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MMus Ethnomusicology

Course Description

Theoretical and practical grounding in the discipline of ethnomusicology, as well as the opportunity to develop performance and ethnographic skills, regional expertise, and a deeper understanding of global music – just some of what you can expect to develop on the MMus Ethnomusicology. This programme is tailored for musicians and musicologists, anthropologists, teachers and composers, as well as those dedicated to developing an in-depth knowledge of a specific music tradition.

You will study with the largest and most influential team of ethnomusicologists in the UK, who are experts in the musical traditions of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Jewish world. 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.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/music/programmes/mmusethnomus/


The MMus programme involves taking three courses and writing a 11,000-word dissertation. In addition to these formal elements, students are expected to attend regular postgraduate and public seminars and may also participate in performance ensemble classes and other activities.

Course Detail

The four formal elements of the MMus Ethnomusicology programme are:

1. The full unit core course Ethnomusicology in Practice.
A broad introduction to the major themes of ethnomusicological study. Taught as a weekly two-hour lecture/seminar with additional tutorials. Part-time students must take this in their first year.

2. The Dissertation in Music.
A special study 11,000 words in length on a topic agreed with the candidate's supervisor. This will normally relate to the "major region" chosen below, but may instead deal with a theoretical or comparative topic. Part-time students normally take this in their final year.

Teaching & Learning

The Department of Music has been highly rated for teaching and research in all recent assessment exercises, and is regularly ranked amongst the top Music departments in the UK in Good University Guides.

Music students have access to the large Main Library of the School which holds numerous books, journals and recordings relevant to the study of ethnomusicology and world music, as well as the nearby British Library Sound Archive and other London libraries and museums.

The SOAS Library holds copies of standard reference works on music, such as the current edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. The Grove dictionary and the RILM database can also be accessed on line from computer terminals in the Library or elsewhere on the SOAS network. Listening facilities are provided in the Library, and most CDs are available on short loan. Among special items in the Department’s collections are:

- field recordings, films and slides
- a large working collection of musical instruments from Asia and Africa
- extensive staff collections relating to specific research interests


A postgraduate degree in Ethnomusicology from SOAS gives students greater intercultural awareness, improved competency in performance and a better understanding of global music which will enable them to continue in the field of research or engage in related work. Equally, they develop a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and creative capacities including interpersonal skills, communication skills, focus, team work, passion and dedication. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

Visit the MMus Ethnomusicology page on the SOAS University of London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

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.

(Student Profile)

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.


Canon Collins Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

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

See the website

Further Information



SOAS Master's Scholarships - Faculty of Arts & Humanities - 5 Awards

There are five SOAS Master's scholarships available in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities (Department of Anthropology and Sociology - 1 scholarship, History - 1 scholarship, History of Arts&Archaeology/Music & Media - 2 scholarships, Religions and Philosophies - 1 scholarship). Each scholarship is valued at £16,765 in total. Fees will be deducted from this amount and the remainder will be used toward maintenance. Candidate Assessment
- Candidates will be assessed on academic merit by an Advisory Panel consisting of at least three academic members of the Faculty. - The assessment of your application will be based on the information in your scholarship application. Selectors will be looking at the degree results and also at academic references, statements and other relevant information.Scholarship Application Deadline
- Scholarship applications must be received no later than 17:00 (UK local time) on 24 February 2016.- In order to be considered for this scholarship, you must ALSO submit a complete online application to the degree programme as soon as possible and then submit an application for the scholarship. Applicants applying for scholarships must also submit an application for admission well in advance. Please note that complete applications for admission can take up to 4 weeks to be considered by the Department, although this duration can vary depending on the time of year. You should prepare to wait up to 6 weeks in busy periods. - Late or incomplete applications will not be considered

Value of Scholarship(s)



- Applicants must possess or expect to be awarded a First Class Honours Degree or equivalent. Students with a non-UK degree to be adjudged in the top rank by their referees and transcript.
- This scholarship is open to UK/EU applicants only.
- Applicants must have an offer of admission to pursue one of the eligible full-time masters programmes at SOAS by the scholarship application deadline.
- The scholarship cannot be held along with any other major scholarship or studentship.

Application Procedure

You must apply for this scholarship via this on-line scholarship application form.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent), usually in Music

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