University of Sydney Handbooks - 2020 Archive

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Doctor of Musical Arts

Course structure

Throughout candidature, students will work with their supervisory team as agreed.

During the first year of candidature (or the part-time equivalent), students commence work on the development of the research project in consultation with their supervisors. This work is supported through enrolment in units of study to develop skills and knowledge to support development of research-led performance and scholarship. Students also participate in the Creative Work Seminar.

During the second and third years (or part-time equivalent), students focus on the development of the research working with the support of the supervisors towards the final submission of creative work and dissertation. During the second year a mid-candidature presentation will be given.

The supervised research program will culminate in the completed thesis to be submitted for examination as described below.

Candidature includes:

  • Completion of research and 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
  • Confirmation presentation late in the first full-time year of candidature
  • Participation and presentation at the interdisciplinary Creative Work Seminar
  • Mid-candidature presentation: a substantial presentation of creative work (recital, lecture recital and so on) or an approved format (composition) accompanied by critical notes normally at or by the conclusion of the second year of full-time study, or equivalent.
  • Program of supervised research leading to a thesis comprising (i) a substantial final creative work presentation/portfolio and (ii) a dissertation of 25,000-30,000 words, both of which shall be an original contribution to the field concerned.

Units of Study

Candidates normally complete the following units of study during the first full-time year or part-time equivalent

  • PERF5601 Creative Work Project 1
  • PERF5602 Creative Work Project 2
  • Three units of study chosen from the list of graduate electives in the Faculty Handbook. With approval, one or more postgraduate electives may be pursued in another Faculty or University School

Preparation of the thesis

At the end of the candidature the student will submit the complete thesis for examination. The thesis will include both the final presentation of creative work or composition portfolio and the written research dissertation. A preface can be used to introduce and contextualize the components of the thesis, and students should consider the entire project when choosing the thesis title. Where performance forms part of the thesis, the performance will be presented to the examiners in recorded format. Candidates preparing a final creative work presentation (recital, lecture recital, recording) as part of the thesis must ensure that a suitable recording is made for presentation to the examiners. Candidates preparing a composition portfolio are expected to include recordings of the included compositions.

Students should also refer to the Higher Degree by Research pages on the University’s Current Students website for further information on preparation for submission and examination.