Music Honours in Arts

Honours is a one-year addition to your degree in the Faculty of Arts. It is a research-based year of study in the subject area of your Major, and includes coursework and a written thesis which is due towards the end of the year.

When you undertake honours, a member of the Conservatorium's academic staff with expertise in the topic you are researching will be assigned as your supervisor. The supervisor will provide you with guidance and support throughout the year, not only on the content, but also on the research and writing skills necessary for your thesis.

There are two ways of enrolling in Honours. If you enrol directly after you complete your pass degree it is just called Honours. If you take some time off after you finish your degree or you come from another university, it is called Honours Conversion. While most students complete honours full-time over two consecutive semesters, permission may be granted for part-time candidature over four semesters.

Why do Honours?

An Honours year can be a very satisfying addition to your degree, an opening to a world of further academic study, such as a PhD and a career in academia, or it can help you develop an area of expertise that could lead to a chosen career path. An Honours year can give your Arts degree an edge, demonstrating to potential employers that you have the discipline to thoroughly research, write and manage a project of your own through to completion.

Entry Requirements

Admission to Music Honours is granted to students who have completed a major in Music (credit average) plus 12 special entry credit points as follows: MUSC3609 Musicology and either MUSC2631 Music and Everyday Life or MUSC2611 Advanced Concepts.

Application Procedures

If you are interested in undertaking Honours you should consult the relevant Honours Coordinator early in your degree. You can also contact the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Student Enquiries Office, on (02) 9351 6673 or via email to .

For students thinking of beginning Honours in second semester, most Departments do accept mid-year enrolments.

Music Honours Coordinator
Dr James Wierzbicki

Assessment Requirements

Thesis (15,000-20,000 words) (50%)
A dissertation on a topic, agreed with the Honours Course Coordinator, but normally negotiated by the end of the previous year in the course of MUSC3609 Musicology. A research-based creative component (performance, composition, curation) equivalent of up to 6,000 words may, with permission of the supervisor, be included as an integral part of the dissertation.

Dissertation Seminar (20%)
Classes in semester 1, 2 hours per week. The Seminar will address research and writings strategies. Assessment will include a public 20-minute presentation of a part of the Honours thesis.

12 Credit Points in Music or Arts (30%)
Students may choose from any senior units of study in Music or the Faculty of Arts.


Each year the University of Sydney offers around 50 Honours Scholarships, each worth $5000. These scholarships are awarded in degrees that require an extra year of study for Honours and all local students are eligible, including those students who completed their undergraduate degree at a university other than Sydney. Further information about these scholarships will be available on the Scholarships website each year from late August.

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