University of Sydney Handbooks - 2019 Archive

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Master of Music


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 on a topic approved by the Conservatorium. Students may carry out research in the wide variety of fields supported by the Conservatorium, including ethnomusicology, historical musicology, music analysis, performance science, popular music studies and more. This research degree may stand alone or serve as preliminary to PhD study in the discipline.

Course structure

Through enrolment in required research training and elective units of study, students develop skills and knowledge tosupport their development as musicological reserachers. Throughout the candidature, a student will work with the supervisory team on the development of the thesis.

Candidature includes

  • enrolment in normally 24 credit points of four appropriate research training and elective units of study
  • a confirmation presentation late in the first year of candidature
  • annual progress review (APR)
  • presentation of research at the Musicology Graduate Symposium two or more times during candidature
  • supervised research ion an approved topic which includes 24 one-hour sessions or equivalent across each full-time year
  • submission of a thesis 25,000 - 40,000 words embodying the results of the research

Research training units of study

Musicology candidates normally choose at least two of the following units of study according to their training needs and preferences. Although subject to change, these are expected to be offered as shown below.

  • MCGY5600 Critical Discourses in Music (semester 1, 2020)
  • MCGY5601 Music through Ethnography (semester 1, 2020)
  • PERF5031 Methods of Music Analysis (semester 1, 2019)
  • MCGY5603 Music as Social Science (semester 1, 2019)
  • PERF5600 Graduate Research Methods (semester 1, annually)

Elective units of study

Elective units of study on offer at the Conservatorium vary from year to year and are shown in the list of postgraduate electives. Electives choices should be chosen in consultation with your supervisory team and the Program Leader for M Mus (Musicology) or Associate Dean (Research Education). With approval, one or more postgraduate electives may be pursued in another Faculty or University School.

Example progression pattern for Master of Music (Musicology)*

Semester 1 Semester 2
With guidance from the supervisory team, work on development of the thesis With guidance from the supervisory team, work on development of the thesis

Research training unit of study

Postgraduate elective
Research training unit of study Postgraduate elective
  Confirmation presentation
Semester 3 Semester 4
With guidance from the supervisory team, work on development of the thesis With guidance from the supervisory team, work on completion of the thesis


Submit the thesis for examination by end of the final research period

* This pattern is for a full-time student commencing in the first half of the calendar year. For a part-time student or mid-year commencement the pattern will be adjusted.

Examination of the thesis

The thesis must be submitted no later than the end of your second year of enrolment (or by the end of the part-time equivalent for students proceeding by part-time enrolment). A thesis presenting a portfolio of research must include a preface or introduction to introduce the thesis as a coherent whole. The thesis will be examined in accordance with University of Sydney policy by two approved examiners, including at least one examiner external to the University of Sydney.