UCC Postgraduate courses

Music - Ethnomusicology

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Music - Ethnomusicology

  • Code


  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    1 year Full-time, 2 years Part-time

  • Teaching Mode

    Full-time, Part-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.

  • Qualifications


  • EU Fees 2021

    €6,130; €3,130 (Year 1 Part-time); €3,130 (Year 2 Part-time)
    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees 2021


  • Entry Requirements

    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). See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Closed for applications: we will reopen in November.

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    Extended until 31 July 2021

  • Start Date

    13 September 2021

Course Outline

Ethnomusicology is the study of “people making music” (Titon). It 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 sound human 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 postgraduate level in Ireland. It 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, multidisciplinarity, performance studies, and ethnographic field research. MAs are completed by a research project, selected by the student, which ranges from ethnographic dissertations to a major performance and from film making to the creation of world music materials for the classroom.

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.

The MA in Ethnomusicology consists of 90 credits as follows

  • MU6050 Performance Studies (15 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) 

Part II

  • Research Project (30 credits)

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

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.

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

Additional Teaching Mode Information

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


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.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

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.


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.

Who teaches this course

Professor Jonathan Stock 

Dr. Alexander Khalil (Programme Coordinator)

Dr. Tríona Ní Shíocháin

Kelly Boyle

In addition to these core staff, the MA in Ethnomusicology is delivered by a team of instrumental and vocal tutors specialising in a diverse range of music traditions, including Irish traditional music, Javanese gamelan, Indian classical music and jazz.

Why Choose This Course

MA Testimonials

Undertaking the MA programme in Ethnomusicology at UCC was undoubtedly one of the best decisions I have made.

Mary Dillon

MA in Ethnomusicology 2018

Find Out More
The programme team should be highly commended for providing a thorough and varied training on the MA Ethnomusicology.

External Examiner


Find Out More

The programme team should be highly commended for providing a thorough and varied training on the MA Ethnomusicology. The programme structure and the teaching staff provide an excellent learning environment for students to develop knowledge, understanding and skills. It is evident from the high quality student work and the detailed feedback that a great deal of care and attention is given by teaching staff to the individual interests and projects of students" (External Examiner, 2017).

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 Ireland through its emphasis on learning through performance and discussion and the practical application of these skills in the service of new research. We uphold a fully contemporaneous model of ethnomusicology, fully open to applied research outside the academy and to the insights of other disciplines, from folklore to anthropology and from sound studies to performance. It benefits from the intellectual and musical environment of a large, diverse Department of Music in which all musics are treated as equally worthy of study and respect. The MA in Ethnomusicology at UCC is delivered by a large, experienced team of diversely skilled researchers and teachers who have well-established international reputations for their work in the discipline.

Skills and Careers Information

Graduates of the MA in Ethnomusicology 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.  


You will have a 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 musician 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 available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here

International/non-EU applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please 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.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €6,130; €3,130 (Year 1 Part-time); €3,130 (Year 2 Part-time).

The Non-EU fee for this course is €16,080.


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment:

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.

How can I pay?

By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie .

Non-EU Fees

The fee schedule for 2019/2020 is available here.

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 

5. Rounds

For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.

Questions on how to apply?

Please 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 addreseses of 2 referees. 

The closing date for non-EU applications is Extended until 31 July 2021

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact