Doctoral study in the School of Music
At the School of Music, we provide a dynamic environment for study and investigation into a wide range of musical disciplines, including performance, composition, musicology, music education, popular music and jazz. Our range of doctoral programmes prepare candidates to research, perform, compose and/or teach at an internationally recognised level.
Types of doctoral study
The School of Music offers four ways to complete your doctoral study, depending on your research preferences.
1. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The traditional PhD thesis is a formal piece of advanced research, with a final examined thesis of up to 100,000 words. Your thesis serves as a contribution to the field of music research on both a local and international level. To find out more about the programme structure, entry requirements and start dates, visit Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
2. PhD with a creative practice component
You can also consider completing your PhD with a creative practice component. This allows you to submit a portfolio of compositions, a performance or teaching portfolio as examinable work. There are some specific guidelines around the admission requirements and timing of the examination for creative works. To find out more about this option, visit PhD with a creative practice component.
3. Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
The DMA is for performers, assessed by a series of five recitals and a short thesis. You will be overseen by a performance supervisor and an academic supervisor. This programme is suitable for candidates who wish to take their performance skills to a very high level while also undertaking research. To find out more about the programme structure, entry requirements and start dates, visit Doctor of Musical Arts.
4. Doctor of Music (DMus)
The DMA is designed for composers, assessed through a portfolio of varied compositions and a short thesis, supervised by the School’s composition staff. This programme is suitable for candidates who wish to take their composition skills to a very high level while also undertaking research. To find out more about the programme structure, entry requirements and start dates, visit Doctor of Music.
We understand that decisions about where to undertake doctoral study are often based on supervisor quality and a strong candidate-supervisor relationship. School of Music staff are internationally renowned composers, musicologists, performers, scholars and educators who have made significant contributions to national and international music endeavours. You can browse the profiles and research interests of our available doctoral supervisors below.
Statement of Research Intent
As part of your application, you’ll need to submit both the University's Statement of Research Intent and the School of Music Statement of Research Intent. If you intend to undertake the PhD with a creative practice component, you’ll need to submit that document in addition to these. Your Statement should include a summary of what you plan to study, describe the methodology with which you plan to undertake your research, and provide a preliminary bibliography of existing literature in your area of research.
The DMA Statement should include some recital programming ideas, and the DMus Statement should outline potential compositions.
We recommend that you draft your Statement of Research Intent early. You can do this before you contact the Postgraduate Adviser, as the information can helpful when selecting the most suitable supervisor(s). The statement can always be refined at a later date, and the School may require you to revise your statement on more than one occasion.
You can contact our Postgraduate Adviser, Dr Marie Ross, for more specific information and advice about doctoral study at the School of Music. She can help you with understanding how long the application process can take, how to write your Statement of Research Intent and which supervisors are appropriate for your research. If you already know which supervisors you are interested in, you may wish to contact them directly.
You may need to contact our Student Centre or the School of Graduate Studies at different points of your planning and application process.
Creative Arts and Industries Student Centre
Level 2, Building 421
(Architecture and Planning Building)
26 Symonds St
Open: Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
School of Graduate Studies
Contact School of Graduate Studies