Doctor of Musical Arts

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) is a professional doctorate in music performance, conducting or composition open to highly talented and skilled musicians with strong scholarly abilities. The DMA will suit candidates with a research background who wish to enhance their skills while taking advantage of the exceptional teaching available at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

You will undertake units of study in research methods for performance, conducting or composition, graduate seminars and creative works projects. The course will also involve a substantial piece of supervised research leading to a public performance or creative works portfolio and a thesis of 25,000–30,000 words, both of which shall be an original contribution to a field in this area.

Further course information

Areas of research

Innovative and research-based performance, conducting or composition.

Further information about research courses

http://sydney.edu.au/music/research/for_students/future_students.shtml

Research at Sydney

Your research at Sydney

Research at the University of Sydney is dynamic and always evolving; inspiring the active mind and providing new tools and ways of thinking that lead to innovation. A postgraduate research degree is a training exercise in which the candidate acquires knowledge of research methods and experience in planning, performing and publishing research under the guidance of a supervisor. The success of that training is assessed through a thesis, which in the case of a PhD is expected to provide some evidence of originality and thereby make some significant contribution to knowledge, at least some of which is publishable. A successful research master’s thesis will likewise demonstrate a grasp of training in research methodology but may make a less original contribution than a doctoral thesis. Over the years, The University of Sydney has consistently outperformed other Australian universities in the measure of research performance used by the Australian Government to allocate funding. The numbers are impressive, but what really matters is the research this funding supports. This exceptional outcome is testament to the breadth, depth and scale of Sydney’s research enterprise and demonstrates the superior quality of Sydney researchers in the eyes of their research peers

Supervision

The supervisor is that member of the academic or, as appropriate, senior research staff, appointed to take primary responsibility for the conduct of a student's research candidature. The supervisor must be available at all stages of the candidature for advice, assistance and direction and is responsible for the progress of the candidature to the head of department/school and the faculty or college. At least one associate supervisor is also appointed. The role of the supervisory team will change over the course of the candidature but will generally always comprise: ensuring sufficient resources are available to support the candidate; providing advice about an initial research plan; ensuring that the candidate is aware of the particular research skills to be acquired and that appropriate techniques are established for gathering and analysing data; monitoring progress made within the context of the research plan; agreeing on a timetable for frequent and regular contact and acknowledging the need for periodic review of these arrangements; establishing agreed indicators of progress; providing regular and constructive feedback on written analysis and drafts; and providing sound advice about relevant administrative matters.

Scholarships

The University of Sydney offers a number of research scholarships to outstanding domestic and international students. Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and citizens of New Zealand are domestic applicants. Scholarships information for domestic applicants http://sydney.edu.au/scholarships/research/ Overseas nationals (citizens of all other countries) are international applicants. Scholarships information for international applicants http://sydney.edu.au/future_students/international_postgraduate_research/costs_scholarships/scholarships/index.shtml

About RTP

Commencing 1 January 2017, the Research Training Program (RTP) has been introduced by the Australian Government to support postgraduate research scholarships. The RTP enables the University to award eligible domestic and Higher Degree by Research course students (RTP Students) with a RTP Fees Offset, which is a type of RTP Scholarship. This RTP Scholarship is to assist with tuition fees that would otherwise be payable by students. The University’s allocation of funding under the RTP is governed by the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the Commonwealth Scholarship Guidelines (Research) 2017 (as may be amended or replaced from time to time) and relevant Conditions of Grant prescribed by the Government (Relevant Laws).

Subject to your continued eligibility under Relevant Laws and University rules, policies and procedures (as may be amended or replaced from time to time), you have been selected by the University for an RTP Fees Offset Scholarship. You are currently entitled (depending on your course) to a period of tuition fee support for either a maximum of four years full-time equivalent study for a Doctorate by Research, or a maximum of two years of full-time equivalent study for a Master’s Degree by Research from the course of study commencement date. Different periods of support apply for a part-time student as set out in University policy and procedures. Please note that, when you have exhausted the maximum period of support under this RTP Scholarship, or you do not comply with a requirement of the RTP Scholarship as set out in University policy and procedures, the University must terminate your Scholarship. If you wish to continue your enrolment in the same degree, you will be transferred to a domestic fee paying place and may be liable for tuition fees at a rate determined by the University at the time.

Please note that your award and continued entitlement to the RTP Scholarship is subject to change consistent with Relevant Laws and University rules, policies and procedures (as may be amended and replaced from time to time). The University determines the allocation of this Government support and the processes by which this support is managed.

Please consult the Australian Government’s website at: https://www.education.gov.au/research-training-program for information on RTP Scholarships and eligibility requirements.

Progression and completion

Progression rules

During the first full-time year of candidature, or its part-time equivalent, candidates must successfully complete the
required coursework units of study, obtaining a weighted average mark of 75 per cent for all these units of study; and at the end of the first complete year of candidature, or its part-time equivalent, attend an annual review interview during which he or she will present and defend as required a research plan for the following two years, or the part-time equivalent, which extends the research proposal submitted in the candidate's original application for admission.

Annual progress review

The Academic Board has determined that all research candidates are required to undertake an annual progress review (APR). The APR comprises a written report and a mandatory interview. The report requires written statements from the candidate, the supervisory panel, the staff member responsible for coordinating or directing research within the department, and the Chair of the review panel. The interview is conducted by the review panel, which should include the participation of an academic staff member or members from outside the department. Members of the candidate's supervisory panel may be present for part of the interview, but the interview must provide the candidate with the opportunity to speak freely to the review panel without the presence of supervisors. On the basis of evidence provided and the interview, the head of the department recommends the conditions of candidature to apply for the following year.

Completion requirements

To qualify for the award of Doctor of Musical Arts, a candidate must:
(a) successfully complete coursework units of study giving credit for a total of 36 credit points and in accordance with the specifications in the Sydney Conservatorium
of Music Handbook; and
(b) present creative work at research seminars in accordance with the specifications in the Sydney
Conservatorium of Music Handbook; and
(c) successfully complete a program of supervised research leading to a substantial public performance or creative works portfolio, and a thesis of 25,000-30,000 words, both of which shall be an original contribution to the field concerned and in accordance with the specifications in the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Handbook.

Thesis submission requirements and examination procedure as set out in the Academic Board resolutions for this course and the Higher Degree (HDR) Rule 2011.

How to apply

Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission to the Doctor of Musical Arts you must perform successfully at an audition/interview in the principal study, receiving a minimum audition/interview mark of 80%, and have completed the equivalent of one of the following degrees:

• Bachelor of Music (Performance) with first or second class (first division) honours or,
• Master of Music (Performance) with a weighted average mark (WAM) of at least 75 per cent or,
• Master of Music Studies with a WAM of at least 80 per cent.

These criteria constitute the minimum requirements for eligibility and do not guarantee admission. That remains at the discretion of the relevant supervisors and departments, 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.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

Applying for admission

1. Find a supervisor within the University whose academic background aligns with your research. You may visit Research Supervisor Connect to start.

2. Contact a research supervisor either through Research Supervisor Connect or email 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
• why you believe your research topics align with this supervisor

3. In conjunction with your supervisor, develop a preliminary research proposal of at least 500 words that outlines the subject area, objectives and significance of your research.

Choral Conducting Applicants
Applicants must submit a video of a performance or rehearsal that displays their conducting proficiency. Initially, tapes must be submitted by 31 October which will contain one renaissance motet (a cappella), one romantic work, with or without an instrumental ensemble, and a contemporary work composed after 2000 (a cappella). Prospective students will then be invited to a personal interview (for international students, this will be carried-out via Skype).

For information on developing a research proposal please contact the Office of Student Administration.
+ 61 2 9351 1206
+ 61 2 9351 1216
Email: coninfo@sydney.edu.au or timothy.crowe@sydney.edu.au.

4. International applicants need to obtain two academic referee reports, each one written by a referee who is familiar with your previous academic achievements. Referee reports should be supplied on our template.

5. If you intend to study part-time towards a PhD, 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.

• a declaration from your employer (if relevant) confirming that you will be permitted to take the time required to effectively pursue your studies.

6. Your research proposal should be submitted along with your CV, academic referee reports, academic transcripts and other supporting documents.

7. Applications are made via the University’s online application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply Now’ button on the right hand side of this page.

Please note - Except for IPRS and UsydIS scholarships for international students, you must complete a separate scholarship application.

Additional application requirements

You will be required to upload all of the following documents when you submit your application:

• certified academic transcripts for all your previous tertiary study, if they were not completed at The University of Sydney

• CV, providing a summary of your work experience and other relevant activities

• research proposal

• two academic references (international applicants)

• Statement for capacity to undertake part-time candidature (if applicable –domestic applicants)

• cover letter outlining your reasons for applying

• evidence that your supervisor supports your application. This can be PDF copies of emails and correspondence between you and your supervisor

• proof of your Australian residency status (a certified copy of the main page your Australian passport, or a certified copy of the main page(s) of your own passport with evidence of your visa)

• English language qualifications (if your prior study was completed at an institution where English is not the medium of instruction).

Applicants are invited to audition in their principal study area and must receive a minimum audition mark of 80 per cent.

Important Fee Information

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Domestic Higher Degree by Research Student fee information

Commencing 1 January 2017, the Research Training Program (RTP) has been introduced by the Australian Government to support postgraduate research scholarships. The RTP enables the University to award eligible domestic and international Higher Degree by Research students (RTP Students) with a RTP Fees Offset, which is a type of RTP Scholarship. This RTP Scholarship is to assist with tuition fees that would otherwise be payable by students. The University’s allocation of funding under the RTP is governed by the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the Commonwealth Scholarship Guidelines (Research) 2017 (as may be amended or replaced from time to time) and relevant Conditions of Grant prescribed by the Government (Relevant Laws).


A student’s continued eligibility is subject to Relevant Laws and University rules, policies and procedures (as may be amended or replaced from time to time). A RTP Fees Offset entitles a student (depending on their course) to a period of tuition fee support for either up to a maximum of four years full-time equivalent study for a Doctorate by Research, or up to a maximum of two years of full-time equivalent study for a Master’s by Research from the course of study commencement date. Different periods of support apply for a part-time student as set out in University policy and procedures. Please note that, when a student has exhausted the maximum period of support under this RTP Scholarship, or they do not comply with a requirement of the RTP Scholarship as set out in University policy and procedures, the University must terminate the Scholarship. If the student wishes to continue their candidature in the same degree (and they are approved to do so), they will be transferred to a domestic fee paying place and may be liable for tuition fees at a rate determined by the University at the time.


Please note that a student’s award of, and continued entitlement to, the RTP Scholarship is subject to change consistent with Relevant Laws and University rules, policies and procedures (as may be amended and replaced from time to time). The University determines the allocation of this Government support and the processes by which this support is managed.


Please consult the Australian Government’s website at: https://www.education.gov.au/research-training-program
for information on RTP Scholarships and eligibility requirements.

Additional incidental costs

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

International students

Indicative International Tuition Fees for Postgraduate Students

The tuition fee for international postgraduate students is an indication only of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the tuition fees. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.