Music Listening and Transitions

About the Project

The Advanced Care Research Centre (ACRC) is an interdisciplinary, £20M research centre at the University of Edinburgh. The ACRC will lead society’s response to the grand challenge of an ageing population that is growing in size, longevity and needs through the pursuit of research intended to deliver “high‐quality data‐driven, personalised and affordable care to support the independence, dignity and quality‐of‐life of people living in their own homes and in supported care environments”. 

This project sits within the ACRC Academy , a dedicated Centre for Doctoral Training, co-located with the ACRC, whose students will deliver key aspects of the ACRC research agenda through a doctoral-level research and training programme that will also equip them for careers across a wide range of pioneering and influential leadership roles in the public, private and third sectors. 

The PhD with Integrated Study in Advanced Care is a structured, thematic, cohort-based, programme of 48 months duration. Each PhD research project within the Academy has been devised by a supervisory team comprising academic staff from at least two of the three colleges within the University of Edinburgh. Each annual cohort of around twelve will include students with disciplinary backgrounds spanning from engineering and data science to humanities, social science, business, social work, medicine and related health and care professions. This unique level of interdisciplinarity is a key attribute of our programme. 



The aim of this project is to co-create and co-evaluate a music listening device that can be used by care home residents with frailties or impairments to facilitate improved wellbeing around key moments of transition.


  • Review the landscape, the need and potential benefits of the proposed device and protocol.
  • Co-specify, co-design and co-create, with the care home community and others, a simple-to-use music listening device and protocol for use during care pathway transitions.
  • Conduct an implementation study to determine the acceptability, feasibility and effectiveness of the device and protocol.



Transitions can trigger particular difficulty and stress for care home residents and others, especially when individuals are not in control of their own surroundings or medical treatment. This may lead to wider negative health outcomes. “Preferred music” is something that individuals often turn to for comfort which can be effective in improving mood and decreasing anxiety, including in care home contexts (Pilar et al. 2019, Sung et al. 2010). The aim of this project is to co-design, co-create and co-evaluate a user-friendly music listening device that a care home resident can use to control their own music-listening with a particular focus on potential benefits during periods of transition between environments. 

Further Information: 

PhDs are funded with an enhanced stipend for the full 4 year period.

The call is open to candidates of any nationality but funded places for overseas nationals are limited.

It is essential to read the How to Apply section of our website before you apply: View Website

Please apply here: View Website

The University of Edinburgh is committed to equality of opportunity for all its staff and students, and promotes a culture of inclusivity. Please see details here:

Closing Date: 

Tuesday, January 30, 2024
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ACRC logo

Principal Supervisor: 

Assistant Supervisor: 


Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.

The PhD will be rooted in Engineering, but will be truly interdisciplinary, potentially requiring thesis examiners in Engineering and in Music Psychology, and with a focus on health research contexts. Applicants will have a strong interest in music technology, user interface design, socially engaged arts and/or health care.

We are specifically looking for applicants who will view their cutting-edge PhD research project in the context of the overall vision of the ACRC, who are keen to contribute to tackling a societal grand challenge and who can add unique value to – and derive great benefit from – training in a cohort comprising colleagues with a very diverse range of disciplines and backgrounds. We advise prospective candidates to engage in dialogue with the named project supervisors and/or the Director of the Academy prior to submitting an application. 

We aim to foster a supportive and collaborative culture, and welcome candidates with diverse backgrounds and experiences. 

You must read How to apply prior to application

Please Apply here


Tuition fees + stipend are available for Home/EU and International students. See ACRC website for details on stipend level. 

Further information and other funding options.

Informal Enquiries: