Master's Programme in Musicology

120 credits

The Master's Programme in Musicology gives you a deep understanding and knowledge, as well as analytical skills to study and research music from all cultures and historical periods, including our present situation. Alumni from the programme have upon graduation pursued e.g. students at doctoral level, music journalism, work in archives, libraries and museums, public service, and to different sectors of professional musical life.

Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

A critical and nuanced understanding of music and its role in human life and society is of vital importance for the grasp of our past, present and future. Earlier students in the programme often have a background in music studies on different levels, but may also have taken other bachelor programmes with considerable musical components paired with a strong intellectual interest in music.

This Master's programme is designed to give you a strong and broad competence in the scholarly study of music and music-related phenomena in all their forms. You will acquire and develop precision of analysis of music both in audible forms, as preserved in musical notation, and of writings concerning music.

You will deepen your knowledge on a specialised topic by writing a thesis, under the supervision of experienced experts. As a student in the programme, you will take both mandatory courses and elective courses on a wide array of topics. Our alumni have pursued careers as doctoral students, or work within academia, journalism, public service, music administration, the music archive and library sectors, etc.


The programme leads to the degree of Master of Arts (120 credits) with Musicology as the main field of study. After one year of study, it is possible to obtain a degree of Master of Arts (60 credits).

The Master's Programme in Musicology has a duration of two academic years. To graduate from the programme, you must complete 75 credits of courses and write a Master's thesis accounting for 45 credits. The teaching takes place in form of lectures and seminars.

You may choose to complete a one-year programme and graduate with 60 credits instead. To complete the one-year programme, you must take four 7.5 credit courses and write a Master's thesis corresponding to 30 credits.

It is mandatory to take at least one of two thematic courses covering methods and theory of musicology. These courses complement each other, can be taken independently and are offered in alternative years. Other courses are electives.

Courses within the programme

The following courses are regularly offered and can be chosen as optional modules within the programme:

  • Historical Musicology, 7.5 credits
  • Analysing Notated Music, 7.5 credits
  • Analysing Music without a Score, 7.5 credits
  • Music in Cultural Theory, 7.5 credits
  • Current Perspectives in Popular Music Studies, 7.5 credits
  • Music, Culture and Religion in the Middle East, 7.5 credits
  • Ethnomusicological Perspectives, 7.5 credits
  • Master Thesis Proposal, 7.5 credits
  • Aesthetics of Music, 7.5 credits
  • Film Music Studies, 7.5 credits
  • Music and Cultural Exchange in the Early Modern Period, 7.5 credits
  • Internship, 7.5 credits

All courses at advanced (Master's) level at the department are worth 7.5 credits and run at 50% of a full-time study load. Teaching takes the form of seminars, lectures and continuous presentations of student assignments. Courses are generally examined through active participation in seminars and submitted assignments.

Normally a course in music analysis is given in the spring semester, and one thematic course each in the autumn and spring semesters. All advanced-level courses in musicology are given in English.

You have the possibility to take a work placement for five weeks (7.5 credits), after consultation with the director of studies and the workplace in question.

The Master's Programme in Musicology will give you the analytical, theoretical and professional tools needed for a future career in many parts of the music and culture sector.

After graduating, our alumni have pursued careers within academia, journalism, music media and administration, and the music archive and library sector.

The programme will also give you a solid basis to pursue a further academic career in musicological research.

Career support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career.