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Exploring the university to career transitions of UK music postgraduate students

Slight, Claire Louise (2015) Exploring the university to career transitions of UK music postgraduate students. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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This thesis explores the experience of studying taught music master’s degrees by observing both student and higher education perspectives. Little is currently known about the career transitions of taught postgraduate students, as until recently research has tended to focus upon undergraduates and research postgraduates. Additionally, much of the research on musicians’ career transitions has considered music education and performance students. The current thesis focuses upon musicology and music psychology degrees which were non-vocational and lacked compulsory music-making course content. A two stage study was conducted. Stage one involved longitudinal interviews with sixteen student participants who were all enrolled at three English institutions at the beginning of the study. Participants took part in four semi-structured interviews at six month intervals. The aim of these interviews was to observe the students’ experiences during and after their master’s study. Alongside this, stage two aimed to explore the higher education perspective by interviewing course tutors and careers advisors attached to each of the students’ courses. Qualitative analytical methods were used and a social psychology perspective was taken when considering the student experience. This approach highlights the reciprocal interaction between the self and the social environment. The career transition involved a period of personal and vocational development during which individuals were transformed through learning. Participants were motivated to realise a greater sense of personal fulfilment by pursuing their interests and achieving personal goals. The participants’ confidence in their professional practice increased and they developed greater self-awareness which was beneficial when deciding upon career plans. However, students’ coping methods and the extent of their exploration impacted upon their experiences of studying and the career transition. The results highlight the need for clear pre-enrolment information and flexible course structures in order to support students’ developing professional identities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Transitions, career decisions, student experience, identity development, musicians, IPA, qualitative
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Music (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.686463
Depositing User: Miss Claire Louise Slight
Date Deposited: 24 May 2016 12:22
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2018 13:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13219

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