• Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 48 months
This programme offers a doctoral-level programme in Music for students who wish to engage in high-quality research in selected areas of the discipline. In addition, the PhD/MLitt in Music includes a number of generic and specific skills modules that will complement its research-oriented elements as part of a structured research programme at Maynooth University.
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Supervision is offered in any of the following areas: 

  • PhD in Music (Composition)

Students in the PhD in Composition develop a varied portfolio of works totaling ninety minutes in duration. Variations on this format (e.g. single large-scale work submissions) are possible but need to be approved in writing by the supervisor and Head of Department. Portfolios should be accompanied by a written commentary on the works of at least 12,000 words (but not exceeding 30,000 words). Where possible, and as appropriate, submissions should be supported by recorded performances. The final examination is via a viva voce examination with two examiners (one internal and one external) and an independent chair. 

  • PhD in Music (Musicology)

Students in the PhD in Musicology submit an original research thesis on any topic in musicology for which supervision is available in the Department of Music. Applicants should consult the Department of Music webpages for details of staff expertise. The thesis takes the form of a written text of 80–100K words, subject to a viva voce examination with two examiners (one internal and one external) and an independent chair. 

  • PhD in Music (Computer Music)

The Computer Music programme allows students to choose between two forms of Thesis submission:(1) by dissertation: a 40-50,000 word thesis together with the proof-of-concept of the technologies developed/discussed, which might include an original composition component together with the technical documentation (e.g. hardware designs, software sources); (2) by publication: 6 – 8 papers, published (or fully accepted for publication) in international peer-reviewed conference proceedings and recognized  journals in the field, with at least two journal items, plus a 15,000-18,000 introductory essay binding the published work. One of the published items might be an original composition work. In both options, the final examination is via a viva voce examination with two examiners (one internal and one external) and an independent chair. 

  • PhD in Music (Performance)

The PhD in/by Performance will appeal to performers interested in developing innovative projects in which performance forms an integral part of scholarly research. By developing an appropriate critical and theoretical framework the project will contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the field. The format of the PhD includes a 40/50k-word dissertation and a 90-minute final concert. The final examination is via a viva voce examination with an independent chair and two examiners (one internal and one external), and a public concert which will be attended by the examiners and the independent chair.

Detailed Programme Facts

Programme Structure

Students will typically take the required and optional modules in the first three years (full-time) or first five years (part-time), while also developing their individual investigative work. The department holds an annual Postgraduate Conference, where students have the opportunity of presenting elements of their research. The programme also offers opportunities to study abroad, as the Music Department maintains a number of agreements with institutions in various European countries. PhD students must take a 40 credits in taught modules (15 in generic/transferable modules and 25 in subject/specialist modules) over the duration of their Structured PhD programme.

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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  • Minimum required score:


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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

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General Requirements

Normally a 2.1 or equivalent first degree in Music or in a related discipline; a 2.1 or equivalent Master’s degree in Music or in a related discipline. Further to application via PAC, an interview will be conducted, where students are expected to present a research plan to the department. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact members of staff in their projected area of research.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    14000 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 14000 EUR per year and a duration of 48 months.
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Living costs for Maynooth

  • 650 - 1000 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

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