Course information




1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

This unique programme combines music psychology with neuroscience, focusing on both the biological and cognitive aspects of musical behaviour.

  • The MSc Music, Mind and Brain (MMB) is highly interdisciplinary and draws on expertise from leading figures in the field, in areas ranging from music cognition, cognitive neuroscience, computational modelling, music education and music therapy.
  • As a student on the MSc, you will learn about topics in music psychology (from perception to cognition) and the cognitive neuroscience of music, and will acquire all the necessary skills to pursue your own high-quality research.

Teaching staff

  • The MSc Music, Mind and Brain was founded by Professor Lauren Stewart.
  • Current programme directors Dr Daniel Müllensiefen and Dr Diana Omigie are joined by an expert teaching faculty, all of whom have international profiles within the fields of music psychology and/or the neuroscience of music.
  • Our Eminent Invited Speaker Series brings world-leading researchers to Goldsmiths to present their latest research to our students.

What kind of project can I do?

We offer a range of research projects, drawing on a variety of approaches: behavioural, computational, neuroscientific. Students are also invited to propose a project of their own choice, providing appropriate supervision can be offered.

If a student has a contact with an external supervisor, it may be possible to arrange for project supervision outside Goldsmiths with the involvement of a faculty member as co-supervisor. Examples of previous projects include:

  • Exploring Absolute Pitch in Children and Young People with Visual Impairment
  • An fMRI Study Investigating how Music Impacts on the Perception of Emotion
  • The Influence of Native Language on Rhythmic Grouping
  • Neural Correlates of Melodic Expectancy

See a list of publications arising from Music, Mind, and Brain theses and collaborations.

Further information

This journal article from Psychomusicology outlines the focus and contents of the programme.

Keep up to date with our research via our Facebook page.

Music, Mind and Brain Podcast.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Diana Omigie.

What you'll study

Compulsory courses

Module title Credits
Music Perception 30 credits
Cognitive Neuroscience of Music 30 credits
Foundations of Neuroscience 15 credits
Statistics and Experimental Design 15 credits
Research Design and Analysis 15 credits
Research Skills 15 credits
Research Project 60 Credits


Written examinations; written coursework (essays); oral presentations; research dissertation.

Download the programme specification.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

The MSc Music, Mind and Brain is a truly interdisciplinary programme that attracts students from diverse backgrounds who want to complement their knowledge on music research, neuroscience or cognitive psychology. As a general rule, you should have a good background in at least one of these areas and preferably have already carried out a piece of empirical research.

You should either have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in Psychology OR a background in music plus demonstrable knowledge and/or experience of empirical research. Pre-sessional courses will be offered to those who lack the necessary background or need a refresher in Statistics.

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2024/2025 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £11170
  • Home - part-time: £5585
  • International - full-time: £20460

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time under a student visa. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your academic qualifications
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively a copy of your academic reference
  • Copies of your educational transcripts or certificates
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online. Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply 

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September.

The deadline for receiving the first round of applications is 1 February. All applications received by this date will be considered and decisions made by 28 February.

Further deadlines of 1 April and 1 July will then be used, with decisions announced at the end of the month respectively. Note that as places will become limited beyond the 1 February deadline, application in the first round is advised.

If you are applying for external funding from one of the Research Councils, make sure you submit your application by the deadline they've specified.

Selection process 

Because the programme is highly interdisciplinary, we appreciate that some candidates may not have a strong background in all the key areas (psychology, neuroscience, research methods). However, we expect all applicants to be familiar with some of the music psychology literature and concepts in empirical research.

Find out more about applying.


Teaching staff on the programme

Dr Diana Omigie, Director of the MSc in Music, Mind and Brain programme
Research interests: Music cognition, Music and emotion, Aesthetic experience of music, Neuroimaging

Dr Daniel Müllensiefen, Co-Director of the MSc in Music, Mind and Brain programme
Research interests: Measurement and Development of Musical Skills and Expertise, Musical Memory, Similarity Perception, Computational Modelling of Music Cognition 

Dr. Guido Orgs, Lecturer in Psychology

Research interests: Action and body perception, Neuroaesthetics of Dance and the Performing Arts, Joint Action, Movement-based interventions 

Professor Lauren Stewart, Professor of Psychology
Research interests: Congenital Amusia, Learning and Expertise, Neuroimaging

Professor Pam Heaton, Professor of Psychology

Research interests: Musical cognition, abnormal development, autism, savants

Professor Joydeep Bhattacharya, Professor of Psychology
Research interests: Neuronal Synchrony and Cross-Modality of Music Perception, EEG

Dr. Devin Terhune, Associate Lecturer

Research interests: Metacognition, Consciousness, Mind Wandering, Synaesthesia, Cognitive control


Eminent invited speakers (since 2008)

  • Dr Joyce Chen, Deptartment of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford
  • Professor Stephen Clift, Professor of Health Education, Research Director of the Sidney de Haan Research Centre, Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Professor Annabel  J. Cohen, Director of the Auditory Perception & Music Cognition Research & Training Laboratory, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada
  • Professor Ian Cross, Director of the Centre for Music and Science, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Simon Durrant, Research Associate, Neuroscience and Aphasia Research Unit, Manchester University
  • Jamie Forth, Research Fellow, Department of Computing, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Robert Fulford, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester
  • Dr Shinichi Furuya, Institute for Music Physiology and Musicians´ Medicine, Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media
  • Dr Bruno Gingras, Research Fellow, Department of Computing, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Dr Jessica Grahn, Research Fellow, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Alinka Greasley, Lecturer in Music, University of Leeds
  • Dr Mick Grierson, Lecturer, department of Computing, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Dr Manon Grube, Research Associate, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University
  • Professor Andrea R Halpern, Professor of Psychology, Bucknell University, USA
  • Professor David Hargreaves, Professor of Education, University of Roehampton
  • Professor David Huron: Professor of Music and Head of the Cognitive and Systematic Musicology Lab, University of Ohio, USA
  • Dr Stefan Koelsch, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Sussex
  • Dr Alexandra Lamont, Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, Keele University
  • Professor Raymond MacDonald, Professor of Music Psychology, Glasgow Caledonion Institute
  • Dr Karen Mattock, Department of Psychology, Lancaster University
  • Dr Matthias Mauch, Royal Academy Research Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London
  • Dr Josh McDermott - Research Associate, Center for Neural Science & Howard Hughes Medical Institute, New York University.
  • Prof Steven Mithen, Professor of Archeology, University of Reading
  • Dr Iain Morley, Lecturer in Palaeoanthropology and Human Sciences, and a Fellow of St Hugh's College
  • Professor Adam Ockelford, Professor of Education, Roehampton University
  • Rohani Omar, Clinical Research Fellow at the Dementia Research Centre, Queen Square
  • Professor Larry Parsons, Professor of Psychology, University of Sheffield
  • Michelle Phillips, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Helen Prior, Music Department, Kings's College London
  • Dr Katrin Schulze, Research Fellow, Institute of Child Health, University College, London
  • Professor John Sloboda, Emeritus Professor, School of Psychology, University of Keele
  • Dr Neta Spiro, Lecturer, Centre for Music and Science, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Renee Timmers, Lecturer in Music Psychology, University of Sheffield
  • Dr Martine Turgeon, Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Lancaster University
  • Dr Peter Vuust, Assistant Professor, Aarhus University and Royal Academy of Music
  • Professor Aaron Williamon, Centre for Performance Science, Royal College of Music, London

Guest lecturers (since 2008)

  • Dori Berger, Music Therapist
  • Toni Brennan, Visting Tutor, Department of Psychology, University of East London
  • Dr Gianna Cochini, Lecturer in Neuropsychology, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Dr Bruno Gingras, Research Fellow, Department of Computing, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Professor John Gruzelier, Profesorial Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Dr Elisabeth Hill, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Dr Alice Jones, Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Mats Küssner, Music Department, King's College, University of London
  • Joseph Leach, Research Assistant, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Dr Chris Lee, Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Dr Wendy Magee, International Fellow in Music Therapy, Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, London
  • Manuela Marin, Research Associate, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Dr Marcus Pearce, Research Fellow, Department of Computing, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Dr Karin Rosenkranz, Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, Institue of Neurology, University College, London
  • Professor Joseph Sanders, Professor of Oboe, Guildhall School of Music
  • Dr Mirjam James Schlemmer, Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice
  • Dr Jose van Velzen, Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Dr Jason Warren, Institute of Neurology, National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery
  • Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education, Institute of Education, University of London
  • Professor Aaron Williamson, Centre for Performance Science, Royal College of Music, London


Staff research

You can keep up to date with our latest research on our facebook page.

Student research projects

The following projects, conducted by past students on the MMB programme, exemplify the range of approaches and questions that can be addressed in the final year project.

  • Reliability and Validity of Gold-MSI, and links between Musicality and Intelligence - Amit Avron
  • Does musical excellence make you sexier? An investigation into the sexual selection hypothesis in relation to music - Kathryn Casey
  • Can music be used functionally to promote creativity and analytical thinking within an office environment: An investigation in to the role of physiological arousal and working memory - Christopher Coupe
  • Atypical processing of pitch: A behavioural and electrophysiological exploration of the effects of autism traits and musical training - Lauren Hadley
  • Exploring the Levitin Effect: Evidence for Absolute Pitch Abilities in the General Population - Kelly Jakubowski
  • Spatial perception in real-life acoustics: A study of perceptual auditory information of reverberation and its effect in space perception in Musicians and Non Musicians - Neo Kaplanis
  • Sensorimotor synchronization of non-nutritive sucking to an auditory tempo in term infants - Trina Liew
  • Neural Correlates of Melodic Expectation in Musicians and Non-musicians - Ruth Reveal
  • Investigating a causal role of the supramarginal gyrus for pitch memory using transcranial direct current stimulation - Nora Schaal
  • Strategies For What Affects Musical Working Memory: Articulatory Suppression and Memory for Tonal Material - Lindsey Thompson

Suggested reading

Acquainting yourself with some of the recommended reading below will equip you well for the course in general

We recommend that you familiarise yourself with some of the music cognition literature and concepts in scientific research before starting the course in September.


Some general advice about suitable background knowledge for a postgraduate programme in music psychology can be found on Dr Victoria Williamson's Music Psychology website.

Music Cognition

Foundations of Neuroscience

  • Gazzaniga, M., Ivry, R.B., & Mangun, G.R. (2002), Cognitive Neuroscience. The Biology of the Mind. London: Norton & Co. (Chapters 1 – 3)
  • Kandel, E.R. & Schwartz, J.H. (1981), Principles of neural science. London: Edward Arnold.
  • Purves, D. et al. (2012) Neuroscience (5th Edition). Sunderland: Sinauer Associates, Inc. Publishers.
  • Ward, J. (2006). The student's guide to cognitive neuroscience. Psychology Press.

Experimental Design and Statistics

  • Field, A. & Hole, G. (2007). How to design and report experiments. Sage.
  • Field, A. (2005). Discovering statistics using SPSS (2nd ed.).
  • Sage. Howell, D.C. (2009). Statistical Methods for Psychology (7th Edition). London: Duxbury.
  • Tabachnick, B. G. & Fidell, L. S. (2013). Using multivariate statistics (6th Ed.).
  • Pearson. Allen, R. (2017). Statistics and Experimental Design for Psychologists: A Model Comparison Approach. World Scientific Publishing Company.

Research Design and Analysis

  • Abelson, P. (1995). Statistics as Principled Argument. Hillsdale, NJ, and Hove, UK: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Bordens & Abbott (2008). Research Design and Methods: A Process Approach (7th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.
  • Willig, C. (2013). Introducing Qualitative Research in Psychology. Open University Press.



The programme will appeal to you if you are interested in pursuing doctoral research in this area or if you are already a music professional wishing to approach music scientifically. 

Graduates from the Music, Mind and Brain programme have gone on to work in one of the following areas:

  • Academia: Either pursuing a PhD, working in research position or engaged with university-level teaching
  • Music and media industry
  • Music practitioner or performer
  • Music teacher

Other careers that would be informed by this programme include music therapy, neuro-rehabilitation, music consultancy and music and adverstising.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

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