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Sonic Arts - Research

Programme Overview

The Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) has seen a dramatic growth in research activities and interests since it was officially opened by Karlheinz Stockhausen during the Sonorities Festival in April 2004. An established centre of excellence dedicated to the research of music and technology, SARC is a unique interdisciplinary environment, which has united internationally-recognised experts in the areas of musical composition, performance, spatial audio, sound and interactivity, virtual acoustic instruments and cultural and critical aspects of sonic arts. The Centre is established in a purpose-built facility located alongside the engineering departments of Queen's. SARC's centrepiece, the Sonic Laboratory, provides a unique space for cutting-edge initiatives in the creation and delivery of music and audio. The Sonic Laboratory's uniqueness is vested in the degree of flexibility it can provide for experiments in 3D sound diffusion and for ground-breaking compositional and performance work within a purpose-built, variable acoustic space.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

A research degree offers you the opportunity to develop your research skills and prove yourself as a researcher. Queen's is committed to the enhancement of research training and teaching and offers postgraduate research opportunities across all fields of study. The following postgraduate research study routes for this subject area are:



Entrance Requirements

The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.

International Qualifications

For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

English Language Requirements

International students (where English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component is required (*taken within the last 2 years).

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level

Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English


Mode Of Study/Duration

Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil (or part-time equivalent).

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Further enquiries

If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.

Dr Simon Waters
Sonic Arts Research Centre School of Creative Arts
(Note: please indicate the area(s) of your research interest, identifying overlaps with the expertise of potential supervisors from our team, when making enquiries.)
Tel: 9097 4069


Special Features

The multimillion-pound Sonic Arts Research Centre fosters interdisciplinary research in the areas of Music, Computer Science and Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Leading researchers from institutions around the world are involved in SARC and there are many collaborations with other leading institutions within Europe (IRCAM, STEIM, IEM) and internationally (Stanford University, USA and McGill University, Canada).

Application date

Postgraduate Research

There is no standard closing date. You should however check both the University’s website and refer to the relevant School/Institute webpage for information on deadline dates for postgraduate funding applications, as these will also determine when your application for admission should be submitted.

Research areas

Research Strengths

Computational acoustics including physical modelling

Contemporary performance practices including new music, improvisation, experimental music, live electronic music, computer-interactive performance, interdisciplinary performance, site-specific and distributed performance

•Creative practice in all areas of composition, new media and installation
•Critical performance studies
•Cultural and critical aspects of the sonic arts and sound art
•Performance systems design
•Performance with new technologies
•Soundscape studies and locative media
•Spatial audio

Enrolment and start dates

Year of entry: 2017

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!