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Samuel Alexander Building, The University of Manchester
PhD Music (Musicology)
Conduct independent and original research in a specialist area of musicology.

PhD Music (Musicology) / Overview

Year of entry: 2019

Degree awarded
Doctor of Philosophy
36 months [Full-time], 72 months [Part-time]
Entry requirements

Successful completion of a Masters course with an overall classification of Merit or higher, or its overseas equivalent, with an element of research training, is a prerequisite for entry to a PhD. A research proposal must be included with the formal application materials. 

Full entry requirements

How to apply
 For details of how to apply, go to: Applying for a postgraduate programme

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning

Programme description

You will develop historical and/or analytical skills at an advanced level, with independence and originality of thought combined with technical skill. The supervised research will normally be related in some way to the research interests of a member of staff; these currently include but are not limited to:

Medieval and Renaissance music; English Baroque music; Baroque music theory and performance practice; Beethoven and his contemporaries; Music in 19th-century Germany (Mendelssohn, Schubert); Analysis; 20th-century music, especially that of Russia and the Soviet Union; 20th-century symphony; Opera; Music in contemporary culture; Ethnomusicology; Music Revivals in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Musicologists and ethnomusicologists will produce an 80,000 word dissertation that presents independent and original research executed at a high standard. They will be assigned a research panel consisting of their supervisor, a co-supervisor and advisor who will meet with them on a regular basis to monitor their progress. Postgraduate students are expected to take part in the academic community of the department and University by participating in seminars and presenting their research at regular intervals.

Recent or current PhD topics in Musicology and Ethnomusicology include: 'Aesthetic and Ideological Trends in the Reception of Mendelssohn's Music in Nineteenth-Century Germany (Sinéad Dempsey); 'Beethoven's Compositional Approach to Multi-Movement Structures in his Instrumental Works' (Erica Buurman); 'Arrogance or audacity? : the music of Sebastián Raval (?-1604)' (Esperanza Rodriguez-Garcia); 'Alfred Schnittke's symphonies 1-3 in the context of late Soviet music' (Ivana Medic); 'The Chapel Royal Partbooks in Eighteenth-Century England' (James Hume); 'Music Publishing and Compositional Activity in England, 1650-1700' (Stephanie Carter); 'Structure, rhetoric, imagery: intersections of literary expression and musical narrative in the vocal works of Beethoven' (Matthew Pilcher) 'Schumann's Music and Hoffmann's Fiction' (John Macauslan); 'Printing Polyphonic Music in the Early 16th century' (Sanna Raninen); The String Quartets of Mieczyslaw Weinberg (Daniel Elphick); 'Diligentissime Emendatum, Atque Correctum? The Transmission And Revision Of Plainchant In Italian Printed Graduals, 1499-1653' (Marianne Gillion); 'The Music of Fantasy Film Franchises: On the Creation, Evolution and Destruction of Musical Worlds' (Daniel White); 'Transmitting guitar culture within and between island communities: Maltese prejjem at home and in the Maltese-Australian diaspora' (Andrew Pace); 'Music and Spirit Possession in Yoruba Worship' (Sam Amusan)


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2019, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): TBA
    International students (per annum): £18,500
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): TBA

Please note for the majority of projects where experimentation requires further resource: higher fee bands (where quoted) will be charged rather than the base rate for supervision, administration and computational costs. The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive and, therefore, you will not be required to pay any additional bench fees or administration costs.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of the course for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your project.


The School offers a limited number of bursaries and studentships on a competitive basis, details of which can be found via the links below.

Please note that whilst we do not have closing dates for programme applications, all funding competitions have a specified deadline for submitting the funding application form and a separate (earlier) deadline for submitting the online programme application form, both of which will be stated in the funding competition details below:

Contact details

Academic department
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Contact name
Rachel Corbishley
+44 (0) 161 275 3559
Academic department overview

See: About us

Programmes in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of programmes in related subject areas.

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