Find a supervisor

Once you know what you would like to study, it’s important to find a supervisor who is an expert in the area, and can guide you through the three-year programme. Contacting the supervisor is the first step in the application process.

The Department of Music hosts a broad spectrum of researchers with expertise across composition, ethnomusicology, musicology, music technology, performance, psychology of music and the intersections between these fields.

Composition

Supervisors

Research interests

Dr Dorothy Ker

Composition - for instruments, voices, orchestra, mixed media, interdisciplinary collaboration; space and time in music and across disciplinary boundaries; music and mathematics; music and text; music and metaphor.
Prof. Adrian Moore

Electroacoustic music composition, performance, history and analysis; composition tools for composers.

Prof. George Nicholson Composition (instrumental/vocal); notation and interpretation in contemporary music; microtonality; computer interaction with live performers. 
Dr Adam Stanovic

Electroacoustic/acousmatic music (composition and performance); analysis of electronic music (methods and works); aesthetics of contemporary music; philosophy of sound/music (particularly musical ontology and phenomenology).

Ethnomusicology

Supervisors

Research interests

Dr Fay Hield

Musical communities; folk singing style; composition within tradition.

Dr Simon Keegan-Phipps

Traditional and folk arts in contemporary societies; traditional music in the modern world; topics in popular music.

Dr Andrew Killick

Ethnographic and analytical approaches to world and popular musics; notation and transcription; Asian musics and musical theatres. 

Musicology

Supervisors

Research interests

Prof. Nicola Dibben

Music and new media (contemporary popular music in relation to digitalization, immersive technologies, environmentalism and feminism); music listening and subjectivity.

Prof. Simon Keefe

Mozart; late 18th-Century style and aesthetics; Haydn, Beethoven; reception history and biography; 20th-Century French song; the concerto; Wagner.

Dr Andrew Killick 

Theory and analysis of music beyond the Western classical tradition; new approaches to notation; world music history.

Dr Dominic McHugh Musicology; Broadway and Hollywood musicals.
Dr Tim Shephard Renaissance music; music and identity; music and visual culture; music patronage; music manuscripts and early music printing.

Music Technology and Sonic Arts

Supervisors

Research interests

Prof. Adrian Moore

Electroacoustic music composition, performance, history and analysis; composition tools for composers.

Dr Adam Stanovic

Electroacoustic/acousmatic music (composition and performance); analysis of electronic music (methods and works); aesthetics of contemporary music; philosophy of sound/music (particularly musical ontology and phenomenology).

Psychology of Music, Music Education and Management

Supervisors

Research interests

Prof. Nicola Dibben

Background music in applied settings; music, meaning and emotion; experience of music with immersive technologies.

Dr Fay Hield

Infrastructures of musical communities; audience and participant development. 

Prof. Stephanie Pitts

Musical participation; audience experience; extra-curricular school music; music in secondary education; music in higher education; school-university transition; lifelong engagement in music; collaborative research with arts organisations. 

Dr Renee Timmers Emotion and meaning in music; synaesthesia and cross-modal experiences of music; music and families; expression and musical communication; music for sleep and relaxation; hearing impairment and music; ensemble rehearsal and performance
Dr Victoria Williamson

Music: wellbeing impacts including clinical and therapeutic uses, musical expertise, background music and task performance. Cognitive psychology: memory, mental imagery, and spontaneous cognition.

The Roles of Different Types of Supervisor

Primary supervisors

Primary supervisors are the main point of contact for research students, and are responsible for communications regarding the student's progress to department and the faculty. You will meet most frequently with the primary supervisor to plan and develop your research, to receive feedback on drafts, and to determine the overall pattern of work. It is common to also discuss your training needs and doctoral development with your primary supervisor, although this may also be reserved to be discussed with the secondary supervisor.

Second Supervisors

Second supervisors are responsible for providing general support and advice as appropriate. This may relate to training needs and doctoral development, personal needs, or specific areas of expertise, such as a particular methodology. In the first month of registration the student should meet at least once with their second supervisor. In some instances, it may be appropriate for supervisory sessions to more regularly involve both primary and secondary supervisors. This is a matter of negotiation between the supervisors and the student. Progress reports are reported to both supervisors.

Joint Supervisors

Interdisciplinary research projects may be supervised by two academics who share the project supervision. In this case, supervision may alternate between involving both supervisors and having one-to-one meetings. At the end of the first semester, the supervisors and student should have negotiated how they want the supervision to be shared and set the responsibilities of each supervisor.

Next steps: Getting in contact

Once you have found a suitable supervisor, please email them directly to discuss your research proposal and to check their availability and willingness to support the application. Please choose the most suitable primary supervisor for your proposed topic: if you feel you need to contact several people, please make them aware of that in your email.

Supervisors will need to have the capacity to take on additional students and the proposal needs to fall within supervisor’s area of expertise and research interests. When contacting potential supervisors, please include your research proposal and a brief CV. The department can provide specialist support and guidance from the initial point of contact, throughout the period of study and through to completion.

Postgraduate open days

Find out what its like to study as a postgraduate student in Sheffield - visit the Department of Music on one of our upcoming open days.

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