Key Information


MPhil: 1.5-3 years / PhD: 2-4 years


MPhil: 2-4 years / PhD: 3-8 years

Entry Requirements

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Brayford Pool

Start Dates in October and January

Programme Overview

The University of Lincoln offers research programmes at MPhil and PhD level in a range of music specialisms within an engaged team. Research students can benefit from a variety of training opportunities to develop their research skills.

Research students are invited to join one of the School's thriving research groups and participate in its Critical Encounters Research Series alongside academic staff and other postgraduate students.

Key Features

Conduct independent, original, and academically significant research

Benefit from training courses to develop key research skills

Supervision and support from an advisory panel of academic staff

Present at talks and seminars to showcase your work

Enrol in January or October each year

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How You Study

Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, the majority of time is spent in independent study and research. Students will have regular meetings with their academic supervisors, but the frequency of these will vary depending on individual requirements, subject area, staff availability, stage of programme, and whether the student is following a full-time or part-time programme.

You will receive a monthly 1-hour supervision with your supervisory team. These are arranged with the supervisors every month. Part-time students will receive supervisions every two months.

Research Areas

The key to success on a postgraduate research programme is to find a research topic that you are passionate about and identify a supervisory team that has expertise in this area. The first thing that all prospective students should do is directly contact a member of staff from one of these areas that you feel is best aligned with your chosen research area to discuss the application process further. The School’s research areas include:

  • Ethnomusicology
  • Musicology
  • Composition
  • Music analysis
  • musical practice
  • Musical theatre

How you are assessed

Students are expected to write an 80,000 word thesis on a subject agreed with their proposed supervisor prior to admission to the College.

Students completing a practice-based PhD will be required to produce a substantial body of art and a thesis of between 25,000 to 40,000 words.

The thesis is examined by two examiners and includes a Viva Voce (oral) examination.

How to Apply

Postgraduate Research Application Support

Find out more about the application process for research degrees and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page, which also features contact details for dedicated support with your application.

How to Apply
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Research Proposal Guidance

To apply for the programme, you should prepare a project proposal of 2,000 words. This document can be arranged in whatever way is most suitable for your proposal research. As a guide, your proposal should:

  • Clearly define the topic you are interested in and demonstrate understanding of your research area.
  • Include research questions that you will explore in your research.
  • Outline the methodology or methodologies you will use to undertake the research.
  • Include an indicative bibliography of relevant sources.

If your project includes musical practice (composition or performance, for example), you should additionally ensure that you:

  • Explain what sort of practical work you will undertake and the ways in which it will be presented (through scores, live performance, studio recordings etc).
  • Make clear the role of the practice in the research.
  • Articulate the ways in which carrying out your practical work will help address your research topics.
  • Include an indicative list of relevant practical work (as an addition to your bibliography).

The written element of a PhD involving practice would typically make up 25–50% of the submission, and so it may be useful to indicate in your proposal the approximate balance of practical work to critical writing.

Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

First or upper second class honours degree and a Master's degree. International students will also require English Language at IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each part.

We encourage candidates with equivalent professional experience and unusual pathways to apply. A writing sample in order to evaluate the student's academic potential may be required in certain circumstances.


All suitable applicants will be invited for an interview, either in person or via an online platform.

Programme Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below. Research students may be required to pay additional fees in addition to cover the cost of specialist resources, equipment and access to any specialist collections that may be required to support their research project. These will be informed by your research proposal and will be calculated on an individual basis.

Programme Fees

Funding Your Research

Loans and Studentships

Find out more about the options available to support your postgraduate research, from Master's and Doctoral Loans, to research studentship opportunities. You can also find out more about how to pay your fees and access support from our helpful advisors.

Explore Funding Options
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Career Development

A doctoral qualification can be the capstone of academic achievement and often marks the beginning of a career in academia or research. A research programme provides the opportunity to become a true expert in your chosen field, while developing a range of valuable transferable skills that can support your career progression. A research-based degree is also the most direct pathway to an academic career. PhDs and research degrees are a great chance to expand your network and meet diverse people with similar interests, knowledge, and passion.

The University’s Doctoral School provides a focal point for Lincoln’s community of researchers, where ideas and experiences can be developed and shared across disciplines. It also offers support and training to help equip you for both academic and non-academic careers.

Doctoral School

Academic Contact

For more information about this course, please contact:

Dr Jackie Bolton

Research at Lincoln

Through our research, we are striving to change society for the better. Working with regional, national, and international partners, our academics are engaged in groundbreaking studies that are challenging the status quo. We also understand the importance of providing the best possible environment for pursuing research that can support our communities and make a tangible difference to the world around us.

Explore Our Research
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The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.