Studying music psychology

This page contains links to help anybody interested in studying music psychology. My experience is largely confined to the UK, but as I learn more about worldwide courses (I’m going to ask around!) I will add the details here. I got a lot of info from SEMPREs website too.

I have also written blogs that answer questions about studying music psychology and I have found an excellent list of syllabi from music psychology courses that has been provided by SMPC, as linked below:

1) How to prepare for a music psychology course
2) What kinds of things are taught in a music psychology course?
3) Possible career paths in music psychology
4) What is it like to be a music psychology lecturer?


AT UNDERGRADUATE level there are no music psychology degrees, but many courses offer introductory modules, as follows:

1) The University of Sheffield: This University offers music psychology at all undergrad levels, and not just to its own honours students. It is one of seven ‘pathways’ that students can opt to follow so they can shape their music degree to suit their interests and future career aims.

In Year 1 students can take a 10 credit module called “Introduction to Music Psychology”. This module is open to students from other UG Year 1 programmes as well. At Years 2 and 3, 20 credit modules are offered in “Psychology of Musicians” and “Music Psychology in Everyday Life”

2) Goldsmiths, University of London runs an optional module in the third year of its psychology program called ‘Psychological Approaches to Music’, which is an excellent course which is run by the world expert Professor Pam Heaton.

3) Keele University has a number of options as part of its psychology degree including ‘Research in Music Psychology’, ‘Special Topics in Music Psychology’, ‘Music Technology’ and ‘Research in Music Psychology for MSc’. These courses are run by Dr Alex Lamont.

4) Musicology in Graz is a Bachelors and a Masters program that is offered jointly by the University of Graz (Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz) and the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz.. As well as the study of music this course offers modules in music psychology and acoustics, but be aware that the majority of this course is taught in German.

5) Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh has a psychology of music module in fourth year as part of their undergraduate (Applied) Psychology degree. It’s focused on the social and applied aspects of music psychology.

6) The University of Leeds: Level 2 BA Music students have the option of a 20 credit module entitled “Psychology of Listening and Performance”. Level 3 BA Music students have the option of the 40 credit module “Music Psychology”, and are also able to conduct a psychological study in the area of music for their 40 credit dissertation if they wish. (Thanks to Charlie Heslon for this info)

7) Bath Spa University:  Bath Spa University offers a combined degree and has an option module in the third year of the music degree run by Prof Roger Heaton (20 credit) and a portion of the Music Analysis module (optional in second year, also 20 credits) is devoted to a range of music psychology topics (Thanks to Michael Longden for this info)

8) Manchester Metropolitan: Runs a combined undergraduate degree.

9) St AndrewsPsychology of Music module. This advanced level module aims to introduce students to psychological processes underlying music perception, cognition and performance. The relationship between musical phenomena and mental functions will be illustrated. The module will cover different aspects of music perception including psychoacoustics and sound perception, music cognition including music memory emotion and expectancies, skilled performance as well as abnormalities in music perception and performance. The module will be taught in the form of seminars including student presentations. Emphasis will be placed on the development of critical thinking and the ability to relate conceptual debates in psychology to issues in the real world. Prerequisites Available only to students in the second year of the Honours programme

10) The University of Uppsala in Sweden offers music psychology courses at undergraduate level in their excellent research group. It is possible to study music psychology (Musikpsykologi) at their psychology department, but precisely which courses are offered varies from year to year, depending on the resources. The default language is Swedish. For further information, please contact Patrik Juslin on patrik.juslin = at =

11) Chichester University (UK) offers a joint honours undergraduate degree in psychology and music and wellbeing. Info can be found here on the well established ‘What Uni?’

12) University of Kent (UK) offers a psychology of music optional module in the third year 


At MASTERS level your choice of dedicated courses increases considerably. There is enough choice now that you can afford to specialise depending on your interest, be it more in the study of music, cognition, acoustics or neuroscience, although most courses offer a mixture of all topics.

1) The Department of Music in the University of Sheffield (UK) offers MAs in Music Psychology in Education, Performance and Wellbeing. The team offers a distance-taught programme (i.e. remote learning) and a doctoral programme. Modules include ‘Music in Everyday Life’, ‘Psychology of Performance’ and ‘Research Methods in the Psychology of Music’. Contact Stephanie Pitts for details.

2) Goldsmiths run an MSc programme that focuses on both the biological and cognitive aspects of musical behaviour. The MSc is run by Dr Lauren Stewart and Dr Daniel Mullensiefen. The program is highly interdisciplinary and draws on expertise from leading figures in the field, in areas ranging from music cognition, cognitive neuroscience, and computational modelling.

3) The Schools of Human and Life Sciences (HALS) and Education at Roehampton University (UK) offer integrated MSc/MA and MA programmes in Applied Music Psychology and Applied Music Education, and MPhil/PhD degrees. The Masters courses cover a wide number of perspectives in music psychology, including developmental, social and cognitive.

4) The University of Edinburgh recently launched a masters in ‘Music in the Community’ which is run by Dr Katie Overy. This programme provides a context and support for advanced development in personal creativity and community music skills. It brings together practical work in the community with new and relevant research in the biological, psychological and social sciences.

5) The University of Leeds now offers a Taught Postgraduate music psychology programme: MMus Applied Psychology of Music (Thanks to Charlie Heslop for this info)

6) The Hochschule Luzern in Switzerland (my old work place – it is wonderful there!) offers a German-speaking Master of Arts in Music Research

It offers interdisciplinary, solid foundations in the field of practice-led music research including basic research competences (incl. scientific writing and media communication), quantitative and qualitative empirical methods, plus basics of human sciences (source critique, hermeneutic) and artistic & action research. Research topics span from music and wellbeing, to the study of creative processes, music and society, and musical cultural heritage.

7) The University of Florida runs a masters of music in Music Education and has made the following info graphic to attract your attention.  More information can be obtained by visiting the course website.

8) The Royal College of Music runs a masters in Performance Science  for people who are motivated to gain a scientific understanding of how music is performed, taught, created, and perceived, including performers and educators aiming to progress their current careers through continued professional development. For further details, please see the programme website or contact Professor Aaron Williamon, Head of the Centre for Performance Science at

9) The University of York runs an MA in Music that can be adapted into several ‘pathways’, including a focus on music psychology.The MA in Music (taught): Music Psychology pathway is designed to develop research skills and knowledge in the field of Music Psychology. It is targeted at students coming from Music, Psychology, or any other related areas like Education, Engineering or Computer Science. It will cover theoretical and empirical approaches to music performance, perception, and cognition. It is run in close collaboration with the York Music Psychology Group.

10) Since 2017, the UNED in Madrid (Spain) has taught a training programme in Psychology and Music. This programme offers three degrees that seek specialisation and professionalisation in this field.
University expert in psychology for musicians
This course is aimed at musicians, and other interested persons, who can prove that they have access to university. It can be taken in one academic year and has a course load of 35 credits (ECTS). Its aim is to provide psychological knowledge and basic tools useful in the professional activities of musicians (mainly music education and performance).
Master in Psychology for Musicians
This course is aimed at music professionals with a university degree (bachelor’s or master’s degree). It is recommended to be completed in two years and has a course load of 60 credits (ECTS). The aim is to provide psychological knowledge and advanced tools to improve professional performance in the fields in which these professionals work (music education, musical performance and creation).
Master’s degree in the psychology of music
This course is aimed exclusively at graduates in Psychology.
It is recommended to be taken over two years and has a course load of 60 credits (ECTS).
This course provides the psychological knowledge and specific tools that allow the Psychology professional to offer help to music professionals (music education, music performance and creation), as well as to other artistic performers (dance, theatre, circus, cinema…).


Postgraduate Modules/Doctoral Programs – the following courses are not dedicated to studying music psychology but contain excellent specific modules that you can opt for as part of your wider study. Alternatively they offer doctoral programs thanks to the presence of leading music psychology academics on staff.

The University of Sheffield, offers PhDs in Music Psychlogy through the Music, Mind and Machine group. They offer a range of music psychology interests including music and education, and music and mind (Professor Nicola Dibben, Professor Stephanie Pitts and Dr Renee Timmers).

1) The Department of Music in the University of Leeds (United Kingdom) offers a doctoral programme in music psychology. The language of study is English. There are courses in ‘Music Perception’, ‘Music Performance’, ‘Ensemble Coordination’ and ‘Electroacoustic Music’ .

2) The Centre for Performance Science (CPS) at the Royal College of Music (UK) offers an MMus in Advanced Performance and a doctoral programme in Performance Science. This course comes very much from a musicians perspective and covers areas such as ‘Music psychology and physiology’, ‘Musicians’ health and wellbeing’, and ‘Acoustics and psychoacoustics’

3) The Department of Psychology in Keele University (United Kingdom) offers an MSc in applied psychological research methods which features modules in music psychology, and PhDs in music psychology. The language of study is English. Courses include ‘Development of Musical Skills and Understanding, ‘Social Psychology of Music’ and ‘Music Teaching and learning’.

4) Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester has MPhil and PhD programs in music that contain modules in Music Psychology – including both quantitative and qualitative research in the fields of expert music performance and training; music education and pedagogy; music and health.

5) The Faculty of Music in the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) offers an MPhil in Musicology and a Doctoral program that contains options for modules in ‘Music Perception’ and ‘Music and Cognitive Development’.

6) The Music Psychology Training unit (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)  program consists of two master’s degree programmes
•    Music, Mind & Technology
•    Music Therapy
The degree programmes are taught in English, consist of 120 ECTS credits, require two academic years of full-time study, and are tuition free. The application period will be between December 1, 2015 and January 22, 2016:

MUSIC, MIND AND TECHNOLOGY (MMT) is an international master’s degree programme that aims to:
•    Acquaint you with the main areas of contemporary research into music perception and cognition
•    Familiarize you with the methods and equipment used in various applications of music technology
•    Provide you with the skills needed for designing, executing and reporting empirical investigations
•    Supply you with the knowledge and skills needed for PhD studies.
•    Application guidelines for MMT can be found at:

MUSIC THERAPY (MT) is an international master’s degree programme that aims to:
•    Acquaint you with the main areas of contemporary music therapy and music psychotherapy research, theory and clinical practice – in particular on psychiatric and neurological perspectives
•    Familiarize you with strategies, methods and equipment used in different clinical research designs
•    Provide you with skills needed for designing, executing and reporting investigations
•    Supply you with the knowledge and skills needed for PhD studies.
•    Application guidelines for MT can be found at:


  • anand

    hi, i want to do a masters in music psychology course. i have done a batcholrs in arts in english hindi maths and history and have done a masters in physiotherapy. have done a grade 5 in music theory. can read notations upto grade 5 level in flute and have knowledge of basic piano. currently doing a pg diploma in guidance and councelling which finishes in june 2012. want to apply for scholarship for masters in music psychology. are my credentials sufficient

  • vicky

    Hi Anand
    I have written a blog on how to prepare for a music psychology course which you can read here:
    As you will see, your music background is more than sufficient. You will need to brush up on your statistics (which I hope you will have covered in your maths degree) and knowledge of cognitive psychology/neuroscience. But if you are prepared to do this before starting the course (so you are not left behind) then you should be fine to apply for a music psychology course.
    Best, Vicky

  • vicky

    Hi Sean
    At the moment the only correspondence based music psychology course in the UK is in Sheffield so you might investigate that avenue. Even if you completed a typical music psychology masters part-time, there is no way you could be excused for a whole teaching term (i.e. autumn). It just wouldn’t be fair to put you in for the exams without having attended any of the lectures. I would also think carefully about starting a PhD without prior training in an area. A PhD is a huge commitment of at least 3 years of your life, and will cost quite a bit. I always advice students to complete a masters first if they are considering a PhD in music psychology, as that will give you an idea of what you would like to specialise in for your PhD.
    Hope that helps,

  • Harriet

    Hi, was just wondering if you want to follow a career in music psychology, is it paramount that the university you want to study at contains a module in music psychology? or can you just study a straight psychology degree then do a masters in music psychology? thanks, Harriet.

  • Jane

    Hi Vicky,

    Thank you for all the information above! My name is Jane, I have a BA in fine art and music and have just completed my BPsych. I am looking for somewhere to do my masters in music psychology, specifically in the area of composing music to create certain effects, both physiologically and emotionally. I am currently living in South Africa, and I see above that you have suggested the sheffield online course. Would you recommend it as a good course for practicing musician’s and composers?

    Thank you,

  • vicky

    Hi Jane
    Indeed I would! My masters is from Sheffield and I had a wonderful time. I did not do the distance course but I have nothing but good things from people who have. Please get in touch with either Stephanie Pitts ( or Niccola Dibben ( for more details:

  • vicky

    Hi Harriet
    No it does not matter at all. My psychology degree did not even mention music psychology in 3 years! My only advice would be to read a little of the literature before starting a music psychology masters to get a feel for the types of things that you might study. You can check out my suggested reading list at the bottom of this page: If you can only get hold of one then go for the Donald and Sebald, as it is very readable and as up to date as any book at the moment.

  • Amparo Belenguer

    Hello Victoria
    My name is Amparo Belenguer, I’m a clinical psychologist and Musicoterapeuta in Spain, I am interested in replicating the study with “Auditory-Motor Mapping Training”, work with children.
    With autism.
    Appreciate all the information that can facilitate me.
    Thanks a lot.
    Amparo Belenguer Piquer
    Health Centre

  • Lili

    Hi Vicky,

    I am going to finish my MA in Music Performance next year.
    I am thinking about to start a master degree in Music Psychology. Could you suggest me a course which would be more suitable for me as a musician?

  • vicky

    Hi Lili
    Please read the blog I wrote about preparing for a music psychology course ( There is no such thing as the perfect course for musicians in the UK (i.e. as opposed to psychologists or people from any other discipline), as all the courses take people from both science and music backgrounds. At Goldmsiths we typically have about 30% of students who come from a music background in academia. It is important to state that you will not be able to ‘get away’ from the science side of things as it is integral to the discipline, so whereever you choose to go you will need to do some preparation on this aspect (help on this is given in the blog). My best advice is to try to think instead about what aspects of music psychology intrigue you, then look at the staff and areas taught on each of the courses to see where you find the best match. As long as you follow your heart in terms of your passion and interests then you will manage wherever you are.

  • Malcolm Mah

    Hi Vicky. I am a final year undergraduate pursuing a degree in music performance. I also have a degree in medicine and worked as a GP for many years. As part of my colloquium essay, I have chosen to propose that ‘music psychology’ be introduced in formal music instruction. The two aspects of music psychology is firstly, the study of music psychology as a unit to help the student in his/her goal of being an effective performer to the listener. Secondly, the introduction of regular psychological counseling to the music student as I believe the main barriers to competency and greatness in music is psychological. Would you kindly point m in the right direction to publications that may help me in my proposal? Thank you very much. Malcolm.

  • Alicia

    Hi Vicky
    Thank you for your blog. It is really nice that you share all this information with people like me, looking for some guide on this crazy idea of doing a phd program in music psychology.

    I have a Masters in Music Education, and I am really interested in pursuing a PhD program in Music Psychology. However, please correct me if I am wrong, I think I must have a Masters in Music Psychology first in order to apply for a PhD program. Is that right in your institution?

    Another question: have you heard of any Music Psychology program in Latin America? I know that the University of La Plata, in Argetina, has a masters program. Have you heard something about it?

    Thank you very much, Vicky.


  • vicky

    Hi Alicia
    It is not actually necessary to have a masters to begin a PhD in most institutions but a candidate who has a masters is ‘more qualified’ on paper than a candidate who has not got one – so if the funding is competitive (which it nearly always is with music psychology) then the masters will give a candidate the advantage. And if you wish to apply for things like ESRC +3 funding then you have to have a masters degree that is approved by them.

    I am afraid that I have no knowledge of music psychology programs in Latin America, but I would be very happy and intrigued to hear what was going on there. Please drop another note on this message board if you learn anything that we can share with the community.

    All the best,

  • Rachel

    Hi Vicky,

    Love this site, very informative! Although I do have a few questions to ask if you have the time to answer? 🙂

    I’ve recently graduated from Cardiff uni with a BSc in Psychology (2:1) and i was considering either an MA in Psychology of music at Sheffield or an MA in Music Therapy at Newport uni. However, what concerns me is that if i choose to pursue the course at Sheffield, i’ll be missing out on the only chance to become a registered music therapist with the HPC, since its unlikely i’ll be able to afford to do 2 Master’s degrees!
    Yet, from looking at doctoral programmes and previous case studies of music therapists, i’m under the impression that Music Therapy has a strong classical music background, rather than a more contemporary music focus. This is concerning since i’m a rock guitarist specialising in the instrumental rock virtuoso genre!

    Sorry if this has turned into along and winded email! But im really unsure about which course to take, considering i’m more contemporary than a classical musician. From your experience, what would you suggest?

    Thanks for your time!

  • vicky

    Hi Rachel
    Thanks very much for the kind words about the site, they are much appreciated!
    I am not an expert in music therapy training but I would contact the register for music therapists to check that it is necessary to have a full masters degree. It may be that you could do the MA at Sheffield and then a conversion cost/on job training in therapy which would be much cheaper than a full masters? If you do need the masters (and could you let me know if possible as that would be useful info for this site!) then I would contact the Newport course coordinator/organiser and ask in more detail about the course content. It is likely that you will need to understand how classical music has its effects, as it is so frequently used in music therapy. But I doubt very much that the course will teach you only about one genre, even if it is the one with the biggest background literature. As I said, contact the course advisor, describe your interests and skills, and see what they advise.
    Good luck, Vicky

  • MARC

    Hola Vicky,

    Tu web ha sido todo un hallazgo! Te felicito.
    Hace un tiempo que estoy interesado en temas relacionados con la psicología de la música y es una disciplina en la que en España es difícil poder estudiar. De momento me dedico a leer libros, artículos, trabajos de investigación, autores (Welch, Sloboda, Hargreaves, etc.).
    Me gustaría que me informaras sobre cuál es la mejor manera de estudiar psicología de la música on line para poder compaginarme con mi trabajo.

    Muchas gracias


  • vicky

    Gracias por sus amables palabras

    Me encantaría estudiar psicología de la música en España, pero también he encontrado que es imposible. No hay grandes centros de investigación en España, en este momento, pero algunos laboratorios se interesan por ejemplo

    No hay cursos completos en línea para psicología de la música en el mundo, pero hay cursos a distancia. Aquí se puede asistir sólo en raras ocasiones. Por ejemplo,

    Les deseo muy buena suerte con tus estudios,

  • Anon

    Its like you learn my thoughts, this is so fascinating! The e-book is a great read and this is a fantastic blog. I will certainly be back.

  • Jess

    Hi Vicky,

    I just stumbled upon this website and I have found it incredibly helpful. I have just finished a BA in Music and Instrumental/Vocal teaching(2.1) and I would love to do an MSc at Goldsmiths; ‘Music, Mind and Brain,’ however I’m extreemly worried that I am not good enough to apply for this as I have not officially studied much on psychology. The course seems perfect for me but my confidence and belief in my ability is not brilliant at the best of times.

  • vicky

    Hello Jess. Thanks so much for the kind words about the blog, they are much appreciated. You are very wise to be cautious about your psychology background as this is a part of the course there is no doubt. But we have had plenty of people who have come from a musical background complete the MMB course and do really well. The key is in preparation. You absolutely must get some insights into what psychology is like as a discipline, to help with the course but also so you can be sure that the course is what you really want. I would advise taking an online short course or a taught short course if there is one at a uni near you, or maybe even a few tutorials. Your priorities would be to get some basic experience with statistics and research design. You have found this page so check out the links on preparing for advice on books that you can check out in your Uni library. All the best for the future, Vicky

  • Faran

    Hi Vicky

    Im doing Msc in Psychology and I want to conduct a research on Music Psychology!
    will you please suggest me some research topics related to music psychology?

  • Charles Blackahwk

    Hi Vicky,

    My name is Charles Blackhawk, I am a high school senior and I am very interested in music psychology, but I really dont know which colleges offer those courses or really what would I study. I just really need information, if you could can you email me information or links to get more infor mation, my email is I would really appreciate your help.

  • Charles

    Hi Vicky,

    I’m 25 and am songwriter/engineer, producer and for the last 5 years have been working with various artists, maj. record labels and prime time tv shows.

    Psychology, the brain, music and human behaviour have interested me since leaving school at 16 – to cut a long story short – I trained as a professional dancer at a performing arts college then went onto working behind the scenes in the music industry.

    I am now looking to further my professional career and study psychology. I am applying to do an undergraduate BSc in Psychology with the open university (as I only have gcses as my formal education) and the course lasts for 3/4 years.

    I would like your advice and opinion on a few things, if that’s ok.. (as your advice seems to very useful).

    So once I’ve, hopefully, completed my BSc in Psychology and, as music is very dear to me, would that meet the requirements of a MSc in Music Psychology? Where would you recommend I do my MSc? Do Goldsmiths offer the it..? Also what professional fields and jobs would I be able to go into with a BSc? As I wouldn’t want to fall into the ‘social worker’ category (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

    As a natural born performing and currently working as a freelance songwriter/engineer I would love to do my MSc in Music Psychology. My long term goal is to complete my MSc and possibly further my career to do my PHD or possibly research too.. Whilst pursing my studies I’d still be writing, engineering and producing not only that but I would like to be a lecturer at some point.

    I know I’ve still a long way to go, but I’m eager to make a life/study plan for the next several years.

    Hope you can help


  • vicky

    Hi Charles
    As you can imagine I get loads of requests just like this and I simply don’t have time to answer them all personally. The page offers a list of courses that offer music psychology. You could also check out for more detailed info on opportunities in the US.It is up to you to check out each courses’ components and see which ones excite and/or inspire you.
    All the best,

  • vicky

    Hi Charlies
    I wish you all the best for your OU degree. I teach on DD303 (cognitive psychology) as a matter of fact so we may even run into each other! There are hundreds of career paths open to you on completion of a psychology degree. It does not qualify you as anything in a practical sense (i.e. as a psychotherapist) but it gives you so many skills that are valuable to a multitude of fields and that you can then build on to achieve either a professional qualification or to forge an academic career. Your best bet is to chat with the OU career advisors.
    If you are keen on the MSc in music psychology then, biased as I am, I seriously believe that the Goldsmiths course is the best in the world at the moment. It offers the very latest research and teaching in our field with loads of bonuses like invited talks from cutting edge researchers and experience in brain imagining technologies. My advice would be to invest time during your BSc thinking about what aspects of psychology interest you most and then look for a music psychology course that specializes as much as possible in those areas (both in terms of the topics covered and the lecturers skills/areas of interest)
    It is a long road but it is worth it if your heart is in the subject.
    All the best,

  • Charles

    Brilliant thank you!

    That’s amazing you actually teach the DD303, I take it you’re one of the tutors?
    It looks like we probably will cross paths as I’m starting my first 2 modules DD131 and DSE141 in feb 2013.

    Maybe I’m looking into things too far ahead of time? I’m sure as I progress with the OU and go into depth with my BSc the light will become a lot brighter and will give me a clearer pathway.


  • Abi

    Hi 🙂
    I’m currently studying for my BSc in psychology. I’m interested in music psychology, not to study postgrad or as a career but just to read about as I’m a keen musician. I was wondering if you could recommend any textbooks that give a good overview of the area? I’ve been looking around amazon and just can’t decide what book to buy,
    Thanks, Abi

  • Rhiannon Everall

    Hello Dr. Williamson,

    I am a 2nd year Psychology Undergraduate at Aberystwyth University. As it is my 2nd year i’m in need of deciding which area of psychology I want to specialize in. I have narrowed it down to Music Psychology and/or Clinical and Health Psychology. I was hoping to get some work experience in all these areas before the academic year ends. Do you know of any places, music psychology related, who would be willing to let me shadow them for a week or so?

    Thank you
    Rhiannon Everall

  • vicky

    Hi Rhiannon
    Work experience, especially for such a short time, would be hard to get so you will have to put in some effort. All academics receive many requests per week for placements and sadly, in general, placements often turn out to be a distraction from very high work demands. So bear this in mind and put your best foot forward. You are much better making personal contact with a researcher at your own university (as opposed to other unis, unless you happen to have a contact in another lab) and asking if you can help them out with any small research jobs they may have for a set period of time. Offering a small number of hours per week for a longer time will be much more attractive a proposition than following someone around for just a week. Make sure you present yourself as a gain to them – work out which are your best skills that they might find helpful and put them forward.
    Good luck!

  • Erato Altoka

    Hello Vicky,
    my name is Erato and I am from Greece.
    I am a music teacher that has attended several music therapy,drama therapy and music educational workshops and I was wondering if there is any relevance between Music Psychology and Music Therapy. In fact I am not sure I have completely understood what music psychology is and I would be grateful if you could please explain in a few words. That could be a good start for me to consider studying Music psychology in the future!
    Thank you very much in advance.
    Best regards,

  • vicky

    HI Erato

    I have written many comments in response to similar questions on this page so my first advice would be to have a look through those as there will be plenty of information that is useful for you. Also to have a look at this page which details the main skills that are needed for a music psychology masters of science (as taught at Goldsmiths) this will give you a great idea of what the course entails. Finally you can read the exact curriculum of courses online now and decide for yourself whether it peaks you interest (e.g.

    All the best,Vicky

  • Samantha

    Hello Vicky;

    I’m an Undergraduate Student of Classical Music in Edinburgh, and I’m not entirely sure (I’ve yet to see the Music Psychology module, but I enjoyed the lecture on it in the creative arts show!) but I think I’d like to study Music Psychology.

    My only concern is – I don’t know how to do it, where to do it, and whether my degree will be good enough. I’m aiming for a second degree upper, but the majority of my grades level out at second degree lower (2:2).

    Do you have any advice?

  • vicky

    Hi Samantha
    Glad to hear of your interest in music psychology! There is loads of advice on this thread for exactly your type of question so I recommend you read some of the answers. I never give out personal advice on what courses to do simply because it would be wrong of me to presume to know what is the best thing for you life. However I can reassure you that as long as you prepare by studying some psychology before applying for a music psychology course then your music degree should be good enough for most courses. There is advice here on preparing Wishing you all the best,Vicky

  • Luke

    Hi Vicky
    I am a graduate in Music from Lancaster University, from 2011.
    I attained a 2:2 on my degree, but have spent a lot of time since my degree reading into music psychology, an interest which was sparked during my third year module of music psychology and psycho acoustics.
    Due to my low grade I fear that I will not be accepted onto any Master program and this has prevented me from applying, this and not knowing where to find the best information.
    I have basic working knowledge of several instruments and can play guitar and drums to a high level. My knowledge in music theory is somewhat lacking (an issue I am working to correct).

    Could you recommend what steps I should take, and is it likely that my poor grade will affect my chances of continuing in education at a higher level?


  • Rita Kárpáti

    Dear Dr. Williamson,

    I have been a regular visitor to this site for more than a month now and I find it really interesting!

    I am a Conservatory student on jazz bass guitar in Amsterdam, in the middle of my second year. I am very passionate about music and performance, but I feel I need to study more.
    After a while I cought myself borrowing books from the library and searching websites on the net about general and music psychology and discussing them with my colleagues at school.
    This habit of mine developed to a certain point when I started to think about continuing my studies in the field of music psychology. I checked out all the links recommended on this site and also some of the literature. I made a list of all the universities in Europe offering this subject as a course.
    My problem is, that I am still in the Conservatory for 2 more years (not because of the paper, but for getting practical skills; I already finished my BA in Hungary) so I could only do one these courses 2 years later, or if I quit my course now.
    Then I found the distance learning option ‘Psychology for Musicians’ at Sheffield. I read the detailed course description and I was just wondering if it means the same as the face-to-face course. My goal would be to study and research this subject (and if it goes well, to be a lecturer one time) but I am not sure whether a distance taught course is a good starter in such a competitive field. Do you think there is a big difference?
    (Although I am just a musician, I would actually be happy to learn statistics and quantitative research methods used by psychologists…and I really enjoy reading about cognitive science. I wonder which of these are mentioned in different courses.)

    Thank you and sorry if someone has already asked this question.

    I wish all the best,


  • MARC

    Hi Vicky !

    I’m 32 and I work as a music teacher in Vic (Barcelona) in elementary school and in the conservatory. Finding our blog has been a good discovery !
    I became interested in psychology of music and its world just one year ago. I began reading Sloboda, Hargreaves, Seashore, Leivitin, I.Martínez, and so on.
    Now I’m focused in learning and improving my english, because I was considering studying MA in psycology of music at Sheffield University. (Distance learning).
    And suddenly I just came across with this site today:

    Music Perception and Cognition from MITOPENCOURSEWARE, Massachusets Institute of Technology.

    Are you acquanited with ? Would you recommend me that ?

    It seems serious and full academic.

    Would you consider studying it before starting the MA at Sheffield ? It could be better ?

    Thank you very much in advance !
    Best regards !


  • vicky

    Hi Marc
    As you will see from my replies on this page I never give out personal advice on what courses to do simply because it would be wrong of me to presume to know what is the best thing for you life. I suggest you contact the course leader to discuss the details of the course to help you decide if it is the right option for you. I do know that the music course at Sheffield does not require you to take any preparation courses in particular and it sounds like you are reading well in order to prepare. The only other thing you should consider is trying to read some academic papers rather than just books, as it will be papers that you have to read on any academic course. All the best,Vicky

  • vicky

    Hi Rita
    Thanks for your very kind words about the blog!As you will see from my replies on this page I never give out personal advice on what courses to do simply because it would be wrong of me to presume to know what is the best thing for you life. I would very much encourage you to contact the course leaders in Sheffield (Nikki Dibben or Rene Timmers) to discuss your personal circumstances and how they might fit in around the course. A distance learning course is always going to be different from a taught graduate course, in any discipline so think carefully about whether the demands are the right thing for you. All the best,Vicky

  • Rita Kárpáti

    Thank you for your quick reply. I will also ask the Sheffield theachers.
    I have an other related question as well: I browsed the site of the Music Mind and Brain group and I saw that sometimes you have interns for 4 months. Can I ask what qualifications do the interns hold? For example, can someone with a general psychology degree do an internship there? It must be a valuable experience…

    Thank you,

    Rita Kárpáti

  • vicky

    Yes we do take on research interns for that period of time and many have come from a psychology background. If you are interested in applying then please follow the advice on the site and send your details (CV, cover letter) to Dr Daniel Mullensiefen. All the best, Vicky

  • Nicole Zimbler

    Hello. I wander if you can help me I currently work with music and sound as a technical aid to help the way the brain processes information for people with different forms of learning needs from Dyslexia to Autism. I have been searching through websites to find courses or further study that can support me in this specialised profession. I do not have a former degree but masses of hands on experience in music and neurology. Do you know where I can get advice or information on professional study in this field. I am London based and have contacted Goldsmiths as their Music, Mind and Brain course sounds perfect and exactly where my passion lies. I am waiting to hear back from them, but without a former degree my question is if I will be considered or eligible for this course. I am very passionate about this field and would deeply appreciate any feedback or information you can offer me. Many thanks.

  • vicky

    Hi Nicole
    I have just checked with the course coordinator Dr Lauren Stewart and she does not appear to have heard from you so my advice would be to contact her directly with your question on l.stewart -at- She will be able to give you direct information about eligibility for the course, whereas I could only encourage you to apply. However one word of advice – the MMB course is very nearly FULL for this year so you need to act quickly. Passion for the field is a key factor that will take you a long way (backed up with hard work of course!) so my second piece of advice is to take charge and contact course leaders directly. Also, you may like to look for research papers in your chosen field and enquire about research/internship opportunities with the authors. At least one author’s contact details will be available on published papers.
    All the best, Vicky

  • MBA Dissertation

    Whenever i see the post like your’s i feel that there are still helpful people who shareinformation for the help of others, it must be helpful for other’s. thanx and good job.

  • Anna

    Hello, I´m from Prague (Czech Republic) and I´m really interested in studying Music psychology – masters level abroad. Here are my answers: I have a bachelor´s degree, but in a different field – Media studies. Do you think that I need a bachelor´s degree in psychology to study such a specialized discipline? I´m not sure if Bachelor´s degree from the Czech Rep. (Bc.) is accepted in the UK anyway…
    I also study violin at the conservatory in Prague.
    Is it common at universities in the UK that international students join the Music psychology courses? Or is it more a rarity (for example at Goldsmiths)?
    Thank you, Anna

  • Anna

    Ah, I´m sorry, I wrote “answers” in the previous message but I mean “questions”, of course…

  • vicky

    Hi Anna. The best answer to your question is that universities are flexible when it comes to postgraduate courses and are often happy to look at individual circumstances and qualifications. What you need to do is prepare your case for why you want to study music psychology, get access to some good background information about the topic and read up on where your interests lie within it, and then contact course leaders to present yourself and your situation. They will then be able to advise you on an individual basis about your future prospects. I can promise you that international students are always welcome! But if you were thinking about applying for starting this Septmeber you will have to be quick as most courses are nearly full if not full already. All the best, Vicky

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