Music & Cultural History
The one-year MA in Music and Cultural History is a progressive alternative to conventional postgraduate courses in musicology, and it draws on the diverse expertise of internationally renowned scholars to combine the very best of traditional and contemporary scholarly practice.
During the course you will be presented with the opportunity to acquire and develop core musicological skills, including research techniques, the critical editing of music, and the close reading and analysis of musical texts. You will also engage with some of the most exciting developments in recent music scholarship, including:
explorations of politics,
gender and sexuality in music
race and ethnicity in music
(dis)ability in music
the interaction of music with other media
the manifold issues in today's popular music and culture, and
the new links being formed between musicology and other disciplines such as film studies, cultural studies, postcolonial theory, and philosophy.
The MA in Music and Cultural History offers a well-rounded but focused introduction to methodologies and issues in contemporary musicology. It presents you with an opportunity to expand your familiarity with musical repertoire, deepen your engagement with key critical concepts and acquire valuable research skills.
Each of the modules in Part A runs for twelve weeks (either September to December or January to March) and consists of three weekly hours of seminars as well as an additional hour of self-directed study.
You will also be encouraged to form peer-learning groups and you will be provided with study facilities for these groups.
The average weekly commitment is approximately 10 hours of formal instruction, but you will also spend time in individual preparation, reading, study and research.
You will be required to attend selected live performances and screenings, and to engage with live streams and other mediatised forms of performance.
The research project (e.g. a dissertation of c.12,000 words, or an equivalent project that may have performance or creative components) is submitted in September.
The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over two years.
Students take 90 credits as follows:
MU6030 Research Skills (5 credits)
MU6050 Performance Studies (10 credits)
MU6031 Sound Studies & Musicology (5 credits)
MU6034 Multidisciplinary Debates in Musicology and Ethnomusicology (5 credits)
MU6036 Music and Popular Culture (10 credits)
MU6037 Music and Cinema (10 credits)
MU6046 Musicology: History and Trends (10 credits)
One further module in Music or a related area as appropriate to the student's research specialization (5 credits)
MU6012 Research Project in Music and Cultural History (30 credits)
See the Academic Calendar (MA Music and Cultural History) for more information.
Postgraduate Diploma in Music and Cultural History
Candidates who pass at least 60 credits of taught modules may elect to exit the programme and be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Music and Cultural History.
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
In order to be permitted to proceed to the MA Degree in Music and Cultural History, a candidate must hold a minimum of Second Class Honours, Grader II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in Music (or one in which Music is a major subject).
Applicants with an appropriate professional equivalent will also be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Final acceptance is subject to approval by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.
In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June 2023
How Do I Apply
1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.
For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.
2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:
Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.
3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.
Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.
Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:
You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme. Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
Please detail your research interest(s).
Please add the names and email addresses of two referees.
You will be assessed through a combination of coursework (essays, portfolios of short assignments, learning journals), in-class presentations and viva voce examinations. There are no written examinations.
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.
Start Date 7 September 2020
Post Course Info
Skills and Careers Information
What can I do after I graduate with an MA in Music and Cultural History?
UCC Musicology graduates develop a wide range of skills that are invaluable to our cultural industries and information economy, including critical, historical, and global thinking, advanced media literacy and media savvy, cultural analysis, and professional writing. By participating in MCH Seminars and events such as the FUAIM Music Research Seminar Series, graduates will gain experience in formal presentation and broaden their professional network before leaving UCC. Graduates leave with transferable skills that are extremely important in our global cultural economy and its proliferation of cultural and information-based career fields.
Occupations associated with Music and Cultural History degrees:
Tourism and Cultural Industries: Tourism, Arts Venues
Media: Radio, TV, and Online Platforms, Cultural Journalism
Information Technology: Online Music Platforms (Google, YouTube, Spotify, WhoSampled.com), Librarian, Archives, Information Officer
Teaching: Universities, EU Cultural Commission, NGO Research Consortia, Secondary Schools
Performance: Music Performance and Production, Historically Informed Performance, Singer-Songwriter
Public Sector: Arts Administrator, Outreach Officer, Communications Officer, Media Officer
Advertising: Advertising Copywriter, Demographic Analysis, Account Executive
Public Relations & Communications: Music Management and PR
Writer: Freelance, Culture and Style Columnist, Blogger, Magazine Editor, Music Editor
Marketing: Music Marketing Executive, Marketing Analysis.
Or further your skill set with Advanced PhD Research.
Remember, in many advertised job vacancies a postgraduate degree is required. A Master's Degree in Music and Cultural History is an excellent qualification to prepare you for a diverse range of professional fields. The degree exhibits your dedication to history and an informed view of the past, but with an eye to the future information economy and its multi-media cultural industries.