sotheby's
  • South Asian Art UK
  • Stratford Circus Arts Centre
  • Taiwan Embassy
  • The Alliance for Global Education
  • The British Embassy
  • The National Museum Of Korea
  • The Royal Collection
  • Victoria and Albert Museum

Find out about our Careers Service.

A Student's Perspective

Studying at SOAS has been a genuinely enriching experience that has vastly expanded my views of music and what it is to be a musician.

Dishan Abrahams

Find out more