(MUSR31) PhD - three years full time
(MUSR34) PhD - up to six years part time
The doctoral degree requires completion of a major, original research project. It is supported by individual supervision (or joint supervision when research draws on multiple disciplinary perspectives) and by the Departmental and University research training programmes. Weekly research seminars and occasional Graduate Research days provide further input. Research findings may be presented for examination in any one of the following three formats:
Typically, a dissertation at this level comprises approximately 70,000 words. An emphasis is placed on quality of ideas, understanding and written expression, not simply on bulk of writing, and the research findings must also be suitably original and substantial for the degree to be successfully completed. Most dissertations also include supporting materials such as transcriptions, analyses, music examples, recordings or interview data, and these can be quite substantial also.
Students may apply for a PhD in the area of original composition. A folio of original compositions is prepared by the student and discussed in individual meetings with his or her tutor. An accompanying commentary not exceeding 10,000 words in length is also submitted. The compositions should show coherence, invention and originality in a variety of extended structures.
This degree is examined through presentation of a dissertation and a performance element. The performance element may take a number of formats, including standard recital format, lecture-demonstration format and video-recorded performances, and the candidate and supervisor in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies will agree on a balance of dissertation and performance that will most effectively disseminate the new research findings. Students in this programme normally possess a very high level of practical musical skill prior to the start of their studies.
Students applying for PhD in the area of music technology may consider submitting a portfolio of creative music technology research and accompanying thesis of 30,000 – 40,000 words contextualising the research within a critical artistic and/or technological perspective.
Many students complete an MA degree prior to starting PhD studies. The University normally requires applicants to begin by registering for the MPhil degree. Subject to satisfactory progress, they may then apply for transfer to the PhD. The transfer procedure includes presentation of a sample chapter, completion of an oral presentation and viva interview, and completion of sufficient credits in the University's research training programme.