Postgraduate research 

Music PhD/MPhil (Research)/MRes

Start dates for incoming postgraduate research students

1 October 2020 is the preferred date to start your PhD [or the date on your offer letter].

We will run a full on-line induction and training programme that may be taken remotely for the first month. Most of our doctoral researcher training programme will also be available online and we will offer many remote opportunities to help you become part of the Graduate School and wider University community.  

Research that involves laboratory work may start following the completion of induction (all labs are currently up and running).

Some types of research (such as non-laboratory work) and supervision can be carried out entirely remotely and this may be the most appropriate way for you to work at the moment.  Contact your supervisor, if you believe this applies to your research to discuss requirements for home/remote working. You may also require the agreement of the subject, school or institute convener if you wish to carry out your PhD remotely for a fixed period. You may not continue remotely unless an adequate plan is agreed to ensure sufficient work can be undertaken prior to starting the experimental work. It is important that starting remotely does not affect the overall PhD timescale.

Delayed start dates

We understand there may be good reasons to delay:

  • If it is necessary to travel to Glasgow to begin your research, but there are restrictions preventing travel at this time, then a delay to 5 January 2021 is encouraged [when we will run full on-line induction and training programme]. You may also delay to another start time with the agreement of your supervisor and Graduate School.
  • For subjects where laboratory work is required to commence immediately following on-line induction and training and you are unable to come to Glasgow, you should consider delaying your start-date. Contact your supervisor or the Graduate School in this instance.
  • If your research involves objects, artefacts, archives or fieldwork, you should discuss this with your supervisor. Some kinds of work may be able to be started remotely; in other cases, it may be advisable to delay the start-date.
  • External government sponsors may prefer a delay and the University is happy to support this.

From our point of view, there is no disadvantage in deferring your PhD to a later agreed start date. Scholarship holders should check that this can still be provided with a delayed start.

Office and study space

At present, current staff and research students are not using office spaces on campus. We do not have a confirmed date for the return to office use, but all work that can be undertaken off-campus (ie is not lab-based) should be done at home or remotely at present.

Some study spaces are becoming available on campus with a booking system in place, such as the postgraduate study space in the University Library.

International/EU students remotely starting a funded PhD

You should check with your funder that you can be paid a stipend if you are not in the UK. If you are in receipt of a scholarship, you should contact the Graduate School for advice on opening a bank account to allow stipend payments.


Headphones on a piano

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.

SoundThought postgraduate showcase

Our 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 2019 edition will take place at the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in early 2019 (dates TBC).

 

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.

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  20,000-30,000

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 an outline of the proposed research subject in about 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

2021/22

  • UK fee to be confirmed by ukri.org (2020/21 fee was £4,407)
  • International & EU: £19,350

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:

  • Re-submission by a research student £540
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,355
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £350
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £790

Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee (also known as research support costs) to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.

Alumni discount

We offer a 20% discount to our alumni on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School with us. 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.

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2020/21 fees

  • £4,407 UK/EU
  • £18,370 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:

  • Re-submission by a research student £525
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,315
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £340
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £765

Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee (also known as research support costs) to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.

Alumni discount

We offer a 10% discount to our alumni commencing study in Academic session 2020/21, on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed a Study Abroad programme or the Erasmus Programme at the University of Glasgow. This discount can be awarded alongside other University scholarships. 

Funding for EU students

The Scottish Government has confirmed that fees for EU students commencing their studies 2020/21 will be at the same level as those for UK student.

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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

Identify potential supervisors

All Postgraduate Research Students are allocated a supervisor who will act 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. Please note, even if you have spoken to an academic staff member about your proposal you still need to submit an online application form.

You can find relevant academic staff members with our staff research interests search.


Gather your documents

Before applying please make sure you gather the following supporting documentation:

  1. Final or current degree transcripts including grades (and an official translation, if needed) – scanned copy in colour of the original document.
  2. Degree certificates (and an official translation, if needed): scanned copy in colour of the original document.
  3. Two references on headed paper and signed by the referee. One must be academic, the other can be academic or professional. References may be uploaded as part of the application form or you may enter your referees contact details on the application form. We will then email your referee and notify you when we receive the reference.  We can also accept confidential references direct to rio-researchadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk, from the referee’s university or business email account.
  4. Research proposal, CV, samples of written work as per requirements for each subject area.

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