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Study Creative Technologies at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts (Unit of Assessment 35)

Research within the School of Creative Arts & Technologies is coordinated within the UoA35 Research Cluster, involving staff in Cinematic Arts, Creative Technologies, Drama and Music. Within the Cluster, support is prioritized for four interdisciplinary Research Groups: Creative Arts and Health; Creative Arts and the Digital; Engaging with the Past; and Creative Practice-as-Research. Individual subjects and staff then prioritize specific projects that they will offer to supervise within and between these Research Groups, or, where appropriate, with colleagues in other fields and disciplines.

Creative Technologies

Proposals are welcomed in a wide range of areas relating to staff research interests. Current priority topics are listed below:

  • Embodied Models in Interaction
  • Embodied Models in Digital Music (or Digital Arts) Interaction and/or Performance
  • Sentiment analysis for digital creativity systems
  • Advanced online virtual learning environments

Applications for practice-based research are especially welcome, as are interdisciplinary projects. The MRes (Arts) is offered in Creative Technologies for students wishing to undertake a preparatory year before commencing the doctoral programme.

About this course

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Current and most recent research theses supervised in Creative Technologies:


Sentiment Analysis and Media Recommender Systems (ongoing)

Embodied Models in Multi–touch Application Design for Rhythm-based Electronic Music (2015)

Accessible and Inclusive Design of Digital Musical Instruments for Musicians with Cerebral Palsy (2014)

Expansion of Electric Guitar Performance Practice Using Interactive Music Systems (2012)

Auditory Geographies of Northern Ireland and Sound Installation Practices (2012)


As a full time student, the expectation is that you will work on your project on a daily basis, either on or off campus as agreed with your supervisor. You will be entitled to 40 days holiday per annum.

Part time students are expected to meet with their supervisors on a regular basis, most usually this would be monthly but this is dependent on the project area.

How to apply

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

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Entry Requirements

You will need to hold a First of Upper Second Class Honours degree (or equivalent) in an area relevant to your chosen project to be able to apply.

If you have obtained an undergraduate degree from a non-UK institution, we can advise you on how it compares to the UK system.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants

The minimum requirement for research degree programmes is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. This is the only acceptable certificate for those requiring to obtain a Tier 4 visa.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Careers & opportunities

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Career options

Although academia is considered to be the most obvious path for any PhD holder, with around two thirds of our graduates remaining in the Higher Education or Research sectors, the degree also paves way for a career in industries centred on research and innovation.

PhD graduates are recognised by employers to hold valuable transferrable skills, as the nature of the degree trains candidates in creativity, critical inquiry, problem solving, negotiation skills, professionalism and confidence.

The most recent Ulster survey of PhD graduates found that 92% had secured employment within the first year since graduation (HESA Destination of Leavers Survey 2015).


Ulster University welcomes applications from all sections of the community and from persons with disabilities. It is University policy to assess all applications using academic criteria and on the basis of equality of opportunity and you should be assured that reasonable adjustments will be made should you require them.

Once you have selected your chosen project from the lists available on the Faculty pages, you are advised to make contact with the named supervisor on the project as they will be able to guide you in writing your research proposal.

You should then apply using our online application system:

How to apply

Fees and funding

A number of funded scholarships are available across the University each year for PhD projects. Applications for studentships will be considered on a competitive basis with regard to the candidate's qualifications, skills, experience and interests.

Sources of funding

Fees (per annum)

Full Time:

Home and EU £4121

Overseas £13400

Part Time:

Home and EU £1455

Home and EU (with External Sponsor paying fees) £2070

Overseas £7635

Distance Research Study (Home and EU) £6225

Research facilities and groups

Research Facilities

The historic Foyle Arts Building on the Magee campus in Derry was converted in 2003 to provide a multi-disciplinary arts complex, housing the School of Creative Arts, which includes Drama, Music, Design, Cinematic Arts and Creative Technologies. The building houses music recital and practice rooms, two Mac Labs and two music technology studios (one of which is a spatial audio studio with variable 7.1, 5.1 and octophonic setups available). Creative Technologies is also based in the modern MH building, which offers some additional Mac workstations and houses staff offices.

All research students, i.e., those registered for MPhil and PhD degrees, are members of the Faculty of Arts Research Graduate School. Postgraduate rooms with computing and study facilities are available for students on the Coleraine and Magee campuses, and annual series of research seminars offer students opportunities to engage with current research in their discipline.

Research staff are members of the Arts and Humanities Research Institute, and PhD candidates are associate members. Postgraduate students are encouraged to participate in the wider research community and to develop their skills and experience by presenting at research seminars within the University as well as at national and international conferences. Creative Technologies as a subject is active in hosting conferences and festivals and students will have the opportunity of gaining valuable experience in contributing to the development and running of such events.

Current research students have been successful in achieving financial support from the Department for Education and Learning (DEL) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with additional assistance from sources such as the Standing Conference of University Drama Departments (SCUDD) and Ulster University’s Library Travel Fund.

Staff research areas

Technology and the Arts/Technological Arts Practices/Digital Arts

Interaction Design

Online Learning Environments

Intelligent Multimedia

Electroacoustic Composition and Sonic Arts/Sound Art

Digital Musical Instruments

Data-mining in context of Arts Organisations


Dr Brian Bridges