Why study here?

NOVARS is home to an international community of researchers, students and musicians with a track record of producing innovations in composition that are heard and discussed across the world.

Highlights include:

  • State-of-the-art studio facilities and technical support
  • Friendly, diverse postgraduate research community
  • Access to high-class performers in the Music department
  • Wide-ranging research specialisms
  • International links through NOVARS projects and events
  • Participation in the biannual MANTIS Festival of electroacoustic composition
  • Benefit from Manchester’s cosmopolitan culture and vibrant creative industries

The NOVARS research environment attracts the interest of composers working with new media and surround systems. This includes sound and visual artists with a focus on interactivity or sound mapping, software designers, game-engine oriented composers and performers with a taste for technology and sound experimentation. Research areas for both staff and postgraduate students range from acousmatic composition to machine musicianship, and from sound spatialisation to sound and architectonic spaces, performance practice, live interactive systems and cross-disciplinary projects.

Did you know?

NOVARS is named to reference and celebrate the seminal work by Francis Dhomont (Novars). In his own words 'a reversed version of Ars Nova' - New Art, New Science.

NOVARS forms part of the Music department at the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. The Music department places equal emphasis on performance, musicology and composition, and attracts excellent undergraduate performers, including those on the world-renowned ‘joint course’ with the neighbouring RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music). The accessibility to high-class performers makes the NOVARS research centre and the Music department extremely appealing to composers who wish to experiment with extended techniques, chamber groups or large scale instrumental forces in combination with new music technologies.

Our postgraduate students make up one of the most proactive and self-organised communities of researchers in the UK. Our students actively contribute to the organisation and diffusion of our twice-yearly MANTIS Festival, present concerts and papers all around the world and, as a group, look beyond the silos of their research areas and commitments for the benefit of the wider artistic and research community. While studying, PhD students also acquire teaching experience in areas of composition, acoustics and technology on one of the most prestigious undergraduate courses in the UK.