Research course


Durham University · Department of Music
PhDMMus by researchMA by research

Entry requirements

Applicants to research Masters programmes are expected to have achieved (to be likely to achieve) a first-class or an upper second-class undergraduate degree (or equivalent international qualification) in Music.

Applicants to PhD programmes are usually expected to have achieved (or to be likely to achieve) a good pass (a merit or distinction) in a Taught Masters in Music or to have gained a Research Masters degree. They are generally required to have specialised at Masters level in an area broadly related to their proposed doctoral research topic (i.e. Musicology, Music Analysis, Ethnomusicology, Composition, as appropriate).

These requirements will only be waived in exceptional circumstances, when applicants can demonstrate that they have acquired the knowledge and competence required to undertake independent research at an advanced level by another means (e.g. relevant professional experience).

Months of entry

January, October, April

Course content

Students studying for a research degree concentrate on pursuing an independent research project devised in consultation with their supervisors. Musicologists and ethnomusicologists write a large-scale dissertation, and composers produce a portfolio of original compositions accompanied by a critical commentary. You will work under the guidance of an expert supervisory team and your progress will be reviewed periodically to support you in bringing the project to a successful conclusion.

Information for international students

If your first language is not English, you will be required to demonstrate that you have attained a sufficient level of fluency. The University requires applicants to have achieved a minimum score of 7.0 in the British Council’s International English Language Testing Service test (IELTS) with no component below 6.5. You must have taken the test within the last two years. Further information on University Minimum Levels of English Entry and Accepted English Language Proficiency Tests can be found at:

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months

MMus by research

full time
24 months
part time
48 months

MA by research

full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Course Admissions