Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin



Combined bachelor, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). This course is not suitable for students who wish to enter the teaching profession. Please refer to the ‘Bachelor’s and Master’s courses at the HU’ FAQ as required.

Standard time for completing course

6 semesters

Start of study and Entry Restriction

Cf. course catalogue


Core subject Musicology (120 CP*), with a second subject to be selected from the ‘Combined bachelor without teacher training’ course catalogue
Second subject Musicology (60 CP) with a core subject from the ‘Combined bachelor without teacher training’ course catalogue

* One credit point (CP) equals a workload of 25-30 hours for preparation, follow-up and attendance at classes.

Content and objectives of studies

The Musicology B.A. degree programme aims to enable engagement with various forms of music using a wide range of content and methodology, taking into account all available academic disciplines. Its essential goal is to present and investigate the various options for the scientific treatment of music. Building on older musicological traditions (such as the musical analysis of a score), the subject matter covers music as a social practice, under the conditions of technological processes, as well as innovative approaches to sound and performance research. At the end of the course, students have the opportunity to undertake in-depth studies in a particular subject area. The course is designed to provide sufficient knowledge to enable entry to a musicological career (e.g. working with concert organisers, journalism, employment at music publishers and record labels) following successful graduation. It also aims to lay a wide specialist foundation suitable for beginning a master’s course in Musicology.

The best way to find information about the exact course content is using the annotated university calendar. Find the course and examination regulations with module descriptions, the course curriculum and other details at, no. 41/2014, no. 40/2017 (1st revision).

Study programme abroad

We recommend that you complete a semester of studies abroad. The 3rd and 5th semesters are particularly suitable for this. In particular, the Department of Musicology and Media Studies has concluded a range of agreements with partner universities to promote international student mobility as part of the Erasmus programme.

Why study Musicology at HU?

With its three disciplines of Historical Musicology, Musical Sociology / Social History of Music and Popular Music, the subject of Musicology at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin offers a wide range of teaching and research. Other disciplines available are Systematic Musicology and Music Theory. Berlin is home to numerous cultural institutions (opera houses, the Philharmonie and concert house, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt), its important libraries and collections (in particular the Berlin State Library - Prussian Cultural Heritage, music technology collections at state museums), and companies in the media and music business. This location provides an environment that offers unique conditions for both academic work and cooperation and for gaining initial professional experience through internships, for example.

What special skills and interests do you need for this subject?

Prospective students should have a knowledge of musical notation (reading ability at a minimum) and fundamental music history and theory skills at university admission qualification level, and should be interested in the whole spectrum of music (from the traditions of European history of music to the forms of contemporary popular music). Before applying, we recommend completing the online test of music theory knowledge at

Musicology as a core subject with 120 CP

Mandatory area (80 CP)

Module I: Introduction to Musicological Work, 10 CP
Module II: Music as Social Practice, 10 CP
Module III: Genres and Canonisation Processes, 10 CP
Module IV: Music Theory, Musical Analysis, 10 CP
Module V: Music, Technologies, Cultural Techniques, 10 CP
Module VI: Interpretation, Performance, Reception, 10 CP
Module VII: Practice orientation and excursion, 10 CP
Bachelor’s thesis, 10 CP

Mandatory elective modules (10 CP)

One out of four specializations has to be chosen:
Module VIIIa: In-depth-module Historical Musicology, 10 CP
Module VIIIb: In-depth-module Transcultural Musicology/ Historical Anthropology of Music, 10 CP
Module VIIIc: In-depth-module Popular Music Studies, 10 CP
Module VIIId: In-depth-module Musical Theory/Systematic Musicology, 10 CP

General elective modules  (30 CP)

Free choice of modules of the relevant programmes offered by other subjects or central departments (for example the Language Centre or the Career Centre) (see:
Alternatively, up to 10 CP can be recognised for an internship (Sprungbrett provides students with support).

Musicology as a second subject (60 CP)

As a second subject, the course consists of the mandatory modules I-VI.

General elective courses offered for students coming from other courses of studies

Module A: History and Aesthetics of Music, 5 CP
Module B: Theory and Analyses of Music, 5 CP
Module C: Technologies, Reception and Social Practice of Music, 10 CP
Module D: Musical Practice, 5 CP

Master’s degree

You can then apply for the Musicology master’s programme at HU (, no. 42/2014; 1st revision no. 39/2017). You will find information on these and other possible master’s courses in the ‘Course Catalogue’; note especially the M.A. Music, Sound, Performance offered jointly with FU (, No. 70/2023).


Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Musicology: Am Kupfergraben 5,, Tel. +49 30 2093-65800
Course Advisory Service & Classification and recognition of studies and qualifications: Dr. Scheideler, room 303, phone: +49 30 2093-65813, ullrich.scheideler[at]
Applications: How to apply, Information for prospective international students
Links to job market: careers information centre, Hochschulteam calendar of events

Version: November 2023
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