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Music (Ethnomusicology) - MA

SOAS University of London    School of Arts

Full time & Part time September MA 1 year full time, 2-3 years part time

About the course

Theoretical and practical grounding in the discipline of ethnomusicology, the opportunity to develop performance and ethnographic skills, in-depth study of global musical styles, and a practical understanding of how music can work in the sphere of social development – just some of what you can expect to develop on the MA Music. The programme has three pathways in Ethnomusicology, Development and Performance, tailored for musicians and musicologists, anthropologists and development practitioners, teachers and composers, as well as those dedicated to developing an in-depth knowledge of a specific music tradition. You will study with a world-leading group of ethnomusicologists who are all experts in the musical traditions of Africa and Asia. You will be part of a thriving culture of performance, research and active engagement with music around the globe. The programme will suit those looking for a springboard into further research or employment in a range of music-related fields including journalism, industry, NGOs and education, and often serves as a conversion route for those trained predominantly in western music traditions. This programme replaces MMus Ethnomusicology.

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Entry Requirements

We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

 Course Content

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Student Profile(s)

Marina Di Giorgi

SOAS is a great place to study Ethnomusicology. It has the flavour of the world spread through the music made by the students, lecturers and guests. I chose SOAS because it is the only place in London where I could gain a broad knowledge of Music in the Middle East. I could be in touch with organisations related with my studies based at the college.

The course assignments are structured in a thoughtful way which allowed me to progress gradually along my path. The lecturers are open to hear your inclination and favourite topic so they could help in developing it. Moreover, the opportunities offered parallel to the course are great. There are free concerts with widely recognised musicians from all over the world. And if you are a musician the opportunity to organise and play with them is very high. I had chance to attend a training workshop organised by the Music Department for future job opportunities.

The student life is very lively and colourful. There are different student societies created around the Music Department. It is possible to learn, experiment with new instruments and to create an ensemble to perform at school. I felt it was a year full of opportunities for me to grow in my studies and along my human path too. The school is very concerned with ethical policy which creates the feeling of living in a safe island all year through.

Liam Barnard

Since completing my undergraduate degree at SOAS I already knew how friendly everybody was. In many departments, Music included, you are on first name terms with all the lecturers and every lecturer here is really on the top of their game internationally. It’s also the University with the widest choice of areas of study for ethnomusicology in the UK, meaning you are free to allow your area of interests to become apparent without being tied down so much to one geographical area.

I found out how friendly was pretty quickly and also how easily it was to find a good work-life balance for example the bar is 30 seconds’ walk from the library! I have loved the freedom to explore my own interests – with the music department you are immediately immersed in the most varied and flexible ethnomusicology study experience in the UK.

The enthusiasm that the lecturers have in their subjects is infectious and it ensures everybody succeeds. The extra curricular music scene is pretty unique and seriously enjoyable, one day you could be playing the kora, the next, gigging with the Cuban Big Band, the next, looking after Mory Kante and talking music with him after a gig in the Brunei Gallery! It’s all here under one roof.

It is fantastic being part of this wonderful community and having the opportunity to say and do things that would just cause bewilderment anywhere else! It really is a special place.


These scholarships are for Masters study in any subject field.
The application process normally opens in December and closes in February, for study commencing in September the following year. Please go to the Canon Collins website and click "Apply for A Scholarship" and then "Canon Collins Scholarship for Masters Study in the UK" for further information on how to apply.

Value of Scholarship(s)

See website


Country/Nationality: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Application Procedure

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