Composers, performers, musicologists and computer musicians work together within a strong interdisciplinary culture. The academic staff comprises four composers (including two computer musicians) and nine musicologists; several also have professional performing backgrounds. Students in the PhD and MLitt programmes benefit from regular interaction with visiting scholars and musicians via our seminars, concerts and conferences. With a combination of specialist expertise and broad exposure to the discipline, graduates are well prepared for entry into a range of careers in creative and academic fields, including arts and media organisations.
Supervision is offered in any of the following areas:
PhD in Music (Composition):
Students in the PhD in Composition develop a varied portfolio of works totaling ninety minutes in duration. Variations on this format (e.g. single large-scale work submissions) are possible but need to be approved in writing by the supervisor and Head of Department. Portfolios should be accompanied by a written commentary on the works of at least 12,000 words (but not exceeding 30,000 words). Where possible, and as appropriate, submissions should be supported by recorded performances. The final examination is via a viva voce examination with two examiners (one internal and one external) and an independent chair.
PhD in Music (Musicology)
Students in the PhD in Musicology submit an original research thesis on any topic in musicology for which supervision is available in the Department of Music. Applicants should consult the Department of Music webpages for details of staff expertise. The thesis takes the form of a written text of 80–100K words, subject to a viva voce examination with two examiners (one internal and one external) and an independent chair.
PhD in Music (Computer Music)
The Computer Music programme allows students to choose between two forms of Thesis submission:
(1) by dissertation: a 40-50,000 word thesis together with the proof-of-concept of the technologies developed/discussed, which might include an original composition component together with the technical documentation (e.g. hardware designs, software sources); (2) by publication: 6 – 8 papers, published (or fully accepted for publication) in international peer-reviewed conference proceedings and recognized journals in the field, with at least two journal items, plus a 15,000-18,000 introductory essay binding the published work. One of the published items might be an original composition work. In both options, the final examination is via a viva voce examination with two examiners (one internal and one external) and an independent chair.
PhD in Music (Performance)
The PhD in/by Performance will appeal to performers interested in developing innovative projects in which performance forms an integral part of scholarly research. By developing an appropriate critical and theoretical framework the project will contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the field. The format of the PhD includes a 40/50k-word dissertation and a 90-minute final concert. The final examination is via a viva voce examination with an independent chair and two examiners (one internal and one external), and a public concert which will be attended by the examiners and the independent chair.
Students will typically take the required and optional modules while also developing their individual investigative work. The department holds an annual Postgraduate Conference, where students have the opportunity of presenting elements of their research. The programme also offers opportunities to study abroad, as the Music Department maintains a number of agreements with institutions in various European countries.
MLitt students must take a minimum of 10 credits in taught modules (at least 5 in generic/transferable modules and at least 5 in subject specific/advanced specialist modules) from the Structured PhD programme.