Music Education

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.

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).

All graduate program applicants in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy (EDCP) must meet the minimum entry requirements established by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, which oversees graduate work at UBC. Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements will be considered for admission only in extraordinary circumstances.

Master of Arts

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requirements, the program normally requires:

    1. One-two year/s of teacher education; or a four-year Bachelor’s degree in Education. In special circumstances teacher education may be waived for those applicants who have a university degree with sufficient standing and experience related to their proposed field of study.
    2. Normally 18 credits of senior course work or a professional concentration in the area of interest.
    3. Normally two years’ teaching experience or other relevant professional experience.

Master of Education

Same as for the MA. However, applicants for MEd must be inclined to focusing their studies on application of educational theory in their professional practice.

Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requirements, the Curriculum Studies graduate program requires a master’s degree with high standing in a relevant educational discipline and evidence of potential to carry out research.

    1. A Master’s degree with high standing in a relevant educational discipline,
    2. A sample of work demonstrating scholarly writing,
    3. A letter of intent describing the focus of the proposed research,
    4. The support of three referees, one of which must be from a member of your thesis supervisory committee.
    5. For students possessing a thesis-based Master’s degree from other than a relevant educational discipline, it may be possible to proceed into the Ph.D. with evidence of education experience in theory and practice.

Applicants to the doctoral program are encouraged to connect with and consult and Music Education faculty member before an application is submitted.


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.


Assistantships

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.

Master of Arts

Our 30-credit master’s programs (MEd and MA) include the following 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) orMaster 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.


Master of Education

The program consists of a minimum of 30 credits. Students select either a program consisting entirely of courses (30 credits) or 27 credits of coursework plus a graduating project (3 credits). A maximum of 6 credits may be taken at the 300-400 level.


Doctor of Philosophy

The PhD in Curriculum Studies is a flexible, research-oriented doctoral program designed for students interested in the organization of learning within educational settings. If you are admitted, you will take your first doctoral seminar in the first term and second doctoral seminar in the second term of the first year. In addition to these six credits, you will need two research methodology and two specialization courses (18 credits total). You will select your courses in consultation with your supervisor(s) or program coordinator, based on your prior academic work and research interests. Students in the PhD program typically reach candidacy by the end of the second year of their studies. In exceptional circumstances, students are allowed to take additional year to reach candidacy. Normally, students devote three to four years of developing, carrying out research, and writing dissertation to make an original contribution to knowledge in the area of specialization.

The university allows doctoral students up to six years to complete program requirements.

Please browse our admissions page for more information and applications to the Department.

The EDCP 601 and 602 doctoral seminars are core academic experiences for students and foster a collaborative environment for learning and research. All students are required to successfully complete both EDCP 601 and EDCP 602. EDCP 601 examines the emergence of contemporary conceptions of curriculum and pedagogy, looking across various historical and theoretical influences. Emphasis is placed on analysis of varied conceptual, philosophical, and political perspectives, explicit and tacit rationales for formal education, and consequent principles that infuse conceptions and enactments of curriculum and pedagogy. EDCP 602 unpacks the epistemological and ontological positions of various paradigms used in contemporary studies of curriculum and pedagogy. These include hermeneutic, critical, feminist, and post-structuralist thought. The course examines how scholars of curriculum and pedagogy interpret educational events, focusing on how methods and claims are informed by notions of truth, reality, and subjectivity.

In consultation with a supervisor(s) or program coordinator, students in the PhD program are expected to take minimum six credits of courses in their specialization so that they are familiar with current theory and research. Most of the courses in the student’s specialization are completed prior to reaching candidacy. PhD students typically take additional courses to give them the breadth and depth of understanding of contemporary theories, issues and debates expected of those pursuing the highest degree awarded by the university. These courses are recommended when they are considered a necessary contribution to the student's scholarship.

PhD students are expected to be familiar with the various methods used in contemporary educational research and to become expert in the particular methods they use in their own research. Developing proficiency in research methods—including the strengths and weaknesses of each approach—normally requires enrolling in available courses and reading widely in the research methods literature. Before research proposals are approved, students are expected to demonstrate that they have acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully carry out their research plan. Students are required to complete a minimum of six credits in research methods courses at 500 – 600 level (excluding EDUC 500 or equivalent.)

All students in the PhD program are required to successfully complete a comprehensive examination after most of their coursework is completed and before they present their research proposal. The examination is prepared in consultation with the student’s research supervisory committee or program advisory, depending on when it is taken. Details about the comprehensive examination and choices that students make related to the format of the examination can be found at https://edcp-educ.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2013/08/EDCP_Guidelines_Comp_Exam_Dec2010.pdf.

Students develop research proposals which must be presented to and approved by a research supervisory committee. The committee comprises of a research supervisor and at least two other committee members.

Students are recommended to be admitted to candidacy upon completing the required courses, successful completion of comprehensive examination, and successfully defending their research proposal.

The PhD dissertation is an original piece of research that contributes to knowledge in the student’s area of specialization. Research supervisory committees provide direction to the student, read and critique drafts of the dissertation, and, when the dissertation is complete, participate in the final oral examination.

All doctoral students are full-time students and are expected to engage in their studies on a full-time basis. All students must register when they begin their studies. Students must remain continuously registered until the degree is completed, except for periods of time for which the student is away on an approved leave of absence. Failure to register for two consecutive terms may result in the student being required to withdraw. Each student’s program of study must be approved by the home graduate program. All doctoral students are assessed fees according to Schedule A. Programs are paid for on a per-degree rather than a per-course basis, and there is no limit on the number of courses taken or audited during a program. Students have six years to graduate from the doctoral program, with extensions granted only under exceptional circumstances. A one-year parental leave from the program is available, and requests made for other special circumstances are considered.

For more information on requirements, see the doctoral program guides:
PhD Program Guidelines

For questions, please email the Graduate Program Assistant.

HOW TO APPLY

The most important first step in applying for admission to our graduate program is finding and approaching a potential supervisor in the department. This gives you an opportunity to discuss the research you are interested in completing as a graduate student. We make every effort to match an applicant with a supervisor. However, if there are no supervisors available, we will not be able to offer an admission to an applicant. Anyone interested in applying for admission to graduate program in our department is advised to visit the Curriculum and Pedagogy website via the Faculty page to find faculty whose research aligns with their interests. There is a space in the application form for you to list your preferred supervisors.

Submit your application online

Complete the online application. To be considered for admission, submit your completed application including all supporting documents, by the deadlines noted below. Note: the online application will be open September 1.

For detailed application process and requirements, click here.

Please follow the instructions on the online application portal.

Early submissions are encouraged.

 

  • The department deadline for receipt of completed, master program applications is December 1.
    References are due January 2.
  • The department deadline for receipt of completed, doctoral program applications is December 1.
    References are due December 2.
Document Type How to Submit
1. Scanned copies of all official transcripts and degree certificates (if any); Online
2. Three letters of recommendation (one of which for doctoral applicant must be from a member of the thesis supervisory committee); Online
3. CV/resume; Online
4. Evidence of English language proficiency; to be submitted directly to the Department of Curriculum and Pedagopgy
5. Sample of Writing for doctoral applicants (no more than ten pages); online
6. Permanent Resident Card (both sides), when applicable; online
7. Any additional information. by email attachment to edcp.grad@ubc.ca
Transcripts & Degree Certificates

Applicants will be asked to upload transcripts with their grade key (usually located on the back of the transcript). Even if the applicant does not yet have final marks on the transcript, we still require a copy as evidence of registration and academic progress (we do not accept printed student’s records).

Upload scanned transcripts and degree certificates (if any) online. Please be advised that if you are admitted you will be required to submit original transcripts and degree certificates (if any) in the SEALED and ENDORSED envelopes as soon as possible after admission is offered. Students are not allowed to register in courses until this requirement is met.

Statement of Intent for MA and PhD Applicants

In the application portal, you will be given the opportunity to add a Statement of Intent (maximum 2 pages) describing why you choose to pursue graduate studies at UBC and in which area of research you want to concentrate your work. For more information, click here.

Statement of Intent for MEd Applicants

Please write a summary of your reasons for wishing to enroll in the program of your choice, and what it is that you hope to achieve in completing this program.

Letters of Recommentdations

We require three letters of recommendation (one of which for doctoral applicant must be from a member of the thesis supervisory committee). See detailed requirements.

Referees will be able to upload their letters once you have submitted your application, so please ensure that they are able to submit by the deadlines noted above and that you provide them with appropriate timelines.

Evidence of English Language Proficiency

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language prior to the application deadline in December.
Test scores must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application, and official test scores ordered from the testing agency is required.

TOEFL minimum scores
Test Format Minimum Score
Internet-based 92 (minimum 22 on each component)
Computer-based 237
Paper 580

TOEFL Institution Code: 0965,
TOEFL Department Code: 85

Detailed language requirements and other acceptable English proficiency tests

Permanent Residents

Permanent Residents are required to provide proof of immigration status and date of landing by submitting a copy of the Record of Landing Form or a copy of both the front and back of their Permanent Resident card.

Additional Information

You are welcome to submit additional information, regarding professional employment experience, publications, or awards, which you feel should be taken into account in considering your application. These can be sent by email attachment to edcp.grad@ubc.ca.

Support

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 edcp.grad@ubc.ca. Graduate students may also consult with the Graduate Student Advising Team for advice on program-related questions and other issues.

Questions?

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 edcp.grad@ubc.ca and you will receive an email reply indicating when a faculty member will be available to talk with you by phone or on campus.

Mailing Address

Department of Curriculum & Pedagogy
Faculty of Education
University of British Columbia
Scarfe Building 2125 Main Mall
Vancouver BC V6T 1Z4 Canada

Important Numbers

Apply for graduate programs:
Alan Jay
604.822.5367
Email: edcp.grad@ubc.ca

Apply for undergraduate programs:
Contact the Teacher Education Office


Download a copy of the Music Education Programs’ information brochure.

Area Coordinator

Faculty

 

Sessional Instructors

Click here for a list of current Sessional Instructors.