Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Musicology MMus

Awards: MMus

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Musicology

The MMus in Musicology takes a broad and contemporary approach to musical scholarship. It 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 wide range of approaches and genres, including:

  • the cultural and material history of music
  • music and politics
  • popular music studies
  • ethnomusicology
  • music analysis
  • music instrument research
  • music and audiovisual media
  • music psychology
  • music sociology
  • jazz studies

You will:

  • develop specialised skills in researching and writing about music
  • pursue, in greater depth, an area of special research interest
  • join a large postgraduate community
  • benefit from a vibrant research culture within the Reid School of Music, which has been a world leader in music research since 1838

The MMus Musicology can be studied over one (full-time) or two (part-time) years. The part-time programme is only available for students who do not need a visa to study in the UK.

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:

  • Perspectives in Musicology
  • MMus Research Methods
  • Individual Research Project (a smaller research project, conducted in the first half of the programme)
  • MMus Dissertation (a larger research project that forms the culmination of the programme and is written over the final summer.)

You can 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
  • Music and Human Communication
  • Venice, 1690-1740: Critical Approaches to Music and Culture

In addition, a further, elective course is chosen by you from a very wide range across the university, allowing you the added perspective offered by disciplines outside of musicology, or the option to take a further course within Music.

Our teaching combines small-group seminars and individual supervision; some courses also include lectures. Assessment is through a combination of written submissions and presentations.

The programme is designed to help you become increasingly independent in your study while providing the necessary supervisory support.

More information on the programme can be found on the programme website.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MMusMusicology1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2024/25
MMusMusicology2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2024/25

Graduates of this programme will be able to:

  • apply and devise innovative research methods
  • critically evaluate arguments
  • display a variety of transferable skills

They will also be equipped with the skills necessary to pursue higher research degrees.

Please note that performance is not taught on this programme. While there are opportunities to pursue research into music pedagogy within the programme, it is not specifically tailored to those whose primary interest is gaining a qualification in music education.

On graduating, you will be equipped with the skills necessary to pursue a higher research degree in musicology.

You can also take your knowledge into areas such as:

  • music criticism and journalism
  • arts administration and curatorship
  • music librarianship

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

Normally a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent), in music. We may consider your application if you have a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in another relevant subject.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 62 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Additional costs

There are no additional costs for this programme.

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MMusMusicology1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MMusMusicology2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your residency status.

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Dr Morag Grant
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 8031
  • Contact:
  • Postgraduate Admissions Office
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 57 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JU

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Morag Grant
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 8031
  • Contact:
  • Postgraduate Admissions Office
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 57 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JU