- To foster developments within musical research and to establish relationships with other disciplines across the humanities and social sciences, both in the UK and beyond.
- To promote collaboration between researchers within the University of London, throughout the UK and internationally, and to address the needs of those engaged in musical research, whether independent scholars, performers or composers, or affiliated members of universities, conservatoires, colleges and other music-related establishments.
- To play a national and international role in collating and disseminating information relevant to advanced musical studies, events and research in the UK.
- To provide a focus for collaborative postgraduate training.
- To provide a base for visiting scholars.
- To offer a broad range of events, including conferences, study days and research-based workshops and performances, where possible in collaboration with other institutions, and to maintain a programme of lectures and seminars to complement those already offered within the University of London and elsewhere.
- To build links with the music industry and professions and with the wider public.
- To work closely with the University of London Research Library Services to develop the existing Senate House collection into a national Music Research Library and to enhance its research facilitation role.