Music (PhD) 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry postgrad banner new

The Research Degree

A PhD is the highest academic award for which a student can be registered. Individuals who work towards a PhD pursue a research project built around a substantial piece of work, which has to show evidence of original contribution to knowledge. Direct enrolment for the degree of PhD may be permitted to candidates;

• who hold a Master's degree provided that the Master's degree is in a discipline which is appropriate to the proposed research and the Master's degree included training in research and the execution of a research project. • who, may not have a Master's degree but have a good honor's degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline and has had appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level, which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment.

Any individual who has initially commenced study for a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) may apply to transfer to a PhD when they have made sufficient progress on the work to provide evidence of the development to PhD.

Start date:
This research degree has multiple possible start dates including:
18 / 09 / 2017
08 / 01 / 2018
16 / 04 / 2018

Your start date may be decided in agreement with your supervisor.


You may enrol either on a part-time or full-time basis.
If studying on a part-time basis, you must establish close links with the University and spend normally not less than an average of 6 weeks per year in at the University. This time period is arranged between yourself and with the guidance of your supervisors.
Sometimes it may be possible to mix both periods of both full-time and part-time study, and you are of course able and encouraged to use the University facilities throughout the whole week including evenings and weekends as well as during vacations.

PhD (from initial MPhil/PhD registration)
• Full-time PhD (from initial MPhil/PhD registration) is 36 months with an optional submission pending (writing up) period of up to 12 months.
• Part-time PhD (from initial MPhil/PhD registration) is 72 months with an optional submission pending (writing up) period of up to 12 months.

PhD (direct)
• Full-time PhD (direct) is 24-36 months with a submission pending (writing up) period of up to 12 months.
•Part-time PhD (direct) is 48-72 months with a submission pending (writing up) period of up to 12 months.

Entry requirements

The normal level of attainment required for entry is:

A Master's degree or an Honours degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent, in a discipline appropriate to the proposed programme to be followed, or appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level, which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment.

For applicants whose first language or language of instruction is not English you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum of IELTS 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5, will be considered acceptable, or equivalent.

Further information on international entry requirements and English language entry requirements is available on our international webpages


Tel: +44 (0) 1484 473969

Places available:

As research degrees are individual and are subject to the availability of suitable supervisors, there are no maximum or minimum number of available places.

(this number may be subject to change)

Huddersfield, HD1 3DH

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What can I research?

The University of Huddersfield has one of the largest Music and Music Technology postgraduate communities in the UK. With approximately 100 students representing numerous fields of study and well over a dozen nationalities, our postgraduate community is a vital and vibrant part of the life of the department. Recognised research strengths in music include: • composition • contemporary music performance and improvisation • sonic arts and technology • early music and historically informed performance practice • music and the moving image / multimedia • music analysis • music, gender and identity

To find out more about the research we conduct, take a look at our Research, Innovation and Skills webpages, where you will find information on each research area. To find out about our staff visit ‘Our experts' which features profiles of all our academic staff.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes to aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

How much will it cost me?

In 2017/18, the part-time tuition fee for UK and EU postgraduate research students at the University of Huddersfield is £2,115 (see Fees and Finance for exceptions).

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.


The University offers a limited number of full and partial fee waivers. If you wish to be considered for a scholarship, please read through the scholarship guidance and include the name of the scholarship on your online application.

Additional Programme costs

Additional programme costs (sometimes known as bench fees) may be charged for research degrees in which there are exceptional costs directly related to the research project. For some subject areas, such as Science and Engineering, these costs could range from £3,000 - £16,000 per year, dependent upon the research project. If you wish to know if these costs will apply to the course you’re interested in, please email the Admissions and Records Office who will direct your query to the relevant department.

Examples of exceptional costs include:

  • Equipment maintenance costs
  • Equipment hire
  • Access costs to specialised equipment
  • Patient/volunteer expenses
  • Tissue/cell culture
  • Special reagents/materials
  • Purchase of laboratory consumables
  • Purchases of additional special permanent laboratory equipment
  • Photography and film processing
  • Video tape filming, recording, CD archiving
  • Specialised computation
  • Travelling costs - where this is integral to the research, it would not normally cover conference attendance except in special circumstances
  • Access to specialist facilities/resources
  • Special statistical packages
  • Access to special databases
  • Data collection costs (eg. postage, envelops and stationary, questionnaire administration)
  • Interview translation and transcription costs.


All Postgraduate research students who do not have specific timetabled teaching sessions are required to maintain regular engagement with the University under the Attendance Monitoring Policy.

Information for overseas students with a Tier 4 visa: The University also requires that all overseas students with a Tier 4 visa comply with the requirements set out below:

•  Students are expected to remain in the UK at the address notified to the University until the official end of the academic year.

•  Students are expected to be able to demonstrate, to the University's reasonable satisfaction, that their domestic living arrangements, including their residential location, are conducive to their full engagement with their studies and to their ability to comply with Home Office and University attendance requirements for full time students.

How to apply

We hope you are interested in what you have seen and want to apply to join us. PhD applicants in Music will need to submit an application through the Research Office, which will include a detailed Research Proposal that outlines the focus of the planned research. In addition, applicants in practice-based fields—for example composition, performance, music technology, sound art, or improvisation—should submit examples of their creative work. We would prefer to receive these as links to online materials (music scores as pdfs hosted on the applicant's personal website or a site such as issuu, and audio and/or video recordings via youtube, vimeo, soundcloud, or the equivalent). Alternatively, scores and recordings may be sent in hard copy. It is also typically helpful to receive a sample of the applicant's written work, preferrably an extended essay on a musical topic relevant to the proposed course of study. If you are planning to study full-time and are a student from the UK or from a country in the European Union (EU), you can find application information here. If you are planning to study full-time and are an international student from outside the European Union (EU), you can find application information here.

Research community

Huddersfield has over 1,000 research students. We have students studying on a part time and full time basis from all over the world with around 45% from overseas and 55% from the UK.

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant.

If you are interested in finding our further information about our staff or research centres please refer to the Research section of the website

Research assessment

Examination for a PhD is by thesis and by oral examination (‘viva voce') and must be conducted in the United Kingdom and in English, but this does not mean that part of the work could not be carried out abroad.

The text of the thesis should not normally exceed 80,000 words

Where the PhD submission is principally original creative, practice-based work—for example composition, performance, sound art, etc. or involves the preparation of a scholarly edition, the written commentary should normally be a minimum of 10,000 words

Research programme

Individuals working towards the award of PhD are required to successfully complete a programme resulting in a significant contribution to knowledge.

You are expected to work to an approved programme of work including appropriate programmes of postgraduate study (which may be drawn from parts of existing postgraduate courses, final year degree programmes, conferences, seminars, masterclasses, guided reading or a combination of study methods).

The majority of PhD students in music and music technology are affiliated with at least one of five distinct music research centres. Each of the centres runs a series of events to support the work of its research students, including seminars, workshops, masterclasses, concerts, workgroups, colloquia, and forums. Specific information about the supporting seminars and workshops is listed in each Research Centre's website.

Research skills training

The University has an exciting, comprehensive programme of research skills training and development opportunities for all postgraduate researchers. Postgraduate researchers at all stages of their registration, from initial enrolment to post-doctoral research, are provided with opportunities in discipline-specific, generic and transferable skills training which are aligned with the Research Development Framework that was developed by VITAE.

We will offer the skills training through a programme of blended learning to optimise the opportunity presented by advancing technologies as well as face-to-face workshops and courses. The University has subscribed to Epigeum, a programme of on-line research training support designed and managed by staff at Imperial College London which will be accessed via UniLearn, the university's Virtual Learning Environment.

We offer a full induction programme for all new postgraduate researchers and delivered workshops led by external speakers on topics including Personal Development Planning and How to be an Effective Researcher.

Research supervision

A minimum of one main supervisor, who will normally be part of a supervisory team, comprising of up to three members. At least one member of the supervisory team will have a successful track record of supervision at the appropriate level and in the case of doctorates one supervisor will have successfully supervised to doctoral level. At least one member of the supervisory team will be currently engaged in research in the relevant discipline(s) so as to ensure that the direction and monitoring of the student's progress is informed by up-to date subject knowledge and research developments.

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