Whether you’re looking to begin an academic career or want to develop your skills and expertise for a career in industry, studying for a PhD will be a journey that will stimulate your passion for your subject and push you to reach your potential.
The School offers three research programmes
These can take the form of conventional thesis-based studies, but for PhD and MPhil can also represent practice-led research, where a commentary or smaller thesis supports a portfolio of recorded performances or compositions. All of these programmes, which can be conducted in either full-time or part-time mode, enable students to pursue advanced, independent research under the guidance of one or two specialist supervisors.
Research in the School of Music is grouped under three main areas:
Music and Science
- Music technology (history, development, computing, multimedia, instruments)
- Psychology of music (development, identities, listening behaviour, perception)
- Music and wellbeing (health, environment, society)
- Technologies and practices of film music
Music as Culture
- Critical, historical and applied musicology
- Popular music (history, performance, cultures)
- Music and literature; music journalism
- Music and cultural difference
- Film musicology
- Composition (acoustic, electro-acoustic)
- Performance research (including historically-informed performance, editing)
You must have achieved a bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons), or equivalent, or a good performance in a Masters level course in a relevant subject. We also recognise relevant industrial and academic experience.
MPhil or MA by research candidates are normally required to have a good first degree in a related subject area. If you are proposing to undertake research that includes practice-led elements you will normally be able to demonstrate appropriate experience and proficiency in relevant areas of practice.
English language requirements
Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to take an English Language Qualification and achieve the following entry requirements;
IELTS: 6.5 Overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) internet-based test: a total score of 92, with not less than: 21 in listening, 21 in reading, 22 in writing, and 23 speaking.
The University of Leeds Language Centre provides an Academic English for Postgraduate Studies pre-sessional course which is designed to help international students develop the necessary language and academic study skills required for successful study on a research degree programme.
How to apply
The easiest way to apply is online. This will allow you to track you application at each stage of the process. You will also need to write a research proposal, further details on the requirements of this can be found below. Applications can be made at any time of the year, it is advisable that you contact the School before submitting an application.
For all enquiries please contact the Graduate School Administrator Linda Watson email@example.com or 0113 343 8713.
How Do I Write A Research Proposal?
Your proposal should be up to 3000 words, including the bibliography. We use your proposal to assess the potential of your topic for research, and to match your interests with appropriate supervisors.
Please give the following information in separate sections:
- Whether you are applying for a PhD or a practice-led PhD (where your research questions can only be answered through practical engagement)
- Your central research question.
- A list of sub-questions that inform or underpin the central research question.
- This should take the form of a brief outline of the general area of study, and should do the following: identify the context within which you place your research; identify the key relevant literature and/or practice for your proposed research project; demonstrate that you are aware of current debates and issues; make reference to key articles and texts; demonstrate your own expertise in your chosen area; and articulate the potential contribution to new knowledge in the chosen field of research (for example, what are the gaps in the field that you can see, or what limitations are there in the current field). A PhD is an original piece of work and this section should demonstrate that your proposed area of study has not been studied before or that you have a new angle on this area of study or that you are applying new methodologies and/or models to this area of study.
- An outline of the methods you intend to employ in your research and the kinds of data you will require. You may use a variety of methods, including qualitative methods, literature review and studio experimentation, amongst others. Specify the approach you feel will be most appropriate for your research project.
- An explanation of why you are interested in this research and why you are well placed to conduct the research.
- Practice-led Research Rationale. If you are applying for practice-led research a rationale for choosing this method of research and evidence of your experience of working through practice
- Indicative timetable for your research
- A brief bibliography that supports the key concepts, frameworks and, if appropriate, existing practices/performances, that you have discussed in your context section.
- Sample of your own practice.
If you are applying for practice-led research then you should supply a sample of your work on a DVD or a web site. (If you need to submit your sample in another format then please contact us to check that we will be able to access it.) The sample should be of suitable length and content for us to assess the quality of your practice in relation to your proposed methodology.
If you have any questions about writing your research proposal, please contact Dr Michael Allis firstname.lastname@example.org Postgraduate Research Tutor for more information.
What happens next?
When the School receives your application, we will contact you. Wherever possible, we call candidates for interview. For international students, this can be a telephone interview. We will let you know the result of your application as soon as possible.
The University of Leeds welcomes applications from international students; further advice and information for international applicants can be found at: http://www.leeds.ac.uk//info/20019/international.