MMus Performance

Duration: Full time: 1 calendar year. Part-time: 2/3 calendar years.

Minimum Entry Requirements: Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent), usually in Music

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

This programme is designed for students who wish to specialise in performance while studying for an academic degree. Students have the unique opportunity to develop performance in specific Asian and African music traditions to a professional standard. They acquire expert knowledge about performance and the geographical or stylistic region of their performance specialism.

The performance component of the programme, in which students choose an Asian or African performance tradition, includes practice-based research. Students study the music of a particular region alongside performance theory training. Through a range of optional modules, they pursue additional interests as well.

The programme is particularly suited to performing musicians who wish to deepen and broaden their theoretical perspectives and musical horizons. Many former students have found their performance careers enhanced, while others have gone on to engage with their performance from more critical, academic perspectives, including MPhil/PhD research.


Students are required to take a total of 120 credits modules in addition to Performance as Research (60 credits).30 credits modules being two-terms in duration, while 15 credits modules are taught in one term only. In addition to these formal elements, students may attend postgraduate and public seminars and may also participate in performance ensemble classes and other activities.

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

  • The part-time MMus 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 is undertaken in the final year of the programme. It must be submitted in September of the year in which the student registers for it.

Programme Specification

The formal elements of the MMus Performance programme are:

  • The Music in Global Perspective compulsory module (15 credits); part-time students must normally take this in year 1.
  • Performance compulsory module (30 credits).
  • Performance lessons in a vocal or instrumental tradition from their selected region. Examined by a public recital in May-June (for part-time students: in May-June of year 1) and by coursework.
  • Performance as Research (equivalent to the dissertation on other Music programmes) (60 credits)
  • Further study of the same tradition as under the above, but with a more specific research focus. Examined by a public recital in September (for part-time students: in September of the final year) and by coursework.
  • The student must select modules to the value of 15 credits from List A
  • The student must select modules to the value of 30 credits from list A, B or C
  • The student must also select modules to the value of 30 credits from the list of recommended options.

Compulsory Modules

  • Music in Global Perspective 15PMUH031 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Performance 15PMUC002 (30credits) Full Year
  • Performance As Research 15PMUC008 Full Year

List A: Area Modules

  • Aspects of Music and Religion in South East Asia 15PMUH017 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Atlantic Africa: Musical Rebels and Divas 15PMUH029 (15 credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Atlantic Africa: Players in the Mediation of African Popular Music 15PMUH027 (15 credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Ethnicity, Religion and Gender in Middle Eastern Musical cultures 15PMUH024 (15 credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Indian vocal music: Styles and histories 15PMUH025 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Klezmer Music: Roots and Revival 15PMUH011 (15 credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Music in Africa: Critical Listening 15PMUH028 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Music in Africa: Travelling on a Song 15PMUH026 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Music, Nation and Conflict in Jerusalem 15PMUH022 (15 credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Music, Place and Politics in Cuba 15PMUH015 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH016 (15 credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Pop and Politics in East Asia (Masters) 15PMUH014 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Popular and Fusion Music in South East Asia (PG) 15PMUH018 (15 credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Sacred Sound in South Asia 15PMUH021 (15 credits) Term 1

List B: Additional Modules

  • Analysing World Music: Transcription & Analysis in Ethnomusicology 15PMUH004 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Composition 15PMUH013 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Gender and Music (MMus) 15PMUH009 (15 credits) Term 2
  • The Music Business (Masters) 15PMUH003 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Theory and Method in Ethnomusicology 15PMUH030 (15 credits) Term 1

List C: Modules Taught at King's College

SOAS MMus and MA Music students can also take as a credited part of their programme up to two 20 credit units 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.

Program taught in:
  • English

See 137 more programs offered by SOAS University of London »

Last updated January 23, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
1 - 3 
9,225 GBP
Full-time UK/EU Fees: £9,225; Full-time Overseas Fees: £18,980 per academic year
By locations
By date
Start Date
End Date
Application deadline
Start Date
End Date
Application deadline
Application deadline
End Date
Application deadline
End Date