Music Education

Program Overview

Situated spectacularly at the western edge of the culturally vibrant city of Vancouver, the University of British Columbia offers exciting opportunities for graduate study in Music Education.

UBC graduate programs in Music Education are designed to meet a variety of needs and interests, including those of the busy professional teacher, the researcher, the administrator, the curriculum developer, and the future university professor. Specializations include conducting, music pedagogy, early childhood music, curriculum development, cultural studies, music and media studies, music and related technologies, and teacher education.

Music Education faculty members have a wide range of research interests and specialties, using methods that are both qualitative (based in philosophy, history, psychology, sociology, arts-based educational research, and a/r/tography) and quantitative (involving quasi-experimental research, survey research, and large-scale multivariate designs). Courses across the university are also available to our graduate students, and cross-faculty inquiry is actively encouraged.

UBC Music Education graduates have successful careers and have risen to leadership positions in North America, Europe, and Asia.

The UBC Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy (EDCP) offers Master of Education (MEd) and Master of Arts (MA) programs with specialization in Music Education and a PhD program in Curriculum Studies with concentration in Music Education.

Note: If you are interested in earning a Bachelor’s degree (BEd) in Music Education and gaining certification to teach in schools, check this webpage: Bachelor of Education (BEd).

Our 30-credit master’s programs (MEd and MA) include these courses:

  • EDUC 500 – Research Methods in Education (3 credits)
  • EDCP 562 – Introduction to Curriculum Issues and Theories (3)
  • EDCP 505 – Research in Music Education (3)
  • EDCP 526a – Theory and Principles of Music Education (History and Philosophy) (3)
  • EDCP 526b – Theory and Principles of Music Education (Psychology and Sociology) (3)
  • Elective courses (selected with your advisor from courses in Music Education, Music, and/or other areas to meet your needs and interests)
  • Final Master of Education (MEd) paper/project (3 credits) or Master of Arts (MA) thesis (3–9 credits) – Topic chosen by you, in consultation with your adviser

(Note: Students planning to teach in schools outside North America after completing the program may be exempted from completing the final project or thesis.)

For general information on MEd and MA program requirements in all subject areas, check this webpage: MA and MEd programs.

Our doctoral program (PhD) is variable in length depending on your background and interests, and it involves a period of at least one year of coursework in residence at the university. The program includes doctoral seminars, courses in research methods, plus courses in your specific area of specialization. The program concludes with your completion of a dissertation on a topic you have chosen in consultation with your graduate adviser. For general information on PhD program requirements in all areas of concentration, check this webpage: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

As of 2014 the application for the 2015 start will be December 1, 2014.  To complete and submit your application online, click here: How do I apply?


The Graduate Program Assistant for the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy (EDCP) is Alan Jay, and he is the person most qualified to advise you on administrative matters concerning applications and admission requirements to Music Education graduate programs at UBC, as well as scholarship and assistantship opportunities. He can be reached by phone at 604.822.5367 or via email at Graduate students may also consult with the Graduate Student Advising Team for advice on program-related questions and other issues.


Full-time students are eligible for service positions, including Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs), Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs), and Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAAs). GTA positions are only available to doctoral students and are advertised in the spring while GAA positions are available on a limited basis every year and are competitive. Decisions on appointments are made in the spring or summer of each academic year depending on the position and usually start in September or January. GRA positions are offered by faculty members to assist with research and are offered based on funding and faculty members’ research needs.

Application Review

We evaluate every application on its own merits, taking into consideration the applicant’s teaching experience, music performance experience, statement of intent, previous grades, writing sample, and references (at least one of which must be from a university professor). The number of students accepted into our masters and doctoral programs varies from year to year, based on the number of qualified applicants. More than 30 students, at various stages of degree completion, are presently in our Music Education graduate programs.


If you have specific questions about the content of graduate programs in Music Education that are not addressed on this Webpage, you may want to speak with a faculty member. Send an email message listing a few possible dates and blocks of time to, and you will receive an email reply indicating when a faculty member will be available to talk with you by phone or on campus.

Area Coordinator



Sessional Instructors

Click here for a list of current Sessional Instructors.