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  1. Ethnomusicology
  2. 2017
Courses

MA Ethnomusicology

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Join one of the UK’s leading learning environments for the study of music, combining world-leading research, exceptional teaching and a vibrant musical community in the heart of global London.

Key Information

Start date

September 2017

Duration

Full-time: One year

Part-time: Two years

UK/EU

Full-time: £7,500

Part-time: £4,000 per year

Non-EU

Full-time: £13,500

Part-time: £6,750 per year

Who is it for?

Students interested in extending their knowledge and developing critical and research skills in ethnomusicology.

The course provides a rigorous training relevant to a range of professional careers, including further study at doctoral level.

We welcome students from all over the world and from a range of backgrounds.

Objectives

Combining academic rigour with a flexible course structure, the MA Ethnomusicology introduces students to new ways of thinking about music in its cultural contexts, with a particular focus on ethnographic work in urban settings.

Students consider current issues and debates in ethnomusicology and explore the complex interrelationships between music and other subjects, and between theory and creative practice. The course provides a rich creative environment in which to develop critical approaches to musical practices. The MA offers a range of options, with students able to focus project work on areas of individual interest. The course also provides training in fundamental research skills.

We have an outstanding reputation for dynamic, inspring and rigorous postgraduate eduation and offer exceptional support to our students.

Our students come from all over the world and benefit from our location in the heart of London, one of the world’s greatest cultural hubs.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally hold (or expect to gain) an upper second class honours degree. Whilst most students come with a first degree in music, we do consider applicants with a good honours degree in cognate subjects in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Other suitable qualifications

INTO City, University of London

Don’t meet the entry requirements? INTO City, University of London offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare you for study at City, University of London. You’ll learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry. To prepare for this degree course, learn more about the Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences and the Arts.

English requirements

If your first language is not English, you will need to achieve one of the following English language test scores:

  • IELTS: an overall score of 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in each sub-test).
  • Cambridge Proficiency grade C or above.
  • Evidence that the medium of instruction for your first degree was in English.

Your English test should have been taken in the last two years.

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

INTO English language programmes

Don’t meet the English language requirements? INTO City, University of London offers English language programmes to help prepare you for study at university. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to degree courses. Learn more about INTO’s English for University Study programme.

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

The MA Ethnomusicology attracts a very high number and standard of applications. To make sure you have the best opportunity of gaining a place please apply as early as possible. When making your application you should note the following:

  • Each application is carefully assessed against the entry requirements so it is important that you include all the required information with your application (for example, degree certificates, certificates of language proficiency levels etc). The processing of your application may be delayed if you do not include these documents.
  • As part of your application you are asked to provide a personal statement. It is important that you use this opportunity to demonstrate clearly why you want to undertake the MA and how this relates to your future career plans.

Applicants should submit the following:

  • Online application form
  • A transcript of your undergraduate degree
  • An essay (2,000-3,000 words) on a musical topic. The essay should demonstrate critical skills and writing ability, and conform to standard academic guidelines for formatting and referencing. Most applicants submit an essay completed as part of their undergraduate studies.
  • Two academic references
Research Intensive
88% of our research was described as either world-leading or internationally excellent in (REF 2014)
Central London location
We are within walking distance of many internationally important art and culture venues

More about fees

Funding

Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website. Bursaries

Find out more about the Postgraduate Solutions Study Bursary

Graduate Loyalty Discount: The School of Arts & Social Sciences offer a 10% discount on tuition fees for all City graduates.

Scholarships

We are offering one full fee-waiver scholarship for entry to any of our MA pathways in September 2017.

The Robert Anderson Scholarship provides a full-fee waiver at UK/EU rates. International students are also eligible to apply and if successful will have the equivalent UK/EU fee amount deducted from the international fee. The deadline for applications is Friday 5th May 2017.

In addition to your main application, scholarship applications should include:

  • a CV indicating your studies and achievements to date
  • a statement indicating why you feel you are particularly deserving of such an award and outlining the contribution you will make to the Music Department

Find out more about British Council scholarships and financial support

Find out more about scholarships for Turkish students wishing to study in the UK

Find out more about scholarships for Malaysian students wishing to study in the UK

Find out more about scholarships for German students wishing to study in the UK

Find out more about the International directory of scholarships.


The School of Arts and Social Sciences is delighted to offer a number of UK scholarships for this course. The scholarships are worth £2,000 towards tuition fees awarded on the basis of academic merit and applicants' personal statements. Applications are now closed and successful applicants will be notified in May 2017.

Find out more about Scholarships for the Arts and Social Sciences.

Placements

The professional work placement is an elective module giving you the opportunity to work in the cultural sector to apply the skills you have gained from the programme so far.

When it comes to the organisation, it is totally up to you. Previous students have gained experience with the Southbank Centre, The British Library, IMG Artists, LIFT, Arts Council England and the British Film Institute.

Academic facilities

Music students can take advantage of our advanced recording and composition studios, a professional performance space, computer laboratories, rehearsal rooms, practice rooms and world music instruments.

Our composition studios include three surround (8.1/ 5.1) studios, one of which is dedicated to film and live electronics work, and three stereo composition studios. All of the studios are equipped for sound editing, processing and mixing. As well as general software such as Logic, Sibelius and Pro Tools, these studios are equipped with Native Instruments Komplete.

The recording studio is equipped to deliver multitrack recording and mixing to a professional standard.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply

Teaching and learning

Teaching is through lectures, small group seminars and one-to-one tutorials in which students receive supervision from world-leading researchers.

In addition, we arrange off-site visits, such as to the British Library or to relevant conferences. Project work also involves engaging with external organisations, including local communities.

We use a range of assessment types, including extended projects, portfolio submissions and written examinations. Assessment will depend on the particular modules chosen by students.

We have a vibrant postgraduate community and there are plenty of opportunities for involvement in our many ensembles, including Javanese and Balinese gamelans, Middle Eastern ensemble and Latin ensemble.

We host a regular concert series and an annual summer music festival. In addition, there are regular workshops, visiting speakers and research seminars, and we also host occasional conferences.

In addition to our many ensembles at City, MA students are also eligible to audition for the University of London Symphony Orchestra.

Modules

MA Ethnomusicology students take two core modules (total 60 credits), two or three elective modules (total 30 or 60 credits), and also produce a final Ethnomusicology Major Project (60 or 90 credits).

A typical 30 credit taught module involves two hours of lectures/seminars per week over a ten-week teaching term, plus a total of one-hour tutorial supervision over the course of the module (usually two thirty minute meetings).

In addition, the MA involves a significant amount of self-directed study, including preparation between classes, and researching and writing projects, equivalent to about 18 hours per week over a fifteen-week period (from the start of teaching to the final assessment).

Students take two core modules in the first term,  followed by elective modules in the second term (for part-time students the modules are spread over two years)

Core modules

  • Critical Readings in Musicology (30 credits)
  • Researching Music in Contemporary Culture (30 credits)

Elective modules

  • Music Special Project (30 credits)
  • Interdisciplinarity and Collaborative Process (30 credits)
  • Urban Ethnomusicology (30 credits)
  • Historical Musicology (30 credits)

Plus a range of elective modules in the Departments of Sociology and International Politics:

  • Professional Placement (15 credits)
  • Audiences and Marketing (15 credits)
  • Digital cultures (15 credits)
  • Culture (15 credits)
  • Cultural Policy (15 credits)
  • Public Culture: The Politics of Participation (15 credits)
  • Global Cultural Industries, Ethics and Social Responsibility (15 credits)
  • Celebrity (15 credits)
  • Global Ethics: Principles, Power and Politics (30 credits)
  • Development in Communications Policy (30 credits)
  • Political Communication (30 credits)
  • Human Rights and the Transformation of World Politics (30 credits)
  • International Organisations in Global Politics (15 credits)
  • Theories of International Politics (30 credits)
  • Political Islam in Global Politics (15 credits)
  • The Politics of Forced Migration (15 credits)
  • Global Governance (15 credits)
  • International Politics of the Middle East
    (15 credits)
  • Development and World Politics
    (15 credits)

(NB: Elective module choices are subject to availability and timetabling constraints).

Dissertation

The MA culminates in a 60 or 90 credit Ethnomusicology Major Project, an extended independent project on an ethnomusicological topic running through the spring and summer terms, which students complete by the end of August. All projects will include an ethnographic component and can take the form of a 12-15,000 (60 credit) or 15-20,000 (90 credit) word dissertation, an ethnographic film and accompanying written commentary, or a lecture-recital and accompanying written commentary.

Examples of previous dissertation projects include:

  • 'Production of Identity via Culture in a French New Town. The Case of Cergy-Pontoise’
  • ‘Tracing the Contours of Self-Expression and Identity through Social Media in Omani Traditional Music'
  • ‘Eritrean Diasporic Music in London’
  • ‘Key Changes: A Conscious Approach to “Alternative” Music Therapy’
  • ‘Hybridity, Afro-Modernism and Double Consciousness in the Music of Kanye West’
  • ‘Computer Music and Post-Digital Aesthetics’
  • ‘Tropes of Contemporary Globalisation and the Paradoxes of Berlin’s Electronic Dance Culture’
  • Student
    My lecturer really helped me develop into a better writer and thinker, and introduced me to some of my favourite fields of study.
  • Academic expert
    Reader in Music and Head of Department working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.

Career prospects

Our MA programmes have excellent employment statistics. Students  have gone on to teach, compose and perform in a wide variety of settings and are also employed in areas such as music publishing, broadcasting, music management, arts administration and further musical study at MPhil or PhD level. Alumni are currently working in high-profile roles, including in organisations such as the Southbank Centre and the Halle Orchestra.

Examples include:

  • Justine Fancy, PR Manager at MAMA & Company, live music company
  • Rachel Swindells, Gamelan & Community Projects Officer, Halle Orchestra
  • Meliz Serman, Head of Music, Davenport Foundation School
  • Javier Alvarez, International Award-Winning Composer

The MA Ethnomusicology attracts a very high number and standard of applications. To make sure you have the best opportunity of gaining a place please apply as early as possible. When making your application you should note the following:

  • Each application is carefully assessed against the entry requirements so it is important that you include all the required information with your application (for example, degree certificates, certificates of language proficiency levels etc). The processing of your application may be delayed if you do not include these documents.
  • As part of your application you are asked to provide a personal statement. It is important that you use this opportunity to demonstrate clearly why you want to undertake the MA and how this relates to your future career plans.

Applicants should submit the following:

  • Online application form
  • A transcript of your undergraduate degree
  • An essay (2,000-3,000 words) on a musical topic. The essay should demonstrate critical skills and writing ability, and conform to standard academic guidelines for formatting and referencing. Most applicants submit an essay completed as part of their undergraduate studies.
  • Two academic references

Contact details

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.