4 years full time, 6 years part time
Choose to start in September 2017, January 2018 or May 2018
Engage with current critical and theoretical thinking to produce original research for your Music dissertation.
You’ll work with scholars specialising in music theatre, composition, performance, computer music, music philosophy and other areas. You’ll join a vibrant community of faculty and research students.
Full-time and part-time study
You can choose to work on your research full time or part time. For details about part-time study, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PhD or MPhil?
You can choose to study for a PhD or an MPhil. PhD and MPhil degrees differ in the length of the course and therefore in the extent of the research work you can undertake and incorporate in your thesis.
- An MPhil typically takes three years full time and four years part time. You’ll conduct an independent piece of research but in less depth than for a PhD. You will graduate with the degree title Master of Philosophy.
- A PhD typically takes four years full time and six years part time. You will undertake a piece of research that makes a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in your chosen field.
If you choose an MPhil, you might be able to change to a PhD during the course of your studies.
We engage in research through practical composition in acoustic, electro-acoustic and electronic/computer music, in composition for screen-based media, and performance-based composition, and reflect critically on all forms of music composition.
Works are regularly performed at a variety of international venues from major opera houses and concert platforms to state-of-the-art electronic venues such as IRCAM, and contemporary music and film festivals.
Critical theory and interdisciplinary research methods underpin the critical thinking about music undertaken at Sussex.
Critical musicology at Sussex focuses on the social meanings and aesthetics of 20th- and 21st-century art music, and popular and non-western music cultures, but our research may also look at the interpretation of music from other centuries.
Opera and music theatre
The Centre for Research in Opera and Music Theatre (CROMT) focuses on issues of music theatre such as:
- theories and practices of opera
- experimental music theatre
- related multimedia forms.
The Centre’s activities involve critical and theoretical enquiry into opera and music theatre, historical research, and practice-based research, often in collaboration with partner institutions in the Sussex region (e.g. Glyndebourne Opera) and elsewhere in the UK and Europe. CROMT also organises seminars and conferences on opera and music theatre, and creative projects and events.
- Faculty profiles
Prof Martin Butler
Professor of Music
Research interests: Musical Performance
Dr Evelyn Ficarra
Lecturer in Music
Research interests: Collaborative Projects, Composition, experimental film music, Installation, Music, Music Technology, Music Theatre, Sound Art
Mr Tim Hopkins
Research interests: Intermedia, lyric theatre, Making New Works, Opera Production
Prof Ed Hughes
Professor of Composition in Music
Research interests: Composition, ensemble music-making, ensemble performance with technology, music and silent film, the orchestra
Dr Thor Magnusson
Senior Lecturer in Music
Research interests: Composition, Computational Creativity, Computer Music, Creative Coding, History Of Music, Human computer interaction, Live Coding, Music, Music Technology, Notations and visualisations, Performance, Performance And Live Art, Philosophy, Philosophy of Technology, Software Engineering
Prof Sally-Jane Norman
Professor of Performance Technologies
Research interests: Embodiment and Technologies, Performing Arts, Practice-based research, Scenography, Sonic Arts, Theatre History
Normally a Masters degree or equivalent professional experience in a subject related to your chosen area of research.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.
English language support
Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.
Additional information for international students
We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our PhD degrees.
Visas and immigration
Scholarships and fees
How can I fund my course?
Postgraduate Masters Loan
MPhil students might be eligible for a Postgraduate Masters Loan. This is not available for students registering for a PhD.
Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.
We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.
How much does it cost?
Fees for self-funding students
Home: £4,195 per year
EU: £4,195 per year
Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £4,195 per year
Overseas: £15,100 per year
Our fees follow the indicative fee level set nationally by Research Council UK and may be subject to change.
Life at Sussex
Research Support Assistant
+44 (0)1273 877215
- Admissions enquiries