Postgraduate Research at the Department of Music

Postgraduate Research

Enjoy the backing of our world class research community

Here you can pursue your doctoral studies under the guidance of experts in many fields of music and with many research interests - from composition, performance and analysis to technology and industry management.

We can accommodate many thesis proposals, including novel cross-disciplinary topics requiring dual supervision by experts in other disciplines. In this respect the University has over 1400 subject specialists from which to choose.‌

Music MPhil/PhD

You will be assigned two formal supervisors, with further guidance and assessment coming from other specialists as required. Regular review and planning meetings will help you ensure your research stays on track.

The University provides personalised, transferable research training, as well as a forum for postgraduate researchers to share ideas, form study groups, network and socialise.

Scholarships and fee waivers are available from the University. Our students have also secured funding from external sources such as the AHRC Block Grant Partnership.

Here are some examples of thesis topics from recent or current PhD students:

  • Music and Tyrolean identity
  • Electro-acoustic composition
  • Music and Samuel Beckett
  • Popular music and internet culture
  • The literary and musical works of ETA Hoffmann
  • Rock Culture 1976-1979
  • Modernism and Mahler
  • Chinese opera
  • Popular song in Italian and Spanish cinema
  • Polyphony in Western Church Music

Music MRes

This programme will encourage you to develop research skills whilst undertaking a major research project. This could include a dissertation or extensive composition or music-technology portfolio. The programme will enable you to acquire a critical and analytical understanding of a detailed dissertation or composition topic; engage in the wider cultural and critical aspects of the relevant area of expertise by undertaking a research skills training module and an additional module from the School of Music or the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences' pool.

This training introduces you to the inter-disciplinary nature of the field and aims to introduce the wide range of methodologies such studies entail. Further, you are required to consider how you will approach and structure the dissertation as a project in primary research. Finally, the programme will enable you to work closely with a research specialist in the broad musicological field in one of the following areas: musicology, popular music, music industries, composition, analysis, audio-visual, music-technology.