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Popular Music

Music at Glasgow has a dynamic, supportive but rigorous research culture with a strong sense of community linked by ideas and practice.

Overview

Music PhDs at Glasgow comprise a process of research over 3 years full-time or 5 years part-time that leads to either a thesis that may be supported by practical work, or a portfolio of practical work supported by a written component. If your work is centred on cultural or historical musicology, this provides great opportunity to support your main thesis with performance, edition or other forms of musical practice. If you are a composer, improvisor, or sonic artist, this provides a great opportunity to develop your creative work and present this as a substantial piece of practice research.

Topics in which we would welcome postgraduate research include:

  • Composition, including experimental music, intercultural aspects of composition and music and the moving image
  • Historical and cultural musicology, including philosophy and aesthetics of music, music in popular culture, music and politics and music and modernism.
  • Sonic arts and audiovisual practice, including live electronics, spatial composition and sound design and sound art aesthetics
  • Performance, including historically informed performance and contemporary music practices.

Sound Thought postgraduate showcase

Our thriving postgraduate community have a chance once a year to present their work in front of a public audience at our annual postgraduate showcase event, SoundThought.  SoundThought is entirely run by the postgraduate community and has taken place at many of Glasgow's top arts venues; the 2016 edition will take place at the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) between 30th March and 1st April.  

Study options

PhD
Duration: Three years Full-Time / Five years Part-time

A Doctor of Philosophy may be awarded to a student whose thesis/portfolio is an original work making a significant contribution to knowledge in, or understanding of, a field of study and normally containing material worthy of publication.

Thesis Length:70,000-100,000 words, including references, bibliography and appendices (other than documentary appendices).

For examination by thesis, the candidate may include a range of practical components in support of their underlying argument, but this is not a requirement. The precise relationship between practical work and written commentary, and their relative weightings, will be agreed between the candidate, their supervisors, and the Music postgraduate convener, through Annual Progress Review as part of the development of the project. 

For examination by portfolio, candidates may submit work in a range of disciplines, including composition, sonic art, performance or other forms of creative practice. Extended critical and methodologically informed documentation of the research project will accompany the creative inquiry. The written component is expected to complement and reflect in a rigorous manner upon the practical component. Normally the portfolio will comprise creative work of approximately two hours’ duration or work of equivalent depth or complexity and the written component will be 10,000 – 20,000 words. The precise relationship between practical work and written commentary, and their relative weightings, will be agreed between the candidate, their supervisors, and the Music postgraduate convener, through Annual Progress Review as part of the development of the project.

MLitt: 2 years full-time; 3 years part-time. Thesis length 40,000-70,000
MPhil: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time. Thesis length 30,000-40,000
MRes: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time. Thesis length  18,000-30,000

Supervisors

All our postgraduate research students are allocated a supervisor who acts as the main source of academic support and research mentoring.

You may want to identify a potential supervisor and contact them to discuss your research proposal before you apply.

Entry requirements

Our regular standard of admission is at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1), although candidates will usually also have completed or be undertaking a Masters qualification.

Research proposal

Candidates are required to provide a single page outline of the research subject proposed (approximately 1000 words). This need not be a final thesis proposal but should include:

  • a straightforward, descriptive, and informative title
  • the question that your research will address
  • an account of why this question is important and worth investigating
  • an assessment of how your own research will engage with recent study in the subject
  • a brief account of the methodology and approach you will take
  • a discussion of the primary sources that your research will draw upon, including printed books, manuscripts, archives, libraries, or museums
  • an indicative bibliography of secondary sources that you have already consulted and/or are planning to consult

Your application, including your references and research proposal, will be passed to members of staff whose expertise and research interests most closely match the area of your proposed study.

English Language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English.

Fees and funding

Fees

2016/17

  • £4,121 UK/EU
  • £15,250 outside EU

Prices are based on the annual fee for full-time study. Fees for part-time study are half the full-time fee.

Additional fees for all students:

  • Submission by a research student £440
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work £890
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £140
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £680
  • Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period) £250
  • General Council fee £50
  • Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.

2017/18

  • £4,195 UK/EU*
  • £16,000 outside EU

Prices are based on the annual fee for full-time study. Fees for part-time study are half the full-time fee.

* We expect that tuition fees for EU students entering in 2017 will continue to be set at the same level as that for UK students.  However, future funding arrangements for EU students will be determined as part of the UK’s discussions on its future relationship.  If you are thinking of applying for 2017 entry, we would encourage you to do so in the usual way. For further information, please see the Research Councils UK statement on international collaboration and Universities UK Brexit FAQs for universities and students.

Additional fees for all students:

  • Submission by a research student £460
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,000
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £200
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £680
  • Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period) £260
  • General Council fee £50
  • Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.

Alumni discount

A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni. This includes graduates and those who have completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

Funding

AHRC Doctoral Training Programme Scotland 2018/19

Funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to support postgraduate studentships and training in the Arts and Humanities in Scotland.

College of Arts PhD scholarship competition 2018/19

We offer a number of scholarships for students undertaking a doctoral programme in the College of Arts Graduate School. These scholarships will include around four hours per week of internship duties.

Support

Resources

Teaching and research in the Arts and Humanities is supported by the outstanding resources of our University Library with its special collections and our on-campus Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery.

Our close links and partnerships with Glasgow Life, and the city’s many museums, art galleries, performing arts and music venues, international festivals and creative industry organisations make the University of Glasgow the ideal place for postgraduate study of the arts.

Graduate School

Our College of Arts Graduate School creates a productive and interdisciplinary collegiate environment for all of our research students. We offer a range of services, courses and skills development opportunities for research students.

The College of Arts is home to a vibrant and diverse community of students enrolled on taught masters and research programmes within a stimulating intellectual and cultural environment. Across every school and subject area the college is home to world-leading and agenda-setting research.

Find out more about what is happening in the community by following us: 

You will also be part of the wider Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities, the world's first national graduate school in the Arts & Humanities. Membership includes 16 Scottish universities, four art schools & the national conservatoire, with support from the arts, culture, creative & heritage sectors. 

  • Our music facilities include the University Concert Hall, practice rooms, music library, audio lab and studios.
How to apply
Related links

Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities

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