Open University in Ireland


MA in Music
This masters degree in Music introduces you to the diverse topics and methods of music research and equips you with the critical skills to pursue your own research interests in music. You’ll develop your ability to analyse and interpret musical sources and practices, to understand and apply theories to develop your own arguments, and to communicate effectively to a variety of different audiences. You’ll also encounter musical practices and genres from a wide range of places and time periods and have the opportunity to follow your own musical interests. This qualification will be ideal if you wish to pursue higher-level academic research or if you want to advance your career in music education or the creative industries.

Key features of the course
• Introduces essential music research skills.
• Explores a range of sources, methods and theories for an advanced study of music.
• Investigates a wide range of musical traditions and practices.
• Concludes with a dissertation on a subject of your choice.

How long it takes
You will be able to complete this masters qualification within two years by studying one module each year.

Subjects taught

To gain the 180 credits you require for this qualification, you must study the modules in the order shown below and have passed part 1 before progressing to part 2.

Compulsory modules
MA Music part 1 (A890) - 90 Credits - Next start: 07 Sep 2024
MA Music part 2 (A891) PLANNED 90 Credits - Next start: Sep 2025

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

For module details please see "Course Web Page".

Entry requirements

The principal requirement to study the MA in Music is that you are able to write an essay to a good academic standard. The best way to provide evidence of this is to hold a UK honours degree (or equivalent from an English-speaking university), with at least a 2:1 classification. Although your degree does not need to be in Music, you will need a good knowledge of, or experience in, at least some areas of music to successfully complete this qualification. This may include performing or listening to music, and reading about music (for example books, magazines, blogs). The ability to read music notation is useful but not a necessity. There is no requirement to perform on a musical instrument.

If you do not already hold an honours degree or equivalent with at least a 2:1 classification, you will be asked to demonstrate your preparedness for the module in other ways. You should undertake study of the free OpenLearn course An introduction to music research and submit an essay of between 1,000 and 1,500 words on a topic of your choice, making use of what you have learned in at least one section of this course. You may instead submit an essay of a similar length that you have already written on any other arts and humanities subject. Your essay will be assessed on its written clarity and structure, rather than its subject matter. Your essay can be submitted alongside evidence of previous study at the point of registration. If you are unfamiliar with scholarly writing and academic practice, particularly regarding referencing, you should also study the free OpenLearn course Succeeding in postgraduate study.

It is expected that your spoken and written English will also be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 7 under the International English Language testing system (IELTS).


180 credits


2 years

Enrolment dates

See Course Web Page link for next start date.

Post Course Info

Career relevance
If you wish to pursue a career in academia or research, this qualification will provide a route towards a higher-level research degree (e.g. PhD), which is an essential prerequisite for such a career. A masters degree can help to enhance your career prospects as a teacher in secondary and higher education. If your aim is to enter professions associated with the media, culture or knowledge industries, or if you already have a career in one of these areas and are seeking a further qualification as a means of career development, then a masters degree, supplemented by relevant skills and experience, can be a valuable asset.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Flexible

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    Course provider