Masters degrees in Musicology offer advanced study of different forms of musical art, their methods and their functions within society.
Taught MA and MMus degrees are typical for the field, though research-based MRes and MPhil programmes may be available at some institutions. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, such as Music or Art History.
Focussing more on music in an academic than a vocational sense, a Masters in Musicology encourages you to explore the sociocultural and sociohistorical contexts surrounding musical art forms.
Specialisations include Historical Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Cognitive Musicology and Systematic Musicology. You therefore have the opportunity to study a range of genres from multiple cultures globally, across different historical periods.
Musicology may be applied to many industries due to its multidisciplinary nature. This might include music teaching or even music therapy. A good understanding of Musicology is also valuable to industries such as Film and TV, as well as the arts including Theatre and Performance.
Other careers may include further research, for which a Masters in Musicology provides a suitable step towards PhD study.
Music is a vital form of cultural expression that shapes and is shaped by society around it. This programme allows you to study the critical theories and perspectives that have influenced the way we study music – how it is composed and performed as well as the role it plays in different communities.
Core modules will allow you to explore issues in musicology such as race, class, gender, sexuality, popular music and mass culture, as well as how music has been received and interpreted and how musical ‘canons’ are formed. You’ll also develop your understanding of research methods in musicology, and have the chance to gain knowledge of aesthetic theory or editing and archival studies, allowing you to balance critical and applied forms of musicology.
In addition, you’ll choose from optional modules from across the School of Music allowing you to focus on topics that interest you, from performance or electronic and computer music to composition and psychology of music.
We have a variety of excellent facilities to support your learning, including rehearsal, performance and practice spaces, a lab for studying the psychology of music and studios for sound recording, software development and computer music composition. The Special Collections housed in our beautiful Brotherton Library contain significant collections of music manuscripts, rare printed music and letters from composers and critics to help inform your work.
We also have good working relationships with a range of prestigious arts organisations: we host BBC Radio 3 concerts, Leeds Lieder and the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, as well as enjoying a close partnership with Opera North and many others in a city with a thriving music and cultural scene.
You’ll study core modules that develop your understanding of both critical and applied forms of musicology. One of these will allow you to explore issues and topics that have emerged in the past few decades – questions of race, gender, politics, deconstruction and more. You’ll also choose one or two from a cluster of optional modules, giving you an insight into editing and archival studies or introducing you to aesthetic theory.
In addition, you’ll have the chance to pursue another area of musical interest when you select from a range of optional modules. Whether you’re interested in computer music or psychology of music, or you want to continue to improve your performance or composition skills, you can pick one module allowing you to gain specialist knowledge in a field outside of musicology.
Throughout the year you’ll study a core module that develops your knowledge of research methods in music and musicology, laying the foundations for the rest of your studies. You’ll also be able to put the research skills you gain into practice if you choose to do a dissertation by the end of the programme – an independently researched project on a topic of your choice. Alternatively, you can complete a major editorial project, producing an extended edition of professional standard based on original musical sources.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
You’ll study the two core modules below and then choose either - the Dissertation (60 credits) or - the Editorial Project module (60 credits).
Then you’ll choose one or two from the three musicology modules below, and one more from the full list of optional modules offered across the School of Music.
We use a range of teaching and learning methods including seminars and tutorials, as well as vocal/instrumental lessons with our expert tutors. We’re also making more and more use of online learning. However, private study is also integral to this programme, allowing you to pursue your interests more closely and develop research and critical skills.
To help you build diverse skills, we also assess you using different methods depending on the modules you choose. These could include presentations, essays, literature reviews, recitals and performances or project work; however, optional modules may also use alternative methods such as recitals and composition portfolios.
This programme will give you in-depth subject knowledge, as well as specialist knowledge and skills in a different aspect of music studies to broaden your understanding. It will also allow you to gain key research, critical and communication skills that are in demand in a wide range of industries and sectors.
Graduates from the programme move on to a variety of careers. Recent graduates have entered areas such as arts management, librarianship, recruitment, and freelance teaching and performance. Many graduates go on to further study at PhD level in the UK and USA.
We also offer additional support as you develop your career plans: the School of Music boasts a unique Alumni Mentoring Network, where students can be supported by past students as they start to plan their next steps.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Our MMus programme is distinctive in its range of musicological, compositional and performance-based elements.
You will benefit from the diversity of our research strengths, numerous ensemble performance opportunities and expertise in a range of musical fields, including contemporary music for the concert hall, popular music, film music, opera, acoustic, electronic and computer-generated music.
The Musicology pathway of the MMus Music programme is designed to accommodate a flexible approach that reflects staff research expertise, students’ own specialisations and the increasingly polyglot nature of the discipline.
Art and popular music are both catered for within the pathway, drawing on the expertise of staff across these areas.
You will take two compulsory research training modules followed by a combination of compulsory specialism-related modules and optional modules. You may then choose to undertake a dissertation of either 60 or 90 credits.
The programme provides ideal preparation for future research work at PhD level.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
The School welcomes applications from students who wish to undertake one module of study from the Masters programme.
Potential applicants may make an appointment for an informal interview with the Programme Director if practicable. All applicants will be asked either to submit a sample of written work, a DVD of their performance, or samples of their compositional work, or to sit an audition depending on their chosen specialism.
Our work achieves wide international circulation, both through established scholarly channels and, distinctively, through broadcast media (such as BBC TV, Channel 4, BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, and National Public Radio in the USA). School staff are much in demand for pre-concert talks at venues such as London’s South Bank and Barbican centres.
The research environment at Surrey is sustained by open discussion and debate, and through the regular airing of work-in- progress. Our work is strengthened by the ready input of our peers and research students at various stages allowing collective engagement to foster innovation.
The MMus (Musicology) programme aims to provide students with a high quality education in the wide range of theoretical perspectives on and methodological approaches to present day musical study.
It aims to provide students with the necessary skills, techniques and methodologies to work at an advanced level with a critical awareness of the discipline.
The programme aims to reflect current developments within the theory and practice of musicology and, in so doing, to educate students so that they may work confidently and constructively within the musicological culture of the present. The programme aims to offer the necessary preparation for students wishing to undertake doctoral level study in practice-based areas.
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Professional practical skills
Key / transferable skills
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
This course offers a comprehensive range of options and 3 pathways: musicology (including theory, history and analysis); composition; performance; each pathway offers skills training, orientation modules and individually taught work.
Analytical techniques; critical practice in musicology; research skills 1 and 2; plus 2 relevant optional modules; plus a dissertation, recital or portfolio.
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.
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.
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.
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.