Project code



School of Area Studies History Politics and Literature

Start dates

February and October

Closing date

Applications accepted all year round

This project is now closed. The details below are for information purposes only.
View our current projects here.


Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time PhD project, to commence in October or February.

This PhD is based in the School of Education and Sociology in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and will be supervised by Dr Anna Bull, Dr Alexandra Scherer and Dr Jodi Burkett.

The work will include:

  • Designing an appropriate methodology to explore the research questions
  • Gathering and analysing data
  • Writing up findings, including submitting articles to appropriate journals in education, sociology, and cultural policy
  • Setting up relationships with sector organisations to disseminate research findings to policy-makers, and presenting research at academic as well as non-academic conferences and events
  • Liaising with the host organisation throughout the research
  • Working with the first supervisor to write a proposal for further funding building on this research

This PhD project aims to examine racialised inequalities in classical music education and production in the UK, and in the process, make an exciting contribution to sociological literature on inequalities in cultural production.

In the last 5 years, there has been increased attention towards the high levels of public funding in the UK for forms of culture that are consumed and produced by those who are white and middle-class. Classical music can be seen as a quintessential example of such a pattern, where despite decades of outreach and diversity programmes, its production and consumption is still dominated by a narrow demographic. 

In order to examine and address these issues of under-representation, this PhD will focus on a classical music education programme aimed at Black and minority ethnic young people in the UK, the Chineke! Foundation Junior Orchestra  which aims to bring more young people from diverse racial backgrounds into classical music, and in doing so, change classical music itself. 

You’ll use mixed methods to explore in what ways and to what extent the Chineke! Junior Orchestra is enabling the diversification of classical music production in the UK. You'll also explore how young people in the Chineke! Junior Orchestra experience the identity of being a black or minority ethnic classical musician, and how the Orchestra is contributing to changing the aesthetic of classical music.

This is fantastic opportunity to undertake new, interdisciplinary research that contributes to debates between sociology and musicology around how to incorporate aesthetic questions into a social analysis.

Fees and funding

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only. 

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).

2022/2023 fees (applicable for October 2022, February and April 2023 start) 

PhD and MPhil

UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students 

  • Full-time: £4,596 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 (may be subject to annual increase)

EU students
(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £4,596 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 (may be subject to annual increase)

International students

  • Full-time: £16,200 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £8,100 per year (may be subject to annual increase) 

All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2022/23 please visit this page.

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Entry Requirements

  • You must be a UK or EU resident and hold a good honours degree (2:1 or above) from a recognised higher education institution.
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

You should have completed, or be on track to complete, a master’s degree that includes a substantial component of research methods training (for example, in social research methods, sociology, education, cultural policy, or a related social science discipline). You should be able to demonstrate an understanding of partnership working with external organisations.

Applications from black and minority ethnic candidates are strongly encouraged.

How to apply

Please contact Dr Anna Bull ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting both the project code and the project title.

When you're ready to apply, you can use our online application form and select 'Education and Sociology' as the subject area. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.

Please also submit a research proposal (up to 1000 words), detailing how you would develop this project:

  • What research questions would you pose?
  • How would you design the project?
  • What research methods would you use?
  • How would you engage with/ build on existing research?

Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process. Please note, to be considered for this self-funded PhD opportunity you must quote project code EDSO4350219 when applying.

October start

Apply now

February start

Apply now