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.


In the first instance you should discuss your intention to apply for Honours with the Arts Music Unit Honours Coordinator: Dr James Wierzbicki, , Ph: +61 2 9351 2066.

University of Sydney students who are currently enrolled in their final semester in semester 2, 2011 can pre-enrol - contact the Faculty ( or Ph: +61 2 9351 5436 or +61 2 9351 3129) for more information.
Students in all other cases (including previously enrolled University of Sydney students and graduates) must submit an Honours Conversion application. Make sure you submit all of the information requested on the application form so your application can be processed.

Honours Requirements


  • Music major with credit average in 36 senior credit points of music units
  • MUSC3609 Musicology
  • MUSC2631 Music and Everyday Life or MUSC2611 Advanced Concepts

Enrolment Pattern

 Full-time students enrol in the following units:  Part-time students enrol in the following units:

Semester 1

   MUSC 4011 Music Honours A

   MUSC 4012 Music Honours B


Semester 2

   MUSC 4013 Music Honours C

   MUSC 4014 Music Honours D

Semester 1

   MUSC 4011 Music Honours A

Semester 2

   MUSC 4012 Music Honours B

Semester 3

   MUSC 4013 Music Honours C

Semester 4

   MUSC 4014 Music Honours D

Note: students must finish their Honours year within 4 semesters of enrolment

Honours Registration

Honours students must meet with the course coordinator before commencing Honours study to discuss their choice of topics and courses. The Honours coordinator must approve the programme of study before the beginning of semester.

Dr James Wierzbicki Ph: 9351 2066, Email:

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.

Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building (G02)
University of Sydney
160 City Road NSW 2006

P: +61 2 8627 8450
F: +61 2 9351 5134