Doctor of Musical Arts

The Doctor of Musical Arts program is designed to meet the need for a professional doctorate in music performance, in particular the need to prepare musicians to participate in the professional research culture of a university environment. More broadly, it is designed to assist musicians to prepare for, or advance a career as an innovative and research-based performer. The course combines high-level performance with rigorous scholarship and writing.

Language requirements for international candidates

An IELTS level of 7.0 with no component below 6.5 is normally required for entry to this degree.

Course structure

The Doctor of Musical Arts can be completed either in three to four years of full-time study or six to eight years of part-time study. As a research degree, the coursework credit points represent one quarter of the degree structure. The research program, culminating in submission of a thesis and performance/creative work, comprises three-quarters of the degree. Students need only enrol in units of study for the coursework component.

Candidature includes:

  • successful completion of coursework units of study giving credit for a total of 36 credit points
  • during the first full-time year of candidature, or its equivalent part-time, successfully complete the required coursework units of study, obtaining a weighted average mark of 75 per cent for all these units of study
  • presentation of performance/creative works including (i) the final assessment of Creative Work Project 2 in the first year of full time study; (ii) a substantial recital/presentation of creative work at or by the conclusion of the second year of full-time study, or equivalent; and (iii) the final substantial public performance/creative work for the degree. Candidates may apply for up to 8 hours rehearsal time plus the performance with an SCM staff accompanist for each recital.
  • participation and presentation at research seminars, and
  • successful completion of a program of supervised research leading to a substantial performance / presentation of creative work and a thesis of 25,000–30,000 words, both of which will be an original contribution to the field concerned.

Candidates normally complete the following units of study

  • PERF5600 Graduate Research Methods
  • PERF5601 Creative Work Project 1
  • PERF5602 Creative Work Project 2
  • PERF5611 Graduate Seminar 1
  • PERF5612 Graduate Seminar 2

 

Doctor of Musical Arts


These resolutions must be read in conjunction with applicable University By-laws, Rules and policies including (but not limited to) the University of Sydney (Higher Degree by Research) Rule 2011 (the 'HDR Rule'), the Academic Board resolutions relating to the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy and the University of Sydney (Student Appeals against Academic Decisions) Rule 2006 (as amended).

Course resolutions

Part 1: Preliminary

1 Course codes

Code

Course and stream title

QB001

Doctor of Musical Arts

Part 2: Admission requirements

2 Eligibility for admission to candidature

(1)
To be eligible to be admitted to candidature by the Dean or Associate Dean, an applicant must:
(a)
hold or have completed the requirements for -
(i)  the degree of Bachelor of Music (Performance) from the University of Sydney, with first class honours or second class honours, first division; or equivalent qualification; or
(ii)  a bachelor's degree from the University of Sydney, with first class honours or second class honours, first division, in a related area of study; or equivalent qualification; or
(iii)  a master's degree from the University of Sydney, completed by research in a related area, with a weighted average mark of at least 75 for the performance research components, including a Distinction grade for the final, written research component; or equivalent qualification; or
(iv)  a master's degree from the University of Sydney, completed by coursework in a related area, with a weighted average mark of at least 80; or equivalent qualification; and
(b)
perform successfully at an audition/interview in the principal study, receiving a minimum audition/interview mark of 80%.
(2)
The Dean or Associate Dean may admit to candidature an applicant who does not meet the requirements of sub-clause (1), provided that the applicant holds a qualification or qualifications that, in the opinion of the Faculty Research Committee, are equivalent to those prescribed in sub-clause (1).

3 Application for admission to candidature

(1)
An applicant for admission to candidature must submit to the Faculty:
(a)
satisfactory evidence of the applicant's eligibility for admission;
(b)
a proposed course of research and advanced study, approved by the Associate Dean in which the work is to be undertaken; and
(c)
a statement certifying the applicant's understanding that, subject to the HDR Rule, if the candidature is successful, his or her thesis will be lodged with the University Librarian and made available for immediate public use.
(2)
In addition, an applicant for admission to part-time candidature must submit a statement that he or she will have sufficient time available to complete the requirements of the degree in accordance with these resolutions.

4 Credit transfer

The HDR Rule specifies the conditions for the granting of credit for previous studies, including the effect on completion times.

Part 3: Candidature

5 Appointment of supervisor

(1)
The Associate Dean will appoint a supervisor and associate supervisor for each candidate in accordance with the HDR Rule and Academic Board policies for postgraduate research higher degree supervision.
(2)
The Associate Dean will also appoint a performance/creative works advisor, who may be the supervisor or the associate supervisor or who may be in addition to the supervisor or associate supervisor.

6 Control of candidature

The HDR Rule specifies the conditions for the control of candidature by the University.

7 Location of candidature and attendance

The HDR Rule specifies the conditions for the location of candidature and attendance by candidates at the University.

Part 4: Requirements

8 Degree requirements

(1)
To satisfy the requirements of the degree candidates must:
(a)
complete any specified probationary requirements;
(b)
complete 36 credit points of units of study, as set out in the Faculty Handbook ;
(c)
present performances/creative works and research seminars;
(d)
complete a program of supervised research leading to a substantial performance/creative work and a thesis of 25,000 to 30,000 words, both of which shall be an original contribution to the field concerned.

9 The thesis and final performance

A candidate shall produce a thesis and a performance/creative work that meets the requirements specified in the HDR Rule.

Part 5: Enrolment and progression

10 Probation

(1)
A candidate is normally accepted for candidature on a probationary basis for a period not exceeding one year according to the provisions of the HDR Rule.

In the probationary period each candidate must:
(a)
If proceeding on a full-time basis -
(i)  complete 36 credit points of units of study as prescribed, with a weighted average mark of at least 75;
(ii)  attend an annual review interview during which the candidate will present and defend a refined research plan for the following two years; and
(iii)  demonstrate adequate English language competency for the completion of the degree.
(b)
If proceeding on a part-time basis -
(i)  complete credit points of units of study as prescribed, with a weighted average mark of at least 75;
(ii)  develop and present a refined research proposal to the satisfaction of the supervisor and Associate Dean; and
(iii)  demonstrate adequate English language competency for the completion of the degree.

11 Time limits, earliest and latest submission dates

The HDR Rule specifies the allowable completion times and submission dates available for full- and part-time candidates in this course.

12 Mode of attendance

The attendance pattern for this course is full-time or part-time according to candidate choice. Visa requirements commonly restrict international students to full-time study only.

13 Discontinuation of candidature

A candidate may discontinue enrolment in a unit of study or the degree subject to the conditions specified by the HDR Rule.

14 Suspension of candidature

A candidate may suspend enrolment from the degree subject to the conditions specified by the HDR Rule.

15 Leave of absence

A candidate may take leave of absence from the degree subject to the conditions specified by the HDR Rule.

16 Progress

A candidate is required to maintain satisfactory progress towards the timely completion of the degree. Progress will be reviewed annually according to the provisions of the HDR Rule.

Part 6: Examination

17 Examination of the thesis and the final public performance/creative work

(1)
The thesis
Examination of the thesis will be conducted in general accordance with standards prescribed by Academic Board for the Doctor of Philosophy.
(2)
The final public performance/creative work
(a)
Candidates must notify the Faculty in writing of their intention to present their final public performance/creative work at least three months prior to the date of the performance if this is earlier than their intended date of thesis submission.
(b)
The examiners appointed by the Faculty to examine the thesis will also examine and report on the performance/creative work.
(c)
The performance/creative work shall be recorded and the recording (and / or compositions) presented to the examiners together with the thesis.
(d)
Where possible, the examiners will also attend the performance/creative work.

18 Award of the degree

The degree is awarded at the pass level only.

Part 7: Other

19 Transitional provisions

(1)
These course resolutions apply to students who commenced their candidature after 1 January, 2014 and students who commenced their candidature prior to 1 January, 2014 who elect to proceed under these resolutions.
(2)
Candidates who commenced prior to 1 January, 2014 may complete the requirements in accordance with the resolutions in force at the time of their commencement, provided that requirements are completed within the time limits specified in those resolutions. The Faculty may specify a later date for completion or specify alternative requirements for completion of candidatures that extend beyond this time.