Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6162

Wednesday 21 October 2009

Vol cxl No 3

pp. 69–88


Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on the re-establishment of the degree of Master of Music

The Council and the General Board beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. In this Report the Council and the General Board propose the reintroduction of the Master of Music Degree, titled the M.Mus., to be offered by the Faculty of Music. The proposal, which originated with the Faculty Board of Music, has the strong support of the Council of the School of Arts and Humanities, and the Colleges.

2. The University of Cambridge is renowned all over the world for the excellence of its choirs. Its leading role in choral music has remained unsurpassed since the early days of broadcast sound, when the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s swiftly became a highlight of Christmas. Its lead in choral music was greatly enhanced following the admission of women in the 1970s which fostered the growth of mixed-voice choirs that soon complemented the musical accomplishments of the traditional all-male choirs.

3. Choral music has played a major part in the University’s life throughout its history. Many Professors of Music and Lecturers in the Faculty have been central to these activities, and in recent years an increasing number of Colleges have invested in the work of their choirs through the appointment of Directors of Music with particular expertise in choral music. The Faculty of Music currently offers a paper in Part II of the Music Tripos called ‘Choral studies’, taught by a combination of University Lecturers, Affiliated Lecturers, and College Directors of Music; this has proved a great success among the students, and has enhanced the study and practice of choral music within the University.

4. The Council and the General Board have received a proposal from the Faculty Board of Music to reintroduce the Master of Music as a new primary degree to which students may be admitted without having previously been admitted to any degree in the University. The degree of Master of Music was abolished in 1982 (Reporter, 1981–82, p. 33). At that time the degree was only open to holders of the degree of Bachelor of Music (Mus.B.) and there had been no candidate for it for many years. The Faculty Board of Music were of the view that its purposes would be better served by the introduction of a course in Musical Composition and Musicology leading to the M.Phil. Degree. This course has now been replaced by three; one in Musical Composition, one in Musicology, and one in Ethnomusicology (attracting twelve students in total in 2008–09).

5. The Faculty Board have made the case that the introduction of a degree at Master’s level would not only provide a logical progression from the undergraduate course, but would open up the study of choral music to the international community. A Master of Music is likely to attract students from all over the world, especially the US, where choral singing has long modelled itself on the English tradition. The degree would allow the extraordinarily rich tradition of choral singing in the Colleges to function as a unique and unparalleled teaching resource for the University at graduate level, offering a significant opportunity for the University and its Colleges to co-operate in the pursuit of excellence. The Faculty Board are confident of attracting a target of fifteen students a year once the degree is established.

6. An increasing number of universities and conservatoires in the UK and abroad now offer graduate training in choral conducting through a Master’s degree; these include the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. The Council and General Board accept the case that the new degree should be designated as a M.Mus. to ensure its identity as a Professional Preparation Master’s degree, alongside other renowned Master of Music degrees. The title will also connect the degree to the long tradition relating music degrees to practical musical activities within the University, thereby enhancing its attractiveness for potential applicants.

7. A new Master’s degree at Cambridge would allow the Collegiate University, with its outstanding choral resources, to lead the field in this increasingly recognized area of study, and it would be the first course of its kind to offer training in choral conducting within the unique liturgical context of the English choral tradition. The Faculty Board, with the endorsement of the Council of the School, propose that an enhanced University Composition Fee be levied in recognition of the additional costs of providing the practical experience which is integral to the degree.

8. The Degree Committee of Music, supported by the Faculty Board, has proposed regulations for the M.Mus. as set out in the annex to this Report.

9. In bringing forward proposals for the M.Mus., the Faculty Board are mindful of the present structure and status of the Mus.B. Degree. The M.Mus. is intended to provide an advanced and intensive course of study that is grounded in practical music, building on the strengths of the University and the Colleges in this area, and its establishment would, in many respects, supersede the opportunities for integrating academic and practical musical studies that are currently offered by the Mus.B. It is therefore the intention of the Faculty Board of Music to consider critically the future of the Mus.B. as soon as possible after the institution of the new M.Mus.

10. The Council and the General Board recommend:

I. That the introduction of the degree of Master of Music as a primary degree in the University be approved, with effect from 1 October 2010.

II. That, if Recommendation I is approved, Schedule L to the Statutes and certain regulations be amended, with effect from the same date, as follows:

(A) SCHEDULE L to the Statutes (Degrees of the University)

By moving the degree of Master of Music from the list of degrees that are not Primary Degrees to the list of Primary Degrees.

(B) The regulations for University Composition Fees (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 159)


By inserting the following entry in Table 1 after the entry for the LL.M. Degree:


Annual Fee (£)

Home/EU/Island students


Overseas students


M.Mus. Degree

(not yet available)


(C) The regulations for forms of presentation for degrees (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 183)

Regulation 1.

By amending the heading of the paragraph relating to Master’s Degrees so as to read:

For the degree of Master of Arts, Advanced Study, Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Finance, Law, Letters, Mathematics, Music, Natural Sciences, Philosophy, Research, Science, Studies, or Surgery

(D) The Schedule appended to the regulations for forms of presentation for degrees and forms of admission to degrees (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 186)

By adding at the end of the second group of degrees the following entry:

For the M.Mus. Degree Magistri in Musica

(E) The regulations for the order of seniority of graduates (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 187)

By moving the entry for Masters of Music to below the entry for Masters of Philosophy.

(F) The Schedule to the regulations for the review procedure for examinations for undergraduate and certain other qualifications (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 240)

By inserting in the Schedule, above the entry for the M.Math. Degree, the entry:

M.Mus. Degree

(G) The general regulations for Examiners and Assessors (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 240 and Grace 2 of 7 October 2009)

(i)Regulation 9.

By inserting after the word ‘Mathematics,’ the word ‘Music’.

(ii)By inserting in the Schedule in (c) after the entry ‘M.A.St. ,’ the entry ‘M.Mus.’.

(H) The regulations for payments to Examiners and Assessors (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 241)

Regulation 3.

By inserting in the table of rates, after the entry for the M.Res. Degree, the entry:

(h) Examinations for the M.Mus. Degree

For acting as an Examiner or Assessor


For acting as an External Examiner (additional payment)


For marking answers to a complete written paper or other written work

prescribed by the regulations for a particular subject


For assessing a dissertation or thesis


For acting as an Examiner of a compulsory practical component


For acting as an Assessor of an optional practical component


19 October 2009

Alison Richard, Vice-Chancellor

M. R. Clark

Vanessa Lawrence

David Abulafia

S. J. Cowley

J. F. Li

Ross Anderson

M. J. Daunton

D. Lowry

N. Bampos

A. M. Donald

Debbie Lowther

R. J. Barnes

R. J. Dowling

Mavis McDonald

Nigel Brown

David Good

Rachael Padman

William Brown

Christopher Hum

David Simon

T. Chigbo

F. P. Kelly

Joan M. Whitehead

7 October 2009

Alison Richard, Vice-Chancellor

Andrew Gamble

J. G. P. Sissons

N. Bampos

C. A. Gilligan

Sam Wakeford

William Brown

Rachael Padman

I. H. White

Philip Ford

J. Rallison

Yang Xia

Simon Franklin

Jeremy Sanders



1. A candidate for the M.Mus. Examination must be approved by the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Music.

2. The Degree Committee may approve as a candidate for the M.Mus. Examination any candidate who has satisfied the Committee that by reason of previous study he or she is qualified to engage in postgraduate work in Choral Studies.

3. Applications for approval under Regulation 2 shall be sent to the Secretary of the Degree Committee so as to arrive not later than 31 March next preceding the date on which the applicant wishes her or his candidature to begin, provided that the Committee shall have power to consider applications submitted after that date.

4. No student shall be a candidate for the M.Mus. Examination, or for any part thereof, on more than one occasion, or for the M.Mus. Examination and another University examination in the same term.

5. A candidate for the M.Mus. Examination shall pursue in the University, under the direction of a Supervisor appointed by the Degree Committee, a course of study extending over three terms.

6. The Faculty Board of Music shall announce not later than the end of the Easter Term each year the list of variable topics and set works to be covered in the course during the following academical year.

7. The M.Mus. Examination shall consist of four elements, divided into three sections as follows:

Section 1: Choral conducting

The examination shall consist of the rehearsal and direction, over a period of thirty minutes, of performances of two pieces chosen by the Examiners on the day of the examination from a list of six announced by the Faculty Board.

Section 2: Seminar course

The examination shall consist of a written paper of three hours’ duration, prescribed by the Examiners. Candidates shall answer three questions from at least five topics announced by the Faculty Board; each answer shall relate to a different topic.

Section 3: Options

Each candidate shall choose two options from three: (i) an extended essay of not more than 6,000 words, including notes but excluding appendices; (ii) a critical edition of a piece of choral music unavailable in a modern scholarly edition; (iii) an organ recital of thirty minutes in length, for which a set work will be announced by the Faculty Board; or, alternatively, a performance as continuo accompanist, for which scores will be provided for the candidates in advance of the examination.

The Examiners shall have power to examine a candidate viva voce on any or all of the elements contained within Sections 1–3 of the examination.

8. In order to satisfy the Examiners, candidates must achieve a pass mark in all three sections of the Examination.

9. Each candidate shall undertake two College placements, each of one term’s duration, with an all-male choir and a mixed-voice choir, upon which the Directors of Music of the participating Colleges shall each write a report for the consideration of the Examiners. The Examiners may take the reports into account when awarding a final mark or a mark of distinction.

10. The Faculty Board shall have power to issue supplementary regulations determining the scope and manner of assessment of the examination, and shall be empowered to amend such supplementary regulations from time to time as they may think fit, due care being taken that sufficient notice is given of any change.

11. The Faculty Board shall nominate for each academical year such number of Examiners and Assessors as they may deem sufficient, including a resident member of the Senate as Chairman of Examiners, and a Specialist External Examiner.

12. The names of the candidates who have satisfied the Examiners shall be arranged in alphabetical order in a single class. A mark of distinction shall be affixed to the names of those students whose work is considered by the Examiners to be of special merit. The Chairman of Examiners shall communicate the marks of all candidates to the Registrary.

13. While studying in the University for the M.Mus. Examination, a candidate shall pay the appropriate University Composition Fee for each term of such study.

14. A student who has satisfactorily completed the course and has satisfied the Examiners in the M.Mus. Examination shall be entitled to proceed to the degree of M.Mus.

15. A student who has taken the M.Mus. Examination shall not be entitled to count any part of the period during which he or she has been a candidate for that examination towards a course of research for the degree of Ph.D., or M.Litt.

University Careers Service: Annual Report 2008–09

The Annual Report of the University Careers Service, 2008–09 (published September 2009) can now be found on the Careers Service website at