Postgraduate research students may work towards the degrees of MPhil or PhD in a range of topics that match or are allied to the research areas of academic staff, including
Each student is supported by at least two supervisors, as well as a programme of university-wide training in research skills. OU students benefit from the flexible approach to learning offered by the University, which also allows them to receive supervision from staff working in different faculties. In addition, they have opportunities to participate in a lively research culture and to contribute to regular seminar programmes, conferences and workshops.
Further information on PhD study can be found in the Research Degrees prospectus.
We accept applications for funded doctoral study each year; the deadline falls in mid-January. Applicants are initially assessed for a place on the Music PhD programme; successful applications are then forwarded to internal and external panels that consider them for AHRC and OU studentships. Here is the guidance on how to apply.
Applicants for research degrees usually hold a good undergraduate degree in music as well as an MA in the subject (although a number of our students have come to doctoral study by other educational routes).
We encourage applicants to send us, at least five weeks before the January deadline, a draft research proposal following the guidelines in the studentship posting. The draft will enable us to assess your topic and approach, provide you with feedback, and let you know whether we have the specialist staff to form a supervisory team for your project. It often takes a significant amount of time and effort to put together a strong PhD proposal, so we encourage you to send your draft early.
Please send draft proposals and questions to FASS-Music-Enquiries@open.ac.uk.
We also accept applications for self-funded study outside of the studentship process, with applications due in mid-January (for study starting the following October) and at the end of August (for study beginning the following February).
We encourage potential applicants to send us, at least five weeks before the application deadline, a draft research proposal following the guidelines here.
Please send proposals, draft proposals, and questions to FASS-Music-Enquiries@open.ac.uk.
Heather Armsby: The role of women in the British brass band
Amanda Ashworth: Associations with the visual arts in the music of Debussy: from Pre-Raphaelitism to Art Nouveau
Samantha Bassler: "The Most Splended Period of English Music". Sir Richard Terry and the Reception History of William Byrd's Latin-Texted Music in Britain during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Paul Britten: English Municipal Orchestras in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
Natalie Burton: The marriage of music and poetry: structure in the twentieth-century English song cycle
Michael Busk: The early nineteenth-century music festivals in Manchester and the industrial north-west of England
Kirsty Caine: The Story Tellers: Narrativity in Popular Music from 1998–2008
Sarah Clarke: An Instrument in Comparative Oblivion? The Guitar and Amateur Players in Victorian England
David Force: A 'Holding, Uniting-Constant Friend': The organ in seventeenth-century English domestic music-making
Daniel Gouly: Soundcloud, sampling and sonic experimentation: community in hip-hop's online underground
Chris Grey: Church-musical aesthetics (co-supervised with Philosophy)
Tristan Harkcom: Wagnerian Wounds: Trauma and Wagner’s post-1849 Works
Tom Hewitt: Cyborg Music: A Future Musicotechnographic Aesthetic (co-supervised with Philosophy)
Maciej Kierzkowski: The history of brass bands of Poland
Angelo Pinto: The Symphony as a Novel: Mahler’s Tenth
Giancarlo Ranzani: Learning rhythm in a Cuban school: A qualitative case study
Lucinda Cradduck: Spirituality in the Music of Edmund Rubbra
Kerri-Anne Edinburgh: A study of the effects of nationalism, patriotism and politics on the experience of listening to music in wartime Britain, 1939–1945
David Hammond: British Army Music in the Interwar Years: Culture, Performance, and Influence
Jessika Rittstieg: The role of Eugene Ysaye in the promotion of Contemporary Franco-Belgian Chamber Music
Martyn Strachan: Style in the Music of Arthur Sullivan: An Investigation
Andrew Cusworth: Welsh Folk Music of the 19th and early 20th centuries
Ben Byram-Wigfield: The Sacred Music of Antonio Lotti: Idiom and Influence of a Venetian Master
Owen Coggins: Drone Metal and Mysticism (co-supervised with Religious Studies)
Anthony Prechtl: Adaptive music generation for computer games
Alan Karass: Music and the Negotiation of Identity at the International Festival of the Sahara in Douz, Tunisia
Richard King: Contemporary Catholic Liturgical Song