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Musicology MMus


This course is eligible for Master's loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

16 September 2024


1 year full-time
2 years part-time

Places available (subject to change)

25-35 (This number may be subject to change)

About the course

Reasons to study

  1. Music at the University of Huddersfield has an international reputation, and hosts what is possibly the largest postgraduate community in music in the world.
  2. You will be a member of the Centre for Music, Culture and Identity which provides a focus for musicological research in the department.
  3. Music team regularly hosts specialist international conferences in Musicology, including the Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music (2018), and Music Since 1900 (2019).

This course is designed to enable you to pursue musicology at an advanced level of scholarship, with increased intellectual confidence, enhanced research skills, professional responsibility, and critical and theoretical awareness of sub-disciplines of musicology, appropriate to making an original contribution to the professional field of music studies. You will do so as part of a vibrant, stimulating and energetic community for music researchers at the University of Huddersfield.

We will provide you with a high-quality learning experience, based upon the teaching and research strengths of our staff. We will support you as you develop as a music scholar, learning to understand and evaluate a range of research methods and topics, and how to communicate these both within and outside of the wider academic community. Teaching will include archive-based sessions, which will give you confidence in handling and analysing a wide range of specialist sources from manuscripts to early sound recordings.

You will learn how to devise, research, manage and conduct a major independent study to completion, offering you expert knowledge and expertise to support you at every stage. You will be taught by members of our large team of academic staff, the topics of whose research and publications cover music from prehistoric and medieval periods to music of the present day. Particular areas of specialism in Musicology include music and gender, film musicology, theory and analysis, early music, source studies and editions, historical musicology, and cultural musicology.

You will have access to the University of Huddersfield Music Library, which is complemented by the holdings of Heritage Quay, who host the British Music Collection (over 60,000 scores and recordings), the archive of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and the British Dance Band archive (21,000 recordings from that genre, recorded and released in the UK between 1911 and 1939).

Music at the University of Huddersfield has an international reputation, and hosts what is possibly the largest postgraduate community in music in the world. You will benefit from attendance at the regular Music Research Seminars, whose speakers include internal and visiting specialists each week. You will be a member of the Centre for Music, Culture and Identity which provides a focus for musicological research in the department. It includes the Popular Music Research Group, whose expertise in pop musicology are particularly related to metal. CMCI maintains strong connections with other research centres, including CeReNeM – notably the Music and Democracy research group – and ReCePP, whose members are performers and practice-based researchers across wide stylistic contexts.

Furthermore, the Music team regularly hosts specialist international conferences in Musicology, including the Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music (2018), and Music Since 1900 (2019), the Performance Studies Network Conference (2021), and Roberto Gerhard (2020). Such conferences open opportunities for PGT students to be involved in running and speaking at international symposia, forming networks with other researchers, and exploring avenues for the publication of their work.

The University of Huddersfield is proud to offer a superb range of purpose-built facilities for Music Performance, including two concert halls (St Paul’s Hall, and Phipps Hall), recording studios, individual practice rooms, and teaching rooms. Student performers can use the department’s extensive collection of specialist instruments, all purchased and maintained to professional standards, including early music instruments, three organs and over fifty pianos. Students on the MMus Musicology are welcome to participate in relevant ensembles.

The University presents regular concerts throughout the academic year, hosting a wide variety of professional performers across a range of genres and styles. Additionally the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Electric Spring offer performances given by leading practitioners within the field of new music.

Course detail

Researching Music

On this module you will be introduced to a range of significant and contemporary scholarship relating to the study of music. You will learn about diverse approaches to music research, and receive training in managing research professionally and ethically. Central to the module is the development of research skills appropriate to postgraduate level work and to your own research interests.

Sources and Methods in Musicology

This module will help you to work with a range of sources, including archival materials, and apply relevant methodologies to interpreting and using them in your research. The module includes practical sessions in the University of Huddersfield archives (Heritage Quay), where you will be introduced to a range of manuscript and printed materials, and to online finding tools. Seminars will focus on a variety of methodological approaches to working with source materials.

Musicology Dissertation Preparation

In this module you will undertake preparatory work for your final dissertation, including devising research questions, identifying a methodology, and designing a logical structure for an extended piece of work. You will have the opportunity to pitch your dissertation topic for feedback from the group and from tutors as part of this module. Topics explored will include: • Ethics and professional responsibility in musicological research • Devising and articulating strong research questions • Managing primary and secondary sources in discussion and through referencing systems • Choosing and managing a suitable methodology and case study • Using evidence to build a strong, coherent argument

Musicology Dissertation

This module is worth 60 credits in total (therefore comprising one third of your degree) and is the primary context within which you will develop your independent scholarship, focusing upon a topic of your choice. The dissertation may relate to any discipline of musicology, including (but not restricted to): historical musicology; sources and criticism; music analysis; music edition; working with historical recordings; ethnomusicology; music and identity studies; music biography; critical musicology; empirical musicology; music psychology.

You will take 180 credits at Master's level, made up of four modules, two of which are focused upon your performance skills, whilst the other two support and develop your understanding of research and performance studies in ways that support and enhance your performance:

Entry requirements

You are required to have a minimum of a 2:2 honours degree from a recognised University or equivalent institution. Your application materials or previous qualifications should be able to demonstrate a strong understanding of musicology. This can typically be demonstrated through a relevant dissertation undertaken at undergraduate level or other substantial piece of guided research, or where the musicological component of your degree was awarded marks of at least an upper second class level.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 7.0 overall with no element lower than 6.5, or equivalent. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

Student Work

Student support

The school has dedicated Academic Skills Tutors (AST) who deliver a range of generic skills. The AST offers help and advice with general study skills, IT, literacy and numeracy as well as research skills. The AST may also refer students for specialist support and assessment e.g. for Dyslexia.

In line with the Equality Act 2010, the School will make reasonable adjustments in order that disabled students can fully access their course. The University's Disability Services provide information and advice to disabled students about the support available and liaises with members of staff on disability related issues.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Cancellation of a course you have applied for

Although we always try and run all of the course we offer, we may occasionally have to withdraw a course you have applied for or combine your programme with another programme if we consider this reasonably necessary to ensure a good student experience, for example if there are not enough applicants to ensure you have a good learning experience. Where this is the case we will notify you as soon as reasonably possible and we will contact you to discuss other suitable courses with us we can transfer your application to. If we notify you that the course you have applied to has been withdrawn or combined, and you do not wish to transfer to another course with us, you may cancel your application and we will refund you any deposits or fees you have paid to us.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to. You should read these carefully before you enrol. Please note that this information is subject to change and you are advised to check our website regularly for any changes before you enrol at the University. A person who is not party to this agreement shall not have any rights under or in connection with it. Only you and the University shall have any right to enforce or rely on the agreement.

Equal opportunities

The University of Huddersfield is an equal opportunities institution. We aim to create conditions where staff and students are treated solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential, regardless of gender, age, race, caste, class, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, family responsibility, trade union activity, political or religious belief, or age. Please visit our website to see our Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy

Data protection

The University holds personal data on all enquirers, applicants and enrolled students. All such data is kept and processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Legislation. The University’s Data Protection Policy and Privacy Notices are available on the University website.

Students’ Union membership

Under the 1994 Education Act, students at all UK universities have the right to join, or not to join, the Students’ Union. There is no membership fee. If you choose not to join you have the right not to be disadvantaged; however, you are not entitled to vote, take part in elections, or hold any office. The following arrangements apply in order that non-Union members are not disadvantaged: Non-members are welcome to take part in the activities of Affiliated Clubs and Societies on payment of the appropriate subscription. However, they may not vote or hold office in the society or club. Union members may be offered a discounted subscription. Non-members are free to use Union facilities on the same basis as members. Welfare, catering and shops are available to non-members as well as members. Union members may be offered a discounted price.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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