• Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #3 (WUR) Cambridge, United Kingdom
Graduate research in the Faculty of Music is centred on individual scholarly activity in fields such as historical musicology, analysis, ethnomusicology, performance studies, music and science and composition. Doctoral students work in close contact with one or more leading researchers in their field as well as participating in programmes of skills training and colloquia; there are also opportunities to gain experience in teaching. 
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The overwhelming majority of graduate students in the Faculty undertake research that is directly connected with the special research interests of members of the Faculty. Intending applicants are strongly advised to make contact with a prospective supervisor prior to making a formal application in order to discuss the feasibility of their proposed research.

The principal educational aim of the three-year PhD programme is to assist each student to acquire the research techniques, skills and knowledge that will enable them to make an original and significant contribution to scholarship, research or artistic practice in the discipline that is the focus of each individual's dissertation. Given the focus of the programme on individual research excellence, it is necessarily tailored to the research interests of the student and the expertise of their supervisor.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme students should have acquired:

  • knowledge of and expertise in the techniques and methods appropriate to their chosen subject of study;
  • the ability to engage with both teaching and research at the highest level in the contemporary academic environment; and
  • a clear understanding of the scope and applicability of their research in broader contexts.


Students wishing to continue from the MPhil in Music Studies to the PhD in Music must have achieved an average of at least 68 per cent.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Full-time duration 36 months
    • Average part-time duration 60 months
    • Intensity Flexible
    • Part-time variant
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Students can expect sixteen hours of supervision in the first year.  Thereafter supervisions are offered as appropriate or required.

In the course of their third year, doctoral students present a 20-minute paper (in the style of a conference paper) on a topic related to their PhD project, followed by a 10-minute Q&A session.


PhD theses should not exceed 80,000 words excluding notes, appendices, and bibliographies, musical transcriptions and examples. Candidates whose work is practice-based may include as part of a doctoral submission either a portfolio of substantial musical compositions, or one or more recordings of their own musical performance(s).

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • 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.

    Get a free IELTS practice test

General Requirements

  • Academic References
  • Transcripts
  • Research Proposal
  • Gates Cambridge References
  • Funding Letter
  • Evidence of Competence in English
  • GRE Scores
  • CV/Resumé
  • Written Work

Tuition Fee

  • International

    23361 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 23361 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • National

    8337 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8337 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Cambridge

  • 846 - 1470 GBP/month
    Living Costs

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


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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