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MA by Research / PhD in Creative Arts, Media and Music

The Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music at Dundalk Institute of Technology welcomes enquiries from prospective research students who would like to undertake an MA/MSc by Research or PhD.

Course Summary

A Masters by research / PhD in Creative Arts, Media and Music is a thorough learning experience whereby the candidate embarks on a substantial research project and brings it to fruition as his/her own self-managed work. It demonstrates the student's capacity to engage in largely independent learning. The chosen research project will make an original contribution to the field of study that relates to the research expertise in the Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music.

Interdisciplinary research projects involving practice based work should strike a robust balance between the theory and practice elements. All postgraduate research students are supported by expert advisors from within the Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music and benefit from research training provided by the Research Office at DkIT.

Course Level:

MA is Level 9, PhD is Level 10


A full time MA by Research is typically 2 years in duration. A full time PhD is typically 3 years in duration.

Students can also enrol as part-time MA / PhD students.

Entry Requirements

Information on eligibility criteria can be found at

For applicants who may not hold a relevant Level 8 degree qualification, they can apply through the Recognised Prior Learning process. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process that allows students to gain admission to a programme of study or to gain exemptions/credit from some parts of a programme, based on demonstrated learning achieved prior to admission.

Course Content:

Students are appointed a supervisory team who will guide the student in their research project.

In addition to working on their chosen research project with their supervisory team, the student will attend a series of training modules to support their research. This programme of training will be offered by the Research Office.

Students will be encouraged to participate in seminars, colloquia, workshops, conferences and other events relevant to their studies.

Research Areas:

We welcome applications from prospective postgraduate research students who may be interested in undertake research in one of the following areas:

Research Area Description
'Music as culture’ - The study of Irish and world musics, societies, people and practices in contemporary life and history. Projects may include ethnography, music analysis, historiography on any music culture
Arts practice

Practice-as-Research projects that are grounded in artistic practice with performance (or other artistic output) as a key factor in the MA/PhD. Projects based in artistic practice integrate arts practice theoretical frameworks with performance, musicology/ethnomusicology and performance-based research. The focus of each project will be individual to the artist as researcher and will differ in creative output. Project outputs may include composition, the development of recordings, first editions, critical editions, lecture-recitals, recitals or other creative activities. Projects in the following areas are particularly welcome: 

  • Irish Traditional Music
  • Western Art Music
  • Latin-American Music
  • Popular Music Studies 
  • Electro-acoustic composition
  • Studio-based musical activities
  • Music for screen
  • Drama 
Media, Culture and Society
Proposals for research welcomed in the following areas at MA and PhD level: popular culture; fandom/ fan studies; media audiences; alternative media; radio/ podcasting studies; online cultures; sport and the media; popular music studies.
Irish Traditional Music
Irish Traditional Music The study of all aspects of Irish traditional music and its interrelationship with society, history and the economy. Projects may include ethnography, music analysis, historiography and artistic practice approaches.
Drama and Theatre Studies
The study of Irish and international drama and theatre practice. Practice-as-Research projects in areas including theatre practice (direction, devising, etc) and as well as research projects on theatre history, contemporary drama, gender, and related areas are welcome.
Film Studies
Research projects in the following broad areas: European Cinema, World Cinema, and Film theory. Projects could focus on: national cinema (Italian, German, Irish etc), global cinema, transnational films, World cinema 
(Asian cinema, 
Latin American cinema, Bollywood, African cinema), Hollywood, historical approaches to film, film theory and criticism (auteur theory, formalism, realism, structuralism etc), analysis of film genres, film movements (Italian Neorealism, French New Wave, Czechoslovak New Wave, New German Cinema), cultural and political analysis of films, documentary filmmaking, Irish folklore, representations of contemporary migration, history and memory, Holocaust cinema, and Genocide films (Cambodia, Rwanda). Any aesthetic, historical, theoretical and critical approaches are welcome.
Proposals for research in Western art music; popular music, musical theatre, film music, music for video games and electroacoustic music welcome at MA and PhD level. Our research in these fields addresses a wide spectrum of issues including gender, sexuality, disability and race and uses theoretical approaches that include cultural theories of music, ethnography, oral history, music analysis and historiography.
Audio Technology

Audio Descriptions: Investigating a Standardised Approach to Setting Audio Description Dip Values. 

Audio Signal Processing: The investigation of a novel approach to automated volume control for vocalised audio.
Electroacoustic Composition
Proposals in research including: Analysis, composition, production and performance. Histories of electroacoustic composition.
Electronic Literature
Proposals in research including: Digital born, text and narrative, Linear and Non-Linear electronic literature, histories of Electronic Literature.
Game Studies
Proposals in research including: Streaming, Online narrative. Histories. Human Computer Interaction, Histories of Games Studies.
Arts Practice
Proposals in research including: practice-based research, digital performances, online broadcast, media art, emerging media.
Musicology of Record Production, Music Psychology
Research concerning the motivations and approaches behind creative and technical decisions in the recording and music production process. Research investigating the physiological and/or emotional changes induced through music listening and/or performance.
New Media
Proposals in research including: New Media, Human Computer Interaction, non-linear text and narrative, immersion, online broadcasting, interactive fiction, electronic literature, arts practice.

Progression Options:

Students who enrol originally as MA by Research students can apply to transfer to the PhD register.

Full details on this will be available from the supervisory team.

Who Should Apply:

We welcome applications for postgraduate study from students who may have completed a degree in a relevant discipline or who may have extensive industry experience.

In such cases we will follow the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process that allows students to gain admission to a programme of study on account of the prior learning or experiential experience. Details on the DkIT RPL process is available at

How to Apply:

Prospective students are encouraged to contact the Department and we will put you in contact with a member of staff in your area of research who will assist you.

Register Your Interest

Alternatively, you can download and complete an application form and return to the Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music by emailing it to

Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music Research Activity

The Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music has a strong and active research community of academic staff and a large cohort of postgraduate students. Research is one of our core activities and underpins the academic work of the Department. Our staff are internationally recognised for their expertise in a wide range of research areas.

As well as working on a range of individual outputs staff are actively involved in international collaborative and interdisciplinary projects. The Department is a creative and inspiring environment for the development of new and innovative ideas.

We regularly support and host a range of research events including conferences, colloquia, symposia, performances and workshops.