Higher Degree Research in Music

The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music offers a number of Higher Degrees Research (HDR) in Music:

PhD
PhD (Composition)
PhD (Music Performance)
MA MA (Music Composition), MA (Music Performance)

School-based Coordinators

HDR coordinator: Joel Crotty
Joel.Crotty@monash.edu

Musicology and Ethnomusicology: Dr Paul Watt
Paul.Watt@monash.edu

Music Composition : Assoc Prof Thomas Reiner
Thomas.Reiner@monash.edu

Music Performance: Classical: Assoc Prof Kenji Fujimura
Kenji.Fujimura@monash.edu

Music Performance: Improvisation: Assoc Prof Robert Burke
Robert.Burke@monash.edu

Music Technology: Ben Grayson
Ben.Grayson@monash.edu

How to Apply

https://www.monash.edu/graduate-research/future-students/apply
(This is aimed at prospective PhD candidates but the same steps are required for prospective Research Masters)

Further information on the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music supervision team and Practice-based research can be located at:
http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/music/supervision/
http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/music/practice-based-research/

Further information on the Monash Doctoral Programme can be located at:
https://www.monash.edu/graduate-research/future-students/phd

Further information on the Monash Research Masters Programme can be located at:
http://www.monash.edu/graduate-research/future-students/research-degrees/masters

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PhD (Course Code: 0020)

Admission

https://www.monash.edu/graduate-research/faqs-and-resources/content/chapter-two/2-1

Standard duration

4 years FT, 8 years PT

The student’s PhD research project is to be conceived from the outset as clearly achievable within 3 years equivalent full time, with students expected to complete their degree within 3 to 4 years equivalent full time.

Description

Enrolment in a Doctor of Philosophy involves the independent investigation of a research problem that has been formulated by the student. The research the student undertakes will need to make a significant contribution to the discipline in which the student is enrolled. Doctoral students are supported by a minimum of two supervisors throughout their enrolment.

Students are also required to complete training activities as part of Monash doctoral program. These discipline-specific and professional development activities are designed to impart skills and knowledge that will help students to conduct their research.

Structure

This course consists of:

  • a research and thesis component
  • a professional development training program.

Requirements

Students must, in consultation with and under the direct supervision of a member/s of the academic staff:

  1. carry out a program of research on an agreed topic approved by the school or department of enrolment in the student’s chosen discipline for a specified period, including attending and/or presenting at seminars and other related activities as indicated by the relevant department/school
  2. submit for assessment a thesis of no more than 80,000 words Submission of the thesis based on or partially based on conjointly published or unpublished workmay be permitted.

Students are required to undertake regular progress milestones to support them in conducting research of an appropriate quality, originality and depth as required by their course of study, in accordance with the Graduate Research Progress Management policy and supporting procedures.

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PhD (Music Composition) (Course code: 4067)

Admission

https://www.monash.edu/graduate-research/faqs-and-resources/content/chapter-two/2-1

Standard duration

4 years FT, 8 years PT

3-4 years equivalent full-time

The student’s PhD research project is to be conceived from the outset as clearly achievable within 3 years equivalent full time, with students expected to complete their degree within 3 to 4 years equivalent full time.

Description

Enrolment in a Doctor of Philosophy involves the independent investigation of a research problem that has been formulated by the student. The research the student undertakes will need to make a significant contribution to the discipline in which the student is enrolled. Doctoral students are supported by a minimum of two supervisors throughout their enrolment.

Students are also required to complete training activities as part of Monash doctoral program. These discipline-specific and professional development activities are designed to impart skills and knowledge that will help students to conduct their research.

Structure

This course consists of:

  • a research and thesis component
  • a practical component
  • a professional development training program.

Requirements

Students must, in consultation with and under the direct supervision of a member/s of the academic staff:

  1. carry out a program of research on an agreed topic approved by the school or department of enrolment in the student’s chosen discipline for a specified period, including attending and/or presenting at seminars and other related activities as indicated by the relevant department/school
  2. submit for assessment a thesis component which meets the requirements of the examiners consisting of:
    • a composition folio consisting of both musical scores and sound recordings
    • a written thesis.

The overall duration of the submitted music would normally be between 50 and 80 minutes depending on the complexity of the submitted music. However, the overall duration may deviate considerably from the given range. Students present at least 50 per cent of the music submitted in their folio in public concerts. The supervisor guides the student in the performance and recording of their musical works. Together with the folio of musical compositions students submit a thesis of between 20,000 and 25,000 words that demonstrates their capacity to articulate the conceptual and aesthetic basis for their folio of compositions, to assess their compositional work in the context of contemporary music and sonic art, and to research and convey creative processes involved in the production of sound and music. The thesis must be scholarly in character, and, at minimum address the following:

  • explication of a research-based argument that provides the conceptual basis for the folio and its contribution to knowledge
  • compositional approach, process, and techniques
  • aesthetic placement and stylistic predecessors
  • performance context.

The work will take the form of music compositions, a bound critical commentary and concert program notes. The concert program notes must provide evidence that a minimum of 50 per cent of the music submitted in the portfolio has been performed in public concerts. The music compositions are to be submitted in the form of a combination of individually bound musical scores and sound recordings (such as CDs). All materials (musical scores, sound recordings, critical commentary and concert program notes) are to be submitted as a single portfolio.

Submission of the thesis based on or partially based on conjointly published or unpublished work may be permitted.

Students are required to undertake regular progress milestones to support them in conducting research of an appropriate quality, originality and depth as required by their course of study, in accordance with the Graduate Research Progress Management policy and supporting procedures.

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PhD (Music Performance) (Course Code: 4088)

Admission

https://www.monash.edu/graduate-research/faqs-and-resources/content/chapter-two/2-1

Standard duration

4 years FT, 8 years PT

The student’s PhD research project is to be conceived from the outset as clearly achievable within 3 years equivalent full time, with students expected to complete their degree within 3 to 4 years equivalent full time.

Description

Enrolment in a Doctor of Philosophy involves the independent investigation of a research problem that has been formulated by the student. The research the student undertakes will need to make a significant contribution to the discipline in which the student is enrolled. Doctoral students are supported by a minimum of two supervisors throughout their enrolment.

Students are also required to complete training activities as part of the Monash doctoral program. These discipline-specific and professional development activities are designed to impart skills and knowledge that will help students to conduct their research.

Structure

This course consists of:

  • a research and thesis component
  • a practical component
  • a professional development training program.

Requirements

Students must, in consultation with and under the direct supervision of a member/s of the academic staff:

  1. carry out a program of research on an agreed topic approved by the school or department of enrolment in the student’s chosen discipline for a specified period, including attending and/or presenting at seminars and other related activities as indicated by the relevant department/school
  2. submit for assessment a thesis component which meets the requirements of the examiners consisting of:
    • a live performance of up to 120 minutes in duration (which is to be recorded by the School of Music)
    • a written thesis of 25,000 to 30,000 words presented as a bound volume accompanied by the recording (i.e. CD, DVD) of the performance. Where the recording cannot be affixed within the covers of the bound volume, the various items should be submitted in a folio box.

Submission of the thesis based on or partially based on conjointly published or unpublished work may be permitted.

Students are required to undertake regular progress milestones to support them in conducting research of an appropriate quality, originality and depth as required by their course of study, in accordance with the Graduate Research Progress Management policy and supporting procedures.

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Master of Arts (course code: 2695)

Master of Arts (Music Composition) (course code: 2695)
Master of Arts (Music Performance) (course code: 2695)

Admission

https://www.monash.edu/graduate-research/faqs-and-resources/masters/chapter-two/2-1

Standard duration

2 years FT, 4 years PT

The student’s research master’s project is to be conceived from the outset as clearly achievable within the standard duration of the degree, taking into consideration all elements, including any compulsory coursework required.

Description

Enrolment in a master’s degree involves the independent investigation of a research problem that has been formulated by the student. It is expected that the research undertaken will make a contribution to the discipline in which the student is enrolled by applying, clarifying, critiquing or interpreting that knowledge. Students are supported by a minimum of two supervisors throughout their enrolment.

Requirements

Students must, in consultation with and under the direct supervision of a member/s of the academic staff:

  1. carry out a program of research on an agreed topic approved by the school of enrolment in the student’s chosen discipline for a specified period, including attending and/or presenting at seminars and other related activities as indicated by the relevant discipline
  2. Master of Arts: submission for assessment a thesis of not more than 40,000 words (or equivalent) on the program of research which meets the requirements of the examiners. Submission of the thesis based or partially based on conjointly published or unpublished work may be permitted
  3. Master of Arts (Music Composition) – a folio of music compositions with a minimum playing time of 45 minutes with an accompanying exegesis of not more than 15,000 words.
  4. Master of Arts (Music Performance)
    • Option A: 90-minute creative portfolio of musical works and 7,000 – 9,000 word written research report
    • Option B: 60-minute creative portfolio of musical works and 15,000 – 18,000 word exegesis

Students are required to successfully complete at least two progress reports and presentations, known as milestones, to support them in conducting research of an appropriate quality, originality and depth as required by their course of study, in accordance with the Graduate Research Progress Management policy and supporting procedures.

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