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Degree                                          Master of Arts
Application required access-restricted
Course commences winter semester / summer semester
Standard course duration 4 semesters
Format options full-time only
Language requirements Latin, English, another modern foreign language (all on final examination)
Language of instruction German
Other features postgraduate / consecutive

Faculty of Philosophy

Course outline

The department of Musicology in Heidelberg focuses, in both research and teaching, on the entire history of music in Europe and in cultural areas influenced by Europe from antiquity to the present. This includes texture and analysis, the history of musical notation and composition, organology and the history of interpretation, the history of genres and institutions, as well as aesthetics and reception. Musicology shares numerous research questions and methods with neighbouring subjects such as history or philology, social sciences and theology.

The M.A. course is the second stage of a potentially three-part academic education in Musicology (B.A., M.A., PhD). It builds on a broad and sound knowledge of essential aspects of music history and the foundational methodological and analytic expertise acquired in the course of a B.A. programme in the same subject.

With a programme that is primarily research-oriented, the consecutive M.A. course in Musicology focuses on the following areas:

  • diversification of methodological and conceptual issues
  • broadening approaches to interpretation and discourse perspectives
  • in-depth exploration of music-historical contexts and sources

The academic specialisation typically envisaged at PhD level is anticipated and catered for in the programme by the emphasis given to intensive personal supervision and the encouragement of student initiative and independent academic work. A semester abroad is recommended, credit points acquired there can be recognised as part of the overall CP requirement. Alongside the M.A. programme in Musicology, students are required to choose a subsidiary (minor) subject as part of their individual study profile.


Course structure


The M.A. programme in Musicology is a consecutive, full-time M.A. course that normally takes four semesters to complete. Its structure is modular throughout. It comprises a compulsory component, an elective-compulsory component and an elective component. The compulsory component in the main course encompasses three (in the subsidiary course two) musicological specialisation modules (SM). These focus on the research-oriented application of both specifically musicological and more broadly conceived scholarly methods to concrete musicological issues. The elective-compulsory component encompasses musicological, interdisciplinary and intercultural modules as provided by the curriculum. The (relative) freedom of choice involved is designed to encourage students to define their own individual profile. The elective component is conceived as a supervised application module (AM) with emphasis on research and teaching. In their pursuit of professional (teaching) or scholarly qualifications, students benefit from direct guidance provided by their respective supervisors. The choices available are determined both by the curriculum and by consultation with the supervisor. Another option open to students is to spend their second or third semester at a university abroad or at a different German university. The standard duration of the course is four semesters including the M.A. thesis.

Language requirements

The following languages are a requirement for students in the MA Musicology:

  • English
  • One further modern foreign language
  • Knowledge of Latin

Proof of the required languages can be submitted in the form of school reports, language course certificates, etc. In most cases, international students can choose their mother tongue as their modern foreign language. Language skills can be acquired during the degree programme. Proof of language skills must be submitted by the end of the 3rd semester, and are one of the requirements for Master’s thesis registration.

Click here for a list of all available subsidiary (minor) subjects that can be chosen for combination with the M.A. course in Musicology as a main (major) subject.

Study objectives

Graduates of the Master’s degree programme in Musicology have profound knowledge of a European history of music, as well as of cultural areas influenced by Europe from antiquity to the present. On this basis, students are able to independently and autonomously analyse musical works, their technical style, their interpretations, their aesthetic quality, as well as their reception. They have the skills required to discuss and successfully handle issues and aspects in the field of tension between different genres, as well as forms of reception, interpretive approaches and institutionalised organisational forms. Furthermore, they are capable of conscientiously developing complex structures of musico-historical phenomena either  independently or in a team, and with a focus on gender competence. Graduates can read and understand scientific texts in English, as well as in a second, individually selected, modern foreign language. Additionally, they can very quickly familiarise themselves with unknown research areas associated with the discipline, either under guidance or independently, develop relevant questions, study the object in accordance with scientific methods, and present the findings orally or in writing, and with the help of the most current technical media.

Career prospects for MA graduates

A successfully completed MA degree programme in Musicology provides graduates with the opportunity to go into various fields of work, such as


  • University career
  • Research and editorial projects
  • Non-university research institutions (e.g. RISM, German study centres abroad etc.)
  • Knowledge management


  • Opera and theatre dramaturgy, possibly direction
  • Orchestra dramaturgy
  • Cultural management for private and public institutions, e.g. festivals and municipal culture offices
  • Public relations
  • Marketing


  • Music criticism and features for newspapers, magazines and journals
  • Editorial work or music shows for radio and television
  • CD companies
  • Digital media
  • Music management
  • Public relations
  • Marketing

Music publishers

  • Musical notation and editing
  • Editing (books)
  • Editing (journals)
  • Public relations
  • Marketing

Libraries and archives

  • Further training: music librarian 

Music communication and education (only applicable in some German federal states)

Formal requirements


Access to the course is restricted. The current Admission Regulations are available hereAdobe.

Prospective students from Germany

Prospective students from Germany can enrol without prior application at the Central University Administration building by the beginning of the lecture period. To matriculate, they are required to show a written statement of admission issued by the representative of the Master’s programme they wish to attend, confirming that the requirements set out in the Admission Regulations have been met. Please apply to the Department of MusicologyExterner Inhalt for further information on how to proceed.

International prospective students

Prospective students from other countries must apply in writing, so that their previous academic record can be verified. The deadlines for international applicants are 15 June for the winter semester and 15 November for the summer semester. Applications must be addressed directly to the International Relations Office. Please use the M.A. application form hereExterner Inhalt and enclose the necessary documents.

Preconditions for admission

  • General higher education entrance qualification
  • BA degree certificate with musicology at min. 50%
  • BA grade 2.7 (or higher)
  • English, one further modern foreign language, knowledge of Latin (language skills can be acquired later during the programme but are a requirement for registration for the oral final examination)

Further information

Current information on procedure

Study and examination regulations

Examination regulations M.A.Adobe

Module Handbook

Please click here to find the latest Module Handbook.

Examinations board

Issues arising in connection with examinations, credit transfer and academic credential recognition are dealt with by the relevant examinations board/office. For more information, consult the academic advisor(s) indicated below.


Tuition fees at Heidelberg University are payable at the beginning of each semester.

Academic advisors

Dr. Mauro Bertola
Augustinergasse 7
Office 212 (2nd floor)
phone: +49 (0)6221 542808
office hours and student advice on the Internet at:

Dr. Louis Delpech
Augustinergasse 7
Office 207 (2nd floor)
office hours and student advice:
phone: +49(0)6221 54-2807

Dr. Joachim Steinheuer, Akad. Direktor
Augustinergasse 7
Office 202 (2nd floor)
phone: +49 (0)6221 542785
office hours and student advice on the Internet at:


Centre for European History and Cultural Studies

Department of Musicology
Augustinergasse 7
D-69117 Heidelberg


phone: +49 (0)6221 542782
fax: +49 (0)6221 542787

Student representation


E-Mail: Seitenbearbeiter
Letzte Änderung: 2018-03-08
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