What will I learn?

The Master of Arts (MA) degree consists of taught coursework followed by an independent thesis in a wide variety of Arts subjects. It provides the opportunity to make a contribution to knowledge in the field and critically examine current practices, while also demonstrating understanding of the principles of research.

MA students within the College of Arts benefit from:

  • a lively and supportive postgraduate culture
  • numerous master's scholarships
  • 11 relevant research centres.

The Master of Arts degree consists of two parts:

  • Part I: Coursework (1 year)
  • Part II: A thesis (2 years)

Honours may be awarded if the student completes within the timeframe. Distinction or Merit may be awarded if the student completes an MA by thesis-only in the timeframe and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours.

The music industry is a dynamic employment market, offering paid work to a vast array of practitioners around the world. This is befitting of an art form that has prevailed across even the most remote tribes and societies throughout history.

Much of the rapid development of the music industry has occurred very recently, in the last 25 years, and is the result of the explosion of digital technology and re-definition of social communities and culture. This has opened up new areas of expertise for music professionals, though not eclipsing the more traditional roles of teaching, conducting, music leadership and performing as a soloist, in a group.

Further study

Doctor of Philosophy

Career opportunities

Music graduates are found in a wide range of occupations including positions in orchestras, choirs, opera houses, conservatories, universities, schools and other education contexts. They are prominent in areas of leadership such as arts administration and management.

Those who wish to work in education, find that the inclusion of some music in their degree can be beneficial.

UC Music graduates also work in fields such as journalism, television and radio (planning as well as production), publishing and in technical areas.

People with musical talent are sought after by festival organisers and arts organisations.

Start date: Monthly by arrangement with supervisor

Which department am I in?

College of Arts

Study options

Full Time (2 - 3 years)

Tuition fees
NZ$32,000.00 (US$ 21,171) per year
Fees per 120 points: NZ $32,000; Full Programme Fees: NZ $64,000

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

22 February 2021, 19 July 2021


University of Canterbury

Warehouse, 20 Kirkwood Ave,



Upper Riccarton,

8041, New Zealand

Entry requirements

For students from New Zealand

Applicants for the MTchgLn programme need to demonstrate that they have: qualified for a degree in a disciplinary field appropriate to teaching and learning in Aotearoa New Zealand, with either:- a bachelor’s degree or a bachelor’s degree with honours with a B Grade Point Average or better; a master's degree with a B- Grade Point Average or better; approval from the Dean of Education and Health Sciences of successful prior academic performance that demonstrates an ability for postgraduate-level study. English language ability that meets the requirements set out by Teaching Council of New Zealand; Met the requirements stipulated in the Children’s Act 2014.

For international students

Students must have qualified for a bachelor's degree and satisfied the prerequisites for the major subject concerned. Prerequisites vary between departments, but normally good grades in 300-level courses in the subject is required.

Students who have qualified for a Bachelor of Arts with Honours or equivalent with good grades may be admitted to the Master of Arts by thesis (Part II only) in that subject.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 90, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 58 and no communicative skills score below 50.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About this uni

University of Canterbury’s alumni include popular personalities such as Karl Popper, one of the greatest twentieth-century science philosophers.

  • Ranked among the world’s top 250
  • Among the top 1% cent of universities worldwide
  • 5-Star QS rating for its excellent research & teaching methods
  • Based in Christchurch - New Zealand’s most affordable city