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Music - Ethnomusicology

This innovative one-year taught MA in Ethnomusicology offers a fresh and dynamic approach to the study of music at postgraduate level in Ireland. It combines scholarship and performance in the study of a diverse range of music traditions from around the world. Emphasis is given to performance, history and theory of ethnomusicology, cultural and performance theories and ethnographic field research.

The Department of Music is internationally renowned as a centre of excellence for the study of Irish traditional music and world music. Postgraduate students join a thriving research culture in our Department. Our music scholars and practitioners represent a model of innovative research in the twenty-first century. Committed to a diversity of scholarly traditions and forms of creativity, our staff are internationally recognised for their innovative research, which is marked by its progressive attitudes and its diversity of coverage.

Entry requirements

You will have a 2.2 honours BA degree, or equivalent, in music or a related subject (e.g. anthropology, folklore, cultural studies). Applicants with an appropriate professional equivalent (e.g. professional musician of high standing, music media professionals) will also be considered. All applicants will be required to attend an interview with members of the programme team and may be required to pass a qualifying test.


1 year full-time
2 Years Part Time

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

Careers or further progression

Graduates of the MA in Ethnomusicology go on to pursue a wide range of careers in the creative arts, culture industries and media. Our graduates are professional musicians, academics, teachers and arts managers.

Further enquiries

P: + 353 21 4904530

Subjects taught

The MA in Ethnomusicology consists of five modules with a total credit weighting of 90 credits.

Modules (90 credits)

History and Theory of Ethnomusicology (15 credits)

Ethnography of Music (15 credits)

Performance Theory (15 credits)

Performance Practice (15 credits)

Dissertation (30 credits)


Project/Performance (30 credits)

Through a programme of individual research under the guidance of staff, students investigate a music-culture and/or socio-musical phenomenon of your choice, employing appropriate methodological approaches and theoretical paradigms, and present the findings in a dissertation of not less than 12,000 words.

The project module offers you the opportunity to explore research topics in ethnomusicology using both practice-based and theoretical methodologies with project work culminating in a performance-based presentation.

The programme can also be taken part-time over 24 months (by day). The course structure for part-time students would be subject to agreement with the Department of Music.

Details of the programme content and modules are in the Postgraduate College Calendar


Unique Aspects of the Course.
Several key factors combine to make the MA in Ethnomusicology at UCC the most popular course of its kind on the island of Ireland. The MA is unique in its emphasis on music performance and music scholarship. In addition, most other taught MA in Ethnomusicology courses are delivered by a limited number of staff, whereas the MA in Ethnomusicology at UCC is delivered by a large, experienced team of diversely skilled international researchers and teachers.

Course Practicalities
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.

Assessment method

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.

Application date

Applications for 2017-18 intake are now open.

While UCC operates a rounds system for Postgraduate Taught courses (detailed below) we would advise you to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of Applications: Offers will be made:

For all completed applications received by January 16th 2017 Offers will be made by January 30th 2017

For all completed applications received by March 1st 2017 Offers will be made by March 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2017 Offers will be made by May 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by July 3rd 2017 Offers will be made by July 17th 2017

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity for places.

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

Course fee

2017/2018 Irish/EU Fee: €6,000 full-time, €3,000 per year part-time

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 11 September 2017

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