Research course

Music composition

University of Nottingham · Department of Music
PhDMPhilAMusDAMusM by research

Entry requirements

Masters degree in a relevant subject or equivalent research experience. Applicants with degrees in subjects other than music must demonstrate a suitable level of aptitude.

Months of entry

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

Course content

The Department of Music has a national reputation for excellence in composition. There are many opportunities for students to have their compositions played and recorded by ensembles and orchestras and to benefit from Nottingham’s rich and diverse musical life. Individual supervision is supplemented by a programme of workshops and events. The MPhil is normally taken full-time over two years or part-time over four years, and is assessed by a portfolio of compositions lasting around 40 minutes and an accompanying commentary of 12,000 words. The PhD is normally taken full-time over three years or part-time over six years, and is assessed by a portfolio of compositions lasting around 60 minutes and an accompanying commentary of 20,000 words.

The Department of Music, part of the School of Humanities, is housed in modern, purpose-built accommodation adjacent to the Nottingham Lakeside Arts. Our excellent practical and technical facilities include:

  • a well-stocked, on-site library with listening area, multimedia facilities and an audio-visual archive;
  • a studio with first-rate equipment for electronic composition and sound recording;
  • a PC lab giving access to word-processing and music-notation software;
  • a dedicated postgraduate study room with networked PCs;
  • practice rooms with new pianos.

The Djanogly Recital Hall has recently been acclaimed as one of the country's top-ten venues for chamber music, where performances of all kinds take place, including a regular series of professional concerts, public recitals by students, and concerts including student compositions. Adjacent is a large purpose-built rehearsal hall.

For a more extensive overview, please visit the course page on the University of Nottingham's online prospectus.

Department specialisms

Editing and Notation; Manuscripts and Codicology; Music Printing; Music and Theatre/Opera; Music Analysis; Music Composition; French Music; 15th/16th-Century Music; 20th-Century Music; Scandinavian music; hip-hop; jazz; film music.

Information for international students

The Universitys International Office has a wide range of scholarship opportunities for students with either an EU or Overseas fee status. English language requirements: IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element).

Fees and funding

The Graduate School at The University of Nottingham provides information on internal and external sources of postgraduate funding.

There is also funding information on the Department of Music web pages.

For information on funding opportunities for international students, please see the International Office website.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months


part time
48 months
full time
24 months


full time
36 months
part time
72 months

AMusM by research

part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiries
+44 (0)115 951 5843