Postgraduate Research

The School of the Arts & Media is distinguished by contemporary and interdisciplinary scholarship in the creative and performing arts and humanities. Our school offers a postgraduate research environment characterised by high-quality supervision and a diversity of subject offerings and degree programs, with a vibrant cohort of over 100 students.

If you have a passion for enquiry, research and analytical writing, postgraduate study will help you to make an important contribution to knowledge and practice in your area of interest and become a research leader in your chosen field.

We have an exceptional record of academic achievement in English Literature, Cultural Studies, Media and Communications, and Music Studies.  In the latest ARC’s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA 2018) rankings we rated 5, well above world standard, for research in the fields of; i)  Performing Arts  ii)  Film, Television and Digital Media  iii)  Creative Writing. 

Our postgraduate students undertake research projects on an excitingly wide range of topics, ranging from studies of individual artists and their work to interdisciplinary projects that combine subjects as diverse as digital media, Film Studies and the twenty-first-century novel. Many bring their scholarly or artistic research practices to their work as editors, choreographers, creative writers, curators, film and performance makers and musicians.

Research Programs

The following research degrees are available in all supervision areas: 

A Masters by Research (MRes) is your opportunity to engage in serious research and contribute new knowledge to your disciplinary field of interest. It will provide you with research experience to help you apply for a PhD.

The Humanities Doctorate will provide you with advanced specialist research training and expert knowledge in a specific subject area, culminating in the submission of an 80, 000 - 100, 000 word thesis. It will open doors to academic, research and professional roles nationally and internationally.

This program is an honours-equivalent research degree which offers a path to doctoral study. It combines coursework with thesis work and has an innovative interdisciplinary focus with specialsations in Creative Arts, Global and First Nation Studies, Health and Well Being, Knowledge and Ethical Practices.

With the Creative Research degree you'll produce a full-length Creative Work along with a scholarly Dissertation of at least 45,000 words. The program is available in choreography, creative writing, film, literary non-fiction, media arts, music composition, music performance, sonic arts, theatre and performance.

Admission to all degrees is at the discretion of the School and is subject to the availability of appropriate supervision. 

For any enquiries, please contact the School Postgraduate Research Coordinator at

Research Supervision Areas

Our creative writing postgraduate study empowers you to produce innovative contributions to contemporary literature and fresh, experimental writing across genres in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and ficto-criticism.

Dance Research produces thinking dancers, critical movers and creative researchers. We combine theory and physical practice to challenge and reimagine traditions in thinking, writing and making dance.

UNW English Literary Studies ranks in the world’s top 40 departments of English Literature. You’ll study with teachers and researchers who are passionate about their work and believe that English is more than an academic discipline.

Film Studies helps you tell stories, share human experiences, document reality and expand perceptual horizons as an experimental art form.

Studying Media and Communications at UNSW allows you to investigate the professional, social, cultural, political, economic and philosophical aspects of contemporary media technologies, industries and practices.

We believe that music is more than just an expression. The study of Music at UNSW expands your understanding of music-making as technical and stylistic mastery. While building on your artistic practice at home, you’ll also develop music skills that are global in their application.

Explore live performance in all its diversity. Studying Theatre and Performance at UNSW gives you the opportunity to become part of stage plays with professional directors, work with a team on collaborative creations, stage an action in public spaces or create a solo for just you and the audience.

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