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PhD in Music Technology

  Length Start dates (semester dates)

3 years full-time
6 years part-time

Apply for PhD


PhD by distance learning

3 years full-time
6 years part-time

Apply for PhD by distance learning


A PhD in Music Technology offers an exciting blend of creativity and innovation from audio for virtual and augmented reality, sound in virtual production, soundscapes and acoustic heritage, and audio to health and wellbeing. Our research degree allows you to pioneer innovative research in key areas of expertise, including audio processing, immersive and interactive audio systems, music and voice science, sound for XR environments, acoustics and psychoacoustics.

Your research

As a postgraduate researcher, the focus of your work will be an independent research project. You will work with leading researchers, while gaining valuable skills through an integrated training programme in research methods.

You'll have access to advanced taught courses to help you develop the knowledge and skills needed to conduct your research.

Your research will culminate in a thesis and oral examination. Your thesis should effectively, clearly and concisely communicate the research question, methodology, results, analysis, and conclusions, with quality and depth appropriate for your PhD in Music Technology degree.

Research projects

Our academics are working on a wide range of projects suitable for research students to join.



You will be supervised on a one-to-one basis by a member of the academic staff. We also offer opportunities for co-supervision, within the School and across the wider University, to support interdisciplinary projects. Your supervisor will help guide your progress, supported by a thesis advisory panel.

Before applying, we encourage you to learn about our academics and how their work and expertise fit your interests. Our academic staff are happy to answer any questions on their research interests or discuss a project you might have in mind.

Training and support

Throughout your course you'll have opportunities to develop your skills as an academic and researcher.

You'll participate in our annual PhD conference typically held during the summer. The two-day conference includes a first year presentation session, second year poster competition and third year seminars. These sessions are designed to give you experience in presenting your research: you'll have the opportunity to prepare a talk, face an audience and answer questions. The intention is to help you develop oral and written communication skills which are essential in a modern engineering environment.

You may also have the opportunity to present your work at UK and overseas conferences and publish in international journals.

You can enrol in researcher development courses and professional development courses to further enhance your skills and expertise. These opportunities aim to equip you with a well-rounded skill set to thrive in both academic and professional areas.

Course location

This course is run by the School of Physics, Engineering and Technology.

You will be based on Campus West. Most of your training and supervision meetings will take place here, though your research may take you further afield.

Full-time students are provided with dedicated desk spaces within the School of Physics, Engineering and Technology for the entirety of their programme. Dependent on your project, you might also use other facilities, including well-equipped music and media technology suites and anechoic chambers.

We offer a distance learning option for the PhD programme if you cannot live in York full- or part-time. As part of the application process, we will ask for justification for taking the DL option and will then assess the feasibility of the work programme. The latter will be embodied in a plan of study outlining resources and facilities needed, training requirements and an associated timeline, which will need to be in place before being accepted onto the programme. Unless special arrangements can be agreed in advance, a research topic that requires specialised equipment and facilities may not be possible with the DL option.

Entry requirements

You should have, or be about to complete, the equivalent of a 2:1 honours degree or above in:

  • Electronics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Music Technology

or a closely related subject.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must provide evidence of your ability.

English language requirements


Apply for the PhD

Apply for the PhD (DL)

Advertised research projects

If you are applying for an advertised research project, please include the project name in your application. You should contact the project leader in advance, who may also ask you to submit a full research proposal.  Advertised research projects may be funded or self-funded, as indicated in the advert.

Find a project

Research proposals

If you are not applying for a particular research project, you should contact the member of the academic staff you wish to work with, who may provide you with a research/project outline.

The research proposal needs to describe the nature of your proposed study and give some indication of how you will conduct your research. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure that you and your potential supervisor(s) have matching research interests. The proposal should be 250 to 350 words in length. It must be in English, and be your own words.

Find a supervisor

Careers and skills

Your PhD will help to extend your qualifications, allowing you to explore a growing industry. You will research and consider designs which will address real-world problems by combining ideas in engineering and music technology systems. You will become equipped with skills around technical analysis, music technology components and communication through writing and multimedia to become prepared for the next stage in your career.

Our dedicated careers team offer specific support including a programme of professional researcher development and careers workshops and 1:1 career support sessions. They will help you to build up your employability portfolio and to engage in activities that will build up your skills and experience within and outside of your research work.

Career opportunities

  • Design engineer
  • Digital consultant
  • Software or systems developer
  • Academic researcher
  • Project manager
  • Product development engineer
  • Teaching

Next steps