What will I learn?


The Sonic Arts Research Cluster supports advanced research in historical and critical musicology, acoustic and electronic composition, music technology, and performance studies. It also supports interdisciplinary research, particularly in eighteenth century (Centre of Eighteenth Century Studies) or modern topics.

Career Prospects

Many of our PhDs have assumed academic or research roles in Higher Education; some have assumed artistic residencies; others have thriving careers are freelance recording artists; employment in industry as an audio or software engineer is another destination.

Learning Outcomes

Studying for a PhD enables a student to develop their critical, research and/or artistic skills to a high level, while pursuing a subject of personal interest. A PhD is normally required for academic positions.


Students are not awarded marks for coursework at PhD level; in late spring each year, they present work to a small panel of lecturers in their subject; the panel for this procedure (annual progress review/APR or differentiation for first year students), has the discretion to recommend whether the student may progress to the next academic year, whether they must repeat the APR, be obliged to register for the MPhil or required to withdraw. Around 4-6 weeks after the formal submission of the dissertation or portfolio, the student will undergo an oral viva with two examiners who have reviewed their submitted work, where the result is expressed as the level of revision required (none, minor major revisions), which is indexed to a period of time for completion (3 or 6 months). Alternatively, the result could be that the student is required to resubmit the work for a Master's degree or that no degree is awarded.

Which department am I in?

Arts, English and Languages

Study options

Full Time (3 years)

Tuition fees
£17,460.00 (US$ 24,031) per year
This is a fixed fee

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

Expected September 2022


Queen's University Belfast

University Road,


Northern Ireland,

BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland

Entry requirements

For international students

A 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. While a Master’s degree (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) is not essential, it is desirable and applicants without this qualification will be considered on a case-by-case basis. English Language Requirements: Evidence of an IELTS score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. Taken within the last 2 years. TOEFL iBT - 90 with minimum marks as follows: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 17.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About Queen's University Belfast

One of the oldest universities in the UK, Queen’s University Belfast boasts an impressive track record of continued excellence.

  • Member of the prestigious Russell Group
  • Ranked in world’s top 180 universities
  • Among UK’s most beautiful universities
  • Top class facilities at vibrant Belfast city centre campus