Study programme

The Master's programme Applied Musicology comprises one year (60 EC). A study year is divided into two semesters, running from September until January and from February until June. A semester is divided into two study periods. 


The programme consists of compulsory courses, electives, and a final project: an internship and a Master's thesis. Check the study schedule (PDF). 

First semester | Compulsory courses

During the first semester, you will take four compulsory courses, of which two are in The Musical Knack Lab, which focuses on the development of applied skills and research proficiency. Also you will have the opportunity to choose two elective courses. 

  • 'Musical Infrastructure in an International Context' profiles the core theory of the curriculum. This course is part of the training trajectory Music, Media and Infrastructure, in which common theoretical and historic fundaments are studied, later to be contextualised and expanded in the follow-up courses.
  • 'Current Musicology' introduces you to prevailing contemporary debates within the musicological discipline. This course is part of the training trajectory Musicological Fundamentals and is jointly offered by the research Master's in Musicology.
  • 'Writing about Music' (The Musical Knack Lab). In this course you will learn how to write about music of various genres and for diverse audiences, as well as phrase research questions positioning yourself within relevant musicological discourses.
  • 'Staging Music: Programmes, Production, Policies, Pecunia' (The Musical Knack Lab). In this course musical programming is problematised and taught in historic perspective as well as productive contexts. The course also addresses types of financing as well as European cultural politics.

First semester | Electives

Augmenting this, you will choose two electives. You may choose from courses that are jointly offered with the research Master’s programme: the core research seminars 'Historical Musicology', and 'Music and Media', or electives offered by the Master’s programme in Arts and Society.

Second semester

The second semester consists of individual final projects: a research oriented internship and a concluding thesis. The thesis has a minimum study load of 15 EC and maximum of 20 EC; internships vary from 10 EC to 15 EC.

    The individual Master’s programme can be modified (with permission of the Graduation Committee). It is possible to commence with internships in the first semester when necessary. The programme can also be supplemented with electives from the research Master's programme curriculum when and if mutually agreed.

    Picture: Tim Vermeire

    Educational methods

    • seminars (50%)
    • self-study (25%)
    • internship (25%)

    In the first semester you will spend about 8-10 hours per week in the classroom for seminars for the various compulsory courses and electives in the programme. Outside the classroom, you might spend another 10 hours or so per course reading literature and working on assignments. In the second semester, you will divide your time equally between the thesis and internship.


    The internship allows you to gain hands-on experience in a practice of your choice within the field of arts and society. In the recent past, our students have positions at NTR, AvroTros, TivoliVredenburg, the Metropole Orkest, Radio 4, Lush Magazine, and Holland Festival, to mention a few. 

    Keep in mind that most organisations in the Netherlands use Dutch as their working language. However, you can also do an internship abroad, at a research project at a university or at an international organisation.


    • internship report
    • papers
    • thesis

    The courses are taught in English. Writing examples can be submitted in diverse languages.

    Extra opportunities

    For students looking for an extra challenge in addition to their Master's, there are several options. Utrecht University offers several honours programmes for students looking for an extra challenge. Honours education is followed on top of your regular Master's programme and goes beyond the regular curriculum. Honours programmes are available at interdisciplinary level and allow you to work on projects that transcend your own discipline.

    Read more about the honours programmes