Postgraduate Research

The UNSW School of the Arts & Media is distinguished by contemporary and interdisciplinary scholarship in the creative and performing arts and humanities. In the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA 2018-2019) rankings we rated 5, above international standard, for research in creative arts, writing and film studies.  

We have an exceptional record of academic achievement in our subject areas with our staff including Australia Research Council Postdoctoral, Future and Professorial Fellows.


The following research degrees are available in all supervision areas: 

A Masters by Research is your opportunity to engage in serious research and contribute new knowledge to your area of research within the Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences. It will provide you with research training to help you apply for a PhD.

A PhD in Arts & Social Sciences will provide you with advanced specialist research training and expert knowledge in a specific subject area. It will open doors to academic, research and professional roles nationally and internationally.

We offer a suite of creative research degrees including: 

  • Doctor of Philosophy (in Creative Writing) 
  • Doctor of Philosophy (in Practice-Based Research) 
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Composition (Music) 

Our Creative Research degrees emphasise practice as research. There are only a limited number of places available to graduate students wishing to undertake a PhD through practice-based research, (eg, theatre direction, film direction, dance choreography and the production of media artefacts). PhD candidates complete a practical component along with a dissertation of 30,000 words. Equal weight is given to each component.

Admission is subject to the availability of appropriate supervision.

Subject 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.

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

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.

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.

Organisational units