The Department of Music is consistently rated as one of the top research departments in the UK with an international reputation of high distinction. We offer postgraduate research opportunities in a wide range of musical disciplines, with world-leading expertise in historical musicology, theory and analysis, performance as research, composition and ethnomusicology.
As an alternative, or precursor, to PhD study, we also offer MPhil and MA by Research (assessed entirely on the research dissertation: max. 40,000 words) options.
Research facilities and environment
We offer a strong and highly supportive, collegiate atmosphere in which you will be offered discipline-specific research training, have opportunities to present your research at regular PGR colloquia, and gain experience of teaching through working as an assistant to a member academic staff on delivering and assessing aspects of the BMus curriculum.
Your progress will be monitored through supervision reports and will be reviewed annually, with an upgrade viva which, if successful, moves you onto the PhD programme.
A good first degree and usually a Masters degree in Music, or in a related subject if the topic of research is interdisciplinary.
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
- TOEFL ib: 88 overall, with Reading 18 Listening 17 Speaking 20 Writing 26.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please see here.
Your future career
Many of our PhD graduates in Music have moved into post-doctoral research positions and other academic opportunities. Others have moved into portfolio careers as creative artists, performers, teachers, and/or researchers.
A PhD in Music can also lead to non-academic careers, as employees recognise the transferable skills and personal qualities required to be successful at this high level of scholarship.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £4,345
International students tuition fee per year**: £17,400
Other essential costs***: There are no additional costs greater than £50 per item.
How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options.
* and ** These fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying part-time are charged a pro-rata fee, usually equivalent to approximately half the full-time fee. Please email email@example.com for further information on part-time fees. We adopt the minimum fee level recommended by the UK Research Councils for the Home/EU tuition fee. Each year, the fee level is adjusted in line with inflation (currently, the measure used is the Treasury GDP deflator). Fees displayed here are therefore subject to change and are usually confirmed in the spring of the year of entry. For more information on the Research Council Indicative Fee please see the RCUK website.
*** These estimated costs relate to undertaking this particular programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.