Postgraduate Courses
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Master of Philosophy

Testamur Title of Degree:

Master of Philosophy (Creative Arts)



My University:

Creative arts, creative writing, graphic design, theatre, visual arts, drama, acting, drawing, electronic art, digital arts, digital media, fine arts, media arts, painting, performance, photography, printmaking, sculpture, textiles, fibres


2 years full-time or part-time equivalent

Total Credit Points:


Delivery Mode:

On campus

Starting Session(s):

*Course on offer from Spring 2013 - available Subject to the outcome of an application to TEQSA for CRICOS amendment



UOW Course Code:




Overview – Master of Philosophy

Master of Philosophy candidates undertake both coursework and research. The coursework helps to prepare students to undertake in-depth research in order to make an original contribution to the body of knowledge in a chosen field of study. This qualification can lead to, or enhance, an academic career and is also highly regarded by public and private sector employers.

The MPhil consists of one 24 credit point coursework subject and a thesis in a scholarly field (or a combination of thesis and original creative work). In some cases, it may be possible to apply to transfer to the Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Creative Arts after a suitable period of study (normally at least the equivalent of nine months of full-time enrolment).

It may be possible for individuals with appropriate expertise to undertake studies which involve more than one discipline area.

Where submission/assessment is by thesis only, students will enrol in the Master of Philosophy.

Where submission/assessment is by a combination of creative practice and thesis and/or exegesis students will enrol in the Master of Philosophy (Creative Arts).

Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold an appropriate Bachelor degree with Honours Class II, Division 1 or higher (or its equivalent) and be able to demonstrate evidence of strong artistic attainment/potential, or significant professional experience in journalism.

Examples of artistic attainment and potential include publication or professional dissemination of work; grants, fellowships and prizes; high-level professional activity; and various indicators relevant to the specific discipline.

Journalism applicants must submit a one-page statement detailing their research history and a proposal of 2,000 words. Applicants will be assessed on the relevance of the proposal to the research interests of the program in journalism. Other topics will be considered against the research expertise available in the Faculty. Applicants applying on the basis of professional media experience must include work samples.

Guidelines for submitting the research proposal are at: under Information for Students.

Credit Transfer

Applicants with an Honours Bachelor degree in an appropriate discipline at Class II, Division 1 or higher, or its equivalent, may be granted credit transfer for the 24cp of coursework and be admitted directly into the Thesis subject.

Applicants without appropriate qualifications or research background may be admitted to the course by undertaking CREA921 (Research Topics in Creative Arts) or JOUR992 (Research Topics in Journalism) and, on successful completion at credit level or better, may be permitted to proceed into the Thesis.

Students seeking credit transfer are advised to contact the Faculty or UniAdvice for further details and refer to the General Course Rules.

In some cases it may be possible to transfer to the Doctor of Creative Arts or Doctor of Philosophy after a suitable period of study (normally at least the equivalent of nine months of full-time enrolment) and having established that the research is at the doctoral degree level.

Course Requirements

Students enrol in CREA921 (Research Topics in Creative Arts) or JOUR992 (Research Topics in Journalism) and THES924 (full-time) or THES912 (part-time), under which they submit a scholarly thesis, or a combination of creative practice and thesis and/or exegesis. As a guide, submission by thesis only will be in the range of 40,000 to 50,000 words. The submission of creative work will normally be by exhibition, performance or presentation in the area of the major, supported by written documentation (in the range of 10,000 to 15,000 words) focusing on aspects such as origins of the work, structures and techniques used, and artistic theories underpinning the work. The Faculty requires that students submit their written documentation no later than the date of examination of their final exhibition or performance, except under extraordinary circumstances approved by the supervisor and Head of Postgraduate Studies. Students presenting folios, for example literary manuscripts or music compositions, should place their dissertation and folio together in one submission for examination.

The following is intended as a guide to the scale and style of the creative work submission:

Creative Writing: Substantial folio of creative writing which may take the form of a large-scale project such as a novel (50,000 words), poetry collection (64 single-spaced pages) or script (75 minutes duration), or a combination of smaller pieces.

Graphic Design: Graphic design portfolio/exhibition and/or website/CD-Rom. As an example of content, designers would submit 10 to 15 graphic design works. Web designers would submit a major interactive web site or at least three smaller sites on the net. Multimedia designers would submit a substantial interactive CD-Rom that demonstrates an innovative and professional design approach. All students must submit design roughs and supporting material for exhibition.

Media Arts: Major solo exhibition of new media artwork plus documented preliminary exhibitions.

Music Composition: Folio of compositions including up to five compositions and at least one work that employs large resources or performance media.

Performance - Theatre: Demonstration of proficiency and artistry in one of the following: directing, dramaturgy or performance in a production of 45 to 60 minutes duration.

Visual Arts: Major solo exhibition of artwork plus documented preliminary exhibitions. As an example of content, painters should submit at least eight to 12 major pieces, plus drawings and supporting material of exhibition standard. Equivalent amounts of work will be expected of students working in other areas of the visual arts.

Journalism applicants are required to submit a thesis which involves both empirical data collection and theoretical analysis. Alternatively, submission may take the form of a significant practical journalism project undertaken in any combination of media. An exegetical component situates the practical work in the theoretical context of contemporary journalism studies and will usually be approximately 20,000 words.

The length and other requirements of a significant practical journalism project will be determined during the proposal development process. For example, a print project would usually require the submission of approximately 30,000 words and could take the form of an inter-related series of features or a single piece of narrative non-fiction. A project undertaken as an audio or audiovisual documentary would usually be of 30-60 minutes duration depending on the complexity of material and style. The parameters of equivalent combined multimedia projects will be worked out on an individual basis.

Assessment for the Master of Philosophy is by two external assessors.

For further information on Awards or Degree Rules, please see the General Course Rules.

Course Program


Credit Points



Research Topics in Creative Arts


Autumn or Spring or Annual



Research Topics in Journalism


Autumn or Spring or Annual



Thesis full-time


Autumn and/or Spring



Thesis part-time


Autumn and/or Spring

Major Study Areas

Refer to listing under Doctor of Creative Arts entry.


On commencement, students and their supervisors complete a Commencement of Candidature Form that confirms the expectations of the candidacy, particularly for the first year, the research/creative topic, a plan and timetable for the creative work and dissertation, and resource needs and skills required to complete the project. Students meet regularly with their supervisors to ensure that their progress is in line with the agreed plan. Students and supervisors must also submit an Annual Progress Report (APR). The APR is the means by which the University assesses the progress of the candidature and decides whether it will continue into the following year. Supervisors who have concerns about a student's progress may also initiate a progress review at other times during the candidature.

The final research submission for the Master of Philosophy is examined by two external examiners chosen from a list prepared by the supervisor/s in consultation with the student and approved by the Head of Postgraduate Studies.

Research Proposal Reviews (RPR)

The University’s Progress Review Guidelines stipulate that no later than the completion of the equivalent of one year full-time enrolment in the research component of the course, students must present an oral research presentation and prepare a written research plan and preliminary literature review. Students must also provide a written timetable for the coming year, and a statement of the resources required to complete their project (e.g. access to laboratories, field trips, libraries, specialist equipment etc). In the Faculty this Review encompasses student’s research in terms of both their theoretical and creative/practical work.

The Research Proposal Review Committee to hear students' oral research presentations usually meet during the Faculty’s Postgraduate Week normally held in September each year.

Other Information

Further information is available at:

UOW Coursefinder

Creative Arts Email

Creative Arts Website

Last reviewed: 15 July, 2013