University of Sussex

University of Sussex

Music Theatre

You normally have 2 supervisors; they offer complementary perspectives on your work, perhaps reflecting a theory and practice balance, crucial for your development as a researcher. They help you devise a detailed programme of study tailored to the individual research project and offer regular guidance and feedback until completion. All new research students are required to participate in a programme of research training and to take other postgraduate modules that may be recommended by their supervisors. The 1st term (or 1st 2 terms for part-time students) is devoted to developing the research plan; by the end of the 1st year (or 2nd year for part-time students), you have completed and presented a draft chapter or report. Composition students would typically aim to produce a substantial composition work and related critical or theoretical writing within the same timescale. In the second year, a further sample of work is read by a thesis panel in order to assess progress and give you a small-scale mock viva experience. You are then ready to bring your project to fruition by the end of your final year. The University�s Doctoral School runs a wide range of training courses covering the needs of students throughout all phases of their studies.

Entry requirements

Normally a Master�s degree or equivalent professional experience in a subject related to the chosen area of research; applicants wishing to take the composition option must produce evidence of compositional ability; English language requirements: IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in the other sections; internet TOEFL with 90 overall including 24 in speaking and 25 in writing.

Course modules

Recent and current PhD projects include: Musical alterity and embodied practice (theory/ practice); sonification of the body (theory/practice); sound scores for early avant-garde film (composition); temporality in post-tonal music (composition); the representation of animals in music theatre (theory/practice); the impact of Stravinsky�s ballets on conducting techniques in the 20th century (historical musicology).

Assessment methods

Assessment is by a thesis that consists of either a substantial performance work or a performance work with a portfolio of compositions. A discursive and critical written component of between 20,000 and 40,000 words (or between 10,000 and 20,000 words for the MPhil) is also required.

Sponsorship information

Limited funds to offset research expenses are available directly from the University of Sussex; there are financial opportunities for research students to contribute towards undergraduate teaching.


Qualification Study mode Fee Course duration
MPhil Full-time £ 14,450 per Academic year (overseas fees) 3 years
MPhil Full-time £ 4,052 per Academic year (home fees) 3 years
MPhil Part-time - 4 years
PhD Full-time £ 14,450 per Academic year (overseas fees) 4 years
PhD Full-time £ 4,052 per Academic year (home fees) 4 years
PhD Part-time - 6 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Sussex House Brighton BN1 9RH South East

Key information

Telephone number: 
01273 873525