MusM Music (Musicology)
Year of entry: 2021
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- Enjoy a strong focus on theory, methodology and current debates in musicology.
- Develop advanced research skills and presentational techniques suitable for doctoral study or applied work.
- Study in a city that is home to more professional music-making than any UK city outside of London, with three professional orchestras and internationally recognised institutions such as the BBC and Opera North.
- Study at the number 1 university Music department in the UK (Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020).
Find out what it's like to study at Manchester by visiting us on one of our open days .
For entry in the academic year beginning September 2021, the tuition fees are as follows:
UK students (per annum): £10,000
International, including EU, students (per annum): £20,000
UK students (per annum): £5,000
International, including EU, students (per annum): £10,000
Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.
Policy on additional costs
All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).
Each year the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures offer a number of School awards and Subject-specific bursaries (the values of which are usually set at Home/EU fees level), open to both Home/EU and international students. The deadline for these is early February each year. Details of all funding opportunities, including deadlines, eligibility and how to apply, can be found on the School's funding page where you can also find details of the Government Postgraduate Loan Scheme.
See also the University's postgraduate funding database to see if you are eligible for any other funding opportunities.
For University of Manchester graduates, the Manchester Alumni Bursary offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a 1st within the last three years and are progressing to a postgraduate taught masters course.
The Manchester Master's Bursary is a University-wide scheme that offers 100 bursaries worth £3,000 in funding for students from underrepresented groups.
Courses in related subject areas
Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.
Academic entry qualification overview
We normally expect students to have a First or Upper Second class honours degree or its overseas equivalent in a humanities-based subject area.
An overall grade of 7.0 (with a minimum writing score of 7) in IELTS is required or 100+ in the TOEFL iBT with a minimum writing score of 25.
If you have obtained a different qualification, please check our English language requirements to ensure that it is accepted and equivalent to the above requirements.
English language test validity
Relevant work experience
Application and selection
How to apply
Advice to applicants
You should include a personal statement (no more than 500 words) that demonstrates your understanding of the subject and your motivation for wanting to study the programme.
If your academic background is not directly related to the programme, you should supply an academic-standard writing sample on a subject related to the programme.
If English is not your native language, then you should provide an academic-standard writing sample in English directly related to the subject.
For more advice on the application process, please visit our Applying page.
How your application is considered
Applications are mainly considered on the basis of an assessment of past and predicted academic achievements, the academic reference(s) and any other supplementary evidence that supports the application. Once we have an application that is ready for a decision, the admissions tutor (often the Programme Director) will relay the decision to the admissions team, who will send you this decision.
Please note that your application is usually received by the School 24 to 48 hours after the time you submit it. If you have not provided documentation that allows the admissions tutor to make a decision, we will contact you.
Our MusM Music (Musicology) course offers a solid master's-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.
You will be able to choose units and a dissertation/critical edition topic that best matches your 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 you to present your own work and receive individual feedback. Discussion and debate forms an important part of most course units.
You can also choose to take a placement unit where you will spend a minimum of 20 days over a period of up to 12 weeks with an arts and cultural organisation, business or service provider to gain valuable workplace experience.
We aim to:
- build on undergraduate studies of music and society and the cultural study of music, introducing you to a wide range of advanced methodologies, theories, discourses and practices;
- enable you to refine and develop your individual skills, talents and interests;
- prepare you for a career, either inside or outside music, where critical judgement and developed powers of communication are needed;
- foster the skills in critical thinking, argumentation, and effective written and oral communication necessary for further postgraduate study;
- enable you to gain an expert and detailed knowledge of a specialist topic, and to formulate ideas that can later be pursued within further research programmes.
Music in Manchester
Manchester is home to more professional music-making than any UK city outside of London. There are three professional orchestras, as well as internationally recognised institutions such as the BBC, Bridgewater Hall, Opera North and The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM).
Teaching and learning
Most taught course units are delivered via weekly seminars and/or tutorials. Full-time students take two 30-credit course units per semester; part-time students take one.
The dissertation or critical edition is supported by one-to-one supervision and is submitted at the beginning of September. Part-time students may submit in either September or December following their second year of study.
Seminars feature a range of presentation formats and activities, including presentations by course tutors, student presentations, discussion and debate based on prepared reading or coursework tasks, and workshop-style activities.
Members of the academic staff are also available for individual consultations during designated office hours.
Alongside your taught units, you will have access to a range of non-assessed seminars, workshops and training sessions offered by the Graduate School.
All postgraduate students are expected to undertake their own programme of self-directed learning and skills acquisition. This may also involve wider reading, language work, computer training and attendance at research seminars in other parts of the University.
Coursework and assessment
There are no formal examinations. Taught course units are assessed by coursework essays or other tasks, normally submitted at the end of each semester (January and May).
The precise nature of the assessment varies according to what is appropriate to the course unit in question. In most cases, a choice of questions or topics is offered. All taught units must be satisfactorily completed.
The dissertation or critical edition (12,000-15,000 words or equivalent) is based on independent research into a topic agreed in consultation with the supervisor. A Research Outline needs to be presented and approved (usually in February) before you proceed with the dissertation.
All coursework is double-marked internally and moderated by the External Examiner. Recitals are heard by at least two internal examiners.
Course unit details
You will undertake units totalling 180 credits. Core and optional units combine to make 120 credits, with the remaining 60 credits allocated to a dissertation or critical edition.
The dissertation or critical edition offers the opportunity to work with world-leading experts in a range of specialist areas. Alternatively, you may pursue their own chosen topic, subject to initial approval and the availability of a suitable supervisor; this may be informed by topics and approaches encountered in the course of the Semester 1 taught units.
Recent titles include:
- The New Woman at Covent Garden: 1909-1914
- Changes in Secular Violin Music 1680 to 1700: The Influence of Social Developments and Cosmopolitanism on an Emerging Commercial Music Market
- Unheard Peoples: Musical Exoticism and Culture Creation in Fantasy Film
- Tonal Organization in Late Sixteenth-Century and Early Seventeenth-Century England: A Case Study of Parthenia (1612-13)
- Beethoven's Metronome Marks applied to the Piano Sonatas
- Bring the Noise: Listening Again to the Loudness Wars
All students take Advanced Music Studies: Skills and Methodologies and Case Studies in Musicology: Texts and Histories. A range of optional units are available (see the course unit list below).
A maximum of 30 credits may be chosen from another MA course in the arts or social sciences (subject to availability and approval by the course tutor).
Possible options include From Papyrus to Print: The History of the Book; Perspectives on Medieval and Renaissance Studies; and Gender, Sexuality and the Body.
If you choose to take the placement unit, placements will be established in Semester 1 to take place early in Semester 2 and will be supervised by a work-based mentor and overseen by an academic staff member.
You will spend a minimum of 20 days over a period of up to 12 weeks with an arts and cultural organisation, business or service provider. The placement may take the form of an investigation of a specific business idea, development strategy or management proposition to resolve a problem or particular issue, and will result in a placement report, proposal or essay.
Course unit list
The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.
|Dissertation or Critical Edition||MUSC40110||60||Mandatory|
|Advanced Music Studies: Skills and Methodologies||MUSC60071||30||Mandatory|
|Case Studies in Musicology: Texts and Histories||MUSC60082||15||Mandatory|
|Contemporary Music Studies||MUSC40061||30||Optional|
|Historical or Contemporary Performance||MUSC40072||30||Optional|
|Studying World Music Cultures: Themes and Debates||MUSC60021||30||Optional|
|Ethno/Musicology in Action: Fieldwork and Ethnography||MUSC60032||30||Optional|
|Historical and Editorial Skills||MUSC60092||30||Optional|
|Displaying 10 of 12 course units|
|Display all course units|
What our students say
'I chose to study at Manchester because of the quality of its research and the expertise of its academics... The prestige of the University and its high entry standards means that you are surrounded by high-calibre students, creating an intellectually stimulating environment for debate.'
'The course here at Manchester manages to achieve a perfect balance between establishing holistic foundations and encouraging personal specialisation... The coursework assignments present challenging, open-ended questions that really encourage original thinking.'
' There is a strong collaborative community here, which creates an exciting interdisciplinary environment. The new Graduate School building and the auditing system, which allows students to sit in on modules beyond their course without taking them as credits, are both fantastic: I have made friends on a variety of courses and it has been truly eye-opening to have discussions with people from different disciplinary backgrounds.'
' The highlight for me is the personal relationships you form with academics and fellow students... Hearing the stories behind the research of leading academics in the field is a truly mesmerising experience... Over the course of the year, you will find that your supervisors become your guides, advocates and friends; it will never cease to amaze you how much they will go out of their way to help you flourish.'
' A unique quality of the University is its proximity to the city of Manchester, rich in culture, arts and entertainment, as well as educational and employment advantages. It is a very concentrated but diverse and cosmopolitan city.'
You will have access to a wide range of study facilities and cultural assets at Manchester.
The Martin Harris Centre offers students an exceptional home equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.
Alongside teaching rooms and practice rooms, the building houses the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall (capacity 350, with a stage large enough to accommodate a full symphony orchestra), the John Thaw Studio Theatre, the Lenagan Library and a postgraduate suite consisting of a common room and computer room.
The Lenagan Library is a small reference library housed in the Martin Harris Centre that includes major scores, reference tools and a large collection of recordings, together with listening rooms and a spacious work area.
The Henry Watson Library is located in Manchester's Central Library and is renowned for its Handel and Vivaldi manuscripts, and the library of the nearby Royal Northern College of Music.
Find out more about our facilities .
Our graduates have pursued successful careers in musical and non-musical fields. Some continue to further study via a PhD before securing an academic position. Some go on to teach in schools or further education, both in the UK and overseas.
Other areas of work for which advanced musical training has been directly relevant include arts management and the culture industries, music publishing, music journalism, librarianship, music therapy and performance.
Careers outside of music have included accountancy, law, social work and human resources.
The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .