MusicFind a programme
|Awards available||PhD, MPhil, MMus|
MPhil: one year full-time; two years part-time
MMus (Composition only): two years full-time; four years part-time
PhD: three years full-time; six years part-time
|Location of programme||Clifton campus|
|Part-time study available||Yes|
January 2018 (2017/18 fees apply)
The Department of Music is a centre of research excellence in both composition and musicology.
In composition, there is no particular house style, but we are well known for a number of areas including:
- acoustic work, ranging from solo to symphonic scale;
- electro-acoustic, including acousmatic composition;
- composition exploring the interface of Western and non-Western traditions.
The department also provides access to a wide network of opportunities for professional and amateur performance.
In musicology, research strengths include not only the Western art music tradition, but screen media, non-Western and popular music. We have particular depth of expertise in the early Middle Ages and the Renaissance (especially in France and Spain), and in the 19th and 20th centuries (including the music of France, Britain and Soviet Russia). We also have expertise in Anglophone vernacular traditions including jazz and hip hop; in opera, film, music and the history and philosophy of technology, music and migration, and cultural and reception history more generally.
Several musicology students are co-supervised between the Department of Music and a related department, such as Russian, English or History.
NB For students starting in January 2018, fees for 2017/18 will apply.
Fees for 2018/19
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2018/19 are as follows:
- UK/EU: full-time
- UK/EU: part-time
- Overseas: full-time
- Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time
Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.
University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.
Funding for 2018/19
The University of Bristol is part of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP), which will be offering studentships for September 2018. For information on other funding opportunities, please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages.
Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.
MPhil: An upper second-class degree or international equivalent. Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of your readiness to pursue a research degree.
MMus (Composition): An upper second-class degree or international equivalent, plus a portfolio of representative compositions. Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of a suitable level of professional accomplishment.
PhD: A master's qualification, or be working towards a master's qualification, or international equivalent. Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent). Applicants with a non-traditional background may be considered provided they can demonstrate substantial equivalent and relevant experience that has prepared them to undertake their proposed course of study.
PhD (Composition): A master's qualification, or be working towards a master's qualification, or international equivalent. Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent) and/or can demonstrate evidence of a sustained and high level of professional accomplishment. Applicants with a non-traditional background may be considered provided they can demonstrate substantial equivalent and relevant experience that has prepared them to undertake their proposed course of study. In all cases, applications must be supported by a portfolio of representative compositions.
See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
Research is structured in several interlinked clusters:
Contemporary vocal, instrumental and orchestral music; electro-acoustic music and live electronics; music with film and mixed media; cultural transfer through composition; traditional media, such as brass band and choral work.
Group members: Dr Michael Ellison, Dr Neal Farwell, Professor John Pickard.
Music and society
Music and politics; cultural history of French music; film, musicals and music for television; cultural transfer, migration and diasporas (especially British and Russian music); medieval liturgical chant and orality.
Group members: Professor Katharine Ellis, Dr Michael Ellison, Dr Pauline Fairclough, Dr Guido Heldt, Dr Emma Hornby, Professor John Pickard, Dr Stephen Rice, Dr Florian Scheding, Dr Justin Williams.
An emerging cluster exploring the place of music in multi-medial cultural artefacts and practice.
Group members: Dr Michael Ellison, Dr Neal Farwell, Dr Guido Heldt, Dr Emma Hornby, Dr Justin Williams.
Music as performance
Historical performance practice; medieval oral transmission.
Group members: Dr Emma Hornby, Dr Stephen Rice.
A cluster focused on the Centre for the History of Music in Britain, the Empire and the Commonwealth (CHOMBEC, co-directors Dr Guido Heldt and Dr Florian Scheding).
Group members: Dr Annika Forkert (Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow), Dr Guido Heldt, Dr Florian Scheding, Professor John Pickard, Dr Justin Williams.
Old Hispanic Office Research Project
Old Hispanic chant; liturgy; theology; creative engagement with contemporary composition. Funded by the European Research Council.
Project members: Dr Emma Hornby, Dr Elsa de Luca (postdoctoral Fellow), Dr Kati Ihnat (postdoctoral Fellow).
Beyond East and West Research Project
Composition for western and traditional Turkish musicians; developing and documenting an evolving transcultural musical practice. Funded by the European Research Council.
Project members: Dr Michael Ellison, Dr Simon Jones (Theatre), Dr Argun Çakır (postdoctoral fellow)
A large number of graduates from this programme develop careers in higher education or work on high-level research projects in the field of music; some graduates take up careers as composers and musicians.
Dr Michael Ellison, (Senior Lecturer), Analysis; composition; contemporary opera; new music; Turkish music.
Dr Pauline Fairclough, (Senior Lecturer), Cold War cultural exchanges; music and politics; music in Eastern Europe; Shostakovich; Socialist Realism; Soviet and Russian music; Soviet performance practice.
Dr Neal Farwell, (Senior Lecturer), Composition; electro-acoustic composition; live electronics and interactivity; semiotics.
Dr Guido Heldt, (Senior Lecturer), British 20th-century art music; film music and narratology; music and television; musical films; the representation of music in film.
Dr Emma Hornby, (Reader), Compositional grammar; medieval music, particularly Western liturgical chant; orality and transmission; text/music relations.
Professor John Pickard, (Professor of Composition & Applied Musicology), 20th-century British music; composition; editing the music of Elgar; the 20th-century symphonic tradition.
Dr Florian Scheding, (Lecturer), Music and migration, especially the displacement of European musics and musicians caused by the political upheavals of the 20th century.
Dr Justin Williams, (Lecturer), Film music; geography and mobility; hip hop; musical borrowing; popular music; the analysis of record production.
September 2018 start: 1 August 2018
January 2019 start: 1 December 2018
Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.
REF 2014 results
- 35% of research is world-leading (4 star)
- 39% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
- 26% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
- 0% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)
Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.
The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.
Get in touch
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