Award Type and NFQ level : TAUGHT MASTERS (9)

CAO/PAC code : MHT53

CAO Points :

Closing Date : 31 July 2024

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Whether as a stand-alone degree or a stepping stone towards MLitt and PhD research degrees, the MA in Musicology offers you the opportunity to develop as a researcher, deepen your critical and communication abilities, and apply these skills to the study of music history, music and culture, and analysis. The programme is delivered by staff with strong international research reputations, active as scholars, performers, and composers. Their diverse expertise includes areas such as: music and film; opera studies; source studies; European art music in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; music in Ireland; ethnomusicology; popular music; music, gender, and sexuality; analysis; and more. Beyond the modules, seminars, and showcase outlined in the Course Structure, MA in Musicology students may also attend conferences, concerts, and other events that Music Department staff regularly organise. Students also benefit from a first-rate library, access to the University’s language courses, and close proximity to Dublin, enabling access to a further range of research libraries and archives.

The coordinator of this degree is Dr Laura Watson.

See the Department’s webpage for full details of staff interests.

Click here brochure MA Musicology


Normally a minimum II.1 honours degree in music is required. Applicants without this qualification will be requested to supply a short piece of sample writing on music and/or attend an interview.

International applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level.

International applicants whose first language is not English may be requested to submit samples of written material.

Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study. For information about English language tests accepted and required scores, please see here. The requirements specified are applicable for both EU and International applicants.

Maynooth University's TOEFL code is 8850

Applications will typically be processed within three weeks.

The programme comprises seven modules in total: six group-seminar modules and a year-round thesis module for which students are allocated individual supervisors. You will encounter a rich spectrum of musicological topics, themes, and approaches in the programme, which reflects the variety of faculty research interests. In addition, a year-round research seminar series provides an opportunity to hear guest lectures by visiting musicologists, composers, and performers. Students also present their work in progress during the Research Seminars and Colloquia.

You will take 90 credits in total over the two years: Thesis (30 credits, submitted at the end of August in Year 2) and six 10-credit modules in Semesters 1 and 2: (1) Research Methods (including Work Placement in Sem. 2); (2) Writing About Music; (3) Music in Ireland; (4) Music and Gender; (5) Music and Screen Media; and (6) Sound, Images, Spaces. There is flexibility to take some of the ten-credit modules in Year 1 and some in Year 2. 

Students benefit from small-group teaching in seminars and one-on-one tuition with thesis and project supervisors. Through dedicated, welcoming postgraduate research colloquia, MA Musicology students benefit from the opportunity to share research in progress with peers and academics in the Department. Our strong ties with associations such as the Society for Musicology in Ireland creates further networking opportunities and supports for students. Maynooth is home to a thriving music research community. We regularly host conferences and symposia that attract international attention. In recent years, these events have explored diverse interests, including Med-Ren (MedievalRenaissance Music), Schubert, Dukas, Kylie Minogue, Music and Visual Cultures, and Sound Design in Film. In addition to a varied menu of compulsory and optional modules, the Music Department hosts a Research Seminar series, featuring guest speakers from Ireland and abroad. The library holds extensive music collections and digital database subscriptions. Maynooth’s location facilitates access to further libraries and archives in Dublin and beyond.

Course Duration: 2 years Part-time

MA Musicology students develop a portfolio of critical, analytical, and communication skills, while the programme also trains students to work independently and manage their time effectively. These skills serve graduates well in a wide range of employment situations, including areas specific to music such as arts administration and events management. The MA in Musicology is also an excellent option for those considering further postgraduate study.


Online application only

PAC Code

The following information should be forwarded to PAC, 1 Courthouse Square, Galway or uploaded to your online application form:

Certified copies of all official transcripts of results for all non-Maynooth University qualifications listed MUST accompany the application. Failure to do so will delay your application being processed. Non-Maynooth University students are asked to provide two academic references and a copy of birth certificate or valid passport.

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