Australian university offers PhD scholarship to study heavy metal

The PhD would focus on the social geography of the Aussie metal scene

The University of Newcastle in Australia has announced a scholarship for a PhD student to study “Heavy Metal Geographies”.

The scholarship is worth $27,596AUD (£15,256) per year, and would allow the successful applicant to research “the social geography of heavy metal culture”.

The scholarship is open to two domestic or one international student, and can also be used to study Homelessness and Mutual Aid, Vegan Geographies, or Unschooling and The Possibilities of Childhood.


For the metal degree, the course description reads: “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.”

Speaking to Kerrang, Simon Springer, the university’s Director of Human Geography, said: “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!

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?”