Doctor of Philosophy (Conservatorium)

Conservatorium

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

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music may be undertaken as supervised research projects in composition, musicology, music education, performance and interdisciplinary applied research topic areas. These can include Western historical musicology, music analysis, music technology, ethnomusicology, sociology of music, popular music studies, electronic and score-based composition, intercultural studies, acoustics, Australian Indigenous studies, SE Asian music, physiology, psychology, music therapy, music perception and cognition, performance practice, stylistics, and historical interpretation.

The Conservatorium offers state-of-the-art performance venues and cutting-edge technology and research laboratories. PhD requirements vary between disciplines and may comprise a thesis of up to 80,000 words; or a portfolio of compositions with accompanying exegesis of 25,000 words; or a thesis comprising a dissertation that includes a critical and theoretical discussion plus a substantial body of creative work.

Further course information and outcomes

Further information about research courses:

Further information

How to apply

Admission requirements

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 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 1500-2000 words that outlines the subject area, objectives, introductory literature review significance of your research and schedule of 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

In order for your application to be assessed, you will be required to upload all of the following documents:

• 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

• two academic references (international and domestic applicants)

• research proposal

• statement of capacity to undertake part-time candidature (if applicable –domestic applicants)

• evidence that your supervisor supports your application. This can be PDF copies of emails 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).

You may be required to attend an interview.

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.