Master of Philosophy in Music

The regulations made by the Board of the Faculty of Music are as follows:

Each candidate will be required:

  • 1. To follow for at least six terms a course of study in music. Candidates will, when they enter for the examination, be required to produce from their society a certificate to that effect.

  • 2. To have satisfied the examiners in a Qualifying Examination identical to that for the degree of Master of Studies in Music, and governed by the regulations for that degree, in the Trinity Full Term of the academic year in which their name is entered on the Register of graduate students. Candidates whose work in the Qualifying Examination is judged by the examiners to be of the standard required for the degree of Master of Studies in Music but not of the standard required to proceed to the second year of the M.Phil. in Music may supplicate for the degree of Master of Studies in Music. Candidates whose work in the Qualifying Examination is not judged by the examiners to be of the standard required for the degree of Master of Studies may retake the examination on one occasion only. Only candidates who reach the required standard to proceed to the second year at the first attempt may do so.

  • 3. To specialise in musicology, performance or composition. The choice of specialism must correspond to that pursued for the Qualifying Examination, but the subject matter of work submitted must be different from that offered for examination in the first year.

  • 4. To submit two substantial pieces of work, named ‘Part 3’ and ‘Part 4’ as a continuation of the numbering in the regulations for the degree of Master of Studies. The elements of the examination will be determined by the candidate’s chosen specialism.

  • 5. Candidates specialising in musicology will be required to submit:

    • Part 3: a written project of between 8,000 and 12,000 words in length (or equivalent), which may be either a short dissertation or an edition with commentary or an analysis or a portfolio of essays and ethnographic work. Music Ethnography portfolios may be submitted in a variety of formats, including recordings with commentary, video, photography, transcription and analysis. The topic of the project must be submitted for approval to the Masters' Course Convenor, Faculty of Music, by noon on Friday of the fourth week of Michaelmas Term. Two copies of the project must be submitted, not later than noon on Tuesday of the seventh week of Trinity Term, to the Chair of Examiners for the M.Phil. in Music, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford.

    • Part 4: either a dissertation of between 22,000 and 25,000 words in musicology or ethnomusicology or a substantial editorial exercise (edition), with prefatory matter, of comparable length. The topic for the dissertation or edition must be submitted for approval to the Masters' Course Convenor, Faculty of Music, by noon on Friday of the fourth week of Michaelmas Term. Subject to the approval of the Masters' Course Convenor, a dissertation may be a development of written work submitted for the M.St. Two typewritten copies of the dissertation or edition must be submitted, not later than noon Tuesday of Week 10 of Trinity Term, to the Chair of Examiners for the M.Phil. in Music, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford. Successful candidates will be required to deposit one copy of the dissertation or edition in the Music Faculty Library; minor corrections, as required by the examiners, must be incorporated prior to deposit in the library.

  • 6. Candidates specialising in performance will be required to submit:

    • Part 3: a recital of forty-five minutes’ duration, vocal or instrumental, of at least two contrasted pieces. Two possible programmes must be submitted for approval to the Masters' Course Convenor, Faculty of Music, by Friday of third week of Hilary Term. Candidates will be informed of the examiners’ choice of programme by the Friday of eighth week in the same term.

    • Part 4: either a dissertation of between 17,000 and 19,000 words in musicology or ethnomusicology or a substantial editorial exercise (edition), with prefatory matter, of comparable length. The topic for the dissertation or edition must be submitted for approval to the Masters' Course Convenor, Faculty of Music, by noon on Friday of the fourth week of Michaelmas Term. Subject to the approval of the Masters' Course Convenor, a dissertation may be a development of written work submitted for the M.St. Two typewritten copies of the dissertation or edition must be submitted, not later than noon on Tuesday of the seventh week of Trinity Term, to the Chair of Examiners for the M.Phil. in Music, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford. Successful candidates will be required to deposit one copy of the dissertation or edition in the Music Faculty Library; minor corrections, as required by the examiners, must be incorporated prior to deposit in the library.

  • 7. Candidates specialising in composition will be required to submit:

    • Part 3: a written project of between 8,000 and 12,000 words in length (or equivalent), which may be either a short dissertation or an edition with commentary or an analysis or a portfolio of essays and ethnographic work. Music Ethnography portfolios may be submitted in a variety of formats, including recordings with commentary, video, photography, transcription and analysis. The topic of the project must be submitted for approval to the Masters' Course Convenor, Faculty of Music, by noon on Friday of the fourth week of Michaelmas Term. Two copies of the project must be submitted, not later than noon on Tuesday of the seventh week of Trinity Term, to the Chair of Examiners for the M.Phil. in Music, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford.

    • Part 4: a portfolio of at least two well-contrasted compositions totalling between thirty-five and forty-five minutes in duration. The portfolio of compositions must be submitted, not later than noon on Tuesday of tenth week of Trinity Term, to the Chair of Examiners for the M.Phil. in Music, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford.

  • 8. The examiners may award a distinction for excellence in the whole examination. In this case the work will normally display an excellent command of the subject studied, evidence of critical understanding, and some demonstration of an original conceptual approach.

  • 9. A candidate who fails the final examination will be permitted to retake it on one further occasion only, not later than one year after the initial attempt. Such a candidate whose work has been of satisfactory standard in one or more elements examined will be required to resubmit for examination the element(s) which fell below the passmark when originally examined.