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Master of Music (Composition) (2020 entry)


The Sydney Conservatorium of Music places a high emphasis on its research activity, with a vibrant and diverse community of staff and students. The Master of Music (Composition) aims to facilitate the development of advanced compositional abilities and allow candidates to create compositions of a length and complexity not possible during undergraduate courses. Students prepare both a composition portfolio (creative work) and a related dissertation which, together, will form their final thesis. 

Within the degree structure, candidates receive training in research methods and areas of study pertinent to their field, and work with supervisors on the preparation of their composition portfolio and dissertation.

Candidates can specialise in music technology, electro-acoustic, ensemble/orchestral, jazz and music theatre composition, and are encouraged to develop skills in, and an understanding of all aspects toward the successful completion of a composition project. Discover more of the Composition and Music Technology study options at the University of Sydney.    

Subject areas

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your fee

How to apply

Applying for admission

  1. Find a supervisor within the University whose field aligns with your proposed research. You may visit Research Supervisor Connect to start or contact the Conservatorium’s Associate Dean (Research Education) or Program Leader Postgraduate Research for advice. For information on our staff, see the Conservatorium's website.

  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 focus for your MMus and why you believe your interests align with this supervisor.

  3. In conjunction with your supervisor, develop plans for your proposed candidature and prepare a preliminary research proposal of 1500-2000 words pertaining to your creative work and dissertation plans. The proposal should outline the subject area, objectives, introductory literature review, method proposed, significance of your research and schedule of research.

  4. If required, 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 (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 MMus 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. Include examples of your current compositional work submitting at least three compositions (in different performance media) which represent your present level of achievement as a composer. Applications are made via the University's online application portal.

  7. Click apply on the right hand side of this page

  8. Following receipt of the application, the Conservatorium will invite eligible applicants to attend an interview. 

Completion requirement

To satisfy the requirements of the degree candidates must:

  • complete any specified probationary requirements;
  • complete prescribed units of study, as set out in the Conservatorium Handbook;
  • carry out composition and research on the approved topic; and
  • submit a thesis comprising the portfolio of original compositions and the dissertation of 10,000 to 20,000 words associated with the candidate's composition portfolio.

Admission requirement

To be eligible for admission to the Master of Music (Composition) you must have completed the equivalent of a bachelor's degree in music with a major in composition.

In exceptional circumstances the Dean or Associate Dean may admit an applicant who does not meet this requirement provided that the applicant has exceptional qualifications and presents evidence of having the aptitude required for undertaking the course.

This criteria constitute the minimum requirements for eligibility and do not guarantee admission. That remains at the discretion of the relevant supervisors and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, 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.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.