Research course


Queen's University Belfast · School of Music and Sonic Arts

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Entry requirements

A research degree offers you the opportunity to develop your research skills and prove yourself as a researcher. Queen's is committed to the enhancement of research training and teaching and offers postgraduate research opportunities across all fields of study. The following postgraduate research study routes for this subject area are:


The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.

Months of entry


Course content

The Musicology and Composition research cluster comprises scholars and instrumental composers. It fosters strong links with composers in the Sonic Arts research cluster as well as a wide range of humanities researchers in the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Research strengths

The Musicology cluster has strengths in canonic or significant figures of the eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-centuries, notably:

  • JS Bach
  • Arnold Bax
  • Edward Elgar
  • GF Handel
  • WA Mozart
  • Thomas Moore

We offer wide-ranging support in the study of British composers generally as well as music in Ireland.

Other areas covered include:

  • Contemporary music
  • Contemporary performance practice
  • Critical studies of gender and race
  • Critical/cultural studies in music
  • Improvisation
  • Irish traditional music, local history and sources
  • Social and institutional history
  • Sonic arts musicology
  • Sound installation art
  • The 18th-century London stage

The PhD in Composition is part of the practice-led research activities that take place within the School. Student composers work in a vigorous and diverse community across a broad range of creative practice from acoustic composition through to creative work in sonic arts. Instrumental composition students are afforded significant opportunities for workshop contact with visiting international artists, and with the Ulster Orchestra.

Information for international students

Full details can be found on the Queen's University website.

Fees and funding

Applicants should refer to the relevant School's website for information. Click here for more information.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • MPhil
    part time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Dr Sarah McCleave
+44 (0)28 9097 5207