Entry requirements

Our regular standard of admission is at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1), although candidates will usually also have completed or be undertaking a Masters qualification.

Research proposal

Candidates are required to provide a single page outline of the research subject proposed (approximately 1000 words). This need not be a final thesis proposal but should include:
  • a straightforward, descriptive, and informative title
  • the question that your research will address
  • an account of why this question is important and worth investigating
  • an assessment of how your own research will engage with recent study in the subject
  • a brief account of the methodology and approach you will take
  • a discussion of the primary sources that your research will draw upon, including printed books, manuscripts, archives, libraries, or museums
  • an indicative bibliography of secondary sources that you have already consulted and/or are planning to consult

Your application, including your references and research proposal, will be passed to members of staff whose expertise and research interests most closely match the area of your proposed study.

Months of entry

January, December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

Music at Glasgow has a dynamic, supportive but rigorous research culture with a strong sense of community linked by ideas and practice.

Music PhDs at Glasgow comprise a process of research over 3 years full-time or 5 years part-time that leads to either a thesis that may be supported by practical work, or a portfolio of practical work supported by a written component. If your work is centred on cultural or historical musicology, this provides great opportunity to support your main thesis with performance, edition or other forms of musical practice. If you are a composer, improvisor, or sonic artist, this provides a great opportunity to develop your creative work and present this as a substantial piece of practice research.

Topics in which we would welcome postgraduate research include:

  • Composition, including experimental music, intercultural aspects of composition and music and the moving image
  • Historical and cultural musicology, including philosophy and aesthetics of music, music in popular culture, music and politics and music and modernism.
  • Sonic arts and audiovisual practice, including live electronics, spatial composition and sound design and sound art aesthetics
  • Performance, including historically informed performance and contemporary music practices.

Sound Thought postgraduate showcase

Our thriving postgraduate community have a chance once a year to present their work in front of a public audience at our annual postgraduate showcase event, SoundThought. SoundThought is entirely run by the postgraduate community and has taken place at many of Glasgow's top arts venues; the 2016 edition will take place at the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) between 30th March and 1st April.

Start Dates

Start dates are set by both the supervisor and the department. As such some PHD options will have fixed start dates (likely January/October) and others have a rolling intake. For more details please contact the relevant department.

Information for international students

Please see the English Language requirements if your first language is not English. Please also see the international page.

Fees and funding

AHRC Doctoral Training Programme Scotland 2018/19

Funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to support postgraduate studentships and training in the Arts and Humanities in Scotland.

College of Arts PhD scholarship competition 2018/19

We offer a number of scholarships for students undertaking a doctoral programme in the College of Arts Graduate School. These scholarships will include around four hours per week of internship duties.

Qualification and course duration


part time
60 months
full time
36 months

Course contact details