PhD research focus

The Department of Music has defined three priority areas of focus for postgraduate applications in 2021-2022 and is keen to welcome project proposals from PhD candidates working in these areas of interest. 


1) Musical materials and resources 

From artefacts, objects, scores, recordings and archives, music research heavily relies on systematic collections of materials and resources, including ways to analyse diverse resources. This theme encourages proposals that untap a particular resource whether for composition, performance or analysis. 

2) Music in a digital world

Music is increasingly created and consumed in a digital context, whether due to movement restrictions (lockdown) or technological innovation. This theme invites proposals that focus on music in the digital age, looking into creative applications, digital communities, virtual reality, or electronic music composition.  

3) Music & global challenges  

A particular strength of the department is to view music and music uses in their broader societal contexts. This theme encourages applicants to consider current issues and the role of music, including decolonisation of academia, Black Lives Matter, equality, diversity and inclusivity, and climate change. 

Additionally, the department offers a thematic PhD position that includes funding for a research project that relates to any aspect of Organ. The Charles Allan Bryars scholarship is earmarked for doctoral research related to the organ. You can get in touch directly with the department to express an interest and submit an application with respect to this scholarship.

The Department of Music encourages applications from a diversity of applicants, and in particular from members of minority groups. Applications in other areas of the department's specialisms are also welcome and selection of candidates will be done on the basis of merit and supervisor’s availability.

How to apply:

Applicants applying for PhD scholarships in these areas are encouraged to contact prospective supervisors in the first instance to discuss research ideas, and to get feedback on a draft proposal. Applicants are advised to contact supervisors early to allow time to receive and respond to feedback. You should use our 'Find a Supervisor' page to help identify a prospective supervisor.

Scholarships are allocated through an open competition. 

The timescales for scholarships are yet to be finalised, but the submission deadline is likely to be late January 2021. Scholarship applicants need to have secured a PhD place before applying for funding, and so this should be done by early January at the latest.

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