4067 - Doctor of Philosophy (Music Composition) - 2017

Postgraduate - Course

Commencement year

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2017 and should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Arts.

Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.

Course code


Abbreviated title




Managing faculty



Dr Stuart Grant

Contact details

Graduate Research at Monash ArtsGraduate Research at Monash Arts (http://future.arts.monash.edu/graduate-research/)Monash Theatre, Performance and Music programMonash Theatre, Performance and Music program (http://future.arts.monash.edu/graduate-research/theatre-performance-and-music/)Monash Doctoral ProgramMonash Doctoral Program (https://www.monash.edu/graduate-research/future-students/phd)

Admission and fees


Course type


Standard duration

4 years FT, 8 years PT

3-4 years equivalent full-time

The student's PhD research project is to be conceived from the outset as clearly achievable within 3 years equivalent full time, with students expected to complete their degree within 3 to 4 years equivalent full time.

Mode and location

On-campus (Clayton)

Off-campus (Clayton)


Doctor of Philosophy (Music Composition)


Enrolment in a Doctor of Philosophy involves the independent investigation of a research problem that has been formulated by the student. The research the student undertakes will need to make a significant contribution to the discipline in which the student is enrolled. Doctoral students are supported by a minimum of two supervisors throughout their enrolment.

Students are also required to complete training activities as part of Monash doctoral programMonash doctoral program (http://www.monash.edu/migr/future-students/phd). These discipline-specific and professional development activities are designed to impart skills and knowledge that will help students to conduct their research.


These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 10, the Bologna Cycle 3 and Monash Graduate AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 10, the Bologna Cycle 3 and Monash Graduate Attributes (http://monash.edu.au/pubs/handbooks/alignmentofoutcomes.html).

Successful completion of the program will signify that the holder has completed a course of postgraduate training in research under proper academic supervision and has submitted a thesis that the examiners have declared to be a significant contribution to knowledge and which demonstrates the student's capacity to carry out independent original research.

Conditions of enrolment

Students are to refer to the Handbook for Doctoral DegreesHandbook for Doctoral Degrees (http://www.monash.edu/migr/faqs-and-resources/content) for all policies and procedures relating to their enrolment.


This course consists of:

  • a research and thesis component
  • a practical component
  • a professional development training program.


Students must, in consultation with and under the direct supervision of a member/s of the academic staff:

(1.) carry out a program of research on an agreed topic approved by the school or department of enrolment in the student's chosen discipline for a specified period, including attending and/or presenting at seminars and other related activities as indicated by the relevant department/school

(2.) submit for assessment a thesis component which meets the requirements of the examiners consisting of:

  • a composition folio consisting of both musical scores and sound recordings
  • a written thesis.

The overall duration of the submitted music would normally be between 50 and 80 minutes depending on the complexity of the submitted music. However, the overall duration may deviate considerably from the given range. Students present at least 50 per cent of the music submitted in their folio in public concerts. The supervisor guides the student in the performance and recording of their musical works. Together with the folio of musical compositions students submit a thesis of between 20,000 and 25,000 words that demonstrates their capacity to articulate the conceptual and aesthetic basis for their folio of compositions, to assess their compositional work in the context of contemporary music and sonic art, and to research and convey creative processes involved in the production of sound and music. The thesis must be scholarly in character, and, at minimum address the following:

  • explication of a research-based argument that provides the conceptual basis for the folio and its contribution to knowledge
  • compositional approach, process, and techniques
  • aesthetic placement and stylistic predecessors
  • performance context.

The work will take the form of music compositions, a bound critical commentary and concert program notes. The concert program notes must provide evidence that a minimum of 50 per cent of the music submitted in the portfolio has been performed in public concerts. The music compositions are to be submitted in the form of a combination of individually bound musical scores and sound recordings (such as CDs). All materials (musical scores, sound recordings, critical commentary and concert program notes) are to be submitted as a single portfolio.

Submission of the thesis based on or partially based on conjointly published or unpublished workconjointly published or unpublished work (http://www.monash.edu.au/migr/examiners/publication/) may be permitted.

(3.) satisfactorily complete the following program of professional development training:

Students are required to undertake regular progress milestones to support them in conducting research of an appropriate quality, originality and depth as required by their course of study, in accordance with the Graduate Research Progress Management policyGraduate Research Progress Management policy (http://policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/research/mrgs/grad-research-progress-mgmt-policy.html) and supporting procedures.