Research course

Music computing; acoustics

Open University · Department of Music

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Months of entry


Course content

The OU hosts generous laboratory facilities and specialist staff dedicated to empirical analysis of musical performance and of the acoustics of musical instruments.

Music computing research at the OU is focused on empowering musicians, illuminating musical activities, and modelling music perception and cognition. Our work is informed by musicology, psychology, ethnography, embodied cognition, pervasive interaction, mathematics and advanced computing techniques. In particular, we devise and investigate new ways to:

  • empower beginners to engage deeply with musical activities
  • provide new tools and capabilities for expert musicians and theorists
  • cast new light on how music works.

We welcome applications in areas that correspond with current staff research interests. We look for detailed and well thought-out proposals, which set out specific research questions and outline the originality of your topic or approach. If you would like to discuss your ideas informally before submitting an application, please contact the department.

Potential supervisors

Department specialisms

Music computing. Our interests are eclectic and we are keen to hear from motivated students interested in any aspect of music computing research Musical acoustics (especially brass/wind instruments)

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website for more information.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
variable months
part time
72 months
full time
36 months


part time
24 months
full time
15 months
distance learning
variable months

Course contact details

Dr Helen Coffey
+44 (0)1908 653280