Master of Music (Musicology)
The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.
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 (Musicology) is a two year full-time or four year part-time degree that aims to train students to become independent scholars in their chosen field of musicology and to communicate their findings in appropriate written and spoken forms.
The program of study culminates in a thesis on a topic of the candidate's choice that has been approved by the faculty. Musicology at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music embraces many fields including western historical musicology, ethnomusicology, empirical musicology, popular music studies and more.
Further course information
Further information about research courses
Research at Sydney
Your research at Sydney
The Master of Music (Musicology) aims to train students to become independent scholars in the discipline of musicology and to communicate their findings in appropriate written and spoken forms. The program of study culminates in a thesis, chosen in consultation with faculty, and consisting of a monograph or a portfolio of papers on two or three distinct topics. Students in the course carry out research in a variety of fields supported by the faculty, including western historical musicology, music analysis, ethnomusicology, popular music studies, empirical musicology and more. This research degree may stand alone or serve as preliminary to PhD study in the discipline.
The Master of Music (Musicology) is normally completed in four semesters of full-time study or up to eight semesters of part-time study. Through enrolment in required research training modules and coursework units of study, students develop knowledge of a variety of musicological research methods and understanding of different fields in the discipline. Throughout the candidature a student will work with the supervisor(s) on the development of the thesis.
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
The Research Training Scheme (RTS), http://sydney.edu.au/future_students/domestic_postgraduate_research/costs_scholarships/costs.shtml administered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), provides course fee exemptions for Commonwealth-funded higher degree by research (HDR) students for the duration of an accredited HDR course, up to a maximum of four years full-time equivalent study for a doctorate by research (including a professional doctorate which meets the research program criteria), and two years’ full-time equivalent study for a master's by research. RTS students may be enrolled full-time or part-time.
Progression and completion
Candidates proceed primarily by research; incorporating performances, creative work and portfolios in composition; and thesis; as set out in the handbook. Candidates may be required to undertake coursework as determined by the assistant principal on the advice of the relevant postgraduate coordinator.
If a candidate is not progressing satisfactorily towards the completion of the degree, they may be asked by the faculty to explain why their candidature should not be terminated.
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.
• Enrolment in four research training modules;
• Enrolment in three elective courses;
• Presentation of research at the Musicology Graduate Symposium two or more times during candidature;
• Supervised research in preparation of the thesis, and
• Submission of a thesis of between 25,000 and 40,000 words embodying the results of the research and which may be in the form of a portfolio of research or a thesis on a single topic.
Note: Students pursuing a monograph thesis may petition for waiver of one or more elective courses.
Research training modules
Candidates normally complete the following units of study
• Critical Discourses in Music
• Music through Ethnography
• Methods of Music Analysis
• Music as Social Science
Two modules are offered each year in 1st semester.
Elective courses on offer at the Conservatorium vary from year to year. For these refer to the Master of Music elective unit of study table in the Handbook. With approval, one or more elective courses may be pursued in another faculty.
How to apply
To be eligible for admission to the Master of Music (Musicology) you must have completed the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree of music.
In exceptional circumstances the Dean may admit an applicant who does not meet the this requirement provided that the applicant has exceptional qualifications and presents evidence of having the aptitude required for undertaking the course.
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.
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 1500-2000 words that outlines the subject area, objectives and significance of your research.
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
• two academic references (international applicants)
• cover letter outlining your reasons for applying
• 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.
Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee
This 2016, tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student represents the fee that is payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information in this prospectus, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.
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
Please note that if you are classified by the University as a Research Training Scheme student in accordance with the Other Grants Guidelines (Research) 2010, you will be exempt from the payment of any SCA or tuition fees for courses undertaken as part of a Research Masters degree and Research Doctoral degree. More information about your eligibility for this Scheme is available here.
International tuition fees for postgraduate students
This 2016, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2016, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to 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 fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. The University's Future Students' webpage has further information about these additional incidental fees for postgraduate coursework students and postgraduate research students.
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.
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 for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.