About this course
Expand your knowledge and understanding of music with a master’s degree at the University of Southampton. You’ll graduate with the knowledge and skills for a career in music or further research on a PhD.
Our MMus Musicology degree gives you the opportunity to specialise in various elements of musicology. On this course, you’ll study:
- current trends in musicological method and critical practice
- key research skills in musicology
- methodologies of advanced musical analysis
Our academic staff are internationally noted performers with active solo and ensemble careers, and established composers of contemporary art music, electronic music, media music (for example, in film, TV and videogames), and jazz. These world-leading experts can offer you intensive one-to-one tuition in music history, culture and performance.
We offer a broad-based MMus programme with 4 specialist pathways:
On the Musicology pathway, you’ll work towards the final goal of a professional research project and dissertation. We’ll work with you to create a portfolio of work that’s relevant to your career aspirations. On completion of the course, you’ll be ready to:
- continue your research at a doctoral level
- work in the music industry or wider cultural sector
- become a teacher
- work as a freelance musician
You can mix your Musicology modules with topics from other MMus pathways to develop a wider range of skills and personalise the course to your interests.
If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:
- a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years
Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.
Your course leader has research interests in jazz, East asia and the global history of music. Visit Dr Thomas Irvine’s staff profile to learn more about his work.
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree in music or a related subject.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
For the Musicology pathway, you’ll need to submit 2 samples of written work. These should be between 1,500 and 2,500 words each on musicological questions of your choice.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need an overall score of 6.5 and the following scores for reading, writing, listening and speaking:
IELTS score requirements
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Recognition of professional experience
If you don't have the exact entry requirements, but you have significant work experience in this sector we’ll assess your relevant professional experience, your subject knowledge and your aptitude for learning.
Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
This is a full-time master’s course. You’ll study for 12 months, from September to the following September.
In the first 9 months (semesters 1 and 2) you’ll study the taught part of your course.
This is made up of modules that everyone on the course takes, designed to refine your professional writing and presentation skills, and prepare you for your final project.
You’ll also take optional modules to personalise the course to your interests. Some of these modules are shared with our other MMus pathways.
For the last 3 months, over the summer, you’ll work independently on your final project.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2021-22
Year 1 modules
You must study the following modules:
You must also choose from the following modules:
Learning and assessment
We’re committed to giving you a relevant, modern and above all enjoyable experience that will ensure you graduate with the skills and understanding you need for your chosen career or further research.
The learning activities for the Musicology pathway include:
- tutor and student-led seminars
- group projects
- one-to-one tutorials
- study visits
- independent research
Depending on the modules you choose, we'll assess you through a combination of:
- work portfolios
- group and individual presentations
- essays and analyses
- your final dissertation
Your dissertation is the final stage of the Musicology pathway. You'll carry out a research project on a topic of your choice and complete a 12,000 to 15,000-word dissertation to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding.
You'll meet regularly with your dissertation supervisor for guidance, advice and feedback.
You'll have access to:
- historic, modern and electric pianos
- less-common orchestral and historic instruments
- drum kit and basic PA systems/amps
- a loud rehearsal room and department practice rooms
- recording studios
- specialist music software
- use of Turner Sims concert hall facilities for recitals
We recognise that music has increasingly become a 'portfolio career' and aim to provide our students with a platform for success in whatever area of music their aspirations lie.
A master's degree will help you to develop the key skills that employers look for, such as:
- time, deadline and project management
- problem solving
- teamwork, relationship-building and working independently
- cultural awareness
- critical thinking and research analysis
Above all, you will learn to communicate your ideas and enthusiasm to a wide range of audiences.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £9,250.
- EU and international students pay £19,850.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
You must submit your application by the end of the day on 1 September 2020. You must supply all supporting documentation at least 2 weeks before starting your course.
We cannot guarantee you'll be able to start your course if you do not meet these deadlines.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for any postgraduate taught course that starts in or after September 2021.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you're applying for a Master of Research (MRes) degree, you will not need to pay the fee. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
You may also be asked to provide:
- a sample of written work
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We'll assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll get back to you within 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
We may invite you to an interview, which will take place by phone if you live abroad. You'll get an email from the admissions tutor if we'd like to talk to you before offering you a place.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000