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Postgraduate Research

All three areas of postgraduate research - Musicology (including Ethnomusicology), Performance and Composition - lead towards the degree of PhD, although each has a different mode of delivery (see below). PhD programmes may be pursued full-time or part-time.

Students are encouraged to register their topics as soon as practicable on the web site of the Royal Musical Association. It is a useful way of booking the topic and becoming aware of students in other universities working on similar or cognate subjects.

For details of recently completed doctorates at the School of Music in Cardiff, please follow the link to Publications in this section.

Further details on each PhD programme are given in the School of Music's Postgraduate Handbook for current students. If you would like us to send you a copy, please contact the office. You may also contact the Postgraduate Admissions Tutor, Professor David Beard, or the relevant Programme Director named below.

You can also find out more about our academic staff and their research interests on our Academic Supervisors pages.

Current funding opportunities

Home/EU students
International students

PhD in Composition

Candidates for this scheme are required to submit a substantial portfolio of original compositions written specifically for the degree, including at least one large-scale work, together with a written commentary of approximately 10,000 words.

They are encouraged to avail themselves of regular workshop opportunities with professional performers including the resident Carducci Quartet, as well as performance opportunities with the Cardiff Contemporary Music Group.

The weekly Composition Seminar allows for in-depth exploration of new and recent repertoire, including classes with guest composers and Distinguished Visiting Professor Judith Weir.

PhD in Musicology

The text of a PhD thesis should not normally exceed 80,000 words (excluding bibliographies and appendices).

PhD in Performance

Requirements for the Performance programme include the presentation of a public recital of a varied programme of approximately 90 minutes' duration and the submission of either (a) a dissertation (of 40,000 to 50,000 words) on an approved performance or voice/instrument-related subject or (b) an appropriate scholarly edition with commentary.

Recent research topics include:

Teaching opportunities for research students


Teaching opportunities for research students in the School of Music are limited, and priority is given to scholarship students (within the criteria of their specific scholarship scheme). All research students are notified where opportunities for teaching arise, and expressions of interest are invited (supported by a CV).

Teaching experience is normally reserved for those in the later stages of their research programme, and students involved in teaching receive appropriate training, mentorship and feedback on their work.