12 months
22900 GBP/year
10800 GBP/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Music MA course offered by Durham University is structured to allow you to intensively pursue a specific sub-discipline in Music, accommodating your particular research interests.


Up to five specialisms will be offered each year: 

  • Musicology (P1)
  • Ethnomusicology (P2) 
  • Composition (P3) 
  • Performance (P4)
  • Music and Science (P5)

The structure proposed here is broadly similar to courses offered by other Russell Group university music departments, including Bristol, York, and Birmingham, but has distinctive features informed by the department’s research strength in the emergent sub-discipline of Music and Science.

The Music MA course offered by Durham University will provide intellectually rigorous preparation for the study of music at an advanced level as an independent researcher in accordance with standard professional expectations attendant on the practice of research as articulated by the AHRC and other research councils. It not only affords opportunities for students to explore a chosen area of specialisation in-depth but provides a research culture that fosters inter-disciplinarity and exchange between sub-disciplines. The research training module is taken jointly by all MA students, and all sub-discipline modules will remain available for auditing by any MA student. The degree also facilitates the study of musical repertories from highly diverse international cultural contexts, thereby fostering intercultural dialogue.

Course Learning and Teaching

The course is delivered through a mixture of seminars, practical sessions and one-to-one supervision. Seminars provide opportunities for you to discuss and debate particular issues, and to present your own original work, informed by the knowledge that you have gained through independent study outside the course’s formal contact hours. Practical sessions in areas such as studio or field recording techniques help to prepare you for your own independent work. All students must undertake an independent project (dissertation, composition portfolio, or performance), which is developed with the help of one-to-one expert supervision. Finally, optional modules can be drawn from the undergraduate and postgraduate courses of Music or of other departments –these free-choice modules may involve other forms of staff-student contact, depending on the subject area. The Department actively promotes interdisciplinary approaches to the study of music and you are encouraged to engage with other disciplines in the humanities and sciences.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  •  Contemporary Musicology 
  • Ethnomusicology in Practice and Theory 
  • Compositional Techniques
  •  Music Performance 
  • Advanced Topics in Music and Science 

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months
  • Part-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines


180 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
Upper Second Class

Other requirements

General requirements

Subject requirements, level and grade

  • Our standard admissions requirements are a 2:1 or higher (or equivalent) in an undergraduate Music degree. We are open to considering candidates from other backgrounds, however, and would encourage you to get in touch with us to discuss how you can provide evidence of your suitability for this course in your application. 
  • One sample of written work (2,000 words) on a musicological topic, broadly defined, should be sent as a PDF. This can be an extract from longer pieces of coursework, but should be edited appropriately. 
  • Personal statement explaining your interest in the MA programme, your choice of pathway, what skills, knowledge and experience you can bring to the programme, what skills, knowledge and experience you hope to acquire, and an indication of your planned area of research (no more than 500 words).

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    22900 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 22900 GBP per year during 12 months.
  • National

    10800 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 10800 GBP per year during 12 months.

Part Time Fees

  • EU students: £5,940  per year
  • Island students students: £12,595 per year

Living costs for Durham

660 - 1140 GBP /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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