Music and gender

Qualifications Duration Start dates Application period
(MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
October January
PhD (MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
Start dates
Application period

OU academics investigate a range of topics related to music and gender, embracing classical music, popular music and music technology.

We can offer supervision in:

  • Women in music (including, but not limited to) composers, songwriters, performers, conductors, music technologists, and women’s wider work in music (including music education, work within the music industries, and women’s writing on music)
  • Feminist musicology
  • Gender and music
  • The representation of women making music
  • LGBTQ+ perspectives

Entry requirements

Most successful applicants to the PhD programme have a masters degree in music or a related discipline, with a substantial dissertation. However, applicants can still be considered provided they demonstrate evidence of the ability to research and write about music at a high level.  If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English.

Potential research projects

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

Current/recent research projects

  • Fin-de-siècle Salon Culture: A Reappraisal of Cécile Chaminade
  • Women's work in classical music: An exploration of the roles and positions held by women performers in the contemporary classical music industry
  • Confronting canonicity and promoting diversity: gender and contemporary concert programming. 

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,786 per year Full time: £12,146 per year
Part time: £2,393 per year Part time: £6,073 per year

Some of our research students are funded via the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership; others are self-funded.

For detailed information about fees and funding, visit Fees and studentships.

To see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, see Current studentships.


Orchestre feminin de Paris

How to apply

Get in touch

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

Dr Helen Barlow
Email: FASS-Music-Enquiries
Phone: +44 (0)1908 653280

Apply now

If you’re interested in applying for this research topic, please take a look at the application process.