Roger Marsh studied at the University of York in the early seventies. His composition PhD (1974) was supervised by Bernard Rands. He spent two years (1976-78) at the University of California, San Diego, on a Harkness Fellowship. From 1978 to 88 he lectured at the University of Keele, and was for three years Head of Department there, before returning to York, where he is currently Professor of Music.

His music has been performed and broadcast widely. A work for piano and orchestra, Stepping Out, was premiered at the BBC Prom season in 1990. An orchestral piece Espace was premiered at the Huddersfield Festival in 1994. A work for percussion quartet, Sukeroku (2000), composed for Backbeat Percussion, has been extensively toured by them and was recorded in Japan along with a work for O-Tsuzumi and Percussion quartet, Atsumari (2004). His setting of all of Albert Giraud's Pierrot Lunaire - 50 Rondels Bergamasques was released in 2007 on NMC, and a major article on Giraud was published in twentieth century music (CUP) also in 2007.

Roger Marsh directs the ensemble Black Hair which specialises in the theatrical realisation of contemporary music. He is also known for his abridgements and productions of all the novels of James Joyce for Naxos Audiobooks, including Joyce's Ulysses - unabridged on 22 CDs (2004). An extended work for the Hilliard Ensemble, a setting of passages from Dante's Inferno, was premiered in Perugia, Italy in 2008, and a new work for the ensemble de ereprijs was  premiered in 2009.