Doctoral Studies

MPhil, PhD and DMus

The TU Dublin Conservatoire has a long and successful track record in supervising research students for the degrees of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the area of music.   The DMus in Performance (DMus) research programme was introduced in 2017. 

Conservatoire staff and students produce a wealth of research outputs that make a significant contribution to our understanding and knowledge of the performing arts.  Staff research specialisms include:   

The Conservatoire has the largest music research department in Ireland, and we are home to the Research Foundation for Music in Ireland – the national centre of excellence for the study and performance of music in Ireland. 

The Foundation has been established to showcase the dynamic musical life of Ireland, manifested in performance, musicology, pedagogy, and composition, and to promote the study and performance of music in Ireland to national and international audiences, to the scholarly community, and to the music industry. 

Research Foundation projects include Music at the National Library of Ireland, Music at the Abbey Theatre, the Dublin Music Trade project and the Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland – the single most important publication of its kind in the history of Irish music.

Further information 

For more information on our postgraduate research and composition degree programmes, contact Dr Kerry Houston, Head of Academic Studies.

For information on the DMus in Performance programme contact Professor Clíona Doris.

Recent Research Projects 


The Pedal Harp Tradition in Ireland (c.1790-1900): Practitioners, Pedagogy, Trade and Repertoire, Clare McCague, 2021

Hymnals as Historical Documents: A Contextualisation of the Church Hymnal and its Representation of the Church of Ireland and its People 1864–1919, Nicole Robinson, 2021

The Influence of Santería in Leo Brouwer's Solo Guitar Works (1955–1993), Eoin Flood, 2020

Composing Irishness: Remembrances of the Irish Past Through the Prism of the Present in Music by Donnacha Dennehy (b. 1970) and Jennifer Walshe (b. 1974), Timothy Diovanni, 2020

J.K. Mertz’s Bardenklänge: A Context for the Emergence of the Character Piece Genre within the Repertoire for Solo Guitar, Brinsley Doran, 2019

Measuring Expressive Music Performances: a Performance Science Model using Symbolic Approximation, Eamon O Doherty, 2019

Finding A Voice – Exploration of Modes and Timbres : A portfolio of ten original compositions with accompanying commentaries, Ekapon Muenyam, 2019

Agents of Change: A Multi-Layered Approach to Violin Learning and Teaching, Leslie-Gail Ellis, 2018

‘When Evening Shadows Fall’: The Development of the Composition of Irish Traditional Dance Music in the ‘East Galway Style’ from c.1950, Robert Harvey, 2018

On Myth & Music, Legend & Landscape, Science, Stars, & Story; A Portfolio of Compositions: An Animist Aesthetic Argument on Symbolist Sound-Synergies, with Musings on Messiaen and the Taoism of Takemitzu, in the work of Mulvany., Eoin Mulvany, 2018

John Williams: An Evaluation of his Impact Upon the Culture of the Classical Guitar, Michael O'Toole, 2018

Examining the Irish Art Song: Original Song Settings of Irish Texts by Irish Composers, 1900-1930., David Scott, 2018

A Case Study of the Cellists and Treatise Authors: Johann Georg Christoph Schetky (1737-1824), Joseph Reinagle (1752-1825) and John Gunn (c.1765-1823): The Development of the Cello in Provincial Britain, Margaret Doris, 2017

Accretion and Acrylics: Composition Portfolio with Commentary, Patrick Egan, 2017

The Evolution of the Radio Éireann Symphony Orchestra 1926–1954, Patrick Joseph Kehoe, 2017

The Creation of Meaning and Identity in the Dublin Jazz Scene, Past and Present., Damian Evans, 2016

Creolisation in Music Traditions: South Connemara, the Scottish Western Isles and Francophone Louisiana, Brian Ó hUiginn, 2016

Breakdown: Vol 1: Text and Music, A Survey Of Methodology And Process, Vol 2: In Full Score., Andrew Synnott, 2016

Synthesising Folk Influences and Contemporary Compositional Techniques in Pursuit of an Original Musical Language, Alyson Barber, 2015

Five-String Fiddle and the American Vernacular, Patrick Daly, 2015