Popular Music & Culture

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 13.7 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jan 15, 2025
201–250 place StudyQA ranking:3962 Duration:2 years

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The MA in Popular Music and Culture offers in-depth study of popular music in its musical, cultural, and industrial contexts. The program harnesses the resources of two faculties to facilitate inquiry into aspects of popular music that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries.

The MA in Popular Music and Culture is one of Western’s interdisciplinary graduate programs, and is supported jointly by the Don Wright Faculty of Music and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies.

  • Interdisciplinary Foundations of Media Theory
  • Introduction to Popular Music Studies
  • Listening to Popular Music
  • Electives


  • Four year bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
  • Candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge of popular music and have the ability to manage the curriculum's diverse requirements. We suggest competence in one of the following areas: music history (including artists, genres, and repertoires); music technology; discography; music business; theory; performance; criticism.
  • Students born outside Canada whose first language is not English must provide proof of achieving a score of at least 107 (Internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a score of 8.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), taken within the last 2 years.
  • Transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended. 
  • Past or current students of Western University are required to upload an electronic copy of their academic record to the online application. An unofficial academic record, available from your Western Student Center, can be used.
  • If you have attended or are currently enrolled at any university or college other than Western, you MUST upload and attach an electronic copy or scanned PDF copy of your transcripts from each institution attended to the online application. Applicants who are offered a space in the program will be required to provide one official* copy of their transcript to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies prior to the start of the program.
  • Applicants are required to enter the names and contact information (including e-mail address) of two academic referees (academic referees are people who have taught the applicant in a university degree credit course) into the online application. Once the application is submitted, each referee will receive a request via e-mail within 24 - 48 hours to complete an electronic recommendation form on the applicant’s behalf. A link to the form will be included in the e-mail. The applicant will receive an e-mail when Western receives the referee's letter of recommendation.
  • Non-refundable application fee of CAD $100.00
  • A sample of academic writing (5 - 10 pages)
  • A statement of objectives as a student in the program, together with an indication of the area in which the student would like to do a thesis or creative project (one - two pages)
  • Questionnaire about background knowledge and experience (pdf)
  • For permanent residents of Canada only, please include a photocopy of both sides of your Permanent Resident Card or a photocopy of your Record of Landing. If you are applying to be a permanent resident, but have not been granted landed-immigrant status, you must apply as an international applicant.
  • Proof of name change, if applicable (photocopy of change of name documentation, such as marriage certificate or other legal change of name and a photocopy of photo ID showing your current name)


  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)
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