Summary

Music at Ulster is firmly committed to creative practice as an integral part of its research activity.

Proposals are sought within our areas of research expertise, which include composition, performance, music technology and scoring for screen.

Practice–based PhDs will include both practice–based and written elements to submissions (the length of which will be determined in relation to given projects in accordance with Ulster University regulations, broadly on the basis of practice–based or practice–led models, depending on whether the written component is a major or supporting part of the PhD).

Indicative topics are summarised below, but interested parties are advised to make contact with potential supervisors in advance of making an application to discuss the feasibility of their proposed topic.

If in doubt as to who to address your query to, please contact Dr Brian Bridges (Research Director).

Music Composition

Projects which address the broad field of composition via practice-based and/or practice led methodologies are welcome.

(Topic contacts: Prof. Brian Irvine, Prof. Frank Lyons, Dr Adam Melvin, Dr Rob Casey)

Improvised Performance and Improvisation in Composition

Proposals may consider the development of original improvisatory concepts and/or innovative technical approaches in jazz and/or improvised instrumental or vocal contemporary music performance.

(Topic contacts: Dr Linley Hamilton, Dr Rob Casey, Prof. Brian Irvine)

Music Composition for Instruments and Live Electronics, and/or Electroacoustic Composition/Electronic Music

Projects may focus on the investigation of solo and/or ensemble interaction with a wide range of compositional methodologies using live electronics in the production of a portfolio of original music.

(Topic contacts: Prof. Frank Lyons, Dr Brian Bridges)

Microtonal Music: Theories and Practices

Proposals are sought which address the broad field of microtonal music, particularly in relation to composition/performance, technologies and theory.

(Topic contacts: Dr Brian Bridges, Dr Adam Melvin)

Music and the Visual

Proposals are sought for practice-based (composition, performance) or musicological projects that investigate the relationship between music and the visual world e.g. visual arts, visual media, visual/visualized objects and environments.

Of particular interest are project proposals exploring interdisciplinarity and collaborative practice, music and moving image, site-specificity and music and architecture.

(Topic contacts: Dr Adam Melvin, Dr Rob Casey)

Music and Embodied Models

Proposals are sought for practice-based or contextual studies projects which investigate the relationship between music, sound, and embodied concepts and structures.

(Topic contacts: Dr Brian Bridges, Dr Adam Melvin, Dr Rob Casey)


Essential criteria

  • To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.
  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement
  • Clearly defined research proposal detailing background, research questions, aims and methodology

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • First Class Honours (1st) Degree
  • Completion of Masters at a level equivalent to commendation or distinction at Ulster
  • Research project completion within taught Masters degree or MRES
  • Practice-based research experience and/or dissemination
  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • Work experience relevant to the proposed project
  • Experience of presentation of research findings

    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

    Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £15,500 (tbc) maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

    Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £7,750 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

    Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 15,500 (tbc) per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies



The Doctoral College at Ulster University


Reviews

Profile picture of David Lyttle

Ulster has a very relaxed feel and atmosphere

David Lyttle - PhD in Musicology

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Profile picture of Eleni Kolliopoulou

I am a visual artist and researcher with emphasis on performative art and interdisciplinary practice. Before applying for the practice-based PhD I had studied Philosophy of Science and Fine arts. My research concerned immersive performative installations and focused on the psychophysical effects of artistic creation to the participants.My proudest  moment was when I managed to identify the right supervisory team to support my project. My favourite memory was when I was awarded a doctoral grant in order to participate to Psi conference in Canada. I’ll never forget my first year's struggle to define my subject! I couldn’t have got through without the moral support of my family and my passion for the art. If I could speak to myself at the start of my PhD I would advise myself to break down into steps this whole project and feed constantly my motivation with a balanced lifestyle.

Eleni Kolliopoulou - PhD in Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies