MA in the Psychology of Music
(MUST02) MA in the Psychology of Music - Full Time
(MUST20) MA in the Psychology of Music - Part Time
Music Psychology uses psychological methods and theory to interpret and understand musical behaviours, sounds and ideas. The interdisciplinarity of the subject, and its use of a wide range of empirical approaches, offers a unique perspective on music.
The on-site course introduces students into a wide range of areas including auditory perception, music cognition, musical development, music in everyday life, and musical performance. Students specialize within an area through a written dissertation, and the pursuit of original research, which generally includes an experimental or observational empirical investigation. The research orientation includes qualitative as well as quantitative research and both methodologies are taught within the course. This research orientation makes the course highly suitable for continued doctoral research.
In addition to the regular MA in Psychology of Music, there is the possibility to specialise in the relationship between Language and Music by following selected modules in linguistics from the MA in Language Acquisition, replacing part of the modules followed at the Department of Music. Similarly, there is the possibility to specialise in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Music by following selected modules from the MSc in Cognitive and computational neuroscience.
Postgraduate teaching and research in music psychology is well established at Sheffield, with the department offering both a distance learning MA in Psychology for Musicians and a site-based MA in Psychology of Music, and supporting a number of research students working on projects within the field. The course tutors have published widely in the areas of music psychology and education, contributing to the music department's status as an internationally leading centre for research in these fields. Sheffield is unique in having three full-time specialist staff: Dr. Nicola Dibben, Dr. Stephanie Pitts, and Dr. Renee Timmers. Opportunities for research in music psychology are further enhanced by connections with other areas of staff expertise: music analysis; music education; ethnomusicology; historical, analytical and critical musicology; and performance practice as well as by connections with the Departments of Psychology and Computer Science.
All Masters courses provide an overview of research in music psychology and the opportunity to pursue a topic of personal interest through a dissertation. The distance learning course has an emphasis on educational, therapeutic and other applied research, meeting the needs of music educators and practicing musicians. The on-site course has a greater emphasis on music perception and cognition and enables students to become involved in the musical and broader academic life of the department. The University of Sheffield offers one of the largest and most innovative music psychology programmes in Britain. As well as having outstanding library collections the department provides studios for work with recorded music and film, word processing, statistics, and notation, and provide ample opportunities for conducting psychological experiments, including measurements of physiological responses and reaction times.