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  4. Entry and participation requirements

Doctor of Philosophy - Fine Arts and Music (DR-PHILFAM) // Entry and participation requirements

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:

  • a four-year bachelor degree in a relevant discipline which includes a substantial research component equivalent to at least 25% of one year of full-time study and have achieved a minimum weighted average of 75% in the final year subjects or (University of Melbourne) equivalent; or
  • a masters degree in a relevant discipline which includes a substantial research component equivalent to at least 25% of one year of full-time study and achieved a minimum weighted average of 75% or (University of Melbourne) equivalent; or
  • a qualification and professional experience considered to be equivalent;

Applicants for all discipline areas must provide:

  • referee reports (except for applicants who have graduated from the University of Melbourne within the last 5 years); and
  • evidence of the endorsement of a prospective supervisor.

In addition, applicants must provide a research proposal, example of scholarly writing and/or folio as follows:

Creative Arts Therapies, Music Psychology & Performance Science, Music Therapy and Musicology/Ethnomusicology:

  • a research proposal of 2,500 words; and
  • a recent example of scholarly writing of 4,000 to 5,000 words.

Dance, Design, Film and Television, Indigenous Arts and Culture, Music Theatre, Production, Theatre and Visual Art:

  • a research proposal of 2,000 words; and
  • a folio of work as per discipline requirements.


  • A proposal of approximately 1,000 words for the PhD folio and dissertation;
  • A recent example of scholarly writing of approximately 2,000 words;
  • Three representative works submitted as recordings and in notated score format (where applicable). These should include a major work of over 15 minutes duration and a work for large acoustic ensemble (may be the same work), and at least one work written in the last 2 years; and
  • A CV including list of works composed, performances and broadcasts.

Interactive Composition:

  • a research proposal of 2,000 words; and
  • a folio containing recordings of 4 of your original compositions at a total duration of 20 minutes.

Jazz & Improvisation:

  • a research proposal of 2,000 words; and
  • applicants must demonstrate a very high standard of artistic ability via a live audition or live performance recording. The audition or recording must be at least 20 minutes in length.

Music Performance:

  • a research proposal of 2,000 words outlining plans for a research project that integrates a written thesis (minimum 20,000-25,000 words) and portfolio of recorded works (210 minutes) with details of proposed repertoire and timeline for completion;
  • 70 minutes of unedited live recordings; and
  • a recent example of scholarly writing of 4,000 to 5,000 words.

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In selecting applicants, the selection committee will consider applicants’:

  • prior academic performance and, if relevant, professional qualifications;
  • understanding of the research question to be explored;
  • demonstrated ability in the creative discipline;
  • performance at an interview;
  • motivation and capacity to complete the course in a timely manner;
  • relevant prior research and/or professional experience; and
  • the referee reports.

3. The selection committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Selection and Admission Policy.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for graduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, the following performance bands are required: Doctor of Philosophy - PhD – Fine Arts and Music Band 6.5

Core participation requirements

All candidates are required to complete the equivalent of at least one-third advanced study and research at the University (unless studying at an approved outside institution). The RHDC will not approve entirely distance supervision or entirely on-line supervision for graduate research students.

Throughout their candidature candidates are expected to attend the University in order to benefit from planning, conducting and writing up their research within a University community and environment.

The residency requirement is deemed especially important during the period of probationary candidature. During probationary candidature the student is expected to interact on a regular basis with the supervisor, the department (including staff and other research students) and the University, so as:

  • to build the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out the proposed research program
  • to acquire an understanding of the standards and requirements for a PhD awarded by the University
  • to make use of support programs and facilities provided by the University of Melbourne throughout candidature.

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Overview, Objectives and Generic Skills sections of this entry.
It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit: