Australian university offers PhD scholarship to study heavy metal

The scholarship study pertains to the social geography of metal in Australia

Parkway Drive at 2019 Sonic Temple Festival
Australian metal band Parkway Drive at 2019 Sonic Temple Festival, photo by Amy Harris

    If you’ve ever wanted to become a doctor while studying metal, now’s your chance. The University of Newcastle in Australia is offering a PhD scholarship to study the social geography of heavy metal culture.

    The scholarship is $27,596 AUD (roughly $19,300 US dollars) per year to two domestic students or one International student to study social geographies in subjects of Homelessness and Mutual Aid, Vegan Geographies, Unschooling and The Possibilities of Childhood, and lastly, Heavy Metal Geographies.

    Part of the course description reads as follows:

    “While unique scenes have evolved across the globe, the bulk of Heavy Metal’s bands have originated within countries in the northern latitudes. Australia is uniquely positioned within this global evolution, owing to its historical connection to the United Kingdom and shared cultural affinities with its colonial originator. While remote from the geographical heart of Heavy Metal culture, Australia has developed its own unique and passionate approach, producing a number of high profile bands.”


    The course is particularly relevant to Australia’s geographical position in heavy metal culture, with the course focusing on questions of gender, race, and the socio-politics of metal down under.  Questions that the student will seek to answer include:

    “What sorts of lyrical themes have Australian Metal bands adopted? Are these culturally and geographically unique to the continent?”

    “What is the relationship between the cultural evolution of Heavy Metal in Australia and colonialism?”

    “Is Heavy Metal in Australia largely a white phenomenon? What has been the response to diversity within the scene?”

    A metal fan, Simon Springer, Director of Human Geography at the University of Newcastle, told Kerrang, “I had free reign to recruit students to work in areas of personal interest, and as a life-long metal fan who has only recently started to do some work in the area of metal studies, I figured this would be a good conduit to further my research agenda in this area. Certainly when I was a PhD student, I would have loved for someone to tell me that studying about metal is a legitimate academic pursuit.”

    He added: “I also think the opportunities for funding in this particular area are few and far between, so I thought why not put a call out for applications and see if anyone is interested in studying the geography of heavy metal?”


    Further info on the scholarships is available on the this location.

Personalized Stories

Around The Web