Doctorate (Music Performance) (PhD)

In the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, confirmation of candidature in the Doctorate ( Music Performance) (PhD) is generally recommended when all of the following criteria are satisfied:

  • A precise thesis topic and fully-developed thesis proposal have been submitted, presented to and approved by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music’s Confirmation Panel
  • The candidate has attended an interview with their Confirmation Committee and satisfied the Committee that he or she is ready for full PhD candidacy. In the case of Music Performance, the Committee will normally require the presentation of a CD or DVD of performance equivalent to a public recital of at least 70 minutes and at least 4 000 words of the dissertation component. If a public recital is to be presented in support of confirmation, candidates may present in Melba Hall during the graduate performance assessment period in mid year or December. Audio-visual technical support will be available for recording the recital if required. Program notes must be written and provided by the candidate. Learn more about program writing notes here.
  • The candidate has attended the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music’s Postgraduate Seminar (Thursdays, 11-1, Tallis Wing) at least nine times.
  • It is recommended that you also attend Performance Class (weekly on Thursdays 2.15-4.15 , Melba Hall).

Some students will be converting from a Masters degree, where they will have met some of these requirements. Consequently, the probationary program for each PhD student is arranged individually, according to the research training and background of the student.

Once confirmed, a PhD candidate undertakes supervised work that leads in the case of the PhD (Music Performance) to a thesis normally of 20-25,000 words and a folio of performances in CD, DVD or other approved format equivalent to three full recitals or 225 minutes. The thesis and folio are presented for examination after three to four years of full-time study (six to eight years part-time). Candidates are required to present the findings of their research in a Completion Seminar at the Conservatorium’s Postgraduate Seminar prior to submission.

Candidates must present their thesis and folio in a form that can be sent for assessment by external examiners who are usually international. The performance folio therefore must consist of recordings created during the candidature for the purposes of fulfilling the requirements of the PhD.

Candidates will normally participate in fortnightly (or monthly in the case of part time candidates) supervisory meetings of 45-60 minutes or as agreed in consultation with their supervisor. Supervisory meetings will address issues and progress in both the folio and thesis components of the requirements. In some cases there may be a separate supervisor for each component.

An Advisory Panel will be appointed. This will consist of at least two members neither of whom is the candidate’s supervisor. Advisory Panel members may be external to the University.

Applicants for the PhD (Music performance) will automatically be scored and considered for an RTP Stipend and for Melbourne Research Scholarships. Candidates are also eligible to apply for all relevant Conservatorium and Faculty- based graduate research scholarships.

Confirmed candidates are eligible to apply for the Faculty Small Grants Scheme over the duration of their candidature for assistance with preparing their thesis and folio. This may include travel for research purposes, accompanist costs and/or costs of producing the performance folio.

There are a number of bequests and awards for graduate music students. Applications are generally due in April. See the Scholarships page for more information.

Confirmed candidates are also eligible to apply for University-wide graduate research scholarships to assist with short research projects integral to their project that require overseas travel.