PhD Music (Musicology) / Programme details

Year of entry: 2024

Programme description

Our PhD Music (Musicology) programme will enable you to develop historical and/or analytical skills at an advanced level, with independence and originality of thought combined with technical skill.

Your 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:

* Early modern material culture and source studies * Early modern music theory and performing practices * Music and multimedia culture in early modern and Enlightenment England * Reception of early modern English music * Beethoven and his contemporaries * Music, politics and aesthetics in 19th-C Germany * Analysis and reception of 19th-C instrumental music * Music in 20th-century Russia and the Soviet Union * The 20th-century symphony * New music reception, historiography and methodology * Music in contemporary culture * Music of South Asia and the South Asian diaspora * Music of the Mediterranean, Balkans and Caucasus * Politics of world music * Music revivals in the 20th and 21st centuries * Theorising listening and listeners * Jazz performance and improvisation studies * Historical performance practice * Manuscript studies * Child composers

Our research across the department involves particular focus on eight core research areas , which are built around themes and topics that are of interest to a number of members of staff, who are able to bring contrasting perspectives and methodologies to solving shared problems within these themes because of their contrasting areas of specialism. These core research areas comprise:

* Creative and performing practices * Sound, space and interactive art * Politics, protest and power * Nationalism, mobility and identity * Historically and culturally informed analysis * Critical reception studies * Voice and vocality * Inter-cultural musicking

Musicologists and ethnomusicologists will produce an 80,000-word dissertation that presents independent and original research executed at a high standard.

You will be assigned a research panel consisting of your supervisor, a co-supervisor and advisor who will meet with you on a regular basis to monitor your progress.

Postgraduate students are expected to take part in the academic community of the department and the University by participating in seminars and presenting their research at regular intervals.

Find out more about our Music research , our staff and what our current PhD postgraduate research students are working on.

Special features

Find out more about the Graduate School

Graduate School

All of our postgraduate students become members of the Graduate School when you start at Manchester. It has dedicated facilities for students and offers opportunities to collaborate with other postgraduates.

Additional programme information

Equality, diversity and inclusion  is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. 

We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact. 

We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status. 

All appointments are made on merit. 

The University of Manchester and our external partners are fully committed to equality, diversity and inclusion.


Alan Gilbert Learning Commons Fly Through

Manchester is home to one of the UK's five National Research Libraries - one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the UK and widely recognised as one of the world's greatest research libraries.

Academic staff and PhD researchers in Music can access the large collection of music manuscripts and early printed scores held at the John Rylands Library, the internationally important collection of music manuscripts and printed material at the Henry Watson Library, and the major collection of broadsides and song publications dating from 1680-1750 held in Chetham's Library. 

Find out more about libraries and study spaces for postgraduate research students at Manchester.

We also have one of the largest academic IT services in Europe - supporting world-class teaching and research. There are extensive computing facilities across campus, with access to standard office software as well as specialist programmes, all connected to the campus network and internet.

Every student is registered for email, file storage and internet access. If more demanding computer access is required, our specialist computing division can provide high-end and specialist computing services.

The Graduate School offers dedicated state of the art facilities to research students, including common rooms and workstations.

Learn more about our facilities for Music students .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: