Film, Media and Music PhD – FAQ

If you’re interested in studying for a PhD at Staffordshire University we can offer film and music related PhDs. Here’s a list of questions I’m frequently asked that can hopefully get you started. Please comment or message Dave at if you have more questions and I’ll update the post with more info.

Why should I study for a PhD?

It’s an excellent stepping stone to working in the HE sector but has lots of transferable skills and benefits such as time and project management, public speaking and presentation, publication etc. You will present your work in the university and potentially at international  conferences and that’s a great way of meeting other researchers, making contacts and networking. With more students studying for masters degrees a PhD is another way of making your profile more distinct. You’ll be studying a subject you love and contributing new knowledge in the subject area!

How long will it take?

  • Full time: minimum 30 months, maximum 48 months
  • Part Time: minimum 60 months, maximum 96 months

What are the staff’s research interests and current projects?

The following list is not exhaustive. If you have an idea you think we’ll be interested get in touch and we can arrange to discuss.

  • Writing music for acoustic instruments and electronics
  • Visual music and audio-visuals.
  • Electronic music and dance music
  • Experimental Sound and Sound Installation,
  • Interactive live performance and popular music

Links to staff profiles and web pages

Who will be in my supervision team and what are the expectations of me?

You will have a main supervisor, who is usually a subject specialist and the first point of contact and a second supervisor who has additional experience in supervising PhD projects. You can also have additional advisors and are free to ask any member of staff for advice.

You need to maintain regular contact with your supervisors, but apart from the workshops described below, your time is your own and a PhD is very self managed.

What stages and reviews are there during the PhD?

  1. Apply – Complete the online form linked below
  2. Enrol – this is when the clock starts ticking
  3. Annual Progress check – complete a form with a brief update on your progress so far
  4. Early stage review – within 12 months when studying full time. A more thorough check of your progress to date
  5. Late stage review – within 24 months if studying full time. A thorough review of progress and check you’re on schedule for the examination
  6. Submission. When all parties are happy that your PhD is ready for examination
  7. Viva – Interview and examination of your thesis and any creative works

Do I need to undertake any research training?

Full time students are expected to attend 6 sessions of research training per year. Current workshops are co-ordinated by our graduate school and listed here:

What Facilities are available?

  • Our world class music studios and other facilities in film and computing.
  • Library and online journal access and other e-Resources
  • A dedicated PhD study room equipped with computers for research students.

What is the Word Count for the thesis?

Usually between 30,000-50,00 words depending on the balance between any practise based outputs. There is a maximum word count of 80,000 words

Do I have to teach?

This is not a requirement or expectation but if it would be beneficial to your studies it can be discussed with the supervision team and management

What are the Entry Requirements?

Upper second class or better undergraduate degree or a masters degree in a relevant subject area.

Occasionally we advertise scholarships that are open to graduates with a 1st class honours degree or Masters qualification. Follow this link for more information:

Where can I apply?

Complete the appropriate online form here:

Full Time: 

Part Time:

What are the current fees?

Full Time

  • Home and EU students: £4,195 per year of study
  • International students: £12,000 per year of study

Part Time

  • Home and EU students: £2097.50 per year of study
  • International students: £6,000 per year of study

More info

Our Research Information Page:

Link to the University’s current PhD regulations:


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