Taught course

MusM Music (Musicology)

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 musicology. 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 or critical edition (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 musicology as cultural history, through musicology and the body, source studies and performance practice, to postcolonial theory and postmodernism. 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 Musicology pathway also take Case Studies in Musicology: Texts and Histories. Optional course units normally include Contemporary Music Studies; Historical and Editorial Skills; Studying World Music Cultures: Themes and Debates; Voice, Vocality and Interpretation: Singer and Text; Historical or Contemporary Performance (subject to audition); Advanced Orchestration; and Ethnomusicology in Action: Fieldwork and Ethnography. 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). Students may also undertake a Work Placement with a local arts organisation or institution (by prior arrangement and subject to availability).

The Dissertation offers students the opportunity to work with world-leading experts in a range of specialist areas. Alternatively, students may pursue their own chosen topic, subject to approval. Recent topics include: The New Woman at Covent Garden: 1909–1914; Tonal Organization in Late Sixteenth-Century and Early Seventeenth-Century England: A Case Study of Parthenia (1612–13); Musical Exoticism and Culture Creation in Fantasy Film; An Ethnographic Examination of Processes of Recontextualisation at Rebetiko Carnival; Music in the Museum: An Ethnomusicological Approach to the Display of Musical Culture; Beethoven’s Metronome Marks applied to the Piano Sonatas.

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


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations25
Written coursework / continuous assessment42
Dissertation33 (12000 words)

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions Administrator
+ 44 (0)161 275 0322