Aboriginal dance
Study area_

Postgraduate research and admission

Make an impact with music
Work with leaders in performance, composition, musicology and music education who have developed distinctive research across all areas of music.

What is a postgraduate research in music degree?

Postgraduate research degrees in music can be taken at either a masters level or a doctoral level. The University of Sydney offers two doctoral degrees: a DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) and a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy). Doctoral degrees are the highest qualifications within the Australian Qualifications Framework. Your research will involve a thesis that explores a specific area in music, deeming you an expert in that field. Our supervising research staff are versed in a range of disciplines and will support the development of your research and communication skills.

Why do postgraduate research at Sydney?

Sydney Conservatorium of Music is one of Australia’s premier music research institutions.

  • Work under the supervision of world class researchers highly knowledgeable in their fields.
  • Explore your music interest within a vibrant and talented community of expert musicians, researchers and educators – all of whom share a passion for music.
  • Develop and share new knowledge about music in both academic and public settings as you develop your own research expertise.

Before you apply

All prospective students are encouraged to register for and attend a Preparing for a Research Degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Workshop before beginning the application process. The workshops discuss application procedures, what our selection panels are looking for in research proposals, ways in which you might seek to answer research questions through your artistic practice, and how to approach potential supervisors. Workshop participants should be prepared to talk about their research plans with other participants.

2024 Dates

  • 15 February 2024, 5pm (Zoom event).
  • 18 April 2024, 5pm (Zoom event). See here for free registration to the April 18 Event
    [Please note that this event was changed from an original date of April 11]
  • 15 August 2024, 5pm (Zoom event). See here for free registration to the August 15 Event
  • 3 October 2024, 5pm (Zoom event). See here for free registration to the October 3 Event

Applying for admission

  1. Determine your eligibility for admission by reading through the eligibility requirements for our research courses listed above.
  2. Develop a preliminary research proposal of at least 1500-2000 words that outlines the subject area, objectives, introductory literature review, method proposed, significance and schedule of your proposed research project. For tips on writing a compelling research proposal, visit our guide.
  3. Contact at least two supervisors whose fields align with your proposed research project. Browse potential supervisors on our Academic staff webpage. Provide an overview of your academic/educational background and research experience, a copy of your proposal, and an explanation of how your research project aligns with their particular expertise.
  4. Once you have gained agreement from a supervisory team of at least two eligible supervisors, obtain two academic referee reports, each one written by a referee who is familiar with your previous academic achievements. We recommend that you use our template for the referee reports.
  5. 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.

Associate Professor Myfany Turpin

Dr Myphany Turpin
Australian Research Council Future Fellow
“I’m hoping my research will help Aboriginal people keep their traditions alive by providing opportunities for performance and learning, and by creating records for future generations.”
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