The MA in Music (Ethnomusicology) introduces a range of methodologies in relation to the study of music in its cultural contexts.
As well as engaging with musical practices in various geographic or cultural areas, the programme acknowledges the importance of urban ethnomusicology and the usefulness of applying ethnomusicological approaches to Western art and popular music.
You have the opportunity to engage with key ethnographic methodologies, such as interviewing, videoing and video editing, and musical performance as a research technique.
The innovative structure of the programme allows you to specialise in one of these areas if you wish, leading to a final project that itself may have a significant practical component, and you have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork projects as part of your studies.
A written dissertation option is also available, allowing you to engage in depth with an issue that interests you.
The programme appeals to a wide range of students hoping to develop their intellectual skills in music, particularly those with interests in music as a cultural phenomenon.
It's exceptionally useful, for example, for students preparing for further postgraduate research, or for those considering careers in teaching, journalism, arts administration or the culture industries, or working with government agencies or charities abroad.
Find out more about the MA in Music.
You choose three modules from a list that currently includes:
Ethnomusicology Major Project
You'll develop an awareness of key ethnographic methodologies, investigation and evaluation skills, intellectual skills in music and specific research skills.
The programme will be exceptionally useful for, for example, students preparing for further postgraduate research, or for those considering careers in teaching, journalism, arts administration or the culture industries, or working with government agencies or charities abroad.
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This flexible pathway provides a solid masters-level foundation in ethnomusicology. With a strong focus on theory, methodology and current debates in the discipline, together with appropriate research techniques and presentational styles, it offers excellent preparation for doctoral study and also for applied work. The programme of study consists of four taught course units (each 30 credits) plus a dissertation (60 credits). The combination of core and optional course units allows each student to plot a path that best matches his or her special interests and aspirations. Together, the taught units encompass a wide range of topics and approaches - from gender and ethnicity, music and conflict, music revivals and performance culture, to postcolonial theory and the politics of ethnography. Seminars allow for close collaboration between lecturers and students, with ample opportunity for students to present their own work and receive individual feedback. Discussion and debate forms an important part of most course units.
All students on the MusM Music programme take Advanced Music Studies: Skills and Methodologies as their core unit. Students on the Ethnomusicology pathway also take Studying World Music Cultures: Themes and Debates and, usually, Ethno/Musicology in Action: Fieldwork and Ethnography . Other optional course units normally include Case Studies in Musicology: Texts and Histories ; and Historical or Contemporary Performance (subject to audition). A maximum of 30 credits may be chosen from another MA programme in the arts or social sciences (subject to availability and approval by the course tutor): possible options include Gender, Sexuality and the Body ; Filming History: Making Documentary Films for Research; and Documentary and Sensory Media . Students may also undertake a Work Placement with a local arts organisation or institution (by prior arrangement and subject to availability).
SALC Placement offers students the opportunity to spend a minimum of 20 days over a period of up to 12 weeks with an arts and cultural organisation, business or service provider. Placements will be established in Semester 1 to take place early in semester 2; they will be supervised by a work-based mentor and overseen by an academic staff member. The placement may take the form of an investigation of a specific business idea, development strategy or management proposition to resolve a problem or particular issue, and will result in a placement report, proposal or essay.
For further information about the content of individual course units, see Course Unit Details below.
This programme aims to:
Most taught course units are delivered via weekly seminars and/or tutorials. Full-time students take two 30-credit course units per semester; part-time students take one. The dissertation is supported by one-to-one supervision and is submitted at the beginning of September. (Part-time students may submit in either September or December following their second year of study.)
Seminars feature a range of presentation formats and activities, including presentations by course tutors, student presentations, discussion and debate based on prepared reading or coursework tasks, and workshop-style activities. Members of the academic staff are also available for individual consultations during designated office hours.
Alongside their taught units, students have access to a range of non-assessed seminars, workshops and training sessions offered by the Graduate School of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. All postgraduate students are expected to undertake their own programme of self-directed learning and skills acquisition. This may also involve wider reading, language work, computer training and attendance at research seminars in other parts of the university.
There are no formal examinations. Taught course units are assessed by coursework essays or other tasks, normally submitted at the end of each semester (January and May). The precise nature of the assessment varies according to what is appropriate to the course unit in question. In most cases, a choice of questions or topics is offered. All taught units must be satisfactorily completed. The dissertation (12,000-15,000 words) is based on independent research into a topic agreed in consultation with the supervisor. A Research Outline needs to be presented and approved (usually in February) before students proceed with their dissertation. All coursework is double-marked internally and moderated by the External Examiner. Recitals are heard by at least two internal examiners.
Graduates of this programme have pursued successful careers in musical and non-musical fields. Some continue to further study via a PhD before securing an academic position. Some go on to teach in schools or further education, both in the UK and overseas. Other areas of work for which advanced musical training has been directly relevant include arts management and the culture industries, music publishing, music journalism, librarianship, music therapy and performance. Careers outside of music have included accountancy, law, social work and human resources.
This course offers you the opportunity to specialise in either Composition or Musicology & Ethnomusicology and is taught in the heart of London with access to major arts centres. It covers a wide range of subjects: the Composition pathway enables you to work closely with your lecturers to study a variety of musical genres and styles and,if you choose Musicology, you will benefit from seminars with leaders in the field covering the evolution of different musical forms and their role in and expression of the cultures in which they developed.
You can specialise in either Composition or Musicology and Ethnomusicology by selecting from a wide range of modulesacross Arts and Humanities.
On this course you may specialise in either Composition or Musicology & Ethnomusicology. Please note, we do not offer a Performance pathway. If you follow the Composition pathway, you will work closely with your teachers and study a variety of musical genres and styles. If you choose Musicology, you will benefit from seminars with leaders in the field covering the evolution of different musical forms and their role in and expression of the cultures in which they developed. We encourage you to choose modules that reflect your particular interests, and up to a third of your choices may be from other Arts & Humanities departments, meaning you can build a broad and truly individual study pathway.
Our specialist modules will teach you current approaches to academic writing on music as well as advanced techniques for research and composition. At the end of your course, you will submit a special study – either a dissertation or a substantial work of 8-15 minutes in duration (the composition must be notated in a conventional manner) – for which we will give you one-to-one supervision.
Our aim is to nurture leaders in musicology, ethnomusicology and composition. If you intend go on to research or composition at doctoral level, or if you want to build on your existing skills, this course will be ideal for you.
For students intending to go on to research or composition at doctoral level, or wishing to build upon their existing skills. To provide training beyond undergraduate level in current techniques of music research and composition. To nurture leaders in musicology, ethnomusicology and composition.
Modules worth 120 credits, plus a special study (dissertation or portfolio) worth 60 credits.
If you are studying the Musicology & Ethnomusicology Pathway, we will give you six hours of teaching each week (if you are a part-time student, this is two to four in your first year, and one to two in your second) through lectures and seminars, and we will expect you to undertake 24 hours (12 hours for part-time) of self-study.
If you are studying the Composition Pathway, we will give you four hours of teaching each week (one to two hours if you are a part-time student) through lectures and seminars, and we will expect you to undertake 26 hours of self-study (13 hours for part-time).
Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
We will assess you entirely through coursework. If you are studying the Musicology & Ethnomusicology Pathway, you will write a 12,000-word dissertation or critical edition. If you are studying the Composition Pathway, you will compose a substational work lasting 8-15 minutes.
This programme offers a variety of stimulating and contemporary academic pathways with a range of theoretical and practice-based modules.
The MA in Music programme introduces you to the fundamental principles of research in music. It provides a unique and creative approach to musicology, valuing intellectual curiosity and musical diversity.
Awards available are:
The Masters designed with careful consideration of the opportunities, challenges and intellectual demands presented by careers in music, such as journalism, teaching, broadcasting, librarianship, historically informed performance, contemporary composition, and arts administration.
The programme addresses the challenges of an evolving subject. It encompasses many repertoires of music, offering pathways that reference Western art music and popular music, the music of other cultures, sound art, contemporary music and electronic music.
The programme helps you understand and evaluate current trends and traditions, and appreciate how we, like others before us, reflect the time, place and attitudes of the milieu within which we work.
Each Masters degree is awarded after the accumulation of 180 credits. You take
The topic of your dissertation or project relates closely to the programme outcomes of your pathway and its core modules, and is agreed with your pathway leader.
The options provide you with a choice of modules relevant to your chosen pathway. We will offer advice at interview and/or enrolment about your options. Please note that the availability of options may depend upon the department timetable.
The programme is designed with careful consideration of the opportunities, challenges and intellectual demands presented by careers in music, such as:
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This MA has been designed to provide students with a general and specialist knowledge of the principles and methods of Anthropology. Anthropology is the study of human similarity and human difference, it looks at the building blocks of human society and culture, studying the value and meaning of human life from the grassroots up on a local and global platform.
The discipline focuses on the study of human similarity and difference and explores athe value and meaning of human life from the grassroots up. Students can choose to specialise in different strands, including Ethnomusicology (the anthropology of music) and cognition and Culture. Masters students will be supervised by an individual member of staff and they will conduct research on a topic of their own choice and write a dissertation.
There are five MA strands as listed below and each consists of six taught modules and a dissertation (which is double-weighted):
Depending on the specialism chosen, students take a combination of compulsory and optional modules.
You will also participate in the weekly Anthropology Postgraduate Seminar were Diploma/MA/PhD students present their on-going research and in addition attend the weekly Anthropology Research Seminar where established academics discuss their work. Students also have the option to audit an undergraduate module and participate in various music ensembles.
Assessment and Feedback
Assessed essays and dissertation.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching times will be a combination of both morning and afternoon with the opportunity for occasional weekend training sessions.
Graduates have pursued careers in a wide range of fields, such as research (academic and non-academic), teaching, music therapy, consultancy, development and charity work, museum and heritage posts, journalism and radio broadcasting. Among those who have pursued academic careers, not all have done so within anthropology - several have taken posts in related disciplines. Others have found positions within governmental and non-governmental organisations abroad.
Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.
How to apply
Applicants for Postgraduate programmes are strongly advised to carefully read the important information and follow the steps set out here before submitting their application via the Postgraduate Direct Applications Portal.
The flexible modular structure of our taught MA programme allows you to focus on a chosen area of specialism but simultaneously facilitates exploration of a wide range of research areas relating to music. It will provide an excellent foundation for undertaking postgraduate research at doctoral level, but will also benefit the professional development of musicians intending to pursue careers in teaching, arts administration, broadcasting, and other domains.
Students on the taught MA programme join a vibrant international postgraduate community and study with scholars, composers, and performers who have achieved international recognition in their fields. The Music Department was ranked #1 in The Sunday Times University League Table 2016, and was in the top three music departments in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 and the Complete University Guide 2017.
The MA Music programme supports study of the following areas of specialism:
In addition, other options typically available have included:
You will choose modules from sections A, B, C, and D below:
A. Major project, weighted at 60 credits (a dissertation, a public recital, or a portfolio of compositions/orchestrations and arrangements – depending on your chosen area of specialism)
B. A 30-credit module linked to your chosen area of specialism
C. Two compulsory core 30-credit modules embedding research training and engaging with major intellectual issues attendant on all subject areas
D. An additional 30 credits of Music undergraduate modules/selected undergraduate OR postgraduate modules offered by another department OR another related specialism-specific module from list B, subject to approval of the Board of Studies in Music.
Example: MA with specialism in Musicology
A. A 12,000-word dissertation on a musicological topic weighted at 60 credits
B. 30-credit module ‘Contemporary Musicology’
C. Compulsory core 30-credit modules, ‘Core Research Seminars’ and ‘Research Methods and Resources’
D. 30 credits of Music undergraduate modules/selected undergraduate OR postgraduate modules offered by another department OR another related specialism-specific module from list B
the following specialism-specific modules will be offered every year:
Optional modules in previous years have included:
The programme is delivered through a mixture of seminars, practical sessions and one-to-one supervision. Seminars provide opportunities for you to discuss and debate particular issues, and to present your own original work, informed by the knowledge that you have gained through independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. Practical sessions in areas such as studio or field recording techniques help to prepare you for your own independent work. All students must undertake an independent project (dissertation, composition portfolio, or performance), which is developed with the help of one-to-one expert supervision. Finally, optional modules can be drawn from the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of Music or of other departments –these free-choice modules may involve other forms of staff-student contact, depending on the subject area. The Department actively promotes interdisciplinary approaches to the study of music and you are encouraged to engage with other disciplines in the humanities and sciences.
The contact hours experienced by each individual student will vary considerably, given a high degree of flexibility in the programme. You will typically attend between 2 and 4 hours of seminars per week in term time, as well as additional practical sessions as appropriate. Individual supervision of dissertations, performance projects and composition portfolios amounts to an average of 6 hours spread over the second and third terms.
Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to attend research seminars, both student-led and those involving staff or guest academic speakers (typically 1-2 hrs each week). You must also undertake your own independent study to prepare for your classes and assessments, to broaden your subject knowledge and to prepare your dissertations or portfolios. You are encouraged, as an integral part of your studies, to take advantage of other opportunities including participating in performance opportunities (including staff-led ensembles) and attending research and composition seminars, some of which are organised in conjunction with University research institutes.
There is a busy programme of musical performance, both within and outside the Music department, which complements your academic programme by providing opportunities both to listen to and to perform a wide variety of music. The many musical ensembles to which you can contribute includes both independent societies (including orchestras, choirs, opera and musical theatre as well as a Javanese gamelan) and department-run ensembles such as the New Music Ensemble and Korean percussion group.