Taught course

Music (Ethnomusicology)

The University of Manchester · Graduate School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Entry requirements

A First or Upper Second Class Honours degree, or its overseas equivalent, in a relevant subject (normally Music, or with music as a substantial component of the programme). In exceptional circumstances we may consider appropriate professional experience as an alternative route to entry.

Months of entry


Course content

This flexible pathway provides a solid masters-level foundation in ethnomusicology. With a strong focus on theory, methodology and current debates in the discipline, together with appropriate research techniques and presentational styles, it offers excellent preparation for doctoral study and also for applied work. The programme of study consists of four taught course units (each 30 credits) plus a dissertation (60 credits). The combination of core and optional course units allows each student to plot a path that best matches his or her special interests and aspirations. Together, the taught units encompass a wide range of topics and approaches – from gender and ethnicity, music and conflict, music revivals and performance culture, to postcolonial theory and the politics of ethnography. Seminars allow for close collaboration between lecturers and students, with ample opportunity for students to present their own work and receive individual feedback. Discussion and debate forms an important part of most course units.

All students on the MusM Music programme take Advanced Music Studies: Skills and Methodologies as their core unit. Students on the Ethnomusicology pathway also take Studying World Music Cultures: Themes and Debates and, usually, Ethnomusicology in Action: Fieldwork and Ethnography. Other optional course units normally include Voice, Vocality and Interpretation: Singer and Text; Case Studies in Musicology: Texts and Histories; and Historical or Contemporary Performance (subject to audition). A maximum of 30 credits may be chosen from another MA programme in the arts or social sciences (subject to availability and approval by the course tutor): possible options include Bollywood: Culture, Diaspora and Globalisation; Filming History: Making Documentary Films for Research; and Documentary and Sensory Media. Students may also undertake a Work Placement with a local arts organisation or institution (by prior arrangement and subject to availability).

Profiles of individual members of staff, including information about their research and teaching specialisms, may be found here:


Information for international students

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to obtain: Overall IELTS score of 7.0 or higher, to include a 7.0 in the writing component, or a TOEFL score of 100 or higher overall (internet-based test), with a score of 25 in the writing component.

Fees and funding

Scholarship and bursary awards can be applied for from the University, the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, and the department of Music. Further details can be found on the University website.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations25
Written coursework / continuous assessment42

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions Administrator
+ 44 (0)161-275 0322