Traditional and World Music (Distance Learning)
Department of Music,
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
The course allows students to specialise in an area of their choice, while providing the opportunity to study musical phenomena from a global perspective. Some students take advantage of Sheffield’s position as a major hub of both English and ‘Celtic’ musical activity to pursue in-depth studies on traditional musics of the British Isles. Others enjoy the opportunity to develop new understanding of musical sounds, practices and cultures from elsewhere in the world. In this course, ‘World Music’ is interpreted quite literally as encompassing, in principle, the study of any and all musical activity in the world: Western as well as ‘exotic’, popular as well as classical, amateur as well as professional.
Traditional and world musics and their associated cultures are studied through practical methods such as fieldwork and direct participation in music-making, as well as library research and theoretical interpretation. Students gain both a deeper knowledge of the music and a set of skills for discovering and communicating new knowledge about music. The course is intended for musicians, educators and other enthusiasts who want to know more about traditional and world musics and about ways of studying and understanding music in its social and cultural context.
Distance learning means that most of the teaching is done through the University online portals where you can access course materials, library materials, and class discussion boards.
You will also be supported by email and online tutorials.
Annual residentials are an important part of the course. By attending these residentials, you'll have the chance to meet your tutors and peers. The residentials include introductory sessions on systems, lecture topics, seminars, world music performance workshops and tutorials.
Residentials take place at the Department of Music's Jessop building on the following dates:
- Monday 23 August – Friday 27 August 2021
- Monday 22 August – Friday 26 August 2022
Learn more about your supervisors
Assessments take a variety of forms such as reports and essays, fieldnotes and recordings, and a final dissertation or folio.
2 years part-time by distance learning
Since completing my MA I have had the opportunity to make great strides professionally. I have presented my dissertation at conferences in Athens, Madrid, Lisbon and Florence, and assisted other international school teachers in setting up alternative percussion ensembles in their schools. The course helped me define a new direction in my teaching career and I am so thankful for that opportunity.
MA World Music Studies
2:1 undergraduate degree. If your undergraduate degree is not in music, you’ll need to provide evidence of substantial engagement with music.
We also recognise the value of experience, and may accept applications from people who have been in practice, or who bring other experience to their studies.
English language requirements
Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.
Fees and funding
University and faculty funding is available each year. The department has a number of scholarships available for our strongest candidates.
You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.
+44 114 222 0495
The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.