menu icon
Book your open day visit nowClick to book open day

Different course options

Full time | University of Liverpool | 2 years | Contact University

Study mode

Full time


2 years

Start date

Contact University

Key information

Qualification type

PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

Subject areas

Music Studies

Course type


Course Summary

The Department is at the forefront of current research and postgraduate teaching across music styles and repertoires from a wide variety of critical perspectives. From 19th Century classical music to game music our staff and students undertake cutting edge, internationally recognised research. We are home to the Institute of Popular Music (IPM), the first academic centre created specifically to study popular music, and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Composition and Technology (ICCaT), a research institute dedicated to exploring how music composition and sonic art forms intersect with technology, performance and perception.


In a UNESCO City of Music with a wealth of musical institutions, organizations, festivals and events, our PhD students also have an opportunity to both study and participate through partnership with locally based cultural and creative industries.

Our lecturers and postgraduate students conduct research on a wide variety of topics in a vibrant and diverse department within an internationally renowned city of music. Our world-leading expertise in music encompasses numerous methodological approaches and critical perspectives including critical musicology, popular music studies, composition, music psychology and ethnomusicology. We particularly welcome research proposals that match those of our researchers, including:

Music industries

Music analysis – (with a particular emphasis on aesthetics, psychoanalysis, music and emotion, popular music)

Music and the moving image (film, television, music in gaming and music video)

Critical theoretical approaches (including Gender studies, race and ethnicity and diaspora)

Heritage and history

Non-Western musics

Composition (with a particular emphasis on its intersection with technology)

Technology and digitisation

Ethnography and ethnomusicology

Jazz studies

Music psychology

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


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 15 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.

Similar courses at different universities

MPhil in Music

Full time | 2 years | SEP-23

PhD in Music

Full time | 3 years | SEP-23

MA Music

Full time | 1 year | 25-SEP-23