MA Ethnomusicology

Department of Music, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

We have expertise in everything from musicology and ethnomusicology to performance, composition and music management.

You'll work alongside professional musicians and researchers with visits and masterclasses from guest performers and teachers.

About the course

Ethnomusicology is the study of music's relationships to the social and cultural contexts in which it occurs. By studying the great variety of musics found across the globe, ethnomusicologists seek to understand what music is, and the role it plays in human interactions and experiences.

The University of Sheffield boasts one of the UK’s largest ethnomusicology sections, and the staff’s specialisms are unusually diverse, including: the music of Korea; folk music, dance and song of England, and of the British Isles; North Indian classical music; music and community; the use of digital technology in traditional music participation; and music and national identity.

Course tutors – Fay Hield, Simon Keegan-Phipps and Andrew Killick – are at the forefront of their specialist fields.

Course content

View module information on department website

Teaching

  • Seminars
  • Individual tutorials
  • Fieldwork

Assessment

Assessment takes a variety of forms such as reports and essays. They are usually individual assessments, even if they concern the processes and outcomes of group work.

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MA Ethnomusicology student


Key facts

Course duration

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

You’ll need a 2:1 in music or a combined degree with a substantial music component.

Other qualifications may be acceptable depending on your background, for instance a degree in drama, psychology or another subject, equivalent life experience or a performance diploma from a conservatoire or academy.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

University and faculty funding is available each year. The closing date for applications is mid-January. The department has a small number of tuition studentships available. The closing date for these is the end of April. You can also apply for a small grant to support your postgraduate research project.

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Funding information on the Department of Music website

Your career

Many of our graduates work in education. Others are performers in various popular genres, in the UK and abroad. Some work in recording studios. Employers include universities, colleges, concert agencies and music promoters.

Studios and equipment

We have a postgraduate research suite and several studios for advanced compositional work, software development, sound recording, laboratory and field experimentation, transcription, music notation and other research applications. You will have access to scores, books, periodicals, recordings and online resources.

Through a series of graduate study days you will be able to use the tools for digital recording, video and film. We also have excellent practice facilities and collections of historical and world music instruments.

Our team of professional musicians bring performance expertise to the department – including clarinettist Sarah Watts, pianist Inja Davidovic and North Indian tabla and santoor performer John Ball.

About us

Music at Sheffield attracts world-leading academics and musicians working in a wide range of specialist fields. This is reflected in the diversity of the MA programmes we offer, both onsite and by distance learning. Our courses are taught by experts and backed by world-class research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) 84 per cent of our work was rated internationally excellent or world-leading.

We are influential in composition, ethnomusicology, musicology, performance, music technology, music management and psychology of music. Our MA programmes allow students to take advantage of the Department’s distinctive interdisciplinary research environment and to be part of a strong postgraduate community by taking modules from other specialist areas. Our three research centres, Music, Mind, Machine, Sheffield Performer and Audience Research Centre, and Music & Wellbeing provide a hub for research collaborations in music psychology and audience research.

Performance is an important part of our work. You will have the chance to participate in orchestras, music theatre, contemporary music, folk and world traditions. We have strong links with the community, giving you the chance to make music or investigate uses of music outside the University.

Dr Kathleen Van Buren

My research interests include African music and dance (especially from Kenya and Cameroon), the efficacy of music and musicians in promoting social change, applied ethnomusicology and medical ethnomusicology. Much of my work involves examining ways in which music can be used for community education to address issues such as HIV/AIDS and children’s rights.

Dr Kathleen Van Buren

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Postgraduate Online Application Form

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

E: music@sheffield.ac.uk
T: +44 (0)114 222 0461