Doctor of Musical Arts

Program code


Available at


Gold Coast

Mount Gravatt


South Bank





3 to 4 years full-time
6 to 8 years part-time

Credit points


Indicative fee

Exempt under RTP (more)

Commencing in

Trimester 1

My details

Programs change over time. Course lists and requirements are specific to the year you started studying.


To be eligible for the award of Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA), a student must acquire 240 credit points as prescribed below:

  • gain 60 credit points for the coursework component and
  • gain 180 credit points for the practice-based research component.

Individual supervision is provided for the practice-based research component as a multi-year development of the final doctoral submission. Coursework components develop research skills and assist in the advancement of exegetical outcomes including via text, performance, recorded works and compositions.

Research component

The shape of the doctoral work may vary according to the exact topic and fitness for purpose as agreed in close consultation with academic supervisors. In general, DMA examination requirements include:

  • A written thesis component (circa 40-80,000 words) plus
  • an integrated portfolio of creative works appropriate to the research topic including digital renderings of live performances, albums, movies, scores, websites or installations. In addition, secondary data might include recorded interviews, transcriptions; reflective journals or other evidence of practice-based research interrogation.
  • OR
  • A written thesis component (circa 80,000 words).

Two specialist external examiners will be chosen to assess the exegesis according to the highest international standards for doctorates in practice-based music research. In cases where a live component may be part of a final submission, a third examiner will be appointed.

Because international examination is a central feature of the DMA, all exegesis materials must be transportable. Relevant multimedia components are to be included as part of the final submission, and must be fully self-contained on accompanying CD, disk drive or USB stick.

An indicative range of past and present DMA projects are available at the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre website.

Progress review requirements

Completion of progress reporting requirements is a condition of continued candidature for higher degree research programs. The following progress review requirements must be completed for the Doctor of Musical Arts program:

  • completion of the Early Candidature Milestone within 6 months (equivalent full time) of commencement.
  • completion of the Confirmation of Candidature Milestone within 1.5 years of commencement for full time candidates or within 2 years of commencement for part time candidates.
  • completion of the Thesis and Candidature Review Milestone within 3 years (equivalent full time) of commencement.
  • completion of a progress report in years where a milestone is not completed.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Level and Type

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training. This qualification is accredited as an AQF Level 10 - Doctoral Degree.

Program learning outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes communicate to the community the value of the Griffith educational experience as benchmarked against national qualification standards.

Program Learning Outcomes for this award describe the knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills you will acquire through studying the Griffith program of your choice.