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.


Please note: This programme will not recruit new students after the September 2018 intake.

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.

Please note this programme will not be accepting applications after 2018/19. If you have any queries, please contact our Admissions Office (


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

Facilities and resources

Our extensive range of music studio spaces, equipment, and software will allow you to see your audio projects all the way through from composition and recording, to mixing, mastering, and post-production.

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

SOLD OUT FOR 2018/19

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

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


College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Office

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 3565