Pursue your creative and intellectual passions with our MPhil/PhD research degrees

Our research degrees are aimed at performers and composers with highly developed skills and focused career aspirations.

Watch: Doctoral Symposium and Open Day 2023

The Symposium and Open day was held in November 2023, showcasing a small selection of current and recently completed projects.

These encompassed aspects of artistry and professional development, engagement with tradition, and exploration of creative processes.

Watch the full recording here.

About Research Degrees at the Academy

'I’ve had space to experiment with my own projects, while also developing as a composer within a community of thoughtful and creative musicians'
PhD student

You will work with a supervisor and a team of creative staff on a substantial research project. This will normally be driven by your activity as a performer or composer, but will also require critical context and reflection.

The Academy offers an integrated PhD degree over four years, although students can exit with an MPhil after two years. MPhil students will usually apply to transfer to PhD in their second year of study. For both MPhil and PhD, you will be allocated 30 hours of supervision per year. You may apply for a further year to complete or write up your portfolio or dissertation at a reduced rate. Supervision hours are divided between academic and practical supervision, as negotiated with the Postgraduate Programmes Board and your supervisor.

The Academy is a community of collaborators. We encourage creative interaction between students and staff, between performers, composers, instrument makers, scholars and practitioners in other art forms, and between the Academy and the wider world.

We support projects that strike new ground in musical practices, engage with new audiences, re-evaluate and build on musical traditions, and have an impact in the wider world. The outcomes of our research take many different forms, including compositions, performance materials, public performances, new instrumental technologies, recordings, broadcasts, websites, and other types of public advocacy for innovative practice, as well as books and scholarly articles.

Our research culture also draws on our globally significant collection of musical artefacts, including fine stringed instruments ranging from Cremonese masterpieces to examples by today’s leading makers, historic keyboard instruments, musical iconography, composers’ manuscripts, and a wide range of performance materials annotated by iconic 19th- and 20th-century performers.

Discovery events

Discovery Events are the perfect way to find out more about the Academy and whether it’s the right place for you.

Read more >