facebook MRes Intercultural Musicology – Bath Spa University

Key facts

MRes Intercultural Musicology
College of Liberal Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
One year full time or two years part time.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We are generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent. Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.

Please contact our admissions team for more information: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Explore a range of concepts relating to the interpretation and analysis of music created across cultural boundaries.

  • Analyse creative processes in intercultural music-making from the perspective of composer, performer, producer and listener.
  • Discover the influence of post-colonialism, critical theory, cosmopolitanism and decolonisation on musical representations.
  • Explore the mixing of musical cultures and traditions through processes of translation and transformation.

This course requires you to consider how hybrid and diasporic identities are created, performed and interpreted in increasingly diverse societies, and to develop arguments surrounding approaches to intercultural exchange. You will engage with discourses of post-colonialism, critical theory, cosmopolitanism and decolonisation to understand relationships and representations through the entanglements of race, power and privilege.

An emphasis on the adaptation and transformation of languages of sound, notation and gesture will allow you to consider the fluid relationships between composers and performers. You will explore processes of invention across and between traditional musics by considering aspects of innovation, creativity, identity, appropriation, hybridity, diaspora, politics and digital cultural heritage.

“The study of Intercultural Musicology at Bath Spa University has furthered my understanding of music as a means both to define cultural identity and examine discourse between cultures. I have developed essential research skills supported through collaborative practice, fundamentally expanding the way in which I perceive music as a communicator.”

Intercultural Musicology Graduate

What you'll learn


This course delivers a mixture of advanced research and writing skills transferable to a range of professional occupations. It encourages theoretical and practical insights into the interpretation and analysis of music created across cultural boundaries. You will be given the opportunity to identify a niche research enquiry which is considered in a variety of critical, analytical, historical and interdisciplinary contexts. No musical traditions are excluded.

You will develop an understanding of a range of research methodologies appropriate to academic and artistic research, as well as a critical facility, both written and oral, in evaluating personal work and that of others. You will acquire professional skills to support the development and dissemination of original research (and practice where appropriate) by conducting an enquiry leading to the creation and interpretation of new knowledge.

Course structure

Trimester one
Develop skills in postgraduate-level research and writing in the Research Methodologies and Context module. You’ll engage with key debates and theories relevant to your area of study or creative practice. You’ll explore the relationship between theory and practice and develop a critical analysis of existing works, ideas and trends in the subject area. This module encourages engagement with differing perspectives, broadening your research horizons and increasing your research capacity. It is a first-step towards the Research Project at the end of the programme and potentially prepares you for doctoral study.

Trimester two
Intercultural Musicology equips you with sufficient knowledge and understanding to evaluate music from a variety of genres across different cultures. You’ll explore the issues involved when musicians from different cultures interact. You’ll evaluate the multiple perspectives of music practitioners from the theories and methods used in cross-cultural contexts in musicology, ethnomusicology, popular music studies, anthropology and cultural studies. After an initial exploration of key themes, you’ll engage in either a period of fieldwork – ethnographic research based on self-reflection and/or observation of the interactions of musicians in rehearsal and performance – or a case study from the music industry.

Trimester three
The Research Project is the main component of the MRes. You’ll undertake an extended period of research that demonstrates a systematic understanding and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights in your chosen area of study. This work should be at, or informed by, the forefront of the academic discipline, field of study or area of professional practice. It culminates in the submission of a thesis or a portfolio of creative practice with a written commentary that demonstrates the research component of the work. You’ll develop your project over the full duration of the course, informed and supported by weekly seminars and/or tutorials, as well as engagement with relevant University research centres and groups.

Course modules

This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

  • Research Methodologies and Context
  • Intercultural Musicology
  • Research Project

How will I be assessed?

You'll be assessed entirely on coursework. Research methodologies and contexts and Intercultural Musicology modules each culminate in a written assignment (7,500 words) with accompanying audio-visual materials, analysis and transcription as appropriate. Preparation for the final Research Project (25,000-30,000 words or equivalent) comprises a project proposal, including methodology, and a mid-project review.

How will I be taught?

Modules are taught through small group seminars and workshops where you will benefit from close interaction with tutors and peers, including the chance to test out theories, practice and hypotheses. The Research Project and parts of the other modules are taught through individual tutorials where the focus will be entirely on your own work.



The MRes Intercultural Musicology benefits directly from the monthly research meetings of the interdisciplinary Intercultural Communication through Practice Research Group within the context of the overarching Music Research Centre, and the Transnational Creativity and Education Research Centre (TRACE). Conferences, study days, workshops and masterclasses on related research themes will be given by international practitioners and researchers. MRes students will have many opportunities to interact with our growing cohort of research students.


Students will benefit from engaging with our growing international music networks and affiliations, including:

  • Universidade Federal de Pelotas (UFPEL), Brazil
  • Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brazil
  • Centre for Research in Culture and Performance, University of Malta
  • International Research Centre on Interweaving Performance Cultures, Freie Universität, Berlin


Our graduates have a range of successful careers in arts administration, production, composition, performance, further education, higher education and research. The MRes Intercultural Musicology is a new course arising out of the developing specialisms of staff and research students.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

As an MRes Intercultural Musicology student you’ll be taught at Newton Park campus. You’ll benefit from access to:


MRes Intercultural Musicology students can hire out equipment using SISO, Bath Spa University’s free equipment loan service. We provide a huge variety of equipment including laptops, recording equipment, video cameras and DSLRs.


UK and EU students full time

Course fees
2018/19 entry £7,195
2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019
2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

UK and EU students part time

Fees shown below are for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £3,600
Year 2 Published Jan 2019

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021

International students full time

Course fees
2018/19 entry £13,900
2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019
2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for individuals with a proven track record in Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Composition, Performance, or Music Technology, although the course can also accommodate students from closely related disciplines such as Sociology, History, Education, Film and Media Studies.

Generally we ask for a first degree of 2:1 or higher. Often this will be in Music, but we accept applicants with other degrees where they can demonstrate relevant knowledge and experience. 

Typical offers

Ideally you will have a good first honours degree in any academic subject. You may be considered without a first degree, if you can demonstrate considerable relevant experience. You may be asked to attend an interview.

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence of proficiency in written and spoken English. A minimum language level of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Interview and portfolio guidance

Your application should be accompanied by a portfolio comprising:

  • A sample of your writing (3000-5000 words)
  • A personal statement of about 500 words (details below)
  • Any relevant practical work.

You may be asked to attend an interview, which for overseas applicants may be by telephone or Skype.

In your personal statement:

  • Tell us about an amazing cross-cultural performance event (live or recorded), and why it so moved you
  • Show us how you understand music-making in relation to social practice, developments in technology or globalisation
  • Think about what you can offer us and your fellow students: what ideas, inspiration and experience can you bring to the course?
Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Amanda Bayley
Email: a.bayley@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk