COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

For our Musical Composition PhD, you’ll research and develop new musical languages. You achieve this through building a portfolio of works accompanied by a reflective critical commentary.

Our facilities provide the latest tools in software and hardware in the Jonathan Harvey Electronic Music Studio. Other specialist facilities include rare 20th-century music scores and unique collections of jazz and music television documentaries.

Our supervisors in the field of Musical Composition have particular expertise in:

  • opera
  • orchestral and chamber music
  • electronic and computer music
  • film and media music
  • improvisation.

For a PhD, your research work makes a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in your chosen field.

Which department am I in?

School of Media, Film and Music

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
£18,500.00 (US$ 25,463) per year
This is a fixed fee

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

Start date

3 January 2022


University of Sussex

Sussex House,


Brighton & Hove,

BN1 9RH, England

Entry requirements

For international students

Degree requirements: You’re normally expected to have a Merit (an average of 60% overall) in a Masters degree and an upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree. Subject-specific requirements: Your qualification should be in a subject related to your chosen area of research. You will also be considered for this degree if you don’t have the academic qualifications required, but can show evidence of equivalent professional experience. IELTS (Academic) Higher level (6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component); TOEFL (iBT) High – 88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

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


About University of Sussex

In the vibrant coastal city of Brighton, Sussex offers a world-class education, real-world employability and an unforgettable student experience.

  • Ranked 20th in the UK and 160th in the world (THE WUR 2021)
  • Outstanding research reputation & excellent job prospects
  • Continual investment in facilities & the student experience
  • Beautiful campus with a welcoming global community