Research course


Cardiff University · School of Music

Entry requirements

For entry requirements, please see our website.

Months of entry

January, October, July, April

Course content

This programme offers an opportunity to study with leading composers with internationally regarded expertise and experience in contemporary music composition.

It aims to offer knowledge and expertise for a career in professional music composition.

Composition students also get to hear their music rehearsed and recorded in workshops with professional performers and ensembles. This offers an unmatched experience of working with practitioners to realise your compositional ideas in a constructive and friendly atmosphere.

Composition seminars take place regularly (either weekly or fortnightly) through the academic year. Aspects of compositional technique, new repertoire and interviews with visiting composers will be offered as opportunities arise.

There will also be opportunities to conduct your music with the University’s Contemporary Music Group and visiting professional ensembles.


Candidates for this scheme are required to submit a major work or portfolio of works of original composition, accompanied by a written commentary (of between 10,000 and 20,000 words for PhD; of between 5,000 and 10,000 words for MPhil) providing a critical analysis and placing the work in its academic context. The submission should include supporting recorded material in an appropriate format determined by the School.

Practice-led submissions are assessed by the same generic criteria as any other Cardiff University MPhil or PhD. In this regard a practice-led submission should represent sustained research into an aspect of musical composition, rather than samples of professional practice. Research in this context is understood as a process of investigation leading to new insights, effectively shared.

Qualification and course duration


part time
possible months
full time
36 months


part time
possible months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiries