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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Music is no longer accepting new applications.


Teaching consists of lectures and seminars, together with supervisions, self-directed study and (where relevant) practical instrumental or vocal tuition and composition workshops. Students are also expected to participate in the research culture of the Faculty, in particular by attending its programme of research colloquia, and skills training sessions.

All students electing the dissertation option give a short (approximately 20 minutes) presentation on the topic of their dissertation in the Easter term.

One to one supervision

Approximately 10 hours of individual supervision over the duration of the course.

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Seminars & classes

An average of four hours of lectures/seminar time per week.


Written feedback is provided for all assessed work. Oral feedback is provided for seminar and class presentations.


Thesis / Dissertation

Music Studies: students either submit a 12,500-15,000 word dissertation or a 50-60 minute recital with an accompanying 7,500 word essay.

Composition: students on this pathway do not submit a dissertation but submit a portfolio of four compositions totalling either 30-45 minutes (Standard Project) or 45-60 minutes (Extended Project) in length.

At the discretion of the Examiners, an oral examination of the dissertation or equivalent and the general field of knowledge in which it falls may be required.


All students must submit a proposal on the dissertation, recital, or composition portfolio of not more than 1,500 words and give a presentation on the dissertation.

Music Studies: students submit a portfolio of abstracts (not more than 1,500 words) and three essays of not more than 3,500 words each.

Composition: students submit either a portfolio of abstracts (not more than 1,500 words), an essay of not more than 3,500 words, and a 5,000 word explanatory essay on issues in composition (Standard Project), or a 7,500 word explanatory essay on issues in composition (Extended Project).

Practical assessment

The recital is 50-60 minutes for students taking this option.

Key Information

9 months full-time

Study Mode : Taught

Master of Philosophy

Faculty of Music

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Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
May 16, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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