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Music & Cultural History

The one-year MA in Music and Cultural History is an 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 and the critical editing of music. You will also be introduced to some of the most exciting developments in recent music scholarship, including:

explorations of politics

gender and sexuality in music

the interaction of music with other media, and

the new links being formed between musicology and other disciplines such as film studies, cultural studies and philosophy.

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 dissertation (approximately 12,000 words) is submitted in September.

Entry requirements

You will have a BA degree (or equivalent) in Music, 2.2

In order to be permitted to proceed to the MA Degree in Music and Cultural History, a candidate must hold a primary honours degree in Music (or one in which Music is a major subject) with at least a Second Class Honours grade or higher.

Applicants with an appropriate professional equivalent will also be considered. Final acceptance is subject to approval by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please see course webpage (link below) to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.


1 year full-time
2 years part-time

The Part-time option over 2 years open to EU students only

CKE79 Full-time; CKD21 Part-time

Number of credits

90 credits.

Careers or further progression

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,, 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.

Further enquiries

Dr Melanie L. Marshall
Programme Director, MA in Music and Cultural History

Department of Music
School of Music and Theatre
University College Cork
Cork, Ireland

Tel: 021 490 4629 /4530
Research Profile:

Subjects taught

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.

Students take 90 credits as follows:

Part I
MU6030 Research Skills (5 credits)

MU6003 Performance Studies (15 credits)

MU6031 Sound Studies & Musicology (5 credits)

MU6034 Multidisciplinary Debates in Musicology and Ethnomusicology (5 credits)

MU6035 The Body in Creative Arts Practice (10 credits)

MU6036 Music and Popular Culture (10 credits)

MU6037 Music and Cinema (10 credits)

Part II
MU6012 Research Project in Music and Cultural History (30 credits)

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.


Unique Aspects of the Course.
The MA in Music and Cultural History is the only course in Ireland to focus on recent developments in musicology, which is increasingly embracing and absorbing methods and insights from other disciplines to provide new perspectives on music and its cultural role.

The course not only offers an introduction to some of this interdisciplinary research (topics in intertextuality, intermediality, gender, sexuality) but offers co-taught modules with courses in ethnomusicology and film studies.

Assessment method

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.

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 part-time

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 11 September 2017

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!