The University of Huddersfield is home to a vibrant, diverse, international, and innovative group of music researchers. Our staff are recognised as leading figures in their fields, as evidenced by major commissions, performances, recordings, and publications. Our international postgraduate student community includes early career researchers who are already making significant contributions as composers, performers, technicians, engineers, and musicologists. 

Research excellence

In the 2014 REF, 85% of music research at Huddersfield was judged to be Internationally Excellent, with 44% of the overall submission ranked as ‘World-Leading’. In addition to a strong profile of individual research outputs, Huddersfield’s research environment for music was tied for 7th in the sector, alongside Edinburgh, Southampton, Royal Holloway and Cambridge. The impact of Huddersfield’s music research was judged to be 5th among the 84 submissions in music, drama, dance and performing arts, receiving the second highest possible score. The ranking for impact acknowledges the breadth and reach of research at Huddersfield, with impact case studies encompassing innovations in music technology and audio software, historically-informed performance practice in early music, and intercultural exchange in music composition as a model for social change.

Research strengths

Recognised research strengths across the departments of Music and Computing and Engineering include:

  • composition
  • contemporary music performance
  • sonic arts and technology
  • early music and historically informed performance practice
  • music and the moving image
  • music analysis
  • sound synthesis
  • sound quality
  • artificial intelligence in music composition
  • studies in performance history, canon, and reception
  • opera studies
  • cultural, critical, and historical musicologies
  • popular music studies
  • empirical and digital musicologies

The work of staff and student researchers is supported by our research centres and groups, which provide opportunities for collaboration, exchange, and dissemination.

Centres and Groups

cerenem Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM) 
CeReNeM, led by Professor Liza Lim, comprises world-leading artists and academics who bring an interdisciplinary perspective to research into contemporary music performance, composition, new sonic media, publishing in the areas of interactive sound design and analysis, spatialisation, improvisation, new notations, musical perception, intercultural aesthetics, and multimedia work.

hucper-image.jpg Huddersfield Centre for Performance Research (HuCPeR)
HuCPeR, led by Dr David Milsom, seeks to promote scholarly research into musical performance; to support projects and events that evaluate, in innovative ways, how we perform a variety of repertoire of the Western ‘art music’ traditions; to highlight the inter-dependence of theory and practice, seeking fresh, revisionist perspectives upon the performance act; and to share ideas and findings by means of academic publication and music performance.

Mugi Centre for the Study of Music, Gender, and Identity (MUGI
MuGI, led by Dr Lisa Colton, explores the relationship between music, gender, and identity in diverse cultural and chronological contexts. Crucially, activities and research projects deal not only with the theoretical exploration of music’s relationship with aspects of identity, but also with the performative and creative contexts of music-making.


Sound.Music.Image Collaboration research centre (SMIC)
SMIC, led by Dr Julio d’Escriván, aims to be the premier academic hub for both practice-led research and musicology of the sonic arts and the moving image. Combining creative practice, technology, and musicology, the Centre's researchers work with a range of multimedia and cross-disciplinary approaches. SMIC has a strong enterprise component, facilitating commercial connections and constructing projects that join academic research with outward-facing economic development. SMIC offers postgraduate research degrees incorporating and supporting these commercial relationships through the MEnt and EntD courses, alongside more traditional postgraduate-research options.

Popular Music Studies Research Group

Popular Music Studies Research Group
PMSRG, led by Dr Rupert Till, aims to promote and disseminate popular music research at a national and international level. Its approach to popular music is broad and inclusive, including commercial music, traditional and folk music, ethnomusicology, and electronic dance music, among other genres and styles. PMSRG provides support and encourages collaborative, cross-disciplinary activity between partners from different parts of the university and with external partners.

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