Postgraduate study

Musical Instrument Research

Awards: MMus

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: Musical Instrument Research

Please be advised that this programme is not being offered by the 2018/19 academic year.

This programme develops skills in the critical study of musical instruments, and familiarises students with the examination of historic instruments, and with the evaluation of documentary information sources and iconography.

You will learn the history and relevant literature of the most important instruments of western art music. You will be able to examine historic instruments, carry out research and draw conclusions about their operation.

Weekly two-hour tutorials will be held at St Cecilia’s Hall utilising original instruments from the instrument collection. In each musical instrument module you write two research papers, each of about 3,000 words in length. Following the second semester, you will carry out original research in organology and write a dissertation.

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
MMusMusical Instrument Research1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2017/18
MMusMusical Instrument Research2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2017/18

Students who study the programme will learn the history and relevant literature of the most important instruments of Western art music. They will be able to examine historic instruments, carry out research and draw conclusions about their operation.

This programme will supply skills in research methodologies that will allow you to extend a specialised area of interest into further study. This in turn may lead to an academic career. You may instead wish to move into a curatorial role, either within a public institution or with one of the many private collections that exist worldwide.

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 a subject related to musical instruments, such as physics, and you have an understanding of music theory.

We may also consider your application if you have another relevant background, for example if you have worked as an instrument maker or repairer; please contact us to check before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX

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. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit a reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX