Tom Wardman in Music Studio Landscape

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

Music research degrees

Postgraduate - Research

MRes PhD

Looking for a funded PhD?

Check out our current PhD scholarship opportunities now

About our programmes

Music at Hull has a long-standing history of high quality research. Our internationally excellent and world-leading research in popular music, jazz studies, sonic arts, and music psychology was recognised by the Research Excellence Framework of 2014. We host up to 45 public performances every year and contribute regularly to musical events in the region, including Early Music festivals, jazz festivals and community projects as well as running the prestigious Newland Lectures in which renowned international academics, composers and music industry figures discuss their work in detail.

By studying here, you will be able to access some of the finest music facilities in the country following a major redevelopment of Middleton Hall - with rehearsal spaces and studios available 24/7.

Investment in the hall has brought some of the best facilities of their kind in the UK to the University of Hull. These include a concert hall, surround-sound cinema, ambisonic surround sound recording studio and industry-standard rehearsal facilities. The refurbishment includes a new entrance and café with a 400-plus seater concert hall forming the centre-piece of the development. The versatile space is ideal for classical and popular music concerts. With adaptable acoustics, it will also be used for music, theatre and cinema screenings- see here for more information about our facilities. 

We offer a range of research degrees that include:

  • MA in Music by Research
  • PhD in Music
  • PhD in Composition
  • PhD in Performance

These programmes have been designed to be flexible to enable you to pursue your chosen specialism in a supportive and productive environment with individual supervision for all specialist modules. Our staff are active researchers, so you can access wide-ranging expertise quickly and easily. These programmes are available full-time, part-time and, where appropriate, for distance learners.

MA in Music by Research

You’ll explore a topic in the field of musicology, composition or performance through the completion of a thesis of 40,000 words or equivalent, or the development of a practice-based portfolio. The topic might be developed into a larger thesis or portfolio through transfer onto an MPhil or PhD programme.

PhD in Music

Research and advance your knowledge in a chosen area of musicology that culminates in a thesis of 100,000 words or equivalent for the PhD.

PhD in Composition

Develop a portfolio of original compositions of up to 90 minutes for the PhD with supporting research documentation of 25,000 words, or equivalent.

PhD in Performance

Focus on a research context related to your specialist instrument or voice, including conducting, and to demonstrate advanced solo or ensemble performance skills, culminating in a thesis of 50,000 words or equivalent for the PhD and portfolio of performances of 300 minutes.

Research supervisors

Details

Open for admission in 2018/19

Open for admission in 2019/20

Full time Part time
MRes 1 year 2 years
PhD 4 years 7 years

Start in January, May or September

Research

We consider students for research degrees in any area in which we can provide adequate staff supervision and library or other relevant resources. You are welcome to contact the Postgraduate Music Admissions Tutor, Dr Alexander Binns (A.Binns@hull.ac.uk) in advance of your application to check the suitability of your chosen subject area.

We welcome proposals related to any of the following research areas:

Musicology

  • British music
  • Film music
  • Historical and critical musicology
  • Theory and analysis
  • Philosophy, aesthetics and semiotics
  • Jazz studies
  • Popular music
  • Psychology of music (including performance, perception and cognition)

Composition

  • Acoustic (instrumental, vocal, film)
  • Electroacoustic
  • Computer-aided composition and virtual instrumentation
  • Multimedia
  • Sonic art

Performance

  • Instrumental and vocal studies
  • Conducting
  • Jazz and improvisation
  • Music theatre and opera
  • Performance studies

Music Technology

  • Studio production
  • Pedagogy

Fees and funding

  • Home/EU: £4,260 (full-time) 
  • Home/EU: £2,130 (part-time)
  • International: £14,000 (full-time)

Please note, the fees for 2019/20 have not yet been confirmed, and may increase.

These fees are for all research degree programmes on this page. For courses lasting more than one year, small annual increases may apply. For more information, please visit the fees and funding page.

For information about bursaries and how to fund your studies see our money page, or take a look at our PhD scholarships page for specific funded PhD opportunities.

The University’s Postgraduate Training Scheme (PGTS) provides a range of generic and discipline-specific modules to support research students through their programme.

Find out more

The library has an exclusive lounge for postgraduate research students and a dedicated Skills Team to provide a wide range of study and research skills help.

Find out more

The Graduate School provides support to postgraduate research students. Offering skills development opportunities and dedicated facilities, the school is here to help you achieve your potential.

Find out more

Research at Hull tackles big challenges and makes an impact on lives globally, every day. Our current research portfolio spans everything from health to habitats, food to flooding and supply chain to slavery.

Find out more

Entry requirements

You should normally have, or expect to obtain, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or international equivalent) in a related subject appropriate to your intended research.

You should submit a sample of your written work in musicology or composition of at least 4000 words (for MA by Research) and at least 10,000 word (for PhD applicants), or, if performance is your chosen specialism, you will be expected to attend for an audition.

With your application, you should also submit a research proposal that should be tailored to your research area and should include the following:

  • project title,
  • project synopsis (of c. 500 words),
  • series of research questions,
  • discussion of research context,
  • consideration of the research methods and methodology to be employed,
  • bibliography

Research proposals should not exceed 1500 words in length (excluding bibliography). 

International students

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.