Research Degree Programme: MPhil/PhD in Dance/Music/Collaborative Arts

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance offers the research degrees of MPhil and PhD.

The Research Degree Programme leads to one of the following awards:

  • MPhil/PhD in Creative Practice: [Dance / Music / Collaborative Arts]
  • MPhil/PhD in [Dance and/or Music] Science
  • MPhil/PhD in [Dance and/or Music] Pedagogy

The Research Degree Programme includes an induction period, research skills training, seminars, and a requirement to present your research work on a regular basis. You will have one-to-one meetings with two allocated Research Supervisors.

The options in creative practice are suitable for those whose main focus is in composition, choreography, performance, or any related activity which embodies practical components, including those whose research incorporates interdisciplinary collaborations. In addition, historical research projects that utilise archive resources at Trinity Laban are also admissible under this option.

The options in science and pedagogy are available for those specialising in empirical approaches to topics in music and/or dance research and those who wish to concentrate on educational and pedagogical aspects.

Usually, research degree candidates initially register for a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programme, allowing them time to develop their research methodology and refine their topic. The projects will be assessed at a midway stage, at which time transfers to the PhD programme may be considered.

Registration can be either in full-time or part-time mode, and there are two intakes for the Research Degree Programme in each academic year: January and September. We also offer options for suitably experienced Staff Candidates to pursue doctoral study, and in appropriate cases, submission by prior publication is possible.

You can find a brief outline of prerequisites for an application and its necessary components below. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and that you should read the Guidance Notes for RDP Applicants carefully before you consider submitting an application.

  • Applicants for the programme should have a good Honours degree in a relevant subject and, preferably, a Master's qualification.
  • Candidates from overseas must also have sufficient command of English to study at doctoral level: equivalent to an IELTS score of 7.0 or above in each element. Please refer to the Guidance Notes for RDP Applicants for specific information on the required certification. Please note that applications which should include an IELTS (or equivalent) certificate cannot be assessed if they are submitted without it.
  • All candidates are required to submit a detailed research proposal, which outlines the area(s) of study and a description of how these correlate with existing areas of scholarship, both theoretical and practical. You will also be asked to state how the proposed research project is represented in terms of the research interests of Trinity Laban, and, if necessary, how the resources of the institution will be utilised.
  • There are two deadlines for submission of applications. They are 1 June for the September intake; and 1 October for the January intake.
  • Your application will consist of (up to) six elements: (1) an outline research proposal, (2) a summary CV, (3) certified copies of all degree certificates, (4) a copy of English Language certification (if required), (5) for proposals engaging in practical elements, a portfolio of your creative practice, and (6) the Trinity Laban RDP application form.

Find fee information here.

Student Testimonial

"My experience of Trinity Laban, I'd say, has been a really fantastic one. It makes me feel very valued, and very validated in what I want to do.... I really will be able to pursue those dreams I want, because of the research I'm doing."

Lucie Clements, PhD Dance Science / 2015-19, MSc Dance Science / 2014-15


The MPhil and PhD programmes are led by:

Dr Jonathan Owen Clark
Head of Research
[email protected]

Dr Clark welcomes informal enquiries relating to any aspect of potential postgraduate level research at Trinity Laban. If you are considering contacting him or submitting a formal application, please read the Guidance Notes for RDP Applicants before you do so. The Guidance provides detailed information on the above and many additional aspects of the Research Degree Programme and the application process.

The links in the drop-down boxes at the top right of this page give detailed information about the programme and the applications procedure, including funding. Find a link to the Trinity Laban Research Degree Programme Student Handbook in the 'Programme Specification' section.

Related Links

All programmes are available in full-time or part-time modes of study to home and EU students; overseas students can usually study full-time only.  Students can opt to begin their studies via two separate intakes a year, one in January, and one in September. The deadlines for these intakes are 1 October, and 1 June respectively. A pathway for PhD by publication is also available.

Candidates wishing to undertake the RDP must have one of the following minimum qualifications before considering applying for admission to the programme:

  • An Honours degree in a related field (either 1st class or upper 2nd class) from a UK institution or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standing obtained after a course of study extending over not less than three years in a higher education institution, and in a subject appropriate to the proposed research project.
  • A Taught Postgraduate degree in a subject appropriate to the programme to be followed.
  • A professional or other qualification obtained by examination and approved by Trinity Laban as an appropriate entrance qualification for the MPhil/PhD degree in question.
  • Appropriate professional experience and a demonstrable reputation (as attested by suitably qualified referees) in the nominated area.
  • Applicants possessing alternative qualifications or relevant experience may also be considered.

For students whose first language is not English, an IELTS (Academic) minimum score of 7.0 or equivalent in each element with certification attained no more than two years prior to application is mandatory. Such an application is incomplete without certification and cannot be assessed. Candidates with the required English qualification may be asked to provide additional evidence of proficiency in English.

For further details concerning the programme and the applications procedure, please download the Guidance Notes for Applicants which also gives information on funding.

In addition please see the Trinity Laban Research Degree Programme Handbook.

Download City University London's Guide for Research Students for information on the rules and regulations governing all awards.

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