Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Musical Composition (PhD in Musical Composition)

The Regulations and Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes (referred to throughout this document as "the Regulations and Code") will apply to this degree, except where separate provision is made below.

1. Admission to the degree programme

A candidate wishing to pursue a PhD in Musical Composition shall normally be registered in the first instance for the degree of Mphil or MMus, and to complete successfully the relevant upgrade process before transferring their registration to the PhD programme. A candidate who enters as an MMus student may, subject to achieving a satisfactory standard after two years of full-time (four years part-time) study, upgrade to the degree of PhD. A candidate who enters as an MPhil student may, subject to achieving a satisfactory standard after one year of full-time (two years part-time) study, upgrade to the degree of MMus and thence, after a further year (two years part-time), upgrade to the degree of PhD.

2. Qualification for the award

The portfolio will comprise compositions for a variety of forces, of which at least one will be substantial in both medium and design. In general, all or most of the pieces will have been performed, and recordings should be included with the submitted scores. Electronic and mixed media submissions of equivalent merit and extent are equally permissible. The commentary will provide an intellectually rigorous account of the composer’s creative landmarks and the nature of their contribution to the field of contemporary composition. It will elucidate issues of importance to the candidate (e.g. constructional, cross-cultural, technological, sociological or other) and demonstrate awareness of the broader context within which the work is situated.

The qualification for the degree shall be:

a)    submission of a portfolio of compositions (normally between five and seven) totalling c. 75 – 120 minutes of music;

b)    submission of an analytical/contextual commentary on the portfolio (normally totalling c. 15,000 words excluding references, appendices and lists of contents). The commentary will be appropriately referenced and will include a bibliography (including a list of repertoire studied, i.e. scores and other media); and

c)    approval of these submissions by examiners appointed by the University.

3. Submission

The submission must normally be made after three years and within four years (seven years part-time) of the date of initial registration for a research degree in Musical Composition.