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Course content

This programme offers an intense introduction to methodologies and research techniques in musicology, covering both classical and popular music, autonomous works and functional music, for example for religious ceremonies or for the screen.

You’ll learn the methodologies and research techniques necessary to analyse specific source material and learn to address the more philosophical questions raised, such as those of history, canons and archival research, performance studies, fieldwork, semiotics, the body, race, diaspora, gender, sexuality and consumption.

Drawing on the very broad range of research at Edinburgh, it allows you to pursue, in greater depth, an area of special interest and/or to develop more specialised skills to further your career.

Programme structure

The programme is made up of six courses plus a 15,000-word dissertation.

Taught courses include: introduction to musicology; research methods; music, philosophy and politics, popular music and focused research into specific areas of music study.

Teaching is by a combination of staff- and student-led seminars, student presentations and field trips.

The programme is designed to help students become increasingly independent in their study while providing the necessary supervisory support.

The dissertation is written over the summer months on a supervised topic of your choice.

Learning outcomes

Graduates of this programme will be able to apply and devise innovative research methods, critically evaluate arguments and display a variety of transferable skills. They will also be equipped with the skills necessary to pursue higher research degrees.

Career opportunities

On graduating, you will be equipped with the skills necessary to pursue a higher research degree, or take your knowledge into areas such as music teaching, music criticism and journalism, arts administration and curatorship, music librarianship etc.


Visit the Musicology - MMus page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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