The School of Music, Humanities and Media (now School of Arts & Humanities) is pleased to offer up to 23 competitive fee waiver opportunities for research degree candidates (MA by Research and PhD) applying for September 2021 and January 2022 entry.

In order to qualify, candidates should indicate, as part of their research proposal, the ways in which their application meets the eligibility criteria.

We positively encourage applications from groups under-represented in postgraduate research, including (but not limited to) women, LGBTQ+ candidates, BAME candidates, candidates with disabilities, applicants with caring responsibilities, and care leavers. Students from BAME communities have previously been under-represented among MHM’s postgraduates, and we particularly welcome applications from students in those communities.

Candidates holding offers will be considered automatically in the current cycle and will need to meet the full conditions to qualify for any waiver. New applicants will also be automatically considered for relevant awards. Those offered an award must take up their place within the relevant application cycle (enrolling September 2021 or January 2022); although candidates may apply to defer their place to September 2022, there is no opportunity to defer the award beyond January 2022 entry point.

There are two available schemes:

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship Scheme (University of Huddersfield alumni, within three years of graduation)

  • 12 fee waivers are offered to the strongest PhD or MA by Research applicants
  • Candidates should note that partial (25%, 50%) or full (100%) fee waivers are offered to Home students, and Overseas (International) students are typically offered partial fee waivers of 25% or 50%.
  • A small number of these awards will be held over for January starters applying by the October 2021 deadline;
  • Awards to be made in areas of strategic priority (see below list);
  • The School reserves the right to award fewer waivers if insufficient applications of suitable merit or matching strategic priorities are received;
  • All waivers and bursaries will be awarded through competition, including an interview for all short-listed candidates.

11 FTE fee waiver awards under the School of Music, Humanities and Media scheme (all applicants)

  • Six fee waiver awards are granted to the best applicants each academic year, with one per subject area available to applicants for the MA by Research or PhD (History; English Literature and Creative Writing; English Language and Linguistics; Music and Music Technology); Communication, Cultural and Media Studies; Drama, Theatre and Performance);
  • Three further fee waiver awards for PhD applications relevant to the following research centres: CeReNeM, ReCePP, and CMCI (Home students only, PhD only);
  • One fee waiver associated with each of the Druce and Smalley PhD scholarships in Music & Music Technology;
  • Awards are likely to be made in areas of strategic priority (see below list);
  • Candidates may study full-time or part-time;
  • School fee waivers may be offered to Home or Overseas students (including EU applicants). Candidates should note that partial (25%, 50%) or full (100%) fee waivers are offered to Home students, and Overseas (International) students are typically offered partial fee waivers of 25% or 50%.
  • These awards may be split between candidates as partial awards, depending on the strategic priorities of the subject area.

Strategic priorities in the School of Music, Humanities & Media (now School of Arts and Humanities)

Applications should show relevance to one of the below areas of strategic priority. Exceptional candidates whose proposals sit outside of these areas will also be considered, subject to supervisory capacity, but priority will be given to proposals in these areas for MA by Research and PhD.


  • Global and transnational history;
  • Medieval and early modern culture;
  • Health histories;
  • Feelings, affects, emotions.

English Literature and Creative Writing

  • Eco-critical thinking in early modern English literature;
  • Landscape, place and environment in literature and through creative writing;
  • Contemporary poetics (post 1945) in literature and creative writing;
  • Life writing: creative writing and critical exploration of biography and autobiography.

English Language and Linguistics

  • Stylistics of TV and film drama;
  • Variation and change in English dialects.

Music and Music Technology

  • Composition and musicology of contemporary music;
  • Performance, including practice-based research and performance studies; (with particular focus on eighteenth-century wind music, nineteenth-century string playing, and contemporary pianism);
  • Music technology, from technical, creative (including creative coding and music and AI), and socio-cultural perspectives;
  • Critical, cultural, historical and analytical musicology, and the musicology of film and television.

Communication, Cultural and Media Studies

  • Screen media, digital culture, participatory culture, audiences and fandom;
  • We are particularly interested in proposals that explore issues of discoverability and routes to content from an industrial, technological, cultural or audience perspective, including the role of platforms, data and algorithms.

Drama, Theatre and Performance

  • Disability, theatre and performance;
  • Aging in literature and performance;
  • Magic and conjuring, horror and the Gothic in performance.

You will be expected to:

Undertake your research degree on a full-time or part-time basis. If you study full-time, you will need to dedicate 37 hours per week to your degree and must not also be working full-time. If you study part-time, you should expect to dedicate 18 hours per week to the degree.

Contribute 80 hours per year (pro rata for those on partial fee waivers) of activities to support areas such as teaching, research, recruitment activity, or administration. Students wishing to teach will need first to complete the University of Huddersfield Teaching Assistant Preparation Programme (TAPP), as per the teaching policy. More info on TAPP. No payment will be made for designated fee-waiver tasks.

Live a commutable distance from campus and be on campus regularly in order to be an active member of the School’s research community. Candidates expecting to register and study remotely, from a non-commutable distance, are not eligible. If government health and travel advice is for students to study only remotely, this requirement may be temporarily removed, on the assumption that the condition will be met when safe to do so.

Regularly attend and, where relevant, participate in research seminars, training, conferences, and events within the School.

Pay for any period of additional time at the end of your research degree at the standard rate (4 (MA) or 4-12 (PhD) months of additional standard time, and/or 4 (MA) or 12 (PhD) months of writing up time). Additional time is not compulsory, and you are encouraged to design a project that can be completed in three full-time years or six part-time years.

Guidance on your application and research proposal

All applicants apply using the standard online application form.

There is no template for a research proposal, but the following areas are recommended as a guide:

  • Title and / or central research question
  • Brief statement of alignment with a strategic priority from the advertised list
  • The name of a potential main supervisor if you have one in mind, subject to their suitability and availability to supervise your project (not essential)
  • Summary of project
  • Brief review of the existing field of research in this area
  • Methodology
  • Reference List (any standard system is appropriate)

Your application includes the names of two academic referees who will be able to provide references in support of your application. We will request these separately.

What happens after I submit my application online?

Your application will be considered by the postgraduate coordinator for your subject, who will check if there is a suitable supervisory team in place. The subject team will then rank successful candidates against the scheme’s criteria, in order to shortlist for interview.

If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to attend an online interview with a small panel of staff from the School of Music, Humanities and Media, representing different subject areas within the school. You will be asked to email a copy of your most up-to-date research proposal for the panel to read; although this should not be materially different to one for which you are holding an offer of a place, it is fine for you to make minor adjustments to its content or format. We will provide you with a list of standard questions from which the panel will select a small number.

If you are successful at interview, you will be notified by the School via email, and the University will issue you with an offer letter detailing the level of award. There may be further conditions to meet, for example if you are still awaiting results from an undergraduate or MA qualification or if we need confirmation of your language qualifications.

When is the deadline?

Course start date

Deadline for all applications for Druce and Smalley scholarships, and PhD fee waivers in ReCePP, CMCI, & CeReNeM

Deadline for all international applicants, and all applicants for the VCSS fee waiver and School fee waiver schemes

Deadline for Home students not seeking fee waiver or bursary

20 September 2021

1 March 2021

4 June 2021

2 July 2021

January 2022

Not applicable

22 October 2021

22 October 2021

Additional information

The alumni discount applies to taught postgraduate studies only, not to research degrees, and is available to all current students and alumni at the University within the advertised period since graduation.