Late breaking information


MA Music Studies

Short movie introducing the master programme in Music Studies
at the University of Amsterdam. 

Two movies that each follow a current international master student in Music Studies
 in their daily student lives in Amsterdam.

[Meagan sings with the Genetic Choir, a vocal improvisation ensemble based in Amsterdam. They provided the music for her film:]

[Click Online Application (green button) twice > 
International MA programmes (non-Dutch) >
Arts and Culture: Musicology]

Music as art. Music as performance. Music as experience.

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) offers a rich combination of musicological approaches with strong links to other scholarly disciplines.

Amsterdam’s English-language master programme in Music Studies is unique in enabling its students to familiarize themselves with historiography, cognitive science, postcolonial theory, computation, ethnography, or philosophy, and relate or combine these intellectual frameworks in their studies of music.

Functioning within the realm of the humanities, the sciences and the social sciences, the master programme in Music Studies highlights the multifaceted ways in which music can be perceived and understood, cherishing the manifold historical, cultural and cognitive musical experiences that staff and students bring with them from many different parts of the world.

The academic staff's research areas encompass a wide range of musics of the world, including musical traditions from the Middle East, Russian popular musics, European and North American art music traditions of the past two centuries, South African maskanda music, and jazz worldwide.

Students with a bachelor or master degree in Music(ology) who conform to the Graduate School of Humanities application criteria can apply for the master programme in Music Studies. 
Students with other humanities bachelor degrees such as (Art) History, Cultural Studies, or Performance Studies, or with a bachelor degree in social or behavioral sciences such as Anthropology, Psychology, or Music Therapy will also be considered.

The application deadline is 1 March 2016.

For further questions, feel free to contact our Master Programme Coordinator prof. dr. Julia Kursell:  

The University of Amsterdam collaborates with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam where our students can enroll for music theory courses on MA level and jazz courses. Separate entrance requirements apply.

Music history courses focus on musical performances, technologies and epistemologies of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Score reading, music analysis and other philological skills serve to theorize larger (historiographical) issues: the rethinking of musicianship in the age of technology, the emergence of a new type of listener, the conjuncture of hearing and vision.
Cultural musicology courses build on the illustrious heritage of Jaap Kunst who established our department’s global reputation as a centre of ethnomusicological
research and learning. Currently, Kunst’s heritage – notably his pioneering research into the musics of the Indonesian archipelago – is cherished, through regular workshops on our seven-tone Balinese gamelan Semar Pagulingan, and in the form of the Jaap Kunst Collection.
Cognitive musicology is a thriving new field of research that actively responds to the “cognitive revolution” in the humanities and the sciences. Incorporating methods from psychology, neurobiology and computational science, cognitive musicologists research music as an acoustical, psychological and cognitive phenomenon, filling gaps between the humanities and sciences.

Tuition fees

In 2015-16, statutory tuition fees for Dutch and European Economic Area (EEA) students studying full time were EUR 1,951 per year. Students from countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and students who already hold a similar Master's degree in the Dutch higher education system paid the institutional tuition fee rate of EUR 10,500 per year. In 2016-17 tuition fees will not change considerably

The University of Amsterdam belongs to the world's top 50 universities for the arts and humanities in the Times Higher Education rankings.

Programme structure

At the University of Amsterdam, the academic year starts on 1 September and ends at the end of June. It consists of two semesters, from September to January and from February to June. More information about studying at the UvA can be found here.

The master programme in Music Studies encompasses 60 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) points, to be completed in one year. Students are required to start the programme with a core module (12 ECTS) in Historical, Cultural or Cognitive Musicology and finish the programme with a 20,000-word thesis (18 ECTS). They choose several musicology and interdisciplinary electives (6 or 12 ECTS). Core modules can also be chosen as electives. 

There is, moreover, the opportunity to take an elective in the form of an individual tutorial with one of the lecturers about a research subject of your choice (6 ECTS). It is also possible to enroll for an internship (with a well-articulated research component) at one of the many professional music organizations, ensembles, music venues, and festivals in Amsterdam or elsewhere in the Netherlands (6 or 12 ECTS).

Semester 1
Core module (12 ECTS)
Electives (18 ECTS)
Semester 2
Electives (12 ECTS)
Thesis (18 ECTS)