Edinburgh has a vibrant and inspirational 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 of Edinburgh has been ranked 11th in the world in the area of the Arts and Humanities, which includes the Reid School of Music at Edinburgh College of Art.
Since 1838, the Reid School of Music has been a world leader in research into music and its place in our lives. Today, it’s home to a diverse academic community with research interests in the fields of musicology, music technology, composition, acoustics, creative practice, music psychology, and much more besides. 
This diversity is reflected in how we teach the MMus in Musicology. Our staff include world leaders across a wide range of areas of music research, and we draw on this expertise to give students a solid but also broad introduction to modern musicology.  
The MMus in Musicology offers considerable scope to tailor the programme to suit your own research interests. In addition to the core courses, a further elective course is selected 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 takes a broad and contemporary approach to musical scholarship, and equips students with the context, skills and critical understanding necessary to undertake original research in this dynamic and increasingly interdisciplinary field. 

You will be taught by leading academics whose research interests cover a broad range of approaches and genres, including the cultural and material history of music, music and politics, popular music studies, music analysis, music instrument research, music and audiovisual media, music psychology, and jazz studies.  

The programme 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 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. 

Edinburgh is an extraordinary place to study music. You will join a large postgraduate community and benefit from a vibrant research culture within the Reid School of Music. The university is home to a range of student ensembles and choirs, and located in a capital city with a dynamic cultural scene. 

Programme format

You will be introduced to a wide range of methodologies in musicology and will develop the critical skills needed to pursue your own research. 

You will take four compulsory courses... 

  • Introduction to Musicology 

  • Research Methods 

  • Making Sense of Popular Music 

  • Music, Philosophy and Politics 

... and will choose a further course from a selection of options across the University. 

You will also develop your independent research skills. You will work under the supervision of a member of staff on an individual research project over the first two semesters and write a longer dissertation on a second topic of your choosing at the end of the programme.  

Our teaching combines small-group seminars and individual supervision. 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. 

In addition to one of the largest university libraries in the UK, on-campus resources include the musical instrument collection at St Cecilia’s Hall[http://www.stcecilias.ed.ac.uk/] and the School of Scottish Studies archive[https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/library-museum-gallery/cultural-heritage-collections/school-scottish-studies-archives]. The National Library of Scotland, one of the UK’s six legal deposit libraries, is just a short walk away. 

The weekly Music Research Seminar Series [https://www.ed.ac.uk/edinburgh-college-art/reid-school-music/research-seminars/music], one of a number of research seminars [https://www.ed.ac.uk/edinburgh-college-art/reid-school-music/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. 

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

Teaching Fellow in Music, Music

Programme Director, MMus Musicology

Email: mj.grant@ed.ac.uk

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 2021
  • Value: £10,000
  • Eligibility: Scholarships available for one academic year of postgraduate Masters study at Edinburgh College of Art.

Jean Kennoway Howells Scholarship

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


Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions

Email: cahss.pgadmissions@ed.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 4086