Research Degrees in Music

  • 1. Admission as a Probationer Research Student

    Research students are admitted as Probationer Research Students. Candidates may apply for admission on a full-time or part-time basis. In assessing applications from candidates seeking to undertake a research degree through part-time study, the Graduate Studies Committees of the Board of the Faculty of Music shall have regard to evidence that the candidate can meet the following attendance requirements for their period of part-time study: attendance for a minimum of thirty days of university-based work each year, normally coinciding with the full terms of the academic year, to be arranged with the agreement of their supervisor, for the period that their names remain on the Register of Graduate Students unless individually dispensed by the Graduate Studies Committee of the Board of the Faculty of Music. During a candidate's probationary period the attendance arrangements must take account of relevant induction and training events scheduled by the Faculty.

    2.  Transfer to the status of M.Litt. or D.Phil. Student

    Applications for admission/transfer to M.Litt. or D.Phil. status shall be accompanied by:

    [For students starting before MT 2016: EITHER

    In the case of students specialising in Musicology, a completed transfer application form (GS0.2), together with:

    • (1) an essay of normally c. 5,000 words length, related to the proposed dissertation;

      (2) a bibliographic essay of the same length, reviewing the literature relevant to the proposed research topic and its field;

  • OR

    In the case of students specialising in Composition, a completed transfer application form (GS0.2), together with duplicate copies of:

    • (1) a portfolio of two significantly contrasted compositions, together lasting between 10 and 15 minutes, which show evidence of an ability to create music of varied character;

      (2) a proposed work-schedule for the following year, and

      (3) a related critical or analytical study of between 5,000 and 10,000 words on a topic relating to the candidate’s compositional concerns.]

    [For students starting from MT 2016: EITHER (A) or (B):

    • (A) For those intending to offer compositions as part of the final submission:

      (1) a portfolio of two significantly contrasted compositions (together lasting between 10 and 15 minutes maximum);

      [Until MT 2018: (2) a related essay of 5,000-6,000 words, which opens with a 250-word overview of the topic of their thesis;

    • (3) a proposed work-schedule for the following year.]

    • [From MT 2018: (2) a related essay of 5,000-6,000 words (not exceeding 6,000 words);

      (3) a stand alone 250-word overview of the topic of their thesis;

      (4) a proposed work-schedule for the following year.]

      (B) For all other candidates:

      [Until MT 2018: (1) an essay of c.5,000 words, which opens with a 500 word overview of the topic of the thesis, followed by a discursive review of the historical and/or theoretical literature relevant to the thesis topic and its field; ]

    • [From MT 2018: (1) a literature review essay of c.5,000 words that provides a discursive review of the historical and/or theoretical literature relevant to the thesis topic and its field;]

      (2) an essay of c.5,000 words on a focused topic relevant to the proposed thesis, and intended to constitute a part of it.

    • [From MT 2018: Please note that (1) and (2) should not exceed 10,000 words combined. There is flexibility in the distribution of word count between the two essays, with a 4,000-word minimum and a 6,000-word maximum per essay; the combined minimum for the two documents is 9,500 words.

    • (3) a stand-alone 500-word overview of the topic of the thesis;

    • (4) a provisional timetable for completion of the thesis.]

    • The submissions should normally be made electronically as pdf files.]

  • 3. Confirmation of D.Phil. status

    In addition to the general requirements of the Humanities Divisional regulations above, the Board of the Faculty of Music requires that every student seeking confirmation of status must make a submission consisting of:

    [For students starting before MT 2016: EITHER

    (A)

    • 1. thesis title, together with an annotated outline of the thesis (both title and outline may be altered or revised forms of those submitted for the examination for admission to D.Phil. status);

      2. an essay of about 6,000 words on the current state of the student's research, or a portion of the thesis of comparable length.

  • OR

    (B)

    • 1. an annotated inventory of the proposed contents of the final portfolio of compositions and title of the supporting dissertation;

      2. a portfolio of two or more well-contrasted compositions, with a total duration of approximately 25 minutes;

      3. a critical or analytical essay of 5,000-10,000 words.

      • (i) Two copies of the thesis title, thesis outline and essay (or thesis extract), or inventory, thesis title, portfolio, and essay must be submitted.]

  • [For students starting from MT 2016: EITHER (A) or (B):

  • (A) For those intending to offer compositions as part of the final submission:

    • (1) an annotated inventory of the proposed contents of the final portfolio of compositions, along with the title and a detailed plan of the supporting dissertation, normally presented in chapter-by-chapter form as a series of abstracts;

      (2) a portfolio of two or more well-contrasted compositions, with a total duration of approximately 25 minutes;

      (3) a critical or analytical essay of 5,000-10,000 words.

  • (B) For all other candidates:

    • (1) Thesis title, together with an annotated outline of the whole thesis, normally presented in chapter-by-chapter form as a series of abstracts;

      (2) A portion of the thesis of between 7,000 and 10,000 words (normally a chapter or chapter section).

  • Confirmation should normally take place between the sixth and ninth terms following admission as a student, and not normally closer than three months before final submission.]

     4.   Final submission for the Degree of M.Litt
  • [For students starting before MT 2016: EITHER a thesis of not more than 50,000 words.

    OR (Musical Composition) a portfolio of between three and six musical compositions, totalling approximately 45 minutes' duration, and a dissertation of not more than 15,000 words either on the candidate's own music or on some aspect of music related to the candidate's compositional concerns.]

  • [For students starting from MT 2016: EITHER (A) or (B)

  • (A) For those offering compositions as part of the final submission: a portfolio of between three and six musical compositions, totalling approximately 45 minutes' duration, and a dissertation of not more than 15,000 words either on the candidate's own music or on some aspect of music related to the candidate's compositional concerns.

    (B) For all other candidates: a thesis of not more than 50,000 words.]


  • 5. Final submission for the Degree of D.Phil.

    [For students starting before MT 2016: EITHER a thesis of not more than 100,000 words, exclusive of any text being edited but including notes, bibliography, glossary, appendices, etc.

    OR (Musical Composition) (a) a portfolio of between three and six musical compositions, totalling between 45 and 90 minutes' duration, with at least one composition being of large scale (defined as for large-scale forces, such as orchestra, and/or of more than 30 minutes' duration); and (b) a dissertation of between 20,000 and 25,000 words either on the candidate's own music or on some aspect of music related to the candidate's compositional concerns.]

  • [For students starting from MT 2016: EITHER (A) or (B)

  • (A) For those offering compositions as part of the final submission:

    • (a) a portfolio of between three and six musical compositions, totalling between 45 and 90 minutes' duration, with at least one composition being of large scale (defined as for large-scale forces, such as orchestra, and/or of more than 30 minutes' duration); and (b) a dissertation of between 20,000 and 25,000 words either on the candidate's own music or on some aspect of music related to the candidate's compositional concerns.

  • (B) For all other candidates: a thesis of not more than 100,000 words, exclusive of any editions of text or music being submitted as supporting material, notes, bibliography, glossary, appendices, etc.]