The Beatles: Music Industry and Heritage MA

  • Programme duration: Full-time: 12 months   Part-time: 24 months
  • Programme start: September 2023
  • Entry requirements: A 2:1 undergraduate degree or higher (or equivalent) in any discipline. Relevant work experience will also be considered.
Student standing in front of a statue of the Beatles


Based in Liverpool - birthplace of The Beatles, and a UNESCO City of Music – this programme aims to reframe and extend contemporary discourse about the Beatles beyond the historical and musicological into a broader and more robust 21st-century context.

You will explore how today The Beatles, their music and their story are inextricably bound up within an increasing number of creative and cultural industries including (but not limited to): music, media and social media, tourism, and heritage. Through interactions with the Liverpool Beatles tourism and heritage sectors, you will experience first-hand the role and significance The Beatles and their legacy contribute to these industries at local, regional and national levels.

You will have the opportunity to hear from and speak with guest lecturers, as well as visit and explore sites and venues in and around Liverpool and Merseyside that were formative in The Beatles' early years.

The Department of Music is an established centre for the study of both The Beatles and Popular Music. It comprises the Institute of Popular Music – the world’s first specialist centre for the study of popular music – and counts renowned experts in the Beatles amongst its academic staff, including staff who sit on the City of Liverpool’s Beatles Legacy Group.

Why Music?

Lively study environment

As a postgraduate student you'll be able to attend research seminars involving guest speakers from many disciplines and subdisciplines. You'll also be closely involved in concerts performed by professional musicians and students and, if appropriate to your specialism, will have opportunities to perform in our exciting new venue, the Tung Auditorium.

Performance culture

The Department of Music offers an engaging environment for performers, with ample opportunity to get involved in performances. Our Lunchtime Concert Series regularly showcases student work.

Institute of Popular Music (IPM)

Our Institute of Popular Music (IPM) was the first academic centre created specifically to study popular music – and where better than in the home of the Beatles? It also boasts an enviable archive of donated recorded material.

The Interdisciplinary Centre for Composition and Technology (ICCaT)

The Department of Music is home to ICCaT, which investigates how music composition and sonic artforms intersect with new technology, performance and perception. ICCaT's research is focussed both on musical practice as well as developing technological resources and software-based tools for creative practitioners and analysis

Tung Auditorium

The Tung Auditorium (opened 2022) is a 400-seat, acoustically optimised music performance space. Its artistic programme includes orchestral and choral music, jazz, folk, pop, electro-acoustic and experimental music. It is a high-performance acoustic space that provides an ideal focus for performance activities within the Department of Music; the concert hall includes specialist instruments such as orchestral percussion, two Steinway D pianos and a magnificent double manual harpsichord. The Tung functions as a public-facing space for a diverse programme of concerts throughout the year.

Working in partnership with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

We are intrinsically connected to the city, working closely with musical and cultural partners, including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. This particular partnership extends across the spectrum of the Department’s activities, with the Orchestra’s musicians making frequent visits to campus to provide activities which include postgraduate composition workshops and specialist performance masterclasses. Liverpool Philharmonic players frequently participate in MMus ensemble assessments.

Strong research culture

Across the department, our research activity has a strong interdisciplinary nature and is concentrated in three cross-cutting areas:

  • Critical and Contextual Approaches
  • Creative Practice
  • Media and Industry Studies.

Research students participate fully in our research activity. They present papers at the department's research seminars, and work as Teaching Assistants within the School (with pedagogical training and support provided). There are also weekly research, career, and teaching seminars for all postgrads.