We run four postgraduate research degrees. Our postgraduate students can draw on a wealth of music research experience and expertise.
The MMus is distinctive for its flexibility. You can specialise in musicology or creative practice (e.g. performance, composition, improvisation) or mix and match across these fields. And you can study in full-time or part-time mode (12 or 24 months respectively).
The MMus is primarily a research degree, but it also features taught elements alongside 1:1 supervision. It offers you a spectrum of musical styles and repertoires from which to specialise, or through which to shape a personal programme. These include early, classical, popular, contemporary, avant-garde, folk and world musics.
The PGDip offers a similar programme of study to the MMus, only without the final 80-credit dissertation or Major Creative Project.
The MMus and PG Dip help you further develop musical and intellectual skills you acquired as an undergraduate, as well as offering you new learning opportunities. These courses also help prepare you for professional life. The MMus is an excellent foundation for students going on to a PhD.
The MLitt (Master of Letters) in Music enables you to develop a flexible individual research programme in any musicological area covered by our supervisory expertise.
This programme is a valuable qualification in its own right, enabling you to develop your research skills and deepen your knowledge and understanding. It also provides a robust foundation for further study at PhD level.
The MLitt requires 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time study.
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.
Our MPhil takes takes 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time. The MPhil focuses on training you for further PhD study. It is also a valuable qualification in its own right. For some the MPhil adds a further dimension to their undergraduate degree, in a 3+1 model.
The PhD takes 36 months full-time study or 72 months part-time. A PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) is the gold standard of all research degrees. It is normally the minimum requirement for entry into an academic career.
The MA in Creative Art Practice takes one year full time or two years part time. It's designed for graduates from any form of creative practice.
The course is intended for people who want to work between disciplines while engaging critically with contemporary technology.
The programme also offers a grounding for those hoping to progress to PhD degree study.
We admit around 15 students per year on to the course and encourage collaboration and exchange.
Finding a supervisor
Academic staff supervise candidates working across a wide range of music-related topics that include both practice-based and academic areas of study. Here are the main areas in which we are keen to supervise your work:
- composition – of all kinds (studio-based, notated, multi-media and improvised)
- performance – in a range of genres (including classical, popular, folk, contemporary)
- music and cultural/critical theory
- ethnomusicology and world musics
- popular music studies
- historical musicology (medieval, early modern, nineteenth-, twentieth- and twenty-first-century musics)
- music analysis and theory
- folk and traditional musics
For more detail, take a look at our individual staff specialisms.
The best thing about my course is the amount of freedom given to the students to lead our own studies and research.
If you are an international student seeking to improve your English and develop your academic skills before applying for a Masters degree, you might first wish to study for the International Graduate Diploma in Music, run in partnership with the University by INTO, and offering a pathway to our MMus degree.
To make an application, click on the relevant button on the webpage for your chosen course. If you have any queries about your application, or would like first to talk through your options, please contact the postgraduate admissions secretary. As all our postgraduate programmes are research based, you should upload a research proposal of 250-500 words with your online application. This should be in respect of your eventual thesis (for PhD and MPhil), or projected 80-credit dissertation or Major Creative Project (for MMus or MLitt).
The deadline for applications for programmes starting in September 2019 is Friday, 2 August 2019. But you are advised to submit your application as early as possible to ensure that we are able to supervise you. While it may be possible to consider applications submitted after the deadline, we cannot guarantee to do so.
See why you should choose us
Our commitment to academic excellence is demonstrated through our position in global rankings. We have a world-class reputation for research excellence, and we were awarded a Gold Award in the Teaching Excellence Framework 2017.
Find scholarship opportunities
We offer a number of scholarship opportunities at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.