Postgraduate study

Meet the Postgraduate Team 

Luan Shaw - Head of Postgraduate Study 
Sian Derry - MA Musicology Course Leader 
Carrie Churnside - Music and Research Degrees Coordinator 

Studying music at postgraduate level at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire will naturally allow you to take your skills to a higher level. You will be able to specialise in any kind of performance (Classical or Jazz), composition, technology or musicology. 

At the same time, postgraduate study will give you an opportunity to broaden your experience while focusing on your professional development, to prepare you for a career in the music profession. Luan, Sian and Carrie from the postgraduate team tell us what it's like, and why you should choose to study a postgraduate degree at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. 

Meet Music Postgrad header

Why should you study a Postgraduate degree at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire?

RBC has an exciting and varied set of postgraduate courses which you can tailor to your individual interests and career aspirations. You can study full-time, or if you have family or work commitments, the majority of our courses are available via flexible part-time routes.  We actively encourage you to be ambitious in pursuing your aspirations, both within your Principal Study area and within complimentary modules, ensuring that you graduate from the Conservatoire as a well-rounded musician, fully prepared for the professional world thereafter.

Should you be considering post-Masters study, we have a large cohort of doctoral researchers working on very varied projects in the fields of composition, music technology, musicology, performance, jazz and performing arts. Our PhD programme offers the flexibility to present your research in a range of different formats, whether it be fully text-based (80,000 words) or practical (composition, performance or scholarly edition) with a written element. In every case you benefit from being able to draw on a building full of performers willing to try out aspects of your research.    

What do graduates go on to do?

The versatility of our courses enables our graduates to successfully pursue careers which involve working in the industry in numerous guises.  It is typical of the 21st century musician to have a 'portfolio' career. For example, graduates may find themselves performing as soloists or with orchestras or opera companies, teaching, leading workshops, working in arts administration, recording and producing, composing for a range of audiences and media, or pursuing further professional-level study or research activity. Those graduating with a PhD follow the same range of options, as well as pursuing careers as academics.

What is Postgraduate study like at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire?  

Whether you are a performer, composer, music technologist, conductor or researcher you will be part of a vibrant, enthusiastic, supportive and friendly community.  Both within and outside your course, we also encourage you to take advantage of the multiple opportunities we offer to explore new experiences both within the Conservatoire and the wider Birmingham City University. 

What staff make up the Postgraduate team?

The PG staff team are a close-knit and dedicated group of colleagues who are keen to support students in every way possible. Staff have a broad range of research interests and vocational specialisms and all are active within their fields. 

Find out more about our music departments