Research Degrees in Performance Practice or Composition

The Academy’s research degrees are aimed at performers and composers who already have highly developed skills and focused career aspirations, including those with a well-established career. You will work with an individual supervisor and a team of creative staff at the Academy to develop your work through engaging in a substantial research project. This will normally be directly connected to and driven by your creative activity as a performer or composer but will also require you to establish a research context and undertake a process of investigation and critical reflection.

The format of your submission is flexible but normally includes a portfolio of compositions or recorded performances accompanied by a written commentary. The balance between text and portfolio is flexible and a fully written submission is also possible. We expect that the outcomes of your research will be reflected in the artistic insight demonstrated in your portfolio, and/or in the development of professional knowledge you reveal, as well as though the usual doctoral requirement to exercise independent critical power.

The Academy offers a PhD degree over three or four years, although students can exit with an MPhil after two years. Students begin on MPhil status and apply for an upgrade to PhD after two years of study. During your studies you will be allocated 30 hours of supervision per year, which can be divided between academic and practical supervision as negotiated with the Postgraduate Programmes Board and your supervisor. The fourth year of study is a writing up year and is charged at a lower rate.

Students on the programme also attend seminars (about once every two weeks) which involve presentations by staff and students, as well as by visiting speakers engaged in practice-driven projects. These seminars provide a creative space for the testing and discussion of ideas amongst the supervisory team and fellow students; they offer an environment for exploring both the artistic output of the project as well as shaping the critical context in which you are working.

Your application will require a detailed proposal and we recommend that you get in touch to discuss your ideas with one of the supervisory team prior to applying. Initial enquiries should be sent to Oliver Till, Postgraduate and Research Administrator []. Please include a brief description of your project so that Oliver can direct your enquiry to the right member of staff.