Research PhD Studentship

Research PhD Studentship - Community Music in Morecambe

Open Call until May 28 2015

The partnership between York St John University, the International Centre of Community Music, and music education charity, More Music, invites applications for a part-time research studentship, to commence on 1 October 2015.

The studentship will include the full-payment of tuition fees and a small bursary for travel and conference attendance. The studentship will be renewed annually, subject to suitable progress, for a maximum of 5 years. Students will be provided with excellent facilities in the University’s Graduate Centre in the heart of York and a base within The Hothouse, More Music’s acclaimed venue and workshop base in Morecambe. The University is currently applying for Research Degree Awarding Powers and if the University’s application is successful, applicants for research degrees starting during 2015 will be admitted to study for a York St John University degree, rather than a University of Leeds degree, as at present.


In 1993 Peter Moser started the More Music project in the heart of the West End of Morecambe – a community that according to the latest Index of Multiple Deprivation is in the bottom 10% in England for income deprivation, employment, health, education, living environment and crime. Over 22 years More Music has developed as an important and vital role within the local community drawing regeneration and social funds that have enabled those that work within the project to provide creative music-making opportunities to those who might not have otherwise engaged in regular musical events. The aim is to transform individual lives and have a significant impact on the whole of Morecambe.

Located within the Hothouse, a community music venue and at the International Centre of Community Music at York St John University, York, UK, the purpose of this studentship will be to explore and interrogate the work of More Music considering the past, present and future. Setting out to develop and evaluate practice and theory in an area designed to use music as an empowering medium through which the people from the West End can take control of actively constructing their place in the world and their community, it is envisioned that the researcher will play an active role in the life of More Music for the duration of the project. This studentship is an integral part of the 3 year More Music Business Plan 2015-2018.

Research Questions

  • What forms and formats of creative music-making (and other creative activity) engage and facilitate the people from the West End of Morecambe?
  • How can people be encouraged to become music-makers, creating meaning out of their music and their communities?
  • What kinds of music do people want to listen to and make and what does this reveal about their sense of self and others?
  • What are the social impacts of developing cultural activity in the West End of Morecambe?
  • Are these models of practice transferable?

These questions are guides suggesting the sorts of inquiry important to us. Although this piece of research is highly contextual, i.e. is centred in and around the West End of Morecambe, questions should also resonate more widely to issues concerning community music as an international field. We are interested in hearing from candidates who wish to explore issues of inclusivity, social justice, cultural democracy and participation within the context of the More Music project.

Applicants must have (or be about to complete) a relevant degree (at least a 2:1 Honours or a Masters) and have an aptitude for researching this specific topic.

How to Apply

Apply here with proposal detailing experience and ideas and include CV and references.
Closing date for applications is May 28 2015.

Send expressions of interest to both Professor Lee Higgins: and Pete Moser: