Music - Ethnomusicology
Ethnomusicology embraces music from around the world, old and new, professional and amateur, sacred and profane, traditional and newly invented. A dynamic discipline, its key focuses include extended fieldwork-based approaches to understanding what people are doing and valuing when they express themselves musically.
Ethnomusicologists give a special place to learning via the formation of relationships with members of musical communities and to learning via their own personal involvement in music-making itself. This experience, often both humbling and insightful, informs us as we build understandings, interpretations, and analyses upon those of the people with whom we live and study. In projects referred to as applied ethnomusicology, we also contribute as advocates or supporters, using our expertise to transform society in positive directions.
Our innovative one-year taught MA in Ethnomusicology offers a fresh and dynamic approach to the study of music at the postgraduate level in Ireland. The programme combines scholarship and performance in the study of a diverse range of music traditions from around the world.
Coursework includes a personalised research training preparation, musical performance, history and theory of ethnomusicology, multi-disciplinarity, performance studies, and ethnographic field research. MAs are completed by a research project, selected by the student, which ranges from ethnographic dissertations to major performance and from filmmaking to the creation of world music materials for the classroom.
All teaching is delivered in small group seminars, ensemble classes and tutorials, and in one-on-one lessons and supervision. You can expect eight to twelve hours of class contact time each week, depending on the ensembles studied, concerts presented, and frequency of supervision meetings.
The MA in Ethnomusicology may be taken full-time over 12 months or part-time over 24 months from the date of first registration for the programme.
Part-time: The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over two years. The course structure for part-time students is subject to agreement with the Department of Music.
The MA consists of 90 credits as follows:
Part I (60 credits)
MU6050 Performance Studies (10 credits)
MU6004 Performance Practice (15 credits)
MU6030 Research Skills (5 credits)
MU6034 Multidisciplinary Debates in Musicology and Ethnomusicology (5 credits)
MU6042 Ethnography of Music (10 credits)
MU6043 History and Theory of Ethnomusicology (10 credits)
MU6047 Music Cognition and Perception in Culture (5 credits)
MU6006 Research Project (30 credits)
On successful completion of this programme, Ethnomusicology students should be able to:
Demonstrate improved knowledge and understanding of the history of ethnomusicological theory and methodology;
Demonstrate an understanding of fieldwork theory and methodology and apply this knowledge in the course of ethnographic research and representation;
Apply theories of performance in critical and creative to musical performance;
Demonstrate improved skills in musical performance, improvisation, and creativity across a range of music genres and repertories;
Demonstrate improved skills in written and oral presentation of ethnomusicological concepts and methods (Diploma students);
Demonstrate the competence to carry out an independent research dissertation (Master’s students).
Postgraduate Diploma in Ethnomusicology (NFQ Level 9, Major Award)
Candidates who pass at least 60 credits of taught modules may elect to exit the programme and be awarded a postgraduate Diploma in Ethnomusicology.
See the PG College Calendar (MA Ethnomusicology) for more course details.
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.
You will have a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours Arts degree (NFQ, Level 8), or equivalent, in music or a related subject (e.g. anthropology, folklore, cultural studies). Applicants with an appropriate professional equivalent (e.g. professional musicians of high standing, music media professionals) will also be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). All applicants will be required to attend an interview with members of the programme team and may be required to pass a qualifying test.
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 enter the names and email addresses of two referees.
All assessment is based on continuous assessment methods. You are assessed on coursework submitted, including essays/papers, presentations, music performances, and on attendance and contribution to class.
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.
Start Date: 11 September 2023.
Post Course Info
Skills and Careers Information
Our MA Ethnomusicology graduates go on to pursue a wide range of careers in the creative arts, culture industries and media. Many have applied successfully for PhDs in Ireland or overseas. Our graduates include professional musicians, academics, teachers, arts managers and staff in NGOs.