Watch our webinar for an introduction to PhD proposal writing and funding.
How do I apply?
Applications to the School of Music can be made at any time of the year, however, we recommend you contact the School before submitting an application.
What documents do I need to apply?
- copies of your academic transcripts or certificates (you must provide English translations, if necessary)
- your CV
- a research proposal (up to 2,000 words)
- English language qualification certificates (if required)
- visa and immigration documents (if required)
You'll also need the names of supervisors you would be interested in working with.
How do I write a research proposal?
Your proposal should be up to 2,000 words, including a bibliography. We use your proposal to assess the potential of your topic for research, and to match your interests with appropriate supervisors.
Please provide the following information in separate sections:
- Whether you are applying for a PhD or a practice-led PhD (where your research questions can only be answered through practical engagement).
- Your central research question.
- A list of sub-questions that inform or underpin the central research question. This should take the form of a brief outline of the general area of study, and should do the following: identify the context within which you place your research; identify the key relevant literature and/or practice for your proposed research project; demonstrate that you are aware of current debates and issues; make reference to key articles and texts; demonstrate your own expertise in your chosen area; and articulate the potential contribution to new knowledge in the chosen field of research (for example, what are the gaps in the field that you can see, or what limitations are there in the current field). A PhD is an original piece of work and this section should demonstrate that your proposed area of study has not been studied before or that you have a new angle on this area of study or that you are applying new methodologies and/or models to this area of study.
- An outline of the methods you intend to employ in your research and the kinds of data you will require. You may use a variety of methods, including qualitative methods, literature review and studio experimentation, amongst others. Specify the approach you feel will be most appropriate for your research project.
- An explanation of why you are interested in this research and why you are well placed to conduct the research.
- Indicative timetable for your research.
- A brief bibliography that supports the key concepts, frameworks that you have discussed in your context section.
If you are applying for practice-led research:
- A rationale for choosing this method of research and evidence of your experience of working through practice.
- A brief bibliography that supports the key concepts, frameworks and, if appropriate, existing practices/performances, that you have discussed in your context section.
- A sample of your own practice.
- A sample of your work on a DVD or a website. If you need to submit your sample in another format then please contact us to check that we will be able to access it. The sample should be of suitable length and content for us to assess the quality of your practice in relation to your proposed methodology.
If you have any questions about writing your research proposal, please contact us.
What happens next?
You can track the status of your application online. Wherever possible, we call candidates for interview. For international students, this can be a telephone interview.