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MA in Music (Ethnomusicology)

  • Length
    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
  • Department
    Music

Course overview

The MA in Music (Ethnomusicology) introduces a range of methodologies in relation to the study of music in its cultural contexts.

As well as engaging with musical practices in various geographic or cultural areas, the programme acknowledges the importance of urban ethnomusicology and the usefulness of applying ethnomusicological approaches to Western art and popular music.

You have the opportunity to engage with key ethnographic methodologies, such as interviewing, videoing and video editing, and musical performance as a research technique.

The innovative structure of the programme allows you to specialise in one of these areas if you wish, leading to a final project that itself may have a significant practical component, and you have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork projects as part of your studies.

A written dissertation option is also available, allowing you to engage in depth with an issue that interests you.

The programme appeals to a wide range of students hoping to develop their intellectual skills in music, particularly those with interests in music as a cultural phenomenon.

It's exceptionally useful, for example, for students preparing for further postgraduate research, or for those considering careers in teaching, journalism, arts administration or the culture industries, or working with government agencies or charities abroad.

Find out more about the MA in Music.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Barley Norton

Modules & structure

Core module

Module title Credits
  Contemporary Ethnomusicology 30 credits

Option modules

You choose three modules from a list that currently includes:

Module title Credits
  Critical Musicology and Popular Music 30 credits
  New Directions in Popular Music Research 30 credits
  Sound Agendas 30 credits
  Ethnographic Film and Music Research 30 credits
  Performance as Research 30 credits
  Philosophies of Music 30 credits
  Interpretation, Meaning and Performance 30 credits
  Popular Music and its Critics 30 credits

Ethnomusicology Major Project

Module title Credits
  Ethnomusicology Major Project 60 credits

Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Department

Music at Goldsmiths is ranked 12th in the UK for the quality of our research**

Music

From opera to electronica, and from Errollyn Wallen to James Blake, music studies at Goldsmiths are unique and different. Firmly rooted in the 21st century, our programmes entwine academic with practice-based study, and historical with contemporary repertories.

Performance opportunities

We’re committed to high quality, ambitious and innovative performance, and we have a wide range of ensembles that you can join, including:

  • Goldsmiths Sinfonia
  • Chamber Choir
  • Contemporary Music Ensemble
  • Lunchtime and evening recitals
  • Music Collective
  • Studio Laptop Ensemble
  • Goldsmiths Vocal Ensemble
  • Plus student-led ensembles: Chamber Orchestra, New Music Ensemble, Big Band and Film Orchestra

These culminate in our end-of-year degree show and public music festival PureGold, which in recent years has launched at London’s Southbank Centre.

Facilities

We have excellent rehearsal and performance facilities including:

  • Goldsmiths Music Studios
  • Electronic Music Studio
  • Sonics Interactive Multimedia Laboratory
  • Council Chamber (with its Steinway Model D)
  • Two suites of practice rooms

Find out more about the Department of Music.

**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

Staff

Find out more about staff in the Department of Music.

Skills & careers

Skills

You'll develop an awareness of key ethnographic methodologies, investigation and evaluation skills, intellectual skills in music and specific research skills.

Careers

The programme will be exceptionally useful for, for example, students preparing for further postgraduate research, or for those considering careers in teaching, journalism, arts administration or the culture industries, or working with government agencies or charities abroad.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in Music or an equivalent subject. 

Your qualification should comprise a substantial academic element relevant to the selected MA pathway and option choices. For the generic MA in Music award you should write a detailed proposal explaining the rationale for your option course choices and how these provide a coherent programme of study leading to dissertation. A detailed transcript of your degree is preferred.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Selection process

You will normally be required to attend an interview, and you may be asked to submit examples of your written work in advance (such as an essay of at least 1,500 words on a relevant topic).

Find out more about applying.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

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