Musicology PhD/MA by Research (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)

The Music Department offers promising candidates the opportunity to carry out research in one of the most dynamic institutions in Britain, with access to outstanding facilities. Our staff include composers, performers and writers on music. Our wide research expertise covers on the Medieval, Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods, 19th and 20th century British music, music analysis, critical theory, ethnomusicology and sound studies.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Distance learning, doctoral research

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: PhD – 3 years full-time; 6 years part-time; MA by Research – 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Start date: January or September

Details

Our research expertise covers:

  • Western music history
  • British music
  • Music analysis
  • Critical theory
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Popular music 

The MA by Research programme leads to the submission of a thesis of not more than 40,000 words, whilst the PhD requires an 80,000 word thesis to be submitted. Both routes may require you to undertake training from courses in the Department’s taught MA programme.

For those following the MA by Research programme, it is possible to upgrade to a PhD.

You can study an MA by Research or PhD programme on campus or by Distance Learning.

Profiles of our current Music doctoral researchers

At Birmingham you also have the option of studying languages, free of charge. Almost no other UK University offers you the opportunity to learn the intense graduate academic language skills which you may need to pursue your research.

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are as follows:

  • Home/EU: £4,090 full-time; £2,045 part-time
  • Overseas: £14,550 full-time; £7,275 part-time

Please note that this fee is for 2015/16 only. For courses lasting more than one year, fees for subsequent years will also be due, and are liable to change.

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments.

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students

Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To be eligible for these awards, candidates must hold either an offer of a place to study or have submitted an application to study at the University. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Entry requirements

Learn more about entry requirements

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Before you make your application

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Making your application

For applicants to the PhD Distance Learning study mode only:

As part of the application process for the distance learning study mode, we will ask you to provide evidence to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study for a PhD by Distance Learning. Please be prepared to provide evidence, and details, of the following:

  • Examples of your postgraduate research experience and ability to work independently e.g. papers/presentations at professional and academic conferences or publications in professional journals or previous completion of an independent research project, etc.
  • Full reasons (academic and personal) for registering for the distance learning mode of study rather than by standard full or part-time on-campus options. In particular, how you will be able to carry out your project in your chosen location.
  • Access to local library facilities (where needed)
  • Access to IT facilities
  • Access to communications, including e-mail and visual communication media e.g. Skype and Facetime
  • Access to facilities to support any study-related disability (where appropriate)

You can upload this information at the time of application - when asked to provide supporting documentation - or via your applicant portal once you have submitted your application.

For all applicants:

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Research interests of staff

  • Ethnomusicology; popular music; sound studies.
    Contact: Dr Eliot Bates
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 9198
    Email: e.bates@bham.ac.uk
  • Singers and Singing; gender; early modern period.
    Contact: Dr Amy Brosius
    Email: a.brosius@bham.ac.uk
  • Twentieth century Britain and Italy; critical theory; music under Fascism.
    Contact: Dr Ben Earle
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 7962
    Email: b.n.earle@bham.ac.uk
  • Fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; popular music; performance; Shostakovich.
    Contact: Dr Andrew Kirkman
    Email: a.kirkman@bham.ac.uk
  • Medieval music.
    Contact: Dr Mary O'Neill
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5792
    Email: m.j.l.oneill@bham.ac.uk
  • Music analysis; music and nationalism; Classical and Romantic instrumental music; Elgar.
    Contact: Dr Matthew Riley
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 3240
    Email: m.j.riley@bham.ac.uk
  • Nineteenth and twentieth century British music.
    Contact: Dr Paul Rodmell
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5793
    Email: p.j.rodmell@bham.ac.uk

Employability

The University of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

Birmingham?s Music postgraduates work in a wide range of careers within and beyond the music world. A postgraduate degree in Music develops a broad base of skills including general skills such as communication, problem solving and research, and also specific skills developed by practice and performance such as self-management, team work and presentation.

Over the past five years, 96% of Music postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Whilst some graduates pursue music-related careers, others choose to use their transferable skills to follow career paths in fields including finance, the media and the public sector. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: Arts Council England; BBC; Birmingham Conservatoire; Birmingham Contemporary Music Group; Coventry City Council Performing Arts Service; Lancaster University; National Opera Studio; National Orchestra; Raffles Institution; and Royal Northern College of Music.