MPhil & PhD in Music

Goldsmiths’ Department of Music has a lively and varied research base, large postgraduate community, active performing tradition, and offers proximity to London’s resources.

About the department

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline. Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants.

AHRC studentships

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Contact Dr Tom Perchard
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Staff research interests are correspondingly diverse and wide-ranging, and we offer research supervision in any of these areas of specialism.

Registration and study

Initially, you register for a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programme to train you in the research methods you will need to complete a PhD. You can apply to transfer to PhD registration when you have satisfactorily completed an agreed part of the research and training programme; this usually happens after approximately 18 months if you are studying full-time, or before 36 months if part-time.

You should aim to complete and submit your PhD thesis within an agreed period, usually three to four years for full-time students, and four to six years for part-time.

If you decide not to upgrade to PhD registration, you can submit your thesis for an MPhil after two years if you are studying full-time, or after three years if part-time. With the agreement of your supervisor, you can change your registration from full to part-time or vice versa.

North American applicants especially should note that the British system does not include preparatory taught classes or examinations as part of the MPhil/PhD programme, except for an initial course in research methods.

Research supervision

You are assigned members of staff qualified to supervise your research throughout your period of registration. Supervision involves regular meetings throughout the period of study, and ideally involves the development of an intensive intellectual relationship between you and your supervisor.


You have access to Goldsmiths’ Graduate School, containing an open-access computer room, a student common room and seminar room for use by postgraduate research students. See the Graduate School pages for more information.

What you study

You can study full-time or part-time for a research degree. The programme normally begins in September but applications for entry in January and April may be considered.

You may register for one of four options:

  • written thesis of up to 100,000 words in any area of musicology, contemporary music studies, analysis or ethnomusicology (MPhil: 60,000 words)
  • composition: portfolio of compositions, and 20,000-word commentary (MPhil: 12,000-word commentary)
  • Sonic Arts: portfolio of practice and 40,000 - 60,000 words commentary (MPhil: 20,000 - 30,000 commentary)
  • performance: full-length recital and related 50,000-word thesis (MPhil: lunchtime recital and 30,000-word thesis); topics might include such areas as contemporary music studies, ethnomusicology, or aspects of historical performance.

Supervision is available in any of the areas of specialism outlined above or covered by staff research interests.

In particular circumstances we may be able to arrange supervision with specialists outside the Department. Research students are strongly encouraged to contribute to the Department’s research culture. You have regular opportunities to present papers at seminars and conferences.

Composers can have pieces performed or recorded by College ensembles, including the Sinfonia; or by the Ensembles-in-Residence.

Performers are encouraged to take part in Departmental concerts, and may audition for concerto appearances.

Application procedure and requirements

You can apply directly to Goldsmiths via the website by clicking the ‘apply now’ button on the main programme page.

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have: 

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments;
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference;
  • Contact details of a second referee;
  • A personal statement. This can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online;
  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory);
  • Details of your research proposal.

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

Before you apply for a research programme, we advise you to get in touch with the programme contact, Tom Perchard. It may also be possible to arrange an advisory meeting.

Before you start at Goldsmiths, the actual topic of your research has to be agreed with your proposed supervisor, who will be a member of staff active in your general field of research. The choice of topic may be influenced by the current research in the department or the requirements of an external funding body. 

If you wish to study on a part-time basis, you should also indicate how many hours a week you intend to devote to research, whether this will be at evenings or weekends, and for how many hours each day.

Research proposals 

Along with your application and academic reference, you should also upload a research proposal at the point of application. 

This should be in the form of a statement of the proposed area of research and should include: 

  • delineation of the research topic;
  • why it has been chosen;
  • an initial hypothesis (if applicable);
  • a brief list of major secondary sources.

When to apply 

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

If you're applying for external funding from one of the Research Councils, make sure you submit your application no later than 31 January.

Selection process 

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Entrance requirements 

You should normally have (or expect to be awarded) a taught Masters in a relevant subject area. In exceptional circumstances we will also consider applicants with a good undergraduate degree.

We also accept a wide range of international equivalent qualifications, which can be found on our country-specific pages. If you'd like more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

English language 

If your first language isn't English, you need to demonstrate the required level of English language competence to enrol on our programmes. 

Please check our English language requirements for more information.

Find out more about applying 

Contact us 

Get in touch via our online form 

+44 (0)20 7919 7766 

International (non-EU)
+44 (0)20 7919 7702


Research pages and email contacts

Head of Department

Dr Berta Joncus 
Senior Lecturer, BMus Music Joint Admissions Tutor, Departmental Careers Advisor

Academic staff

Dr Freida Abtan
Lecturer in Music/Computing, Programme Convenor for Music Computing

Dr Patricia Alessandrini
Lecturer in Studio Composition

Dr Tamsin Alexander
Lecturer in Music

Professor John Baily
Emeritus Professor of Ethnomusicology, Head of the Afghanistan Music Unit

Dr Lisa Busby
Lecturer, Pathway Leader and Admissions Tutor for MMus Creative Practice

Simon Deacon
Senior Lecturer, Director of Popular Music Performance, BMus Popular Music Admissions Tutor, Programme Convenor for MMus Popular Music

Professor John Levack Drever 
Professor of Acoustic Ecology and Sound Art, Head of Unit for Sound Practice Research, Admissions Tutor for MMus Sonic Arts

Danny Driver
Lecturer in Music (Performance), Programme Convenor for MMus Performance & Related Studies

James Ewers

Ian Gardiner
Senior Lecturer, Programme Convenor for MMus Programme

Dr Stephen Graham

John Harries

Professor Simon McVeigh
Professor of Music

Professor Keith Negus
Professor of Musicology, Co-Head of Popular Music Research Unit, Chair of Exams

Dr Barley Norton
Senior Lecturer, BMus Music Admissions Tutor, Head of Asian Music Unit

Dr Tom Perchard
Senior Lecturer, Programme Convenor for BMus Popular Music, Director of PGR Research, Co-Head of Popular Music Research Unit

Jeremy Peyton Jones
Deputy Head of Department, Senior Lecturer in Music, Director of Studies

Keith Potter
Reader in Music, Admissions Tutor for MA Contemporary Music Studies

Anthony Pryer
Lecturer, Senior Tutor, Programme Convenor for MA Programme, Pathway Leader and Admissions Tutor for MA Music and MA Historical Musicology

Professor Roger Redgate
Professor in Composition, Director of Research, Head of the Contemporary Music Research Unit

Ian Stonehouse
Head of the Electronic Music Studios

Visiting and Associate Tutors

Pete Astor
Popular Music and Songwriting

Alexis Bennett
Music and Film

Dr Dimitris Exarchos
Theory & Analysis, Contemporary Music Studies

Dr Panos Ghikas

Daniel Jones
Music Computing

Maria Krivenski
Classical Performance, Programme Convenor Short Courses/Summer School

Dr Naomi Matsumoto
Programme Convenor for IFC & Graduate Diploma, International Admissions Tutor

Tom Mudd
Music Computing, Laptop Ensemble Director and EMS Technician

John Reid
Classical Performance

Dmitri Smirnov

Alistair Zaldua

Visiting Fellows 

Maria Chavez, attached to the Sound Practice Research Unit

Dr Gavin Dixon attached to the Centre for Russian Music 

Veronica Doubleday attached to the Afghanistan Music Unit

Helen Frosi attached to the Sound Practice Research Unit

Prof Peter Kivy, Rutgers University

Dr Simon Maguire,
Southeby's, London

Dr Ivana Medic, University of Manchester, attached to the Centre for Russian Music

Gilbert Nouno attached to the Sound Practice Research Unit

Ashley Paul attached to the Popular Music Research Unit and Contemporary Music Research Unit

Lawrence Upton attached to the Sound Practice Research Unit

Visiting Research Staff 

Professor Simon Morrison
Visiting Professor
University of Princeton

Dr Levon Hakobian
Head of the Russian State Institute of Art Studies, attached to the Centre for Russian Music
Visiting Fellow

Katharine Hogg
Librarian of the Gerald Coke Handel Collection, Foundling Museum
Visiting Fellow


Imogen Burman
Events Manager

Anja Jeczalik
Clerical Officer

Ms Mains
Clerical Assistant

Kim Mulhall
Business Manager

Jon Fletcher
Assistant Business Manager

Harry Goodsman
Clerical Officer

Music Technicians

Rick Campion
Technical Manager

Sophie Ellison
Music Technician Receptionist

Alex Horkey
Music Technician 

Mariano Nunez-West 
Senior Music Technician (Piano Specialist)

Goldsmiths Music Studios

Mikko Gordon
Head of Goldsmiths Music Studios

Winther Robinson
Studio Engineer & Archivist

Sean Woodlock
Studio Maintenance Engineer

Harri Chambers
Assistant Engineer

Instrumental Tutors

Flute: Sarah O'Flynn; Finn Peters (Popular Music)
Oboe: Joseph Sanders
Clarinet: Victoria Soames Samek
Bassoon: Julie Andrews

Saxophone: Paul Bartholomew, Dave O'Higgins; Melanie Henry

Horn: Gillian Jones
Trumpet: Andrew Hendrie
Trombone: Leslie Lake
Tuba: Oren Marshall; Nick Newland

Violin/Viola: Devorina Gamalova (personal website)
Cello: Natalia Pavlutskaya (personal website); Léonie Adams; Rebecca Turner; Val Welbanks (Ligeti Quartet website)
Double Bass: Tony Hougham; Arnulf Lidner (Popular Music)

Harp: Gabriella D'Allolio
Bass (popular music): Tom Herbert ( The Invisible website); Matt Round

Piano: Simon Deacon; Nick Ramm; Sam Beste (Popular Music); Jakob Fichert; Maria Krivenski; Andrew Zolinsky (classical)

Percussion:Chris Brannick (Ensemble Bash); David Corkhill
Drum kit: Steve White; Dave Hattee; Tom Skinner

Director: Nan Christie

Voice (popular music): Laura Zakian; Sarah Stephenson; Rachel Bennett
Voice (classical music): Nan Christie;  Caroline Lenton-Ward

Guitar: Graham Devine
Guitar (popular music): Arthur Dick; Nicholas Meier; David Okumu  (The Invisible website) Pete Roth

Chamber Choir conductor: Caroline Lenton-Ward

The Department of Music welcomes most instruments and we will do our best to find a suitable teacher for your studies here. Please note, we cannot guarantee the availability of all tutors.

Graduate Profile


"The department invites world class musicians to regular concerts and lectures at the College, so these are very exciting opportunities for students. Also it is a wonderful environment for the academic study of both classical music and pop music."

MPhil & PhD in Music

Current PhD Students and their topics

JOHN DREVER (supervisor)

Antonis Antoniou (Composition Pathway): Aural Aura and Haunting Echoes: Sites with Complex Biographies

Janie Armour (Sonic Arts Pathway): Sonic scenography: an Exploration of Sound inthe Performance Environment

Wayne Binitie (Sonic Arts Pathway): Liquid Aural Architecture

James Bulley (Sonic Arts Pathway): Sound Art Trajectories and the Archival Impulse

Lucia, Hsiang-Ying-Chung (Sonic Arts Pathway): From Centre to Circumference: Sound, itself, and its Double

Ruth Hawkins (Sonic Arts Pathway): Interpenetrations of Recordings and the Real

Marcus Leadley (Sonic Arts Pathway): Reconfiguring Acoustic Space: Soundscape and Perception

Sam Murray (Mixed Media Composition) – joint supervisor with Lisa Busby

Tommaso Perego (Sonic Arts Pathway): Sonic Choreography in 2D and 3D surround sound environments

Kathrine Sandys (Sonic Arts Pathway): I Thought I Grew An Ear in My Stomach - The Phenomenological Experience of the Art Event as a Sublime Encounter

Dawn Scarfe (AHRC) (Sonic Arts Pathway): In the Surround – Sound and Phenomenal Experience (completed 2011)

Emmanuel Spinelli (Sonic Arts Pathway): Acoustic Phenotypology: The Territory of the Disembodied Voice in Electroacoustic Music and the Perception of Acousmatic Identities

IAN GARDINER (supervisor)

Alexis Bennett: British Film Music in the 1930s

Ricardo Brafman: Portfolio of Acoustic Composition (completed 2011)

Jeff Spencer: Portfolio - Contemporary Jazz Composition


Elena Artamonova: Twentieth-century Russian music for viola

Alex Eichenberger: Extended cello technique and Hommages a Paul Sacher

Rachel Foulds: The Paradox of Galina Ustvolskaya

Ondrei Gima (with Simon Morrison): Prokofiev's 'Fiery Angel' 

Coady Green: Russian Piano Études

Daniel Jaffee: Prokofiev’s “lost” colleagues: the background to his “tragic works”

Alex McIntyre (with Craig Ayrey): Music and ideas of Nikolai Roslavets

Drosostalitsa Moraiti: Evolution of Alfred Schnittke’s piano style

Magdalini Nikolaidou: Rakhmaninov and old Russian church traditions

Christine Tokatlian: Armenian piano music of the twentieth-century

Rebecca Turner: Modern technique and aesthetics in the twentieth-century cello music: ethno, techno et al

Valerie Welbanks: Cello Études: a history and application to a modern cello technique

Victoria Zora: Prokofiev's Violin Music

BERTA JONCUS (supervisor)

Verica Grmusa (Performance Pathway): Early 20th-Century Serbian Song

Nick Newland (Historical Musicology): Child Musical Prodigies and Eighteenth-Century British Concert Life

KEITH NEGUS (supervisor)

Richard Ekins: New Orleans Jazz Revivalism in the UK

Amanda Gillis-Furutaka: Japanese young people and English-language music videos

BARLEY NORTON (supervisor)

Menaka Bora: Globalisation, identity and contemporary 'experimental' music in India

Jasmine Hornabrook: Transnational networks, musical learning and performance in London's Tamil diaspora

TOM PERCHARD (supervisor)

Richard Ekins: Aspects of Authenticity in New Orleans Jazz Revivalism

Jeremiah Spillane: Identity, Improvisation and Influence – the Stylistic Development and Enduring Legacy of Django Reinhardt

Jasmin Taylor: Billie Holiday

KEITH POTTER (supervisor)

Paul Gilgunn: Rhys Chatham and American postminimalism

Stephen Graham: Experimental music in the 21st century: non-notated "classical music" and non-popular "popular music"

Paul Kean (Performance Pathway): American minimalist and postminimalist music for solo piano and two pianos  

Anastasios Mavroudis (Performance Pathway): Yorgos Sicilianos: performing his chamber music and Violin Concerto

Ourania Menelaou (Performance Pathway): Contemporary piano music

Maria Yerosimou: Jani Christou's music-theatre work, Strychnine Lady: contexts, aesthetics and analysis 

ROGER REDGATE (supervisor)

Mark Barden (Acoustic composition)

Richard Bolley (Acoustic composition)

Polly Hewitt (Acoustic composition)

Wojciech Kosma (Acoustic composition)

Matt Lewis (Acoustic composition)

Neil March (Acoustic composition)

Chun-Ming Lu (Acoustic composition)

Maja Mitrovic (Acoustic composition) (Submitted)

Coreen Morsink (Acoustic composition)

Silvia Rosani (Acoustic composition)

Paul Sarcich  (Acoustic composition) (Resubmitting)

Jeff Spencer (Acoustic composition)

Stamatia Statherou  (Acoustic composition) (Resubmitting)

Jerry Wigens (Acoustic composition)

Mizuka Yamamoto (Performance) (Submitted)

Alistair Zaldua (Acoustic composition)

Content last modified: 03 Feb 2014

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