Musicology MPhil/PhD

Qualification name
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Fact file

MPhil/PhD Musicology

Full-time: 2 years, Pat-time: 4 years

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: 6 years

Entry requirements
Masters degree in a relevant subject or equivalent research experience. Applicants with degrees in subjects other than music must demonstrate a suitable level of aptitude.
7.0 (6.0) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
1 October, 1 December, 1 February, 1 April, 1 July
University Park
Other requirements



The department offers a broad range of expertise in musicology, composition and performance, with particular research strengths organised into four core research areas: 

  • Music
  • Space and Place
  • Music-Text-Image
  • Musical Creativity and Community
  • Music, Politics and Identity

Other areas of expertise include ethnomusicology, popular music, globalisation, 19th-century music, music and language, and historical performance practice. Proposals for postgraduate research in any of the areas familiar to the staff in the department are welcome.

In addition to individual supervision, postgraduate students benefit from the department's lively programme of research activities, including regular training courses, workshops and visiting speakers; as well as the services provided by the University's Graduate School.

An MPhil normally equates to either two years of full-time or four years of part-time study, during which a 60,000-word thesis is written. A PhD normally equates to either three years of full-time or six years of part-time study, during which a 100,000-word thesis is written.



The Department of Music, part of the School of Humanities, is housed in modern, purpose-built accommodation adjacent to the Nottingham Lakeside Arts. The excellent practical and technical facilities include:

  • a well-stocked, on-site library with listening area, multimedia facilities and an audio-visual archive
  • a studio with first-rate equipment for electronic composition and sound recording
  • a PC lab giving access to word-processing and music-notation software
  • a dedicated postgraduate study room with networked PCs
  • practice rooms with new pianos

The Djanogly Recital Hall  has recently been acclaimed as one of the country's top 10 venues for chamber music, where performances of all kinds take place, including a regular series of professional concerts, public recitals by students, and concerts including student compositions. Adjacent is a large purpose-built rehearsal hall.

Students also have numerous performance opportunities


Research support

The department's lively research culture includes regular research seminars, which offer the chance to hear visiting scholars from elsewhere in the UK and from overseas as well as opportunities for staff and postgraduates to present research in progress in a friendly and constructive environment. These occasions also allow you to broaden your knowledge of the subject and gain a better sense of how research develops as part of an interactive process.

You will have access to an extensive range of modules provided by The Graduate School, including 'The Tradition of Critique' and general modules such as 'Getting Going on Your Thesis', and beginners language courses.

AHRC Doctoral Award-holders will complete a portfolio of research training provision, to be devised in consultation with their supervisor and the Head of Postgraduate Studies.

You may also attend the research training module that is a compulsory element of our MA degrees. This module will give you a strong foundation in the skills and techniques necessary for effective research in the subject. 

For information on research training see the department's Research Culture webpage.

A number of University support services exist to assist you during your time at Nottingham and beyond. The Graduate School is a particularly important source of support.


Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area. 

Details of research supervisors can be found on the Department website.


Fees and funding

UK/EU Students

Competitive scholarships available include:

  • MA Scholarships
  • PhD Scholarships
  • Department MA Studentships
  • School Overseas Research Scholarship

This is by no means a complete list. For up to date information and application forms on these and other funding opportunities, please visit the funding section of the department’s website.

Midlands4Cities funding

The Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership supports the personal and professional development of the next generation of arts and humanities doctoral researchers. Studentships are available to UK/EU students.

How to apply to the University of Nottingham through Midlands4Cities

 The University’s International Office has a wide range of scholarship opportunities for students with an EU fee status, including a fee reduction for alumni, and EU and Accession State Scholarships.

The University Graduate School operates funding schemes of its own to help support current postgraduate research.

For a detailed list of external funding schemes, please visit the School of Humanities funding page.

Government loans for doctoral study

The Government recently introduced doctoral student loans of up to £25,000 for PhDs and equivalent research programmes. Applicants must ordinarily live in England.

Doctoral training programmes

Linked to research councils, doctoral training programmes offer funding opportunities connected to our research priorities.

International and EU students

Research scholarships are available for outstanding international and EU students. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.



Visit the department page for additional opportunities

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2016, 96% of postgraduates from the School of Humanities who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £22,370 with the highest being £30,000.*

*Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

* The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research.


Get in touch

+44 (0)115 951 5559
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This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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