The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music may be pursued in composition, creative work in music, ethnomusicology, musicology, music education, and performance studies. PhD requirements vary between disciplines and may comprise a thesis of up to 80,000 words; or a thesis comprising a dissertation that includes a critical and theoretical discussion together with a substantial body of creative work.
For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.
Applications are open all year round. Apply well in advance (at least 6 weeks prior to your start date) to allow for a timely response to your application. If your application cannot be processed in time, it will be considered for the next possible research period. Separate scholarship application deadlines apply.
Applications are open all year round. Apply well in advance of your start date to allow for a timely response to your application and necessary visa and travel arrangements. If your application cannot be processed in time, it will be considered for the next possible research period. Separate scholarship application deadlines apply.
PhD candidates at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music may undertake supervised research at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in a wide variety of research areas. Topics may be chosen from areas including but not limited to Western historical musicology, music analysis, historical performance practice, Australian Indigenous studies, East Asian and South-East Asian musics, music education and music pedagogy, music perception and cognition, score-based and electronic composition, music technology, jazz, contemporary and popular music studies.
1. Find a supervisor within the University whose academic background aligns with your research. You may visit Research Supervisor Connect to start or contact the Associate Dean (Research Education) for advice.
2. Contact a research supervisor either through Research Supervisor Connect or email a supervisor and provide your academic/educational background and research experience with examples such as an academic transcript your CV/resume, the area of interest for your PhD and why you believe your research topics align with this supervisor.
3. In conjunction with your supervisor, develop a preliminary research proposal of at least 1500-2000 words that outlines the subject area, objectives, introductory literature review, method proposed, significance of your research and schedule of research.
4. Obtain two academic referee reports, each one written by a referee who is familiar with your previous academic achievements.
5. If you intend to study part-time towards a PhD (international student visa holders must enroll full-time), you will also need to supply evidence that shows you will have sufficient time available to plan and carry out the research under the supervision of the University, and complete the course within the maximum period allowed for a part-time PhD enrolment; and a declaration from your employer (if relevant) confirming that you will be permitted to take the time required to effectively pursue your studies.
6. Submit your application along with your research proposal, CV, academic referee reports, academic transcripts, supporting evidence (where required) and other supporting documents such as identification and evidence of residency status. Applications are made via the University's online application portal.
7. When you are ready to apply, select the `Apply’ button on the right hand side of this page
To be eligible for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy (Conservatorium), you must have completed the equivalent of one of the following in a subject area related to your proposed research area: bachelor's degree with first class or second class honours or, master's degree by research or, master's degree by coursework with an independent research component such as a thesis, dissertation or research project. These criteria constitute the minimum requirements for eligibility and do not guarantee admission. That remains at the discretion of the relevant supervisors and Dean or Associate Dean, and access to supervision remains highly competitive. The University must certify that there are sufficient supervisory and other resources and facilities available to enable your candidature to be completed successfully.