Music and Performing Arts research

MPA research Untitled Page

If you’re interested in taking a research degree with us you can choose from Mphils / PhDs in DramatherapyMusic TherapyMusicology, Music Technology, Sonic Arts and Composition,  and Theatre and Performance.

We welcome your application to study with us.

For an idea of the range of available supervision, take a look at some of our recent research students' titles.

Research areas

In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, our Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts research was awarded world-leading status. Our research strengths include:


We specialise in electronic and electro-acoustic composition, interactivity in electronic music, and music for film and television. We have a tradition of collaboration with writers, including elements of improvisation and using generated music techniques to accompany and enhance the spoken word.

Creative Music Technology

In our newly equipped studios we develop innovative systems to investigate the human-machine interface and the use of live software processing and sound manipulation. We construct 'hacked' instruments, develop controller interfaces for live electronics and use the latest technology to investigate the creative possibilities of mapping physical gesture to sound.


Our research encompasses critical and contextual investigation, mostly focused on twentieth-century and contemporary music and performance practice, including Cuban music for example, but also early music practice and reception through the work of ethnomusicologist researchers.

Music Therapy

Housed in a brand new Music Therapy Centre, the world-leading music therapy researchers of our Music for Health Research Unit have experience of clinical practice in many fields. Our research includes formal projects, investigative studies, writing and publication of papers and postgraduate studies.


Our staff’s expertise extends from dramatherapy and psychodrama to performance arts. We particularly welcome applications in the areas of intercultural dramatherapy practice, multidisciplinary collaborations and practice-based evidence or evidence-based practice.

Theatre and Performance Studies

Our research spans the 20th and 21st centuries, with current specialisations including experimental theatre, identity politics, interculturalism, digital performance and performance writing. Our researchers are experts in theory and practice, with particular interest in combining performance with areas such as medicine, music, dance and technology.

Staff members and students in these groupings regularly work together on joint projects and conferences.

Research clusters

Our staff members and students contribute to the following research clusters:

Cultures of the Digital Economy Research Institute (CoDE)
Music for Health Research Centre