When I applied to university, I was looking for a department that could support and encourage my academic and creative interests. I wanted to study at a university that was passionate about all musical disciplines: performance, composition, and musicology. There are several ways that you get academic support within the Music Department at York. So, read on to find out what these are!
At York, you have both an academic and a performance supervisor for the duration of your time here. Sometimes these will be two different academics, but I have the same person for both roles! You meet twice a term, though you can contact your supervisor at any time. This is an opportunity to discuss how your studies are going, reach out for help and ask questions. Supervisions are there for academic purposes, but they’re also a fantastic first port of call for pastoral and practical needs.
Supervisions can also happen online, so international students can still receive support even if they are not able to be on campus. I recently set up a Musicology Forum within the department, and I couldn’t have done this without the support of my supervisor. He talked me through how to set it up and how to go about telling other students about it.
In your third year, all students undertake a ‘Solo Project’. This is a completely unique feature of studying at York. You’re essentially given the artistic freedom to conduct research through a dissertation or project, in a scholarly and creative manner. You get a dedicated supervisor for this project too. Usually, they will have similar interests to you and some level of expertise on your chosen topic. All the academic staff at York are very friendly, so if you do choose York, then you can look forward to getting to know your supervisor(s) really well and learning lots from them!
Tutorials are subject-specific, as you have tutorials in relation to your chosen modules. So, you won’t have the same tutors all year, unlike your supervisor. The format and number of tutorials varies depending on the modules you choose. For example, they could be one-to-one or take place in small groups. I’ve had a mix of PhD students and lecturers/professors as my tutor for various modules.
In tutorials, you can discuss the assessment(s) for your module, ask questions and get advice. You can also have a tutorial after you receive your mark, so you can discuss what went well and want you can improve on. I find these incredibly helpful as you can use this feedback to do better in other pieces of work. Also, they show that the Department is passionate about helping you achieve your potential.
So, whether you consider yourself a musicologist, performer, composer, or even all three, you are encouraged to pursue your interests here at York. The Department understands that you are an individual with unique interests and experiences. So, you will get pastoral and academic support throughout your entire time here. You will always know where to go to get advice or simply talk to a friendly face. These include your supervisors, tutors, or people you meet along the way!