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Postgraduate Study in Music

Why do postgraduate study?

  • Postgraduate study better enables you to identify problems, analyse them, place them in a broader intellectual framework or discourse, and generate possible solutions to them. These are the skills employers are looking for.
  • For creative practitioners, postgraduate study enables you to further develop and to reflect critically upon your creative practice. Being able to develop and share your ideas and insights with others, and to have them recognise your contribution to public knowledge, is a real privilege.
  • In the Department of Music, Theatre and the Performing Arts, we aim to help you get the most out of your postgraduate experience.

Music to Honours level

Both the MusB and the BA in Music can be studied to Honours Level.

Go to more about the Honours year

Music postgraduate programmes

Postgraduate Diploma in Music (PGDipMus)

The Postgraduate Diploma in Music (PGDipMus) is intended for students who are composers or performers or both.

Go to further information about Postgraduate Diploma in Music (PGDipMus)

Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (PGDipArts)

Students who are interested in studying music as historians, analysts, musicologists or ethnomusicologists take a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (PGDipArts). 

Go to further information about Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (PGDipArts)

Graduate Diploma in Studio Music Teaching (DipGrad)

The Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad) endorsed in Studio Music Teaching offers graduates in musical performance the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective private music teacher. 

Go to further information about Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad)

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Master of Arts (MA)

If you already have an Honours degree you can complete the MA in twelve months; if you have a Bachelor’s degree without Honours you may be admitted to the MA as a two-year programme in which the first year consists of the papers required for the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts.

The MA degree programme is for students working in Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Popular Music Studies and Cultural Studies in music. You will work with your supervisor towards the presentation of a thesis on your research topic by the end of your study period. Following MA study you may proceed to study for a PhD.

Go to further information about the Master of Arts

New Coursework Master of Arts programme for Humanities students

From 2018 the University of Otago is offering a new pathway within the Master of Arts, a 180-point coursework option.

The Coursework Master of Arts (Coursework MA) programme is designed to provide a multi-disciplinary grounding for Humanities students in a range of subjects as preparation for further study or future employment. The programme will take either 12 months or three semesters of full-time study to complete. The programme can also be studied part-time.

Find out more about the new Coursework Master of Arts programme.
www.otago.ac.nz/coursework-ma

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Master of Music (MMus)

If you already have an Honours degree you can complete the MMus in Performance, Composition or Studio Production in twelve months; if you have a Bachelor’s degree you will first take the Postgraduate Diploma in Music programmes.

  • For performance you will work with your supervisors towards the presentation of performances, an oral test, and a written component
  • For composition you will work on a portfolio of compositions plus a written component
  • For studio production you will work on the presentation of a portfolio of recorded music plus a written component, by the end of your study period (usually twelve months).

If you already have an Honours degree there are no additional papers. Following MMus study you may proceed to study for a DMA degree.

Go to further information about the Master of Music

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The PhD programme is for students working in Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Popular Music Studies and Cultural Studies in music. You will work with your supervisor towards the presentation of a thesis on your research topic by the end of your study period. For a full-time student this is normally at least two and a half years, and for a part-time student it is normally at least four years.

Go to further information about the PhD

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

The DMA programme is for students working in Musical Performance, Composition and Studio Composition.

You will work with your supervisor towards the presentation of a performance programme, a portfolio of compositions, or a studio production by the end of your study period. For a full-time student this is normally at least two and a half years, and for a part-time student it is normally at least four years.

The degree of Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) is awarded on the basis of the presentation of either:

  • a performance programme; or
  • a portfolio of compositions; or
  • a studio production.

Go to further information about the Doctor of Musical Arts

Doctor of Music (MusD)

The degree shall be awarded for special excellence in musical composition.

Go to further information about the Doctor of Music (MusD)

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Postgraduate Coordinator

Associate Professor Anthony Ritchie
Tel 64 3 479 8881
Email anthony.ritchie@otago.ac.nz

How to Apply

Download the Guidelines for Prospective Postgraduate students (PDF, 60KB)
Download the Informal Proposal to Undertake Postgraduate Research form (PDF, 108KB)

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Further information about Postgraduate study at Otago

Find out more about our Postgraduate students Research

Go to information about our postgraduate students

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List of Masters' and PhD theses

2017  theses

  • Brown, Sara.  Making the Choice for Music.  (MA, completed April 2017)
  • Hirt, Aindrias. The Songs of Fionn mac Cumhaill: An Historical and Musicological Analysis of Indo-European Musical Poetics in Ireland, Scotland and Nova Scotia (PhD, completed in 2017)

2016 theses

  • Abram, Devin. 'The Stillness': Electronic Recording And Production Method In A Contemporary Context. (MA completed in 2016)
  • Coleman, Trevor.  Polycyclic Comprovisation, Vol 1: Exegesis. (DMA, completed in 2016)
  • Cotton, Dale William. Painting with Sound: Exploring Transformational Aspects of Studio Production Processes, within the framework of Acousmatic Music Practice (MMus, completed in 2016)
  • Dawa, Samdrub. Low Budget Music: Three Eps. (MMus, completed in 2016)
  • Egenes, John. The Record Producer's Evolving Role: A Study Of Three Recording Projects. (DMA, completed in 2016)
  • Espin, Penelope. The Musical Imagery In Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Paintings For His Patron, Frederick Leyland. (MA completed in 2016)
  • McFarlane, AJ. An investigation into the Implications of Upside-Down Bass. Guitar Technique for Pedagogy Theory. (MMus completed in 2016)
  • Pardas Feliu, Lluisa.  The Challenge of Curriculum: An International Comparative Study of Music Education Policies and Practices. (PhD, completed in 2016)
  • Parkins- Craig, Maddy. Production, Genre and Composition: A study of approaches to contemporary studio production (DMA, completed in 2016)

2015 theses

  • Crawshaw, Sandra. The Reception Of The Music Of Cecile Chamiade In Colonial New Zealand (1894-1934): Contexts And Institutions. (MMus, completed in 2015)
  • Du Plessis, Heleen.  Cello For Africa. (DMA, completed in 2015)
  • Kewene-Doig, Louise. Turning Up The Māori: The Showband Mix-O-Matic App. (MMus, completed in 2015)
  • Voice, Nichola.  Turners’ Guilds Of Northern Italy: Their Roll In Enabling Woodwind-Instrument Manufacture From 1680 To 1844. (PhD, completed in 2015)
  • Williamson, Sarah.  Things Curt, Bass And Vile: Kurt Weill's Degenerate Music For Die Dreigroschenoper As Adorno's Social-Polemic Surrealist Music.  (MMus, completed in 2015)

Go to a full list of the theses located in the Department of Music, Theatre and Performing Arts (Word doc, 122KB)

Copies of the abstracts of these theses may be viewed in the Department office, Black/Sale House, 100 St David Street, Dunedin North