Our Music MPhil and PhD programmes enable you to pursue advanced research in the areas of classical, popular, world, contemporary, early, folk and traditional music through a range of approaches. These include practice-based research, and musicological and theoretical inquiry.
Practice-based research focuses on composition, performance and improvisation.
Areas of musicological and theoretical inquiry can include the following approaches:
- cultural and critical
- music analytical
- philosophical and aesthetic
If you choose to engage in academic research you are normally assessed by a thesis of no more than 100,000 words for PhD and 50,000 words for MPhil, inclusive of notes, bibliography and appendices. If you choose to undertake practice-base research you will normally submit a portfolio (eg of scores, sound files, video files, other forms of documentation or some combination of these), supplemented by a related dissertation to explain the larger, practice-based component.
Applications are welcome from students with academic or practice-based research interests in any field of expertise among our staff. To view the areas that we are able to supervise please see the ICMuS Research Website, as well as individual staff pages.
You will join a wider community of fellow postgraduate students working in the International Centre for Music Studies (ICMuS), and more widely in the School of Arts and Cultures and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. ICMuS also holds regular PhD/MPhil forums for students to discuss their research.
All PhD students are given the opportunity to undertake some undergraduate teaching, with appropriate mentoring, at a suitable point in their study.
These programmes are delivered on the Newcastle campus (with options for a period of study abroad). You will be assigned a principal supervisor, supported by a wider supervisory team of one or more additional supervisors. In the first year, you will complete the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Doctoral Research Training Programme. Beyond this, study is based on one to one tutorials with your supervisors, which can be flexibly scheduled. A blended approach of in-person and web-based supervision can also be negotiated for students studying remotely.
We have outstanding specialist music facilities, including our £4.5m purpose built Music Studios, designed with performance, multimedia and studio-based work in mind.
Additional facilities include:
- two professional grade recording studios
- a large student common room, including a work area with PCs featuring specialist music software
- a range of recently refurbished rehearsal spaces
- a full range of recently refurbished teaching facilities, including a 100-seat lecture theatre, two 50 seat lecture theatres and three 25-seater seminar rooms
- 12 practice rooms with integrated recording facilities
- a dedicated postgraduate workspace
- a project room equipped with 5.1 mixing system
The University Library also has extensive music collections (including a number of important manuscript and microfilm collections), subscribes to many specialist Music journals, has access to a significant body of online resources, and is widely recognised for the supportive service it offers students and staff.
In the news
Newcastle moves up 20 places into the top 150 in the QS World University Rankings 2019.
published on: 15 June 2018
Student blogger Lydia's story of why she chose to take on postgraduate study.
published on: 18 June 2018
Student blogger Hannah tells us her story about the support she received from Newcastle University.
published on: 13 June 2018
Training & Skills
As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and administrative support to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our doctoral training centres, Faculty Training Programme and Research Student Support Team.
Our Faculty Training Programme provides a community made up of postgraduate social sciences and humanities students and staff. It is a unique blend of cross-disciplinary and generic researcher development training, recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as providing a solid basis for doctoral study.
Although your focus will be on your specialist study, our aim is for you to develop a broad range of research and project management skills that will support you in your career ahead. We have nurtured a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary and supportive environment where staff and students from across the world can come together and share their research experiences. You can also choose to register for a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Training, which accredits the core foundation modules on the training programme.
You will study in our Doctoral Training Suite with purpose-built facilities for lectures, workshops, seminars and computer access to specialist software required for doctoral research in the social sciences and humanities. Each year we have two student-led research postgraduate conferences and we have a variety of prizes and awards to celebrate the successes of our students.
Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership
Based at Newcastle University, Northern Bridge brings together the expertise and exceptional resources of Newcastle University, Durham University, Queen’s University Belfast and their partners for the training and development of outstanding arts and humanities postgraduate researchers.
Northern Bridge is funded by the AHRC to provide doctoral studentships and has been commended for the strength of its research base, shared vision, and its successful track record of partnership working.
Postgraduate Research Student Support
Our award winning Research Student Support Team is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. The team can help and advise you on a variety of issues from registration to producing your transcripts.
Fees & Funding
The fees displayed here are per year.
Full time: £4,800
Part time: £2,400
Full time: £4,800
Part time: £2,400
Full time: £15,600
Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.
EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.
Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.
Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
English Language Requirements
Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.
Please email us at email@example.com for further information.
Pre-sessional English Course RequirementsPre-sessional English Course Requirements
- 6 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.0 overall (with 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills)
- 10 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.0 overall (with 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills)
You can study our Pre-sessional English course at the INTO Newcastle Centre.
How to Apply
You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step by step guide can help you on your way.
You need to submit a research proposal with your online application. Your research proposal should:
- be at least 1,000 words
- outline research objectives
- field of study
- timescale of research project
- give an indication of the relevant literature
If you are applying for a practice-based PhD (composition, performance, studio-based work, etc) you should submit examples of your creative work (eg scores and/or recordings).
When making your online application, please insert one of the following programme codes on the 'Programme of Study' page:
- 8825F (PhD, full time)
- 8827P (PhD, part time)
- 7014F (MPhil, full time)
- 7015P (MPhil, part time)
There are usually two possible start dates, although in some circumstances an alternative start date can be arranged:
There is no application closing date for this course, but specific deadlines for funding may apply.
We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
If you live outside the UK/EU you must:
- pay a deposit of £1,500
- or submit an official letter of sponsorship
The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.