Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Course Introduction

The Guildhall School's doctoral programme is a unique and distinctive research programme which supports a very wide range of research projects.

Students on the programme include those who seek to integrate historical, theoretical, sociological, psychological or philosophical perspectives of music or drama into their work; those who wish to research aspects of arts pedagogy, institutions and their impact on society; and those who wish to undertake research in composition, drama or music therapy. As a world'leading conservatoire we are especially well equipped to supervise research grounded in practice.

Students undertaking doctoral work at Guildhall can benefit from the School’s performing resources, well'established cultural partnerships, and the extensive expertise of the School’s staff in creating and realising new work. Each student on the doctoral programme is allocated a supervisory team, made up of at least two members of staff, sometimes more, who have the appropriate combination of academic and artistic expertise to support fully the development of the individual student’s doctoral research. Doctoral students are also supported by a thorough and comprehensive research training programme.

The doctoral programme will normally be completed after three years of full'time research, followed by either a one'year period of ‘writing'up’ or a further year of supervision. The programme is also available on a part'time basis.

Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
3 years
3 years
Doctor of Philosophy - PhD

Qualifications required:

  • Applicants for a Music doctorate should normally have obtained an MMus or equivalent Master’s degree in addition to a BA (Hons) degree in Music (upper 2nd or 1st class). Applicants without these qualifications will be assessed on the basis of their prior academic and professional experience.
  • Composers and performers are expected to be at an advanced stage of creative practice at the point of application, and be able to formulate their own creative research questions and work with autonomy and independence. Candidates must possess a strong sense of reflexivity coupled with the ability to devise and refine a distinctive research strategy, and have demonstrable experience in research.
  • Applicants for the Drama PhD are expected to have a Master’s degree relating to theatre or a Master’s degree in any subject and evidence of relevant professional theatre activity before commencing the Drama MPhil/PhD programme.
  • Applicants for the Music Therapy PhD are expected to have significant previous engagement with music at master’s-level or equivalent professional experience. In addition, if the research proposal includes the candidate delivering music therapy clinical work themselves as part of the PhD, the candidate should be fully qualified and registered by the HCPC. If the research proposal relates to music therapy practices but does not involve delivering clinical work, then the candidate must have a master’s-level Music Therapy qualification.