Dr Oliver Thurley

Dr Oliver Thurley


My research is led primarily by my practice as a composer of experimental music. My music has been performed and commissioned internationally. I received my PhD in Composition from the University of Leeds in 2016.

In 2018 I received the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis for composition at the Darmstadt Summer Courses.

In 2022 I was a fellow of the Berlin Akademie der Künst as part of the Junge Akademie scholarship.


  • Academic Integrity and Assessment Lead

Research interests

I compose instrumental and electronic music, focusing on aspects of quietness and fragility to invoke a sense of disquiet. My work also draws upon electronic manipulation and processing, field recording, temporal disorientation, timbral instability and computational/algorithmic procedure. My most recent album, ‘Percussion Studies’, was released by LINE records in 2021.

Beyond music, I am interesting in other forms of collaboration and play. In 2022, I convened the Sadler series project Serious Play, exploring tabletop role-playing games (TTRPGs) as practice-led research. Our project hosted a ‘Serious Play’ podcast series of conversations with academics discussing games as a form of academic practice.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD
  • MMus Electronic & Computer Music Studies
  • BA(Hons) Music Production

Student education

I teach on a wide range of modules throughout the School of Music, primarily focussing on composition, music technology, and the Music, Multimedia & Electronics (MME) programme

Research groups and institutes

  • Making Music

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>