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MA Psychology in the Arts (Music)

Study our part-time masters from anywhere in the world. Through blended or fully online learning, develop your knowledge, dive into the core of music psychology and explore the impact of music in everyday life. 


This MA programme is for people with a strong interest or established practice in music. It can be studied as blended learning (online and intensive weekends at RCS) or fully online. This programme will develop your thinking and encourage your curiosity about the role music plays in our lives. You will gain a rich understanding of its significance and influence on the human mind.  

Over the 2-year programme you will be supported by the RCS music psychology team to explore three key areas of music psychology: developmental, performance and social. In addition, you will develop robust research skills before embarking on your own bespoke research project. 

The programme is designed to fit alongside professional work schedules, with flexible lecture and seminar times to ensure no matter where you are in the world you can attend and feel part of this growing community. 

We are looking for individuals from all walks of life ready to challenge their perceptions, explore the intersections of music and psychology, and make a positive impact on the world. You should be open to new and diverse views and be hungry to be part of the next generation of dynamic creative practitioners, looking to shape the future of music psychology. 

We warmly invite you to come and join our diverse and international community of learners. 

The important details

UK Applicant Deadline:
29 January 2025

International (including EU) Applicant Deadline:
29 January 2025

Institution Code:

Programme Code:

Audition Fee:

Application Fee:

Please note
This course is subject to revalidation

An introduction to MA Psychology in the Arts (Music)

Watch Heads of Programme Dr Rachel Drury and Dr Jill Morgan share more about the programme structure and what you will study on each module.

Why Study MA Psychology in the Arts (Music) at RCS?

A Groundbreaking Programme

This is the first programme of its kind in Scotland. As a multi-disciplinary environment, the RCS offers the unique opportunity to connect with a broad range of creative artists and art forms. 

Study Alongside Other Commitments

The flexible, blended delivery of the programme means you can obtain an MA qualification alongside current work commitments, and study from anywhere in the world with no need to relocate. The delivery of the programme caters for time-zone differences for students. 

Tailored Learning and Teaching

In joining our programme, you will embark on a bespoke learning journey that nurtures your interests and professional development priorities. 

Testimonials from Current Students

  • “An interesting, captivating course with the nicest lecturers – I feel supported through all the work” 
  • “I highly recommend this programme to anyone interested in the music psychology field. The faculty are highly knowledgeable and passionate about their subjects”

Online Discovery Sessions

Join members of the MA Psychology in the Arts (Music) programme team for a series of free online Discovery Sessions exploring various questions around a central theme. Taking place online, these sessions aim to give you further insight into the MA programme and what it entails. 

By taking part in these sessions, you’ll experience how this programme challenges you to reflect on your ideas, beliefs and professional development priorities. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email letting you know how to join the meeting. 

All sessions run twice on stated date, one in the morning and one in the evening (there is no need to be present for both).

Career Opportunities

During your studies, you will gain enhanced skills in critical and analytical analysis, communications skills, collaborative and interpersonal skills and organisational and evaluative skillsDue to the diverse nature of the programme graduates can explore career opportunities in many areas, including:

  • Academia 
  • Music and media 
  • Music and advertising 
  • Music and arts organisations 
  • Music education
  • Arts consultancy 
  • Music therapy (with further qualifications) 
  • Community music and outreach 
  • Business 
  • Marketing

Programme Structure

Music and Developmental Psychology: exploring the profound impact and significance of music in shaping individuals’ growth, transformation, and continuity throughout their lifetime.  

Music and Performance Psychology: examining different dimensions of theory and practice of performance psychology in identity, health and wellbeing, creativity and communication. 

Music and Social Psychology: exploring the role of music in the social setting and examining its impact on human emotions and behaviours. 

Research Skills: exploring methodological approaches, methods and the ethics of research. This module is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills to develop a research proposal for your own bespoke project.  

Negotiated Research Project: offering you the opportunity to put your theoretical knowledge into practice by carrying out your bespoke research project and demonstrating the impact of your work. 

Entry Requirements

Academic Requirements

As the second cycle of higher education, postgraduate study represents a continuation of learning, training and/or experience rather than a beginning.  

However, we recognise that traditional application processes, which show a bias towards prior learning and achievement, can perpetuate existing societal inequities, favouring those who already benefit. For this reason, we embrace the principles of widening access and participation and, whilst prior qualifications and experience may be taken into account, our application process places emphasis on students’ values, potential and readiness for Master’s level study.  

This is in accordance with the RCS Admissions Policy (including the Contextualised Admissions Policy).  

In fully supporting learners from diverse backgrounds, students may be required to complete successfully additional modules in criticality and academic writing, offered by the RCS, prior to commencing the Masters.

English language requirements

The language of study is English. Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of proficiency in English. We accept the International English Language Testing System score (IELTS) (if applicable) Level 7.0 with a minimum score of 7.0 in speaking and with a minimum score of 6.5 in all parts.

Accreditation of Prior and Experiential Learning (APEL)

In some cases, applicants to the programme may already have achieved academic credit on another programme of study and are seeking to reduce the number of modules they will need to study on the programme. Applications for APEL will normally be decided prior to the applicant’s admission to the Royal Conservatoire.

Fees & Funding

Tuition fees

  • Scotland: £8,077
  • RUK: £8,077
  • International (including EU): £8,077

Funding & Scholarships

You can find out about the funding and scholarships available for studying at RCS by visiting our dedicated page:

Funding & Scholarships

Cost of Living & Programme Costs

This course can be studied fully online. For any students who would like to move to Glasgow to pursue hybrid learning on the programme, it is estimated that you will need between £11,200 and £15,300 per year to live here, though much will depend on your lifestyle. 

How to Apply

Apply via UCAS Conservatoires

Applications are made through UCAS Conservatoires website. The UCAS Conservatoires application system is separate from the main UCAS undergraduate application system. If you wish to apply to conservatoires and universities within UCAS, you will need to register for both services.  

You can read our guidance about using UCAS Conservatoires on our dedicated how to apply page. 

We do not offer deferred entry. If you wish to commence in 2025, you must apply next year. 

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland institution code is R58. You will also require the following programmes codes to apply: 320P

The closing date for all on-time MA Psychology in the Arts (Music) applications is 30 June 2024. If you submit your application after this date, we cannot guarantee that your application will be reviewed by the audition panel. If you do want to submit a late application, you must contact in the first instance to check we are accepting late applications 

Application/Audition fees

There is a UCAS application fee of £27.50 to register to use UCAS Conservatoires.


We have a number of policies and statements which you should read when applying to study at the Royal Conservatoire.

Please select the links below to read each policy.


It is your responsibility to ask two separate referees to write references and ensure that these are sent to RCS.

The references must be written by two different people and we will not accept references from family, other relatives or close friends. You can submit your UCAS Conservatoires application form and send your references at a later date, but they must be received prior to your audition date.

UCAS Conservatoires provides reference forms for you to download and send to your referees for completion.

Interview process

Successful applicants will be invited for interview. The interview process is designed to provide the Programme Team with an insight into your level of suitability and readiness for study on the programme. All interviews are planned to take place online. A research article will be sent to you ahead of the interview. You will be asked to give a critical response to this article as part of the interview process. In formulating your response, you may wish to consider: 

  • The value of the research presented 
  • The effectiveness and appropriateness of the methods used to gather data 
  • Whether the article offers new insights 
  • Any gaps or weaknesses in or of the article 

Applicants will be invited to attend a 25 minute interview. The interview will consist of: 

  • Questions from the panel 
  • A critical response to the research article followed by questions from the panel. The format for this can either be a presentation (with optional accompanying visuals such as PowerPoint) OR reading aloud of a written response 

In either case, the response should not exceed 6 minutes duration. 

The panel will take account of all aspects of the applicants’ profiles. This will include: 

  • Performance at interview 
  • Commitment to the programme 
  • Potential to benefit from the programme 
  • Readiness for masters level study 
  • Academic qualifications 
  • Personal statement 
  • References (2 references from appropriately qualified persons)
  • Contextualised data

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland may require an applicant to provide additional material in support of their application prior to, or following, their interview.

Hear from a Student

Sinead Hill is an international student from New Zealand. In this Q&A, she shares her experience of studying on the MA Psychology in the Arts (Music) programme from over 11,000 miles away!

Read the Q&A