Reasons to choose the programme

An extraordinary place to study music: Edinburgh has a vibrant and inspirational music and arts scene.
Defined by an Art School ethos: Our serious approach to music scholarship feeds on live performance and a creative, inclusive attitude.
Ranked among the best: Music has been placed at or near the top in UK subject league tables for the past five years.
Access to leading creative thinkers: Our staff are world leaders in a wide range of musical areas.
Flexibility and choice: Tailor our distinctive core Music curriculum to your own aims and interests, studying outside subjects through into your final year.

Nikki Moran talks about the programme
Edinburgh College of Art

Students who take the MA Music learn in lots of different physical spaces and lots of different social settings… It’s a chance to study music in a humanities and social science setting, but also with the creative component of being part of an art college.


Who should study the MA Music?

If you'd like to focus on Music through a mix of academic and creative study, this undergraduate degree is for you. Our MA programme embraces music's diversity and its relationship to society and the other arts. The flexible structure means you'll have the opportunity to pursue study in another subject or two, alongside Music, right into your final year of study.

In first and second year, you will take courses in music listening, ensemble performance and contextual music scholarship, including historical and contemporary studies. Alongside these, you take additional Music courses as well as one or more outside subjects. In third and fourth year, you have freedom to choose courses from Music and across the University according to the specialisms that you have acquired. Music offers a diverse range of courses including composition, music psychology, performance, film music, music in the community, music analysis, acoustics, options in Scottish traditional music, and a range of music-history courses. In your fourth and final year, you undertake at least one significant course of independent, supervised study, usually dissertation or creative practice music project.

You don't necessarily need to have a formal academic or performance background in music when you arrive - but you need to demonstrate active involvement and passion, for example, through performing, writing about music, promoting music, or similar.

Join a vibrant creative community

Within ECA, you'll find yourself at the heart of a dynamic community.

You'll be ideally placed to study the interaction between music and the other arts such as film, animation, installation and dance. You can take part in Edinburgh's unique multidisciplinary course 'Festivals' and the award-winning 'Music, Style, Identity and Image' (EUSA Teaching Awards, Best Course 2016-7). Your collaborators will include students on our BMus Music and Music Technology degree programmes, as well as taught and research-led postgraduates, and creatives from across Edinburgh College of Art and the wider University.

Leading creative thinkers

You'll be supported by academic staff and practitioners with a world-leading research track record across musical genres.

And during your studies, you'll have the chance to attend guest lectures, workshops and performances by a range of inspirational creative professionals.


Throughout the programme, the skills you’ll gain will be the building blocks for a major project in your final year. This could be a new performance, recording, installation, piece of public art or site-specific music. Alternatively, it might be an independent, scholarly dissertation focusing on your own particular research interest.

And when you graduate, you’ll be ready for a whole range of music-related careers in the creative arts, education and media. Depending on your expertise, you might move into arts management, festival development, management and curation, or work in film, television, radio, animation or the games industry. You will also be well placed to collaborate in community development projects, or to apply your well-honed communication skills and critical thinking to another graduate profession.

How to apply and entrance requirements

If you'd like to study on an undergraduate programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh website, where you'll also be able to

  • see detailed entrance requirements for each programme on the Degree Finder
  • get information on what to expect after you apply
  • find out about fees
  • find out where to go for further advice and guidance

Take me to the University of Edinburgh website on how to apply for undergraduate study 

Email the Undergraduate Admissions Office:


Dr Nikki Moran

Senior Lecturer

Programme Director of Music - MA (Hons) and Music - PhD/MPhil


Tel: +44 (0)131 650 2423

Dr Matt Brennan

AHRC Leadership Fellow

Programme Co-Director of MA (Hons) Music


Tel: +44 (0)131 650 2803

Facilities and resources

Six purpose-built, acoustically-treated music studios, with tie-lines to a shared recording space.

Recording equipment is available to students through BookIt, the online booking system.

A huge variety of choirs, dance societies, musical theatre and film groups, orchestras, bands and world music groups.

On occasion the Reid School of Music loans audio equipment to outside organisations.

Seventeen practice rooms equipped with pianos, ideal for students requiring a private place for music practice.

Students have access to a variety of resources as well as several dedicated collections of musical instruments.

Information on the equipment available to students in the music studios and editing suites.

A 218-seat Victorian venue built in 1859. Used for regular orchestral and choral rehearsals and performances.

Located beneath Reid Concert Hall, this studio is built to record live performances in the venue.

Studio equipment and software tailored for music students to be able to record, edit, and experiment with their work.

The oldest purpose-built concert hall in Scotland, home to one of the most important historic musical instrument collections in the world.

Scholarships and bursaries

Access Awards

  • Deadline: Various deadlines
  • Eligibility: Based on criteria such as income, background and personal circumstances, and in some cases geographical area.

Eileen Cameron Music Prize

  • Deadline: No deadline: Awarded by nomination
  • Eligibility: Awarded to the final year student who has made the most outstanding contribution to the musical life of the faculty, the University of Edinburgh, or of the wider Edinburgh community.

Frederick Niecks Essay Prize

  • Value: Amount variable
  • Deadline: No deadline: Awarded by nomination
  • Eligibility: Open to any full-time undergraduate student in the Reid School of Music. Awarded to the best dissertation.

Gwen Clutterbuck & Leighton Scholarship

  • Value: £100 - £1000
  • Deadline: 19 Dec 2016 and 5 May 2017
  • Eligibility: Awarded to Music graduates, Music undergraduates who have passed the first examination, or for the BMus students for the purpose of travel and study abroad.

Ian Pitt Memorial Prize

  • Deadline: No deadline: Awarded by nomination
  • Eligibility: Intended to commemorate the life and work of Ian Pitt-Watson (MA 1947, BD 1950) and awarded to an undergraduate who, as a member of Edinburgh University Musical Society, demonstrates an aptitude in the development and conducting of a choral ensemble.

J.S. Anderson Organ prize

  • Value: £1,000
  • Deadline:
  • Eligibility: For current full-time music students. Students wishing to enter the competition must present a programme of organ music lasting 35-40 minutes.

James Smart Memorial Organ Scholarship

  • Value: £1,000
  • Deadline:
  • Eligibility: Awarded to the 2nd year Undergraduate in Music who shows the greatest promise and all-round ability in organ/piano performance.

Janet Buckley Memorial Prize

  • Deadline: No deadline: Awarded by nomination
  • Eligibility: Award for final year Music student dealing with 'Early Music before 1750'.

John Robert Mackey Scholarship

  • Value: £500 per annum
  • Deadline:
  • Eligibility: Awarded on the basis of a competition to the first year undergraduate Music or Music Technology student who shows all-round excellence in piano performance.

Mrs Guthrie Watson Scholarship

  • Deadline: Closed on 30 May 2016
  • Eligibility: Awarded to the first year undergraduate in Music who achieves the best all-round academic performance in the May examinations.

Sir Thomas Beecham Scholarship

  • Deadline: Closed on 30 May 2016
  • Eligibility: Awarded annually, on the basis of the results of the end of year performance examinations, to the first year undergraduate in music who shows the greatest promise in instrumental performance (not including pianists and singers).

Sir Tovey Memorial Prize

  • Deadline:
  • Eligibility: Awarded annually on the basis of a competition to the undergraduate student in Music who shows the greatest promise in composition or in instrumental/vocal performance.


College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Office

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 3565