MA Traditional Music of the British Isles (Distance Learning)

Department of Music, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

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

After two years of studying ethnomusicology at Sheffield, I finally know what it is to be a musician. There were inspiring residentials and world class lectures.

David Currie, MA World Music Studies

About the course

Course description

  • 2019 start
  • 2 years part-time by distance learning

This distance learning course combines annual residential weeks in Sheffield with longer periods of internet-supported study which means students can be anywhere in the world. 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 courses are intended for musicians, educators and 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.

The course shares various modules with MA World Music Studies, while allowing students to specialise in an area of their choice. Traditional Music of the British Isles takes advantage of Sheffield's position as a major hub of both English and 'Celtic' musical activity to pursue in-depth studies on British and Irish traditional musics.

Playing instrumentCourse tutors

The course is taught by qualified ethnomusicologists who have both scholarly and practical expertise in traditional and world musics: Fay Hield, Simon Keegan-Phipps and Andrew Killick.

Course content

Module information on department website

Teaching and assessment

Seminars, individual tutorials and fieldwork. 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.

Distance learning

Distance learning means most of the teaching is done through online course materials and readings supported by email, phone or Skype tutorials. You will need to attend the University for one residential each year.


Entry requirements

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.

Please contact us to discuss your application.

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

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Fees and funding

We don't have the fee for this course. Use this fee calculator to look it up or contact the department to check.

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Funding information on the Department of Music website

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.

Apply now

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

Apply now

Any questions?

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

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

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