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Course options

  • Qualification

    MPhil - Master of Philosophy

  • Location

    Guildhall School of Music & Drama

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    2 years

Course summary

This programme is validated by City, University of London.

Research degrees are awarded for an independent research project that contributes to existing knowledge in a given area. Guildhall School’s research programme has a distinctive focus on research in, through and for the performing arts. Our research students investigate a wide range of topics in music, theatre and related artistic and pedagogic practices, including composition, instrumental performance, historical performance, opera-making, theatre making, performing arts pedagogies, institutions and cultures. As a world-leading conservatoire, we are well equipped to support research projects that integrate creative practice with scholarly enquiry. Our DMus award is for world-leading music composers and performers whose own practice forms an integral part of their research. The PhD programme also encompasses research by creative practice as well as historical, ethnographic, musicological and other modes of enquiry.

Students across these disciplines and subject areas study together on our specialist research training programme which creates opportunities for fruitful exchange and mutual support. Our supervisors include leading researchers and practitioners across a range of disciplines. What also unites our doctoral research at the Guildhall School is a commitment to exploring the role of the performing arts practitioner in society, and the personal, social, ethical and political impact and implications of performing arts practices. We offer a number of studentships in collaboration with high-profile arts and research organisations.

A research degree can offer a substantial period of reflection and renewal for artists and pedagogues exploring their own practice in ways that reflect wider questions in creative practice and scholarship. It is also a preparation for a research career. It is a significant undertaking, demanding a high level of self-motivation, intellectual curiosity, resilience and commitment. A PhD or DMus is usually undertaken over 3-4 years (full time) or 6-7 years (part time) and an MPhil is 2 year (full time) or 4 year (part time). Minimum admission requirements include a masters degree or equivalent professional experience. Prospective candidates are encouraged to contact possible supervisors or the doctoral programme as far in advance of application as possible.

In 2021 we particularly welcome proposals in the following areas:

Creating performing arts in the twenty-first century through: the composition of new music (acoustic and electronic); song-production and musicking; theatre-making (especially devised, scenographic and/or digital forms); opera and other work that combines music and theatre; participatory and socially-engaged practices. Topics might include:

  • participation in the performing arts as a way of addressing social inequities and marginalisation; cross-cultural, post-colonial and de-hierarchised approaches to making work for performance
  • collaboration, authorship and interdisciplinarity in creative processes
  • temporality, materiality and/or embodiment in relation to sound, voice, technology and/or bodies
  • the relation between page and stage: notation, transcription, arrangement, scripts and texts.

Application deadline

31 March 2021

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 14,120per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

Guildhall School of Music & Drama

  • Campus address

    Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Silk Street, City of London, EC2Y 8DT, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    22nd out of 103 11

    33rd out of 87 13

  • Entry standards

    / Max 196
    131 69%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    62.0 62%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.29 86%


  • Entry standards

    / Max 214
    140 69%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    95.0 95%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.03 81%



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