2021 start
MA

Musicology

Department of Music, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Gain new insights into how music is created, disseminated and received in different times and cultures. This course draws on a range of methodologies and disciplines to help you get the most out of the music you love.
Two female students from the School of Health and Related Research take a look at the content of library books.

Course description

This course gives you a wide-ranging introduction to advanced musicological study. Our breadth of expertise in the Department of Music means that you can engage with a range of specialist areas, including:

  • Mozart
  • music of the classical period
  • Renaissance music
  • music and visual culture
  • eighteenth and nineteenth-century style
  • the concerto genre
  • the Broadway and Hollywood musical.

You'll explore themes such as gender, musical philosophy and culture, the creative process, performance and reception, and use a range of methodologies to understand how music is created, disseminated and received.

In the first semester, all students take a module on critical musicology. This gives you a grounding in the key concepts of musicological thought and technique, from nationalism and canon to semiotics and aesthetics. You'll then apply these concepts to a specific repertoire in the second semester.

For many students, the dissertation is the climax of their course. You'll have the opportunity to explore a research topic of your own choice on any topic or repertoire. Previous students have explored everything from art and music in Renaissance Italy to gender identity in Disney musicals. A particular strength of our department is that we treat all genres with the same respect, and although we have significant expertise in Western art music, it is by no means more important than other repertoires.

As well as musicological modules, you can take modules in other areas of the curriculum such as performance, music psychology and world music. This gives you the chance to meet students from other MA music courses and provides an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary grounding in the subject.

Sheffield is the perfect place to complete your MA in Musicology. The Department of Music works closely with the University's Concerts Series and oversees ensembles such as the Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, the Chamber Choir and the Folk Group. Our MA students have performed with these ensembles. One student conducted an edition of a long lost Broadway musical that he reconstructed for full orchestra and cast.

Our students also benefit from a thriving research environment and take part in academic conferences. The University's archives also offer the potential for musicological work, particularly in the collection of scores used by the renowned conductor Sir Thomas Beecham.

Sheffield is celebrated as one of the UK's leading music cities, with dozens of major venues. Sheffield benefits from regular visits from the Halle and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras, the nationally important Music in the Round chamber music organisation, and a rich programme of musicals, ballets and operas at the Crucible and Lyceum theatres. Sheffield is particularly known for its folk scene. Our students regularly take part in gigs at smaller venues across the city, as well as the Yellow Arch Studios.

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Modules

Explore core and optional modules

Teaching

Teaching is through seminars, reading group, graduate study days and individual tutorials.

Learn more about your supervisors

Assessment

Assessment is through essays, short presentations and a dissertation.

Duration

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

I feel I have grown and developed as an academic during my MA at Sheffield. The support and encouragement from the staff is exceptional and I believe I am now more than equipped to move on to a PhD thanks to this course.

Ben Redmayne
MA Musicology

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.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Fees and funding

University funding and scholarships opportunities are available each year. Please check the department funding webpages for music specific scholarships. Department scholarships details are released in the January prior to the start of your course.

Funding information on the Department of Music website

Apply

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

Apply now

Contact

music-admissions@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 0495

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.