MPhil or PhD or PhD by Published Work

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Key facts

Start dates

January 2024 / June 2024 / September 2024

Application deadline

It is recommended that you apply at least 6 months in advance to allow adequate time for your application to be processed (in the case of UK/EU applicants no less than 4-6 weeks).



Course length

Full time: 1 - 3 years

Part time: 2 - 6 years


School of Arts

Funding status



Here in the School of Arts we combine text and practice based approaches to research. With world-leading academics and research across our subject areas, we provide a vibrant environment for our large and dynamic group of PhD students.

We welcome research proposals related to the research interests of our research groups and staff. This includes:

  • Fine Art
  • Film Studies
  • Historical and Popular Musicology
  • Sound Arts and Composition
  • Publishing.

We have extensive links with over 90 universities across the world and work closely with industry and practice. These links lead to many opportunities for collaborative research, exchanges, overseas study and many more.

Student reading a music book

Research expertise

Our research groups create a context for staff and students to engage with innovative practices and ideas hosting festivals, conferences, lecture series, workshops and laboratories for developing and sharing new research.

We welcome research proposals related to the research interests of our research groups and staff.

Degree routes

All students enrol as probationer research students. During the first year you will formally register your research proposal for one of the below routes. 

The degree for which you register will depend on your academic qualifications and research experience. 

Additional details

Previous PhD research has included:

  • Arts practice as research
  • Audiences studies
  • Contemporary and Experimental Musical Composition and Improvisational processes
  • Contemporary practices in arts and museum management
  • Film History
  • Film Theory
  • International, Strategy, Policy and Development: Studies of contemporary publishing in local, regional and national contexts, issues of development and publishing.
  • Kinetic sculpture and installation
  • Opera
  • Operatic Culture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries
  • Music in 19th-century culture; Music and national identities; Reception studies, canon formation and music historiography
  • Music, gender and religion in the early modern period
  • Popular music and popular song
  • Public art and site specific installation
  • Social Sculpture
  • Sound Art and Sonic Art
  • The Culture and History of Publishing
students studying in the library

Why Oxford Brookes University?

The School of Arts is dedicated to offering an outstanding experience for research students. As a research student you will enjoy the following benefits:

  • You will be able to work with one of the school’s high quality ambitious research groups.
  • You will study alongside talented academics working in similar fields.
  • While you engage in your own research, you have opportunities to interact with a dynamic research environment that is actively engaged in broad reaching arts based projects, teaching and writing funding proposals.
  • Students benefit from links with the wider faculty.
  • Students benefit from automatic membership of the Faculty Doctoral Training Programme.
  • 24-hour access to workshop and studio facilities.
  • Excellent facilities in film, video, photography, print and book making, woodworking, metal, casting, and range of specialist machinery.
  • Weekly School of Arts practice based seminar group.
  • A wide variety of optional training courses, student events, lectures and other opportunities delivered in-house.
  • All students are allocated a Director of Studies and at least one other supervisor who they meet with regularly.
  • A range of personal support that includes access to a wide range of staff who are available for consultation.

How to apply

Entry requirements

Please see the degree routes section above for specific entry requirements.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you will need to provide an IELTS language certificate with an overall score of 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in any element).

As a result of very recent changes made by UK Visas & Immigration, please note we no longer regard TOEFL as an acceptable language test for entry to Oxford Brookes. This applies whether you require a Student visa or not. You can find more details on our English language requirements pages.

If you do not meet these requirements you may be able to take our University English as a pre-sessional course.

Application process

  1. check that you meet the entry requirements and financial requirements of the programme.
  2. explore our research groups and supervisory staff pages to see how your chosen field of study aligns with the research portfolio within the school.
  3. contact Professor Ray Lee and advise him that you are considering making an application. You are also welcome to contact particular academics to help you develop your ideas.
  4. formulate your research proposal.
  5. submit your research proposal to For guidance on writing a PhD research proposal, download our research degree proposal guidelines
  6. gather required documents (listed below)
  7. submit your application through the Oxford Brookes online application system.

Supporting documents

  • Research proposal
  • Scan of your passport
  • IELTS Certificate or equivalent (if required) – no older than two years from the proposed start date of your programme
  • Scan of your final degree certificates already awarded
  • Scan of transcripts
  • Two references (at least one academic) – your references must be on institutional headed paper and be dated and signed by referee(s). They can be sent directly to the Research Administrator in the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment in a sealed envelope, or emailed.
  • Evidence of funding – if sponsored by an employer or government, you must provide evidence in the form of a recently dated sponsorship letter on official headed paper. If supporting your studies from private funds, you must provide a recently dated bank statement.

Tuition fees

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

International part time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

Tuition fees

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

International part time

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.

For International fees the following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

Home fees are set by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and are released approximately five months before the start of each academic year.

If you have any questions about fees, get in touch with the Research Degrees Team at

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Funding your studies

Financial support and scholarships

Featured funding opportunities available for this course.

All financial support and scholarships

View all funding opportunities for this course