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University of Oxford Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :20 Jan 
International :20 Jan 
EU :20 Jan 

MSt Music (Composition)

 Course Level
Masters / PG
 Type
Full Time

 Duration
9 Months
 Start month
October

 Tuition fee

International
19335 GBP
National
6745 GBP
EU
6745 GBP

Application fee

International 75 GBP
National 75 GBP
EU 75 GBP
Department
Faculty of Music
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
2

World University Ranking

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About this course

The MSt can serve both as a self-contained course for students wishing to pursue more advanced studies in composition for one year or as an excellent preparation for doctoral research. Students on the MSt courses in musicology, performance and composition follow a common structure, supported by appropriate individual supervision or tuition in their chosen specialism.

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

Academic Requirements

Proven and potential academic excellence

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in music or related fields.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.6 out of 4.0.

However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a GPA of 3.7, a first-class degree or the equivalent.

If you hold non-UK qualifications and wish to check how your qualifications match these requirements, you can contact the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC).

Relevant professional experience may be considered as a substitute for academic attainment.

The minimum Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score sought is 163 (Verbal). However, since entrance is very competitive most successful applicants will have a GRE score of 166 (Verbal) or more.

Other appropriate indicators will include:

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including references and an official transcript. See 'How to apply' for instructions on the documents you will need and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview(s)

Interviews are not normally held as part of the admissions process.

Publications

Publications are not required.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

Relevant professional experience may be considered as a substitute for academic attainment.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

You must supply suitable evidence that you meet the English language requirement for your course (or, if eligible, you can request a waiver of the requirement), if:

  • your first language is not English, or 
  • your first language is English, but you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country recognised by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

Score requirements
The University applies either a standard or a higher level of required ability in English depending on the course. The level you will need is shown on each course page.

The University only accepts certain standardised tests, with results at or above the following scores:

IELTS Academic 
Institution code: 0713

  • Standard level scores 7.0 Minimum,6.5 per component 
  • Higher level scores 7.5 Minimum,7.0 per component 

TOEFL iBT 
Institution code: 0490

  • Standard level scores - 100 Minimum component scores Listening: 22,Reading: 24,Speaking: 25,Writing: 24
  • Higher level scores - 110 Minimum component scores Listening: 22,Reading: 24,Speaking: 25,Writing: 24

 

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

  • Standard level scores - 185 Minimum 176 per component
  • Higher level scores - 191 Minimum 185 per component

 

Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE)

  • Standard level scores - 185 Minimum 176 per component
  • Higher level scores - 191 Minimum 185 per component

All of these tests are accepted for both admissions and visa purposes; you will not be required to provide additional evidence of your English language ability in your visa application. Whilst UKVI may accept lower minimum scores for visa purposes, the University still requires you to meet these minimum scores.

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course.

You do not need to submit an English language test result at the same time as your application if you have not yet taken a test or received your results; your application will still be considered by the academic department, provided that all other required documents have been submitted. Any offer of a place will be conditional on you submitting English language test results at the required level by a deadline set by the department in their offer letter. 

The University will verify all IELTS and TOEFL results directly with the test provider. If you have uploaded a CPE or CAE, you will be asked to supply the original document if you are admitted to the course. 

Asking for a waiver of the requirement
At the discretion of the academic department, the requirement to provide English language scores may be waived if you have completed, or are currently completing, a degree-level course that is:

  • full-time
  • at least nine months long
  • undertaken at a recognised institution where the medium of instruction and assessment throughout the course is entirely in English.

To request a waiver, you need to write a letter or statement giving the reasons for your request and upload it to your application. If successful, you will not be required to supply English language test results as a condition of any offer made.

If you are still completing your course and you are offered a place and a waiver of the requirement, you will usually need to provide evidence that you have successfully completed your course as a condition of your offer by a date set by your department in your offer letter (no later than 31 August and generally earlier). If you are due to complete your course after this deadline, you will usually be expected to submit results of an English language test meeting the University's usual requirements.

Check further details on University website

Course Modules

The Master of Studies in Music (Composition) introduces a broad range of current methodologies and approaches in music scholarship. The main MSt teaching and coursework is done in the first two terms; the third is reserved for completion of assessed work.

Core seminars
In the Michaelmas term there are typically six topics:

  • historical musicology
  • current trends in music theory
  • aesthetics
  • the social and cultural study of music
  • performance
  • composition

You may participate in as many of these seminars as you wish. Your first assessment may be written in response to an aspect of any one of the courses attended.

Elective seminars
Each year a number of faculty members convene a series of ‘elective’ seminars based on their research interests, to help you prepare for your assessment essays. You are invited to attend as many of these seminars as you wish. Reading lists are sent out before the start of the courses and you are asked to prepare fully and contribute to the seminars. The first of the seminars may well incorporate a lecture given by the faculty member. Most of the electives take place in Hilary term.

Recent seminar series included the following titles:

  • Musical Cross Currents between Opera and Film     
  • Late Medieval Music: Ontology, Ethics and Cognition    
  • Music and Consciousness    
  • Operatic Identities
  • Schubert’s Fingerprints
  • Sound Cultures, Sound Objects
  • Street Music   

Presentation seminars
Presentation seminars are held in Hilary term. The entire MSt student cohort is split into two groups, with musicologists, performers and composers being represented in each group. You will prepare a presentation on your own research in one session and will be asked to respond to another student’s presentation in another.

Assessment
You will submit a musical composition in response to techniques presented in core composition seminars at the end of Michaelmas term. An essay is submitted at the end of Hilary term. The final assessment includes a further essay in musicology or a further musical composition produced in response to techniques presented in composition seminars; and a larger musical composition or portfolio of compositions, at the end of Trinity term.

Check further details on University website

How to Apply

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

The following documents are compulsory for all applications:

  • three references (letters of recommendation)
  • official transcript(s) of previous university-level degrees
  • CV/résumé
  • statement of purpose and/or research proposal (upto 2 pages)

You may also need to submit one or more of the following, depending on the course:

  • academic written work
  • portfolio (eg of artwork, performance recordings)
  • GRE results
  • mathematics admissions exercise
  • evidence of proficiency in a language essential to the course, eg Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)

The set of documents you should send with your application to this course comprises the following:

  • Official transcript(s)
  • CV/résumé
  • Statement of purpose:upto 1000 words
  • Written work:one essay of 3,000 words 
  • Portfolio:Two or three compositions with a combined duration of 30 minutes
  • References/letters of recommendation:Three,generally academic

All your documents must be in PDF, JPG or PNG format

  • Files must not be sent as Word documents. If you are not sure how to convert your files to PDF format no larger than 4MB (for upload to your application form)
  • Documents larger than 4MB are acceptable, but they are larger than the capacity of the upload facility in the application form itself. Instead, create a PDF with the following statement and upload it to the relevant document slot in your application:"My document is over 4MB and will be sent separately."
  • After you submit your application, send the document via ouroversize document form by the deadline you are applying to.in English (unless otherwise permitted by the department)
  • Documents you have written yourself, such as a personal statement, research proposal or written work, must be written in English unless otherwise permitted by the department. An English translation by a third party is not acceptable unless explicitly permitted by the department. These documents must be entirely your own work, except where clearly indicated, and may be checked using plagiarism detection software as part of the admissions process. Further information on this requirement is available in our guidance on plagiarism.
  • Official transcripts which are not issued in English should be translated by either a professional translator, the relevant issuing body of the original document, or an authorised notary. 
  • accessible, clear and legible
  • easily identifiable
  • Please clearly indicate your name as well as the type of document, eg research proposal, on the document.
  • You should not upload documents which are not required for your course, eg degree certificates.
  • Please do not send original and/or paper documents unless specifically requested. If you are offered a place, you will later be asked to send the original(s) of any official documents sent as a digital file in your initial application.

Check further details on University website

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