Doctor of Music

Course 650AA (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Year and Campus: 2011 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Research Higher Degree
Duration & Credit Points: Duration and Credit Points not applicable for this course.


Prof Gary McPherson

Ormond Chair of Music and Director
Melbourne Conservatorium of Music


Faculty of the VCA and Music Student Centre
Tel: +61 3 9685 9419
Fax: +61 3 9685 9358
Course Overview:

The DMus is a higher doctorate, awarded on the basis of published work in composition or the history, theory and aesthetics of music, together with any other appropriate work, published or unpublished, completed during the year of candidacy, provided the examiners are satisfied the work represents a substantial, sustained and original contribution to the discipline of music.

Objectives: Doctoral degrees at the University of Melbourne seek to develop graduates who demonstrate academic leadership, increasing independence, creativity and innovation in their research work. In addition, professional doctoral studies provide advanced training designed to enhance professional knowledge in a specialist area, and encourage the acquisition of a wide range of advanced transferable skills.
Course Structure & Available Subjects: DMus candidates are enrolled in the following research subject for the duration of their candidature:
Subject Options:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
RHD First Half Year, RHD Second Half Year
Entry Requirements: Candidates must be BMus graduates of significant national and international distinction and achievement for admission to a higher doctorate in Music.

Applications for admission to the Doctor of Music are to be made directly to the Graduate Studies Committee at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music for initial consideration of whether a prima facie case can be established for admission to candidature.

Composition applicants must include a compositional CV detailing a list of works published, commercial CDs released, major performances, broadcasts and festivals, critical reviews, awards, and competitive commissions. Scores and recordings are not required at the initial stage of application.

Musicology, Ethnomusicology and Music Therapy applicants should provide a scholarly CV with details of major refereed journal articles and book chapters, monographs, and other scholarly publications, critical reviews, keynote addresses at major international conferences, awards and competitive research funding.

If the prima facie case is established, the applicant will be invited to provide a proposal for the DMus submission, detailing the body of existing published work to be submitted together with a description of a major new work to be completed during the period of candidature, including a timeline for completion. Applicants may be required to attend an interview and the committee may request further supporting materials.

For composition applicants the new work will normally be over half an hour in length for forces such as a symphonic work, concerto, ballet score, opera or similar major composition.

For Musicology, Ethnomusicology and Music Therapy, the new work will take the form of a scholarly monograph (with accompanying multimedia as appropriate) and an indication of acceptance for publication by a recognised international publisher.
Core Participation Requirements: 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 will impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit.
Graduate Attributes:

Doctoral degrees at the University of Melbourne seek to develop graduates who demonstrate academic leadership, increasing independence, creativity and innovation in their research work.

The University expects its doctoral graduates to have the following qualities and skills:

  • an advanced ability to initiate research and to formulate viable research questions;
  • a demonstrated capacity to design, conduct and report sustained and original research;
  • the capacity to contextualise research within an international corpus of specialist knowledge;
  • an advanced ability to evaluate and synthesize research-based and scholarly literature;
  • an advanced understanding of key disciplinary and multi-disciplinary norms and perspectives relevant to the field;
  • highly developed problem-solving abilities and flexibility of approach;
  • the ability to analyse critically within and across a changing disciplinary environment;
  • the capacity to disseminate the results of research and scholarship by oral and written communication to a variety of audiences;
  • a capacity to cooperate with and respect the contributions of fellow researchers and scholars;
  • a profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of research and scholarship;
  • an advanced facility in the management of information, including the application of computer systems and software where appropriate to the student's field of study;
  • an understanding of the relevance and value of their research to national and international communities of scholars and collaborators;
  • an awareness where appropriate of issues related to intellectual property management and the commercialisation of innovation; and
  • an ability to formulate applications to relevant agencies, such as funding bodies and ethics committees.
The University provides a variety of opportunities in additions to the supervised research program, to facilitate students' acquisition of these attributes.

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