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.
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.
The programme consists 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
Introduction to Musicology
MMus Research Methods
Individual Research Project (a smaller research project, conducted over the first two semesters)
MMus Dissertation (a larger research project that forms the culmination of the programme)
Students also choose three further courses. Two of these are selected from current MMus programme options, which change each year: updated information on course options for 2022 entry will be posted here when available. 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
A further, elective course is chosen by you from a very wide range across the university.
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 English and Scottish music, nineteenth century music theory, music and politics in the Cold War, music and armed conflict, opera, music instrument research, music and film, music cognition, and jazz.
The weekly Music Research Seminar Series, one of a number of Research seminars which we organise, is an integral part of the programme and 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 on 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.