Research course


The University of Manchester · School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Entry requirements

Successful completion of a Masters course with an overall classification of Merit or higher, or its overseas equivalent, with an element of research training, is a prerequisite for entry to a PhD. A research proposal must be included with the formal application materials. Applicants should also submit a portfolio of compositions with their application materials.

The University requires you to reside within a commutable distance from Manchester during your time as a registered student, unless you are on approved fieldwork/a formal placement or are on a period of Submission pending. This is to ensure that you are able to meet attendance expectations and participate in wider research activities within your discipline area and/or School. Should you be unable to do this at any point during your programme, a formal case must be made to the Faculty office, together with the full support of your supervisor(s). The University reserves the right to reject such a request where it is considered that your residency could have a detrimental impact on the progression and engagement of your studies.

Months of entry


Course content

Composers will produce a portfolio of compositions and a written commentary. They will be assigned a research panel consisting of their supervisor, a co-supervisor and advisor who will meet with them on a regular basis to monitor their progress. Postgraduate students are expected to take part in the academic community of the department and University by participating in seminars and by presenting their research at regular intervals. Workshops and performances of postgraduate compositions are arranged through the department, and may involve Psappha, the University's ensemble-in-association, and the Quatuor Danel, the quartet-in-residence, among other professional and student performers.

Information for international students

Students whose first language is not English require:

an overall IELTS score of 7.0 with 7.0 in the writing component


a TOEFL score of 600 paper-based test or 100 internet-based test


a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of 70 overall with 70 in the writing component


an overall Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE) III grade of Merit with Merit in the writing component

Whilst the School entry requirement for IELTS is 7.0 with 7.0 in the writing component, applicants may be admitted to the Composition/Electro-Acoustic Composition PhD with an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with 6.5 in the writing component.

Please note that students admitted with the lower score will be required to take the In-sessional English courses offered by the University Language Centre in their first year.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

The School offers a limited number of bursaries and studentships on a competitive basis, details of which can be found via the links below.

Please note that whilst we do not have closing dates for programme applications, all funding competitions have a specified deadline for submitting the funding application form and a separate (earlier) deadline for submitting the online programme application form, both of which will be stated in the funding competition details below:

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months

Course contact details

School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
+44 (0)161 275 3559