The programme takes a broad, contemporary approach to musical scholarship, and equips you with the context, skills and critical understanding to undertake original research in this increasingly interdisciplinary field.  
Edinburgh is an extraordinary place to study musicology. You will join a large postgraduate community and benefit from a vibrant research culture which has been a world leader in research into music since 1838.
You will be taught by leading academics whose research interests include cultural and material history, music and politics, popular music studies, instrument research, audiovisual media, psychology, and jazz studies.
The University has been ranked 10th in the world in Arts and Humanities (TES 2021). As well as one of the largest university libraries in the UK, our resources include St Cecilia’s Hall instrument collection and the School of Scottish Studies Archive.
Edinburgh has a vibrant music and arts scene. It's home to the world’s largest arts festival, and a number of world-class ensembles and performing institutions. The University is home to a range of student ensembles and choirs.  


The MMus in Musicology allows you to develop specialised skills in researching and writing about music, and to pursue, in greater depth, an area of special research interest.    

The programme can be studied full-time over one year, or part-time over two years (please note: the part-time programme can only be studied if you do not require a visa to study in the UK). More information on the strucutre of the part-time programme can be found below.   

There is considerable scope to tailor the programme to suit your own research interests. In addition to the compulsory courses, students choose two courses from a range of options that changes each year. A further, free elective allows you to choose one course from a very large number of options across the whole university, allowing you the added perspective offered by disciplines outside of musicology, or to study a further course in Music. In addition to the final dissertation, students also devise and undertake a smaller research project in the earlier part of the programme.  

The MMus in Musicology provides an excellent foundation for further postgraduate work, and many of our students have gone on to work in academia.  

Recent graduates have also established successful careers in performance, journalism, arts administration, music education, and librarianship.  

Programme format 

Both the full-time and the part-time programme consist of seven courses, including the final 15,000-word dissertation.  

Five of these are taught courses and there are also two research-based courses, both taught through one-to-one supervision.    

Four courses are compulsory. These are   

  • Perspectives in Musicology    

  • MMus Research Methods    

  • Individual Research Project (a smaller research project, conducted over the first half of the programme)   

  • MMus Dissertation (a larger research project that forms the culmination of the programme, and is completed over the final summer)   

Students also choose three further courses. Two of these are selected from current MMus programme options, which change each year.  In previous years, these programme-level options have included the following:  

  • Music, Philosophy and Politics   

  • Studies in Popular Music  

  • Medieval Afterlives: Critical Approaches to Music and Medievalism   

  • Venice, 1690-1740: Critical Approaches to Music and Culture   

  • Music and Human Communication 

A further, elective course is chosen by you from a very wide range across the university.  

The typical programme structure is as follows: 


Semester 1 

. MMus Research Methods 

. Perspectives in Musicology 

. Free elective 

. Individual Research Project 

Semester 2 

. Programme Option 1 

. Programme Option 2 


. Disseration


The part-time programme is designed to enable an even spread of the workload over the two years, but also to offer some flexibility in when courses are taken. Please contact the Programme Director if you have any questions. 

Part-time, year 1: 

Semester 1 

. MMus Research Methods

. Perspectives in Musicology (can also be taken in year 2) 

Semester 2 

. Programme Option 1 


. Individual Research Project 

Part-time, year 2: 

Semester 1 

. Perspectives in Musicology (if not taken in year 1) 

. Free elective (can be taken in other semesters by arrangement) 

Semester 2 

Programme Option 2 



Our teaching combines small-group seminars and individual supervision; some courses also include lectures. You will be taught by leading academics with diverse research interests, including fifteenth century music, nineteenth and twentieth-century music, music and armed conflict, jazz, music instrument research, music and film, video game music, music in Scotland, music psychology and music cognition.  

The weekly Music Research Seminar Series, one of a number of Research seminars which we organise, gives you the opportunity to learn about and discuss the work of local, national and international researchers.  

Students also have the opportunity to contribute to MUSIC.OLOGY.ECA, an online journal of music research at the University of Edinburgh set up by former students of the programme.  

What kind of person studies this programme? 

People come from all over the world, and from a range of different backgrounds, to study Musicology in Edinburgh. Most have a first degree in Music, but some have degrees in other subjects. Some are involved in making music as performers, songwriters and composers, but many are not. Their musical interests, too, are varied. What unites our students is a desire to understand more about what music is, how it works, and why it is such a fundamental and significant part of human culture.     

Musicology is an academic discipline. While many musicologists are also active as performers and composers, and while we often research what performers and composers do, musicology is about researching music rather than creating it. Performance is not taught on this programme, and while we may discuss issues related to research music pedagogy, this is not an integral focus of this programme.    

If you have any questions about the programme, how it suits your needs, and what to consider when applying, please contact the Programme Director.   

How to apply and entrance requirements

If you'd like to study on a postgraduate programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through EUCLID, our online application system. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh website, where you'll also be able to:

  • see detailed entrance requirements for each programme on the Degree Finder
  • get information on what to expect after you apply
  • find out about study modes, start dates and fees
  • find out if, and how, you need to submit a portfolio, showreel or research proposal
  • find out where to go for further advice and guidance

Take me to the University of Edinburgh website on how to apply for postgraduate study

Alumni profiles


Dr Morag Grant

Chancellor’s Fellow in Music

Programme Director, MMus Musicology


Tel: +44 (0) 131 650 8031

Facilities and resources

Our extensive range of music studio spaces, equipment, and software will allow you to see your audio projects all the way through from composition and recording, to mixing, mastering, and post-production.

A 218-seat Victorian venue built in 1859. Used for regular orchestral and choral rehearsals and performances.

Seventeen practice rooms equipped with pianos, ideal for students requiring a private place for music practice.

The oldest purpose-built concert hall in Scotland, home to one of the most important historic musical instrument collections in the world.

Scholarships and bursaries

Andrew Grant Postgraduate Scholarships

  • Deadline: 1 March 2023
  • Value: £10,500
  • Eligibility: Scholarships available for one academic year of postgraduate Masters study at Edinburgh College of Art.

Jean Kennoway Howells Scholarship

  • Deadline: 1 March 2023
  • Value: £15,000
  • Eligibility: For applicants to full-time postgraduate taught Masters programmes in the Reid School of Music.


Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 4086