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Academic Recruitment

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Internationally renowned research strengths in interdisciplinary research

The Department of Music is one of the very best UK Music Departments with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students. Ranked #3 in REF2014, the Department of Music has internationally renowned research strengths in interdisciplinary research in musicology, including music history, theory and analysis, ethnomusicology, music psychology, performance, composition, and music technology. At undergraduate and postgraduate level our students can choose modules in the above areas. 

The Department achieved 96% overall student satisfaction in the 2015/2016 NSS and ranked #1 in the leading UK rankings (Complete University Guide 2018, The Sunday Times University League Table 2017).  

Working at Durham University - So Much More

Working at Durham University - So Much More

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Our Strategic Vision
Our Research
Our opportunities
Our people


Our Strategic Vision

We aim to further strengthen our research base

The Department seeks to build confidently on recent developments that see us at the top of the university league tables (#1 in Sunday Times, #2 in CUG). We have a global outlook and offer a culturally and thematically diverse curriculum, to which we have increased recruitment in recent years. In addition to established strengths in several musical sub-disciplines, a strategic focus on interdisciplinary research in recent years has led to a sharp increase in grant capture. 

We foresee our student numbers increasing at undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research levels.  We will continue to enhance our processes for assuring top quality teaching, feedback and advice.  At the same time we aim to further strengthen our research base which placed us #3 amongst UK music departments in REF 2014. With investment from the University we hope that a new Concert Hall will be forthcoming.

We are ranked #1 in the leading UK rankings

Complete University Guide 2018 & The Sunday Times University League Table 2017


Our Opportunities

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Our Research

World-class research facilities, wide methodological expertise, and numerous research activities.

The research environment consists of world-class research facilities, wide methodological expertise, and numerous research activities, encouraging mentoring and support schemes. The Department of Music is committed to research-led and small group teaching.

The Department also has close links with several institutes and centres such as Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, Centre for Medical Humanities, and Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the first one being led by a Department staff member.

In addition, Music Department has been successful in attracting leading scholars as Visiting Professors to the Institute of Advanced Study that hosts at least twenty visiting scholars each year. The Department of Music also has a rich array of research collaborations and teaching with other Departments at Durham such as Theology, Anthropology and Psychology.


Current projects include AHRC funded project titled Interpersonal Entrainment in Music Performance that seeks to understand of how groups of people coordinate behaviour within a musical context. The project involves a network of over 20 researchers from across the globe with backgrounds in musicology, engineering, and psychology.

Another project associated with music psychology is Sweet Sorrow, funded by the Academy of Finland, which has clarified the actual emotional structure of the experiences associated with sad music. Department has also been involved in Transforming Musicology project with AHRC funding, which has focussed on large-scale corpus analysis of historical electronic music using MIR tools.


The Department of Music is located within the historic UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising the magnificent 11th century Cathedral and Castle and serves as an ideal venue for performances by students and visiting musicians. The Concert Hall has seating in two tiers, is fully equipped with a high quality 5:1 sound system using large Genelec loudspeakers, and also has computer and video projection facilities. Other facilities include four studios, practice facilities and technology lab for student use. Our research facilities include Audio and Video Documentation Lab and Music and Science Lab with full range of tools for empirical studies.


Our People

Musicologists, Composers, Ethnomusicologists, Performers among others

Current staff include:  Professor Dibble, Professor Zon, Professor Horton (musicologists) and Dr Hambridge; Professor Eerola (music cognition); Professor Clayton, Dr Mills and Dr Leante (ethnomusicologists); Professor Rijnvos, Dr Egan and Dr Weeks (composers); and Mr Snijders and Dr Sequera (performers).

Our full staff can be found at: