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Music research at the University of St Andrews

Music Research logo‌The University of St Andrews offers a unique environment in which research into a wide range of musical topics flourishes. Although there is no full undergraduate degree in music at St Andrews, there is an extremely active performance culture which allows students taking degrees in a variety of other subjects to perform to a very high standard in areas as diverse as sacred choral music, new music and opera. This work is supported by a dedicated team of professional musicians who are themselves active in performance and research across the UK. The work of resident staff is enhanced by frequent visits from internationally renowned performers including members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the University’s Orchestra in Residence, and the five Honorary Professors who have frequent input into the University’s work.

This very intensive performance culture – there are approximately eighty concerts or other public events each semester – brings about numerous opportunities for research. Whether this research is investigating performance per se, or examining historical and analytical aspects of particular musical repertoires, music research at the University of St Andrews benefits from the active engagement of music staff with the performance culture.  The research undertaken by music staff within the University is also complemented and enriched by the engagement with music of numerous academic staff within other disciplines (including Modern Languages, English, Divinity, Social Anthropology, Psychology, Film Studies, History, Art History and Management).

Research undertaken by music staff is focused in the following three areas:

Research within each of these areas is enriched not only by the active performance culture but also by particular physical assets such as the diverse range of organs and keyboard instruments owned by the University and the award-winning Byre Theatre which has been under University management since 2014.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Music research at the University of St Andrews is also complemented by a close relationship with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland: since 2000 the University has awarded and validated research degrees awards made by the RCS. Students and staff from both institutions frequently collaborate in performances and associated research seminars.  


Music research seminars are steeped in the University's rich performance culture. The seminars feature a variety of internal and external speakers presenting their music-related research followed by discussion. Research seminars are free and open to everyone!

Byre TheatreMusic research seminars are held in the Byre Theatre and publicised through the Royal Musical Association.‌

There are no seminars scheduled.

Royal Music Association