School of Music, Theatre and Art

Master's Programme in Musicology - Music and Human Beings, 120 credits

People at the School of Music

What do people do with music? What does music do to people? Why? In the Master's program in Musicology at Örebro we investigate how and why people are musical and how music, in an increasingly connected world, affects society at large.

The master's program in musicology is aimed at those of you with a bachelor's degree in musicology, the humanities or social sciences, or related disciplines, who have a budding interest in understanding more about music. The program prepares you for a career in doctoral research on music in academia, but also provides knowledge that can be used in a wide variety of music related professions. E.g. working with data analysis in the media and music industries or working in the public cultural sector.

During the program you will learn how to deal with different perspectives relating to, among other things: human beings’ "innate" musicality, the impact of technologies on our musical experiences, how we can research music’s "impact" on people and the role of music in creating a fair society.

The program entails two years of full-time study although you can finish after one year with a Master's (magister) degree. Year 1 provides you as a student with an in-depth introduction to central themes and debates in music research from different perspectives and methodologies. If you want to finish after only one year you will write a Master's thesis (magister). If you go on to study the second year you will undertake an individually selected specialization in an area of your own choosing. Year 2 focuses on social science and cultural theory perspectives looking specifically at music’s societal value. These courses deal with aesthetic, cultural, educational and sociological questions about the music place in the world today. At the end of the second year you will write an independent Master’s thesis.

Why should I study a Master's in Musicology at Örebro University?

This program is unique in its interdisciplinary focus. The program combines perspectives from sociology, psychology, philosophy, pedagogy and musicology to provide an in-depth perspective on people's relationship to music. You will be taught by experts and teachers who have researched music from different disciplinary and methodological perspectives. The program will give you as a student a broad knowledge base and skills that are relevant to several different research courses and other public and private sector professions.

What is the aim of the Master's Program in Musicology?

The program aims to equip you as a student with the most important practical and theoretical skills to solve critical, complex questions about people’s music habits, tastes and engagement. You will do this by learning to use different methods and critically analyzing research on music from different perspectives.  

What can I do with a Master's in musicology?

The program is a preparation for postgraduate education. However because we are focused on interdisciplinary music research, this means that we teach the application of different methods to study and solve different research and scientific problems which are relevant for careers outside of academia.  The program is also suitable particularly for those of you who want to work in the media and music industries with data analysis, marketing and research into consumer behaviour. The program also functions as a continued education for music teachers as well as those who want to work with coordination or planning of activities within the cultural sectors.

What is the difference between Master's (one-year) and Master's (two-years) of study?

In Sweden there is a distinction between a one-year Master’s degree (Magister, 60 credits) and a two-year Master’s degree (Master, 120 credits). During the first year of the program all students receive tuition which will prepare them with a solid foundation for understanding and doing empirical research on music. If you decide to read one year only, the first year ends with you writing a 15 credits Master’s thesis. If you decide to read further until the second year, you will undertake an “Individually chosen specialization course”. In the second year you will then take two compulsory courses before writing a more substantial Master's thesis for 30 credits.

Can I apply for a doctoral degree with only a one-year master's degree?

In some cases in Sweden you can apply for postgraduate study after you have completed and passed all courses from the master's year (60 credits at the advanced level). If you want to apply for doctoral studies in other countries, it is usually required that you have taken and been approved in the master's degree course and that you have 120 credits at the advanced level. However there are some exceptions to this. If you have a specific doctoral program in mind for the future be sure to check their entry requirements.

When do I need to decide if I want to study one or two years?

You will need to decide already at the end of the autumn term, within the first year, whether or not to write a master's thesis. If you change your mind after you have written your master's thesis, it is possible to continue into the second year as long as your thesis has passed examination.