Department of Music

Fees and funding for music students

Scholarships, studentships and bursaries

Your eligibility for student funding depends on variables including the subject and award level of the course you are taking, your residency status, where you live in term time and your household income.

Many of the financial support options require you to hold an offer of a place to study at Nottingham before you can make an application for funding. It is therefore highly recommended that you begin the application process in time to meet the funding deadlines.

Students across our University are benefitting from scholarships, bursaries, and prizes thanks to the support of our donors.


General funding information for humanities students of all degree levels

A brief guide to University of Nottingham and external sources of funding, including scholarships, studentships and bursaries.





Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) PhD funding for UK/EU students

The University of Nottingham is the lead institution for the Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership.



Supervision areas for Nottingham music M3C DTP applicants


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Funding for postgraduate students of music

The following scholarships, bursaries and prizes are available specifically for postgraduate music students.

Sir Francis Hill Postgraduate Scholarship 2014/15

One Sir Francis Hill Scholarship is available for the academic year 2014/15.

The award offers a remission of full time HEU, research postgraduate fees and maintenance grant at Research Council rates. Further information is available from the Graduate School website.  



Lillian Ruff Postgraduate Scholarship 2014

Dr Lillian M Ruff is a graduate of The University of Nottingham who has generously established this scholarship in her name. 

There will be one recipient in 2014/15, being awarded a scholarship equivalent to the full cost of the UK/EU fee for a part-time taught MA course in the School of Humanities at The University of Nottingham.  This scholarship is open to all students within the School of Humanities, but priority is given to Music applicants.

For more details and full criteria, please see the Lillian M Ruff Scholarship application form which can be downloaded from the Student Services Financial Support web page.



PhD funded support - Radcliffe Trust Composition Bursary, September 2014 entry

The Department of Music at The University of Nottingham is pleased to announce the availability of funded support for a postgraduate student of composition, registered for a PhD in Music.

The funding support is through the generosity of a Radcliffe Trust Composition Bursary and consists of three annual payments of £6,000. The current tuition fee for postgraduate study at the University (HEU students) is £3,980 per year (subject to review). 

The Bursary is open to UK applicants who must be starting full time PhD studies in September 2014. Applicants will normally have an MA in Composition with at least a Merit

Supervision of the successful candidate will be by Dr Nicholas Sackman (until his retirement in the summer of 2015). Thereafter, supervision will be by Professor Mervyn Cooke and/or the academic replacement for Dr Sackman.

The assessment requirements (abbreviated) for a PhD submission in composition are: submission of a portfolio of conventionally-notated compositions – in varying genres and for varying forces – initiated and completed during the period of study. One of the compositions should be substantial and extended in length. The portfolio must be accompanied by a written commentary illuminating the composer’s methodology, aesthetic, and communicative intentions, and his/her detailed evaluation of the portfolio when placed alongside contemporaneous works from other composers, living both in this country and abroad. For the PhD submission, the composition portfolio should amount to 60 minutes of music with a commentary of 20,000 words. Submitted compositions should be worthy of a professional standard of performance.

Please complete the Bursary application form  .

Applicants should send the completed and printed Bursary application form, and a hard copy of two recent scores (with audio-CD recordings if available), to Dr Sackman (see below) by 30 May 2014. Shortlisted applicants will be required to attend an interview. 

Download a Reference form. Two academic references should be submitted by email (from a work based email address [e.g.ac.uk, nhs.net or gov.uk etc]) to Nicholas Sackman by the 30 May 2014.

The successful candidate will need to apply for a place to study in the Department of Music at The University of Nottingham.  
Enquiries and further particulars can be obtained from:

Dr N Sackman
Associate Professor and Reader in Composition
Department of Music
University of Nottingham



Society for Music Analysis Masters Bursaries

The Society for Music Analysis awards bursaries of £1,500 (for full-time students) or £1000 (for part-time students) per annum, for one to two years, to those commencing UK Masters degrees.

Applicants must be registered or hold the offer of a place for an MA or similar degree in music analysis or theory and analysis, or in a programme that contains a significant music-analytical emphasis. They must also be essentially self-funding and not in receipt of any substantial grant, bursary, prize, studentship or similar financial support. Where despite some such funding a genuine need can be shown, the application will be considered on equal terms with other applications.

Application deadlines fall in August each year.

(Nottingham students have been successful with these in recent years.)



Edison Fellowship Programme

The National Sound Archive's Edison Fellowship Programme is designed to encourage scholarship devoted to the history of recordings of classical music and music in performance through creating the conditions for concentrated use of the British Library's collections of discs and tapes.

Proposals will be considered which treat any aspect of the history of recording and the performance of western art music. Further details or contact: Timothy Day, The British Library Sound Archive, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB.



RVW Trust

The Trust assists with the cost of first Master's Degrees (MA) in musical composition only for British students or those of British residency.

Further details or contact: RVW Trust, 16 Ogle Street, London, W1W 6JA.



Prizes and Awards

At the end of each academic year, the Department of Music makes the following awards: Bernard Slee Music Award: £250 awarded annually to an undergraduate or postgraduate student who has produced outstanding work relating to opera.

Hallward Prize for Composition: £250 awarded annually to an undergraduate or postgraduate student for outstanding achievement in composition.


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Funding for postgraduate humanities students

The following funding opportunities exist for postgraduate School of Humanities students

14 research preparation masters studentships for 2015 entry. Deadline for application 28 April 2015


School of Humanities Masters Scholarships 2015 Entry



Digital Humanities Centre (DHC): MA/MSc Scholarship – Reprographic Services



Sir Francis Hill Postgraduate Scholarship 2014/15


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External sources of funding for postgraduate students

This list comprises a guide to external funding information and sources for postgraduate students.


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Department of Music

The University of Nottingham
Lakeside Arts Centre
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact details