Master of Arts - Folklore

2 years
9,666 CAD
Rolling admission
Rolling admission
St. John's / Canada
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Program description

Memorial University is the only Anglophone university in Canada that offers comprehensive folklore programmes at all levels. It is also an important component of its community, which is rich in unique lifestyles and traditions, and where the study and enjoyment of culture and heritage is valued. This opens up several chances for folklorists to engage in new community partnerships and learning experiences.

Memorial's Department of Folklore has established an international reputation as a dynamic, inventive, varied, and highly professional department in the 40 years since its inception. Folklore studies rely heavily on ethnographic field research methodologies. Graduate students have access to excellent library and archival facilities, including the Folklore and Language Archive, the Centre for Material Culture Studies, and the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place.

Folklore studies education provides excellent preparation for professions in a wide range of cultural enterprises, particularly those involving intangible cultural resources. Graduates of our programme teach at universities and colleges across North America and Europe, not just in folklore departments, but also in interdisciplinary subjects such as communications, dance ethnography, English, French, and women's studies. Our graduates have not all pursued academic professions; they have also worked in museums, archives, print and broadcast media, public sector folklore, and arts management.

Program structure

Co-operative Education Work Terms

  • Work Term I
  • Work Term II

Theories and Methods

  • Survey of Folklore Genres and Processes
  • Field and Research Methods (may be offered in accelerated format)
  • Folklore Theories
  • Feminist Theories: Perspectives and Issues
  • Vernacular Theories
  • Ethnology


  • Issues in Folkloristics
  • Issues in Oral Tradition and Performance
  • Issues in Folklife

Form and Performance

  • Song and Music
  • Ballad
  • Folk Music Canons and Documentary Sound Recordings
  • Folktale
  • Legend
  • Personal Experience Narrative
  • Language and Play
  • Ethnography of Communications
  • Ethnography of Belief
  • Health Systems
  • Custom
  • Traditional Drama
  • Ritual, Festival and Public Display
  • Material Culture
  • Vernacular Architecture
  • Art and the Artifact
  • Food and Culture
  • Folklore and Literature

Special Topics

  • Special Topics in Folklore
  • Special Research in Folklore
  • Indigenous Expressive Cultures in Cross-cultural Encounter
  • Special Research in Folklore
  • Reading Course in Folklore

Regional, National and International Heritage

  • Folklore of Newfoundland
  • Folklore of Canada
  • Folklore of the United States
  • Folklore of the British Isles
  • Traditional Culture of Scotland
  • Culture and Traditions of Ireland
  • Folklore of the Francophone Regions
  • International Folklore

Social Identities

  • Occupational Folklife
  • Folklore and Gender
  • The Global and the Local
  • Ethnicities

Public and Applied Folklore

  • Perspectives on Cultural Tourism
  • Public Sector Folklore
  • Archiving
  • Museums: Perspectives and Practices
  • Applied Folklore

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

  • Folklore and Culture
  • Oral Tradition and Oral History
  • Popular Culture: Theory and Debate


  • Tuition — 9,666 CAD
  • OTHER FEES (REQUIRED) amounts listed are for two semesters

  • Student Services Fee — 100 CAD
  • Students' Union — 140 CAD
  • Recreation Fee — 138 CAD
  • Health Insurance — 523 CAD

Requirements for applicants

  • Bachelor’s degree (minimum second class) in Humanities or Social Sciences with minimum 75% average

Applicants from a discipline other than Music will be expected to demonstrate the following skills: (1) competent performance in any musical tradition, as judged by a musician knowledgeable about the tradition, (2) knowledge of culturally appropriate language for discussion of performance techniques in that tradition, and (3) ability to discuss musical details on the basis of aural and/or written sources, as appropriate to that tradition

Applicants who did not complete a baccalaureate or post-graduate degree at a recognized university where English is the primary language of instruction must normally complete either the:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and achieve a paper-based score of 580 (or higher), computer-based score of 237 (or higher), or internet-based score of 92-93 (or higher); or
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and achieve a score of 7 (or higher).

About the university

Memorial University has a unique responsibility to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador as the only university in the province. Memorial University was founded as a tribute to the Newfoundlanders who gave their lives in military duty during globe War I and later conflicts. We take inspiration from their efforts to create a better future for our province, our country, and the globe.

Over 115 different nations are represented among Memorial University's 19000+ students. Programs range from the traditional to the cutting edge, and can be found at any of Memorial's five locations or online. Memorial University's worldwide network of nearly 100,000 successful alums enhances the institution's capacity and reputation for leadership in research, teaching, and public engagement. Learn more about Memorial University in this quick read.

Vision, Mission

  • Vision — Memorial University will rise to prominence as one of Canada's and the world's top public institutions of higher learning, and it will honor its commitment to serving the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Mission — When it comes to education, research, scholarship, creative activity, service, and public engagement, Memorial University is committed to being at the forefront of innovation and excellence. International students and scholars are welcomed and supported at Memorial, and the institution's contributions of knowledge and experience are valued on all levels of society.


More than 19,400 students and 3,800 teachers and staff from more than 115 countries study, teach, conduct research, create, and participate in activities at our campuses and other locations. You can attend classes at one of Memorial University's several campuses in Newfoundland and Labrador or anywhere in the world; we also offer 475 courses online.

  • St. John's campus
  • Grenfell Campus
  • Marine Institute
  • Harlow Campus
  • Signal Hill Campus
  • Labrador Campus

Read more about Memorial University, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

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