Research course

The social and cultural study of music

Open University · Department of Music

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Months of entry


Course content

This broad topic encompasses work in several distinct disciplines: ethnomusicology; sociology; social history; social psychology; human geography; education and marketing. We particularly encourage work that combines approaches and crosses the boundaries between disciplines.

We welcome applications in areas that correspond with current staff research interests. We look for detailed and well thought-out proposals, which set out specific research questions and outline the originality of your topic or approach. If you would like to discuss your ideas informally before submitting an application, please contact the department.

Current/recent research projects
  • Listening to music in wartime Britain
  • The guitar in Victorian England
  • Gender and the British brass band
  • Popular music in Tunisia
  • Learning, performance and entrainment in Cuban music
Potential supervisors

Department specialisms

We are happy to consider research projects relating to one or more of our disciplinary areas. If appropriate, students may be attached to one of our funded projects: Cultures of Brass Atlantic Sounds: Ships and Sailortowns.

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website for more information.

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months
distance learning
variable months


full time
15 months
distance learning
variable months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Dr Helen Coffey
+44 (0)1908 653280