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Interdisciplinary themes in music

Research  Interdisciplinary themes in music research with The Open University.

Interdisciplinary research is a particular strength of music at the OU. The Literature and Music Research Group within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is one of the major groups in this area in the UK, and Music discipline staff are also members of the OU research groups for Medieval and Early Modern Studies and Digital Humanities. We support students working in music and visual arts; music and film; and music and religion. In addition, researchers from different faculties work together on areas of common interest. Strategic research funds are being deployed to support the development of themes that bring together academics and students from different disciplinary backgrounds.

We welcome applications in areas that correspond to current staff research interests. We look for detailed and well thought-out proposals, which set out specific research questions and outline the originality of your topic or approach. If you would like to discuss your ideas informally before submitting an application, please contact us (details below).

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Potential research projects

  • Literature and music
  • Music and film
  • Audiences, listening and participation
  • Creativity, innovation and labour
  • Sound, soundscapes and sonic environments
  • Digital humanities

We are happy to consider research projects relating to one or more of the disciplinary areas listed above. 

Current/recent research projects

  • The role of music in selected novels and associated writings of Alejo Carpentier
  • Drone Metal and Mysticism
  • Narrativity in Popular Music
  • Spirituality in the music of Edmund Rubbra

Potential supervisors

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Dr Helen Coffey
+44 (0)1908 653280

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.