Research course


University of Liverpool · School of Music

Entry requirements

Research degrees (MPhil, PhD) may be taken either full-time (one year for MPhil, three years for PhD) or part-time (two and six years, respectively). The normal entrance requirement is an undergraduate degree of at least 2:1 (upper second) standard. We would normally consider a taught Masters level qualification to be an important precursor to research. All applicants for a research degree should send an outline of their proposed topic and a sample of their written academic work with their application. In general, we would expect applications for September entry to be received by 15th May, and wherever possible, we encourage students to begin studies in September. Applicants with an undergraduate degree in Music or other relevant subjects (including joint-honours degrees with another subject) are encouraged to apply. The normal expectation is at least a 2:1. All applicants will normally be interviewed and we shall look at candidates not simply in the light of conventional profiles, but with regard to individual qualities. Hence, students with first degrees obtained from music conservatories (both from EU and Overseas institutions) and mature students with non-traditional backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Students whose first language is not English will have to fulfil relevant language requirements and complete their chosen course in a satisfactory manner (see below). In addition, written samples of academic work will be reviewed.

Months of entry

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

Course content

Research for the degrees of MPhil and PhD may be carried out within the Music department and the Institute of Popular Music.

Subject Overview

The likely annual intake for these degrees is six to eight students. Some recent and current thesis topics include:

  • The Structural Role of Sound and Music in Videogames
  • Tyrolean Identity and Critical Regionalism in Popular Musics
  • Popular Music in Chile during the Pinochet Years
  • Music and the Everyday Lives of Adults with Learning Difficulties
  • Towards E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Opera Aesthetic
  • Rock Music in China
  • Musical Form and Irish Modernist Literature: A study of Samuel Beckett’s prose works
  • Local Music Scenes and the On-Line World
  • Popular Music in Contemporary Films of Britain, Spain, and Italy

Enquiries and proposals should be sent to Professor Anahid Kassabian with details of proposed research topic.

Fees and funding

UK students
Full-time: £4,195 Part-time: £2,098 (2017)
International students
Full-time: £16,150 Part-time: £8,075 (2018) (excluding bench fees)

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
60 months


full time
24 months
part time
48 months

Course contact details

PG Recruitment
+44 (0)151 794 5927