Award Type and NFQ level : RESEARCH PH.D. (10)

CAO/PAC code : MHT02 (FT), MHT03 (PT)

CAO Points :

This programme offers a doctoral-level programme in Music for students who wish to engage in high-quality research in selected areas of the discipline. In addition, the PhD/MLitt in Music includes a number of generic and specific skills modules that will complement its research-oriented elements as part of a structured research programme at Maynooth University.
The subject of research for the thesis must be approved by the Head of Department and must be based on original research conducted under the direction of a designated member of the Department.
Supervision is offered in any of the following areas:
PhD in Music (Composition):
Students in the PhD in Composition develop a varied portfolio of works totaling ninety minutes in duration. Variations on this format (e.g. single large-scale work submissions) are possible but need to be approved in writing by the supervisor and Head of Department. Portfolios should be accompanied by a written commentary on the works of at least 12,000 words (but not exceeding 30,000 words). Where possible, and as appropriate, submissions should be supported by recorded performances. The final examination is via a viva voce examination with two examiners (one internal and one external) and an independent chair.
PhD in Music (Musicology)
Students in the PhD in Musicology submit an original research thesis on any topic in musicology for which supervision is available in the Department of Music. Applicants should consult the Department of Music webpages for details of staff expertise. The thesis takes the form of a written text of 80–100K words, subject to a viva voce examination with two examiners (one internal and one external) and an independent chair.
PhD in Music (Computer Music)
The Computer Music programme allows students to choose between two forms of Thesis submission:
(1) by dissertation: a 40-50,000 word thesis together with the proof-of-concept of the technologies developed/discussed, which might include an original composition component together with the technical documentation (e.g. hardware designs, software sources); (2) by publication: 6 – 8 papers, published (or fully accepted for publication) in international peer-reviewed conference proceedings and recognized  journals in the field, with at least two journal items, plus a 15,000-18,000 introductory essay binding the published work. One of the published items might be an original composition work. In both options, the final examination is via a viva voce examination with two examiners (one internal and one external) and an independent chair.
PhD in Music (Performance)
The PhD in/by Performance will appeal to performers interested in developing innovative projects in which performance forms an integral part of scholarly research. By developing an appropriate critical and theoretical framework the project will contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the field. The format of the PhD includes a 40/50k-word dissertation and a 90-minute final concert. The final examination is via a viva voce examination with an independent chair and two examiners (one internal and one external), and a public concert which will be attended by the examiners and the independent chair.

Closing date
Research applications are generally accepted at any time

September (or other agreed time)

Normally a 2.1 or equivalent first degree in Music or in a related discipline; a 2.1 or equivalent Master’s degree in Music or in a related discipline. Further to application via PAC, an interview will be conducted, where students are expected to present a research plan to the department. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact members of staff in their projected area of research.

Language Requirements
In the case of Musicological research, students are expected to have some knowledge of the language of the composer(s) or author(s) whose work they intend to research. It is strongly recommended that they build up such knowledge to proficiency level during their studies

Applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level.

Minimum English language requirements:

  • IELTS: 6.5 minimum overall score
  • TOEFL (Paper based test): 585
  • TOEFL (Internet based test): 95
  • PTE(Pearson): 62

Maynooth University’s TOEFL code is 8850

Dr Lorraine Byrne Bodley
Schubert; Goethe and Music; German Song.

Dr Antonio Cascelli
Chopin; Schenkerian studies; sixteenth century Italian music; music analysis.

Dr Gordon Delap
Electroacoustic and acousmatic composition; music for video; soundart; speech-based composition.

Dr Alison Hood
Analysis and performance; nineteenth-century piano music; Chopin; Schenkerian analysis.

Dr Victor Lazzarini
Musical signal processing and sound synthesis; computer music languages; electroacoustic and instrumental composition.

Dr Ryan Molloy
Instrumental and vocal composition; engagements between Irish traditional music and contemporary composition.

Prof Christopher Morris
Opera (especially staging practices); music and screen media; German modernism; aesthetics.

Dr Estelle Murphy 
English and Irish music of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and contemporary popular music (specifically heavy metal).

Dr John O’Keeffe
Vernacular liturgical composition for the Roman Rite; melody/text relationships; plainchant performance.

Dr Martin O’Leary
Instrumental and vocal composition.

Prof Fiona M Palmer
Music and musicians in the marketplace; performance practice; canonisation of the repertoire; socio-economic issues; critical biography; institutional history; orchestras and conducting; long nineteenth century.

Dr Adrian Scahill
History and practice of Irish traditional music; ethnomusicology.

Dr Laura Watson
French music (1870–1940); the relationship between music, text and drama in twentieth-century opera; Irish women composers.

Students will typically take the required and optional modules in the first three years (full-time) or first five years (part-time), while also developing their individual investigative work. The department holds an annual Postgraduate Conference, where students have the opportunity of presenting elements of their research. The programme also offers opportunities to study abroad, as the Music Department maintains a number of agreements with institutions in various European countries. PhD students must take a 40 credits in taught modules (15 in generic/transferable modules and 25 in subject/specialist modules) over the duration of their Structured PhD programme.

Course Duration: 4 years Full-time, 6 years Part-time

On completion of the programme, the student will be equipped with both specialist and transferrable knowledge, with the capacity for carrying out research of international standards and pursuing a successful career in his/her chosen area. Areas of employment may include: 3rd- and 4th-level lecturing; media, music technology and software industry; research; consultancy; managerial positions in arts organisations, governmental agencies and other areas; archival, library and museum work.

Online application only

PAC Code
MHT02 Full-time
MHT03 Part-time

The following information should be forwarded to PAC, 1 Courthouse Square, Galway or uploaded to your online application form:

Certified copies of all official transcripts of results for all non-Maynooth University qualifications listed MUST accompany the application. Failure to do so will delay your application being processed. Non-Maynooth University students are asked to provide two academic references and a copy of birth certificate or valid passport.

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