Master of Music (Music Performance)

Information for students enrolled in the Master of Music (Music Performance).

Important dates Semester 2 2019

9 August 2019

Ensemble Programme Approval

Registration form

16 August 2019

Recital Repertoire Approval

Registration form

1 November 2019

Minor Thesis or Research Essay due

Research Office, Old Police Hospital Southbank

Ensemble Assessment

Registration form

Recital period
25 November to 6 December 2019

Semester 2 2019 Recital Period

Hanson Dyer Hall, 3rd Floor, Conservatorium, Sturt St Southbank

Completion of the Master of Music (Music Performance) requires:

  • Successful completion of Recital One and Recital Two
  • Successful completion of two electives
  • At least 27 attendances at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Postgraduate Seminar and delivery of a paper in one seminar
  • At least 27 attendances at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Performance Class and at least 12 performances in this class.

Music Performance electives

Students in the Master of Music (Music Performance) complete two elective subjects as part of the course. There are four ways that students generally meet their electives and these lead to different outcomes:


Students who play orchestral instruments are expected to participate in MCM ensembles and you should talk to the head of your instrument area to determine which MCM ensemble you will participate in. You may also be required to participate in other activities in your instrument area, check with your head of instrument.

Instrumental/Vocal students can participate in ensembles and performances as approved by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and designed in consultation with instrument area coordinator/s.

Ensemble information

Music Performance students who take the option of participating in ensembles as their electives will be asked to submit details of their proposed ensemble at the beginning of semester. They will need to provide evidence of ensemble participation in order to pass the Ensemble elective. See the forms linked to the important dates above.

Research Process and Research Essay

Students can take The Research Process for Musicians (RHD) (MUSI90191) and Research Essay (MUSI90185) as their two elective subjects. The Research option is designed for students who wish to convert their Masters into a performance doctorate (PhD).

Minor Thesis

Students can write a minor thesis of 12,000 words and this counts as two electives, as it is a 25-point subject. In this subject, students are supervised to write their thesis. This option allows for conversion to a PhD and is also for students who want to complete their Masters now but are considering applying for a PhD at a later date.

Academic Subjects

Students can take two academic subjects for their electives. This option allows students to pursue academic subjects rather than ensembles to meet their elective requirement.

Read the Master of Music (Music Performance) handbook entry here

Preparing for a recital examination

1. Approval of date and program

Early in the semester when your recital is due, you must complete and submit a Recital Program Approval Form (online form). See the important dates for this semester above.


  • The Programme notes will be due at least 2 days prior to the recital and are lodged with the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music Research Office in the Old Police Hospital at Southbank campus.
  • It must include the names of any associate artists
  • The program will be circulated to staff for comment and in some cases to potential examiners. This process may take some weeks, and you should not regard the program as approved until this is confirmed in writing by the Melbourne Conservatorium.

Master of Music Recital Examinations are usually held during the day in Hanson-Dyer Auditorium. The determination of the date depends on the availability of the venue and examiner arrangements, and is a matter for the Faculty: you will be advised as soon as it is known. You should not confirm accompanists or other arrangements until the date is confirmed in writing by the Melbourne Conservatorium.

2. Performance Guidelines

  1. Examination performances will be held in a public concert hall in the presence of an audience.
  2. The normal conventions of public concerts should be observed:
    • Normal codes of dress and presentation are expected
    • Candidates are expected to perform from memory when it is normal concert practice to do so. All candidates should present part of their performance from memory
    • The time and date are fixed and advertised and cannot be deferred, except in the case of serious physical impairment. Students who are unwell (but not physically unable to perform) should apply for Special Consideration, but proceed at the scheduled time.
  3. The programs should normally be planned to cover a wide range of styles, and include major works.
  4. Alternatively, under special circumstances a candidate may be permitted to specialise in the works of one period, or give special emphasis to the works of one composer. A request for specialisation must be made in writing to the Director of the Melbourne Conservatorium, giving reasons for the request. Candidates should not assume that such a request will automatically be granted.

It is important to remember:

  • Recitals must include a minimum of 60 minutes of Music and the entire performance (including 10 minute interval) must not exceed 90 minutes in total
  • Candidates must prepare written program notes for distribution to the examiners and audience. The scholarship and quality of these notes will be taken into account in the total assessment (see the Program Notes section below)
  • A concert standard of performance will be expected. You will need to demonstrate advanced technical accomplishment and show that you are capable of performing major works with ease and fluency. A full understanding of the stylistic requirements and the musical demands of your program is also essential. Performances at this level need to be interesting and distinctive and capable of maintaining the attention of examiners and audience. You should also take care with the overall presentation of the recitals, working with your supervisor on aspects of stage appearance and recital conventions. This will assist you in being more comfortable and assured under the pressure of a sustained public appearance.

3. Program Notes

As part of their recital examinations, all MMus students are required to write and design their own concert programs. Program notes are considered by examiners when determining a recital grade.

Thirty copies of the Program Notes are to be submitted to the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music Research Office, no later than 48 hours prior to the recital examination.

Please consult the Guide to Writing Program Notes below

4. Copies of Scores

You must also provide three photocopies of all the music scores for the examiners, later than 48 Hours before the recital. These should be lodged with the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music Research Office. Please be aware of copyright restrictions.

5. Appointment of Examiners

A Board of Examiners is individually constituted for each recital examination, normally comprising three persons: two specialist examiners and the Director (or nominee) as Chair. One specialist may be from outside the University, and generally will be associated with another University or professional ensemble. If you have objections to the appointment of any person as an examiner, you are entitled to have these objections considered. This should be discussed with the Director at the time your program is submitted for approval. The identity of the examiners will remain confidential until the completion of the examination, and their identity may only be revealed with their written permission.

MMus (Music Performance) progress reporting

Students enrolled in the Master of Music (Music Performance) 652MP have different progress reporting requirements. The nature of this course is such that the standard university progress reports do not meet the requirements for this course.

If you have any questions please email us on

You are strongly advised to read and understand the University of Melbourne policies on academic honesty, plagiarism and collusion in conjunction with writing your program notes.

Preparing written program notes

As part of their recital examinations, all MMus (Music Performance) students are required to write and design their own concert programs. Program notes are assessed as part of, and together with, the performance.

Students must provide 30 copies of their recital programs, and three copies of music scores for the examiners, to the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music Research Office, at least 48 hours prior to their recital.

The aim - Informing the audience

Notes are read in a half-darkened hall, by concertgoers whose attention is principally on the live music they are hearing. A printed program therefore is not usually the place for an expansive scholarly study peppered with footnotes or an in-depth analysis laced with musical examples. Nor should it be designed with a typeface so small and dense as to be illegible in a dimly-lit hall. Fundamentally the program needs to announce the sequence of the items presented and to convey any necessary instructions for the good order of the concert; but it can also be used to concisely inform listeners about the music they are hearing and to assist them in its direct appreciation.

Program Notes originated in the 19th century: once its location had shifted from the private salon to the public concert hall, the concert audience developed an appetite for printed explanations and instructions. Today, music festivals and some major orchestral subscription series are accompanied by lavish programs with expansive essays intended to be read independently of their concerts. But in most concerts Program Notes on a piece should take no longer to read than the piece does to play -- and ideally much less. A 2,000-word analysis of a 4-minute prelude will be left half half-read when the piece itself has finished, having done little more than divided the listeners' attention and frustrated their enjoyment of the concert.

External elements

1. Cover page

On the cover page of a concert program, the heading should list the presenting organisation, the series title (and series number if appropriate), the name of the performing group and the solo artists. Below the concert heading should be the time, date (including the year), and place of the concert. Remember that a printed program is often kept as a memento of the event, so full details of this kind are valuable.

An example of program cover page information:
The University of Melbourne
Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
Presents 2005 Master of Music Recital Series JOHN SMITH, clarinet with
JANE DOE, piano 1.15pm
29 June 2017

2. Contents Page

The second page of the program will normally contain a summary of the order of the music. This page reads like a table of contents: it should list in order the pieces the listeners can expect, and convey any instructions they will need, such as the length of the interval, or a request to refrain from taking photographs or save applause until the end of a work.

For each work you should list the formal title, with key un-abbreviated ("F-sharp Major" not "F# maj") and index number (BWV, Hob., Op., K. etc.) and the composer's name; then as a subheading, list the movement titles or tempos. If the composer's full name and dates are listed later in the Notes, then the surname is sufficient here, and often makes for a less cluttered page.

It is best to consult the score when compiling this page: where there are several tempos in a movement list each major tempo change, and separate these by a semicolon ("Allegretto; Adagio; Presto"). If a movement has both a title and a tempo, separate these by a colon ("The Farewell: Allegro"). All foreign words and descriptive titles are italicised ("Sonata in E Major," but "Spring Sonata in F Major"; "Prelude and Fugue" but "Humoresque").

Find in your software program and use all foreign language diacriticals ("Fauré" not "Faure"). If your performance is a premiere, this fact should be listed in brackets below the title: this records an important event.

You should also list your accompanist here, and list any soloists here under the works in which they are appearing. If you have an ensemble, list just its title here: the full roster of players is best given at the rear of the program (see Back Page below).

An example of a contents page follows:
PROGRAM Sonata Pathétique for Piano in C Minor Op.13 Beethoven
Grave: Allegro molto e con brio Adagio cantabile Rondo: Allegro Partita in A Minor BWV Bach INTERVAL (10 minutes) Waldszenen Op 82 Schumann
Eintritt: Nicht zu schnell
Jäger auf der Lauer: Höchst lebhaft
To avoid discomfort to yourself and others, please switch off your mobile phone for the whole of the performance

3. Back Page

On the back page (or inside the cover) give the name of any ensemble appearing, with the full roster of its members, each listed under heading of the instrument played -- sometimes two columns makes this more concise. Below this list any official with a special role in the concert -- a technician or house manager if you used one, and acknowledge any copyright or other special permissions you had to obtain. Finally (if you must), make your personal thanks to anyone who has had a special role in your project. Keep this last brief: gushing outpourings of affection for a close friend's private support may embarrass the friend and the audience alike.

An example of a back page follows:
Parkville Quartet Shelly Peach -- Violin I
Jonathan Exeter -- Violin II
Joan Exeter – Viola
Matt Ching -- Violoncello
Technical Assistance -- David Collins
Text of Shallow Brown reproduced by kind permission of the Grainger Museum, University of Melbourne.
Special thanks to my mother, for her enduring patience.

Preparing and presenting the notes

Researching the Notes

Use the musicologist's search tools and scholarly resources when researching the Notes. DO NOT rely on Wikipedia or other internet sources. The Music Library is your starting point; you may search the catalogue from home via the on-line catalogue, and many standard musicological references are now available online through the Music Library's website. For more detailed assistance, consult the Melbourne Conservatorium's website "Researching Music" or talk to the Music Librarian.

In preparing a Note you will probably need to:
  • Look for discussions of each work in each composer's biography
  • Look for first hand opinion of the work in the composer's autobiography or in critical writings of the time
  • Check composition dates in the composer's thematic catalogue or in the Works List in the composer's entry in a music dictionary (e.g., The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians)
  • Look for definitions of terms or an outline of the artistic or social milieu in an appropriate music history or general encyclopaedia (e.g., Encyclopaedia Britannica)
  • To locate the best sources to consult, look for your composer or work in a music bibliography or index (e.g., RILM, or the Music Index)

While the research you have done will be obvious in your writing, it is best not to let your research apparatus show in a Program Note. It is preferable not to use citations and footnotes to exhibit the tools you used. If you are using a direct quotation, citation of the source in the narrative is sufficient rather than a detailed footnote ("Wagner was 'a brilliant sunset,' wrote Debussy, 'mistaken for a sunrise.' ")

Adopting a Writing Style

Adopting the right tone is important. On the one hand, you should not employ the technical vocabulary you would use when addressing fellow musicians; on the other hand, you should not be condescending, explaining even the most obvious musical matters as if to a child. Assume your listeners are informed members of the public, who already have sufficient knowledge of music to have brought them to your audience in the first place. As a rule, you should explain any little-known term or concept which is essential to listening to the work.

Sections and Headings

Divide the Notes into a separate section for each work: a continuous essay is very irritating to navigate in the midst of listening to music. Place your name as author of the Notes once at the end of the program, not after the section on each piece. In a student examination submission, it makes little sense to list a copyright notice: use the © sign only if you have been engaged as a commercial note writer with a fee that did not cover grand rights for repeated use.

At the top of each section give the composer's name, this time in full with dates of birth and death. For a living composer, give "b.1960" rather than the ominous "1960-". If the work is an arrangement, has been substantially edited, or is an unfinished work later completed, list the arranger, editor, or completing author. If it is a vocal work, also list the librettist.

Follow this with the formal title of the work, its index number, and its year of composition.

An example of a section heading follows:

"Täuschung," D. 911, No. 18. (1826) from Die Winterreise by Wilhelm Müller (1794-1827)

Vocal works

A Note on any vocal work should include its text in full for the audience to follow (or a translation of the text if it is in another language). The translator's name should appear beneath the translation. If you have space without minimizing the typeface too much, printing both the text and the translation in parallel columns is often a useful format.

If possible, use a literal translation rather than a singing translation which has been copied from score. Many singing translations have been made principally to fit the rhythms and melodic contours of the music, and make little sense when read on the page. In looking for literal translations, Philip Miller, The Ring of Words: An Anthology of Song Texts (New York: Norton, 1963) contains excellent translations for most of the standard lieder texts, while Robert Hines, Singers Manual of Latin Diction and Phonetics (New York, Schirmer, 1975) contains translations for all the standard liturgical Latin texts.

Where a text or translation is included, the note you write need only be very brief: a short paragraph at most. Obviously, the listener has little time to do more than follow the text. An example of the presentation of a vocal text follows:

Täuschung Ein Licht tantz freundlich von mir her;
Ich folg' ihm nach die Kreuz und Quer.
Ich folg' ihm gern und seh's ihm an,
Daß es verlockt den Wandersmann.

A light dances cheerily before me;
I follow it this way and that.
I follow it gladly, knowing all the while,
That it leads the wanderer astray.

--trans. Philip Miller

Form and Content of the Notes

Avoid bar-by-bar analysis or the inclusion of musical examples; instead, aim to give the audience at least two pieces of information that will help them understand what they are hearing, and two or three salient features to listen out for.

Firstly, if there is a descriptive title to the work, explain the title. If it refers to mythology or a sacred text (eg, The Mass), consult H. S. Robinson et al., Encyclopaedia of Mythology and Legend (London: Kaye & Ward, 1972), or a Guide to Mass, or Encyclopedia Britannica for your definition.

Similarly, if the work is from an opera, (or is an instrumental paraphrase or set of variations on opera themes), briefly recount the appropriate moment of the opera plot, to place the audience in the action of which the work is part or which is its inspiration. For opera plots and their early performance histories, consult The New Kobbe's Complete Opera Book, ed. and rev. Earl of Harewood (New York: G.P.Putman's Sons, 1976).

Next illuminate the background of the work, how and when it came to be composed, and for whom (mention the dedicatee -- whose name will be in the score -- and explain who this was). Perhaps say a word about the first performance of the piece, when and where it was, and possibly the first critical reaction it achieved. Lengthy quotation should be avoided, but a pithy clause from the composer, or an amusing jibe from an early critic is often interesting. If the piece had a long and arduous road to acceptance, a word about how and where the manuscript survived and when it finally came to be published might help.

Above all, say something about context of the work: the historical idea, the artistic trend, or the literary or artistic or philosophical movement which produced it, or the cultural milieu from which it comes.

Finally, if it is an ensemble work, list the instrumentation, something many concertgoers enjoy having so they can search for instruments on the stage while they are listening.


A number of outstanding writers of program notes past and present have had their work published, and are well worth consulting as models for style. Some of these are:

  • Donald Tovey Essays in Musical Analysis, 6 vols.(1938). Reprint, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.
  • Edward O D Downes, New York Philharmonic Guide to the Symphony. New York: Iker, 1976.
  • Louis Binncolli, The Analytical Concertgoers Guide. New York: Greenwood, 1971.


The following style manuals have a chapter on writing program notes:

  • Richard J. Wingell, Writing About Music: An Introductory Guide, 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 2002.
  • D. K. Holoman, Writing About Music: A Style Sheet from the Editors of 19th Century Musi.c Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988
  • Eugene Helm and Albert Luper, Words and Music: Form and Procedure in Theses, Dissertations, Research Papers, Book Reports, Programs, Thesis in Composition. Clinton,, N.J.: European

It is possible for students enrolled in the MCM's MMus Performance to apply for conversion to a PhD after no less than nine months and no more than one year of candidature (FTE). For an application to be considered, the student must have scored at least a 75 in both Recital 1 and in either Minor Thesis or Research Essay. These marks do not guarantee a successful conversion, however. PhD candidates are expected to be leaders in their field, whose projects "make a significant new contribution to their discipline."

A candidate for a PhD in Performance will submit a final portfolio consisting of an integrated performance/written-research project. These portfolios normally consist of 210 minutes of recorded music supported by a 20-25,000 word thesis or 140 minutes with 40,000 words. The project (both the written and performance components) must represent a substantial and original contribution to knowledge, and the quality of the work should be to a standard such that it could be accepted for publication (e.g., written work could be submitted as a journal article or book chapter, recorded work could be released by a commercial record label).

Successful applicants become confirmed PhD candidates and generally have only two years of candidature left after the conversion process (i.e., three years from matriculation as an MMus student). As such, students who wish to apply for conversion should shape their MMus research from the outset of their postgraduate studies such that it can be incorporated into a PhD project (should conversion be successful). Students whose research during the MMus (written and/or performance) is not of the scope, depth, or quality required for a PhD will not be converted even if they have received the minimum H2A in the MMus.

Students who wish to convert to PhD must first discuss this with their current supervisor(s) and instrumental teacher. Students should be reminded that this may be three separate people: a written supervisor with whom you worked on your minor thesis/research essay, your instrumental teacher, and your registered supervisor (if your instrumental teacher is a sessional staff member, this will be the head of your instrumental area). Supervision of PhD projects is normally carried out by two or more staff members: one from your instrumental area (voice/strings/piano/woodwind/brass/percussion/early music), plus an additional staff member to guide the traditional research component.

An application form must be completed, and must include a thorough research proposal. The proposal must detail plans for both the written component (including number of words) and the creative component (including repertoire, recording medium, number of minutes). The form can be found here:

It is important to note that private lessons are not a formalised part of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music's PhD in Performance. Our research higher degrees are highly independent, self-directed courses of study. All PhD candidates work closely with one or more supervisors, and receive an hour of supervision fortnightly throughout the course of their degree. Candidates typically work closely with a traditional supervisor for written work and a performance supervisor for shaping their performance project and occasional playing feedback, but this does not parallel the usual teacher/student paradigm. The PhD candidate should be at such an advanced state in their craft that regular lessons are not needed.

Preparation of the thesis

Candidates are strongly advised to discuss with their supervisors the style of writing to be used in the thesis before writing begins.

In all cases the supervisor should be consulted at the beginning of the work. The stages of investigation and writing are likely to vary according to the nature of the subject and should be worked out in consultation with the supervisor.

The thesis should include a general discussion of the candidate's results and findings, and of their significance in relation to the current state of knowledge in the field.

In some disciplines it will be appropriate to concentrate the review of the literature and extended general discussion in introductory and concluding chapters, in other disciplines the review and discussion should be distributed throughout the thesis.

For research topics in the experimental and theoretical sciences, the laboratory or development phase of the work may require the closest supervision and discussion with the candidate.

At the stage of thesis preparation, the candidate should be able to express themselves with precision, clarity and conciseness.

The candidate's supervisor must be consulted on the general form and the content of the thesis up to the stage of the final draft.

Expected Requirements

In order to pass examination, and thus qualify as the basis for the award of the masters degree, candidates should be able to:

  • demonstrate advanced learning in research skills and mastery of appropriate techniques, such as the use of archival or primary evidence, analysis of data, judgement of conflicting evidence;
  • demonstrate specialist knowledge in the area of their research;
  • present the results of their research in publishable quality or work towards incorporating their findings in further research; and
  • demonstrate an understanding of, and commitment to, research ethics or code of practice.

The format and style of masters theses can differ as it is expected that a thesis be written to the convention of that field. Examiners are asked to consider, where appropriate, the following questions:

  • does the candidate show sufficient familiarity with, and understanding and critical appraisal of, the relevant literature?
  • does the thesis provide a sufficiently comprehensive investigation of the topic?
  • are the methods and techniques adopted appropriate to the subject matter and are they properly justified and applied?
  • are the results suitably set out and accompanied by adequate exposition and interpretation?
  • are conclusions and implications appropriately developed and clearly linked to the nature and content of the research framework and findings?
  • has/have the research question(s) been tested?
  • is the literary quality and general presentation of the thesis of a suitably high standard?
  • does the thesis as a whole constitute a substantive original contribution to knowledge in the subject area with which it deals?

Editing of Theses

Editing in this context has been defined as the detailed and extensive correction of problems in writing style (eg ghost writing) as opposed to providing general guidelines about problems with style and accuracy, or proof reading for mechanical inaccuracy.

As early as possible in the candidature the supervisor must assess the candidate's writing abilities. In the case of masters candidates this must be an integral component of the formal review process, which requires the candidate to provide a piece of written work. This should be of sufficient length to demonstrate writing proficiency and indicate the standard of the candidate's composition skills.

If the supervisor considers that further work is required in areas such as composition and grammar for the candidate to be successful in completing, the supervisor should then provide advice and assistance as to how an appropriate standard can be achieved. The supervisor needs to explain the level and extent of support the candidate can expect of them as supervisor. Such advice may include referral to the units such as the Academic Skills Unit and the Academic Support Unit at the Melbourne School of Graduate Research.

The supervisor should continue to monitor the candidate's progress in order to resolve any on-going difficulties. Supervisors should advise candidates about structure, style, and general editing issues and should guide their candidates accordingly. It is appropriate for supervisors to undertake some editing tasks, but within limits. A thesis must express the candidate's voice. Writing is considered an important part of the degree and any assistance with writing must be conducted as part of the overall learning process. Any additional assistance received by the candidate must be fully supported by continuous feedback from supervisors as part of the integral learning process. The integrity of the work relies on the thesis as demonstrably the candidate's work and must indicate that the candidate has the ability to write and argue with clarity.

Acquiring expertise in writing and editing is often seen as an important professional development for graduates. Graduate colleagues may be appropriate readers and editors of a thesis, and candidates should be encouraged to explore alternative avenues for assistance available from within their department and the wider University community.

Only in rare and exceptional circumstances and with the knowledge and support of supervisors, should students use paid editorial assistance from an outside source. The use of third party editorial assistance, either paid or voluntary, must be acknowledged in the preface and is limited to the guidelines adopted by the University. Refer to the Writing my Thesis page on the Graduate Research Hub. The same rules apply for a Music Performance Minor Thesis as apply to any thesis submitted as part of a research higher degree at the university.

Word Limit

Candidates should aim to write a thesis of approximately 12,000 words as set by the relevant faculty or graduate school for the specific degree. The word limit is exclusive of words in tables, maps, bibliographies and appendices. Footnotes are included as part of the word limit. Appendices must be limited to supporting material genuinely subsidiary to the main argument of the thesis.

Published Material

Candidates are strongly encouraged where appropriate to publish work from their masters research during candidature. However, the preparation of publications should not impede progress on the thesis, which must remain the candidate's and the supervisor's priority.

While work from the thesis may have been published prior to submission, the thesis must be presented, in both form and content, as a unified whole, and be prepared specifically for submission for examination for the degree. A candidate may not include the actual publications such as reprints or journal articles in their published form as part of the body of the thesis.

Material that has been published may be included, for example as chapters of the thesis, provided that it is suitably acknowledged in the text and the preface.

Actual publications, such as reprints of journal articles, published creative writing and catalogues and documentation of public performances or exhibited work, may be included in an appropriate form in the appendix, including for example a DVD, CD or URL.

Work carried out in collaboration with others, and the nature and proportion of the contribution of others, must be clearly indicated in the Preface and in general terms the portions of the work that the candidate claims as original.

Where multi-author published material is included in the thesis, the candidate must prepare a statement explaining the contributions of all involved. The statement must be signed by all authors and be included with the Submission of Thesis form.

Note: The above advice is subject to any obligations or contractual agreements with a third party that may encumber the publication of a candidate's research but not the inclusion of such work in the candidate's thesis.

It is expected that the thesis will reflect work done during the period of candidature but may include related preliminary material provided that it has not contributed to an award of a previous qualification. If work has been used for the award of another qualification it should be explicitly stated in the body of the text and in the Preface.

Format of the Thesis

International Standard Paper Size A4 (297 x 210mm) should be used. The typing should be 1.5 spaced and presented in a clear and legible font and would normally be expected to be double-sided. Left and right margins should be no less than 30mm and page numbers should appear inside the margins. Pages should be numbered consecutively and clearly. Folding diagrams or charts should be arranged so as to open to the top and right.

Before producing final copies of a thesis for submission, the candidate should ensure that all the spelling, grammar, punctuation and choice of language are correct and the bibliography is complete and exact.

Order of contents

A thesis follows the following order:

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Declaration
  • Preface (if applicable)
  • Acknowledgments
  • Table of Contents
  • List of tables, figures and illustrations (if list items are fewer than 10 in number, this is not necessary)
  • Main text
  • Bibliography or List of References
  • Appendices
Title page

A thesis must be preceded by a title page. The University logo is not permitted to be used in the thesis. The title page of the thesis should show:

  • the title of the thesis
  • the full name of the author
  • the degree for which submitted (see below)
  • month and year of submission
  • the name of the department or faculty in which the research was carried out and the words:
    "Submitted in total fulfilment of the requirements of <insert your degree name here> (by Research)"

Example of title page:

Title of the thesis
Full name of the author
Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements
of the degree of Master of Music (Music Performance)
Month Year
Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
The University of Melbourne

Candidates who have pursued a course of study with coursework component shall state: "Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of <insert your degree name here> (with coursework component)".


The title page must be followed by:
An abstract of 300–500 words in English.


The following declaration, signed by the candidate:

This is to certify that

  • the thesis comprises only my original work towards the masters except where indicated in the Preface,
  • due acknowledgement has been made in the text to all other material used,
  • the thesis is <Insert word limit here> words in length, exclusive of tables, maps, bibliographies and appendices OR the thesis is <insert number of words> as approved by the RHD Committee.

If applicable, a preface includes where appropriate, a statement of:

  • work carried out in collaboration indicating the nature and proportion of the contribution of others and in general terms the potions of the work which the candidate claims as original,
  • work submitted for other "qualifications",
  • work carried out prior to masters candidature enrolment,
  • any third party editorial assistance, either paid or voluntary (as limited to the Editing of Research Theses by Professional Editors guidelines) and/or,
  • where a substantially unchanged multi-author paper is included in the thesis a statement prepared by the candidate explaining the contributions of all involved. A signed copy by all authors must be included with the Submission of Thesis form.

Thesis preparation and binding

Theses should normally be bound using thermal binding. Thermal binding must be used with covers strong enough to resist damage by bending or knocking. Twin-ring, spring-back and spiral binders are not acceptable, as theses bound in these ways frequently do not survive travel through the post. Thermal binding should not exceed 300 pages (absolute maximum thickness of 35mm per copy).

If there are photographs or charts which need to be included in the thesis, facilities are available for colour laser printing and photocopying in the Graduate Student Association and a scanner is available in the Graduate Presentation and Publishing Centre. The Graduate Student Association also provides a thermal binding and photocopying service.

Intention to submit thesis

At least a month before submission of your Minor Thesis you should make sure your supervisor is aware that the thesis is likely to be submitted soon so that examiners can be arranged.

Thesis submission

Three copies of the thesis must be submitted to the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music Research Office with the candidates name clearly marked on the spine, family name in capitals.

Final form of the thesis

After examination of the thesis any amendments and/or revisions must be approved by the Chair of Examiners for Music Performance Minor Thesis. Candidates are required to submit an electronic copy of the thesis on Minerva. The University logo is not permitted to be used in the thesis. Contact the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music Research Office regarding procedures around examination and lodging of theses.