Successfully completing a Higher Degree by Research can be a daunting process. Unlike undergraduate degrees, the HDR experience entails high levels of self-reliance. The information and links provided in this section are intended to help you manage your candidature and reach a successful conclusion in a suitable span of time.


The primary means of communication between HDR students and the School is by email.

The School sends emails only to your UQ student email account, which is set up once you are enrolled. Please note that University Policy makes it your responsibility as a student to maintain and check this account, and that the School cannot accept responsibility for miscommunication arising from failure to check for emails sent to this account. For redirection of your UQ email to a nominated account, please consult Information Technology Services.

All HDR related emails to the School should be directed to the RHD Administration Officer.

Change of Candidature

As an HDR student, you may find it necessary to make changes to the nature of your candidature. This could involve change in status from full to part time or vice versa, temporary leave of absence, addition of course work, and so on. Any such change should be discussed with your advisors and the HDR Coordinator.

Procedures and forms for change of candidature are available on the Graduate School website.

Requests to make changes to your candidature have to be endorsed by both your principal advisor and the HDR Coordinator prior to approval from the Dean of the Graduate School.

Milestones of Candidature

HDR Milestones of Candidature comprise a set of internal assessment processes (occurring roughly a year apart for full-time PhD candidates) that are intended to provide you a framework for completing your research project successfully and on time. They function both as a feedback mechanism and a quality-assurance tool for the University.

While the Milestones are generic across all Faculties, Divisions, Schools and Centres at UQ, specific implementations vary from one enrolling unit to another, as appropriate to the kind of research encountered in specific fields of study and disciplines and in relation to HDR programs with special formats (such as the School of Music's HDR programs in Performance and Composition).

Information for HDR candidates and their advisors on the specific implementation of Milestones within the School of Music across its varied HDR programs is available on the School of Music RHD Community Blackboard site. This document sets out the timing, formats, expectations, and specific components of the milestones as applied by the School of Music.

For further information on the Milestones of Candidature in general (such as general expectations, timing, extensions and resubmissions) you are directed to:

HDR Student and Staff Seminar Series

A regular fortnightly seminar series is run for HDR Candidates and Staff in the School of Music. The seminar provides opportunities for students and staff to share knowledge in a productive and supportive environment. The oral component of HDR Candidature Milestones are presented to this forum.

The School also runs other activities in this space, including specialist workshops, work-in-progress sessions, Three-Minute Thesis heats, guest lectures, and so on.

The seminars are held every second week of semester on Wednesday afternoons from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Occasional additional seminars are sometimes scheduled.

More information about the Seminars is posted regularly on the School of Music HDR Community Blackboard site.

It is a requirement for successful completion of the Confirmation of Candidature Milestone that provisional HDR candidates evidence a regular attendance record at the School's HDR seminars.

Recitals (HDR candidates in performance)

Recitals are scheduled as part of the School's Concert activities. They may occur as part of the regular series of Nickson Room or Customs House concerts, or may be arranged as individual events.

In consultation with your advisory team, make arrangements for your recital with sufficient time for the School to schedule it, and arrange for examiners. In particular, please observe the following timeframes:

  • Recitals taking place as part of an HDR Milestone requirements must be scheduled to occur no later than two weeks prior to the official milestone date;
  • Arrangements for scheduling your recital must commence no later than three months prior to the proposed concert date. Initial steps include contacting the HDR Administrative Officer and submitting your program for approval by the HDR Coordinator; and
  • Your program notes must be submitted for approval to the HDR Coordinator no later than one month prior to the concert date

The HDR Administration Officer is the initial contact point for making arrangements for your recital and maintains oversight of the process.

Three-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT™)

Three Minute Thesis is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland which challenges research higher degree students to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance in just three minutes in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

HDR candidates in the School are encouraged to take part: annual School heats in the competition are scheduled within the School's HDR Student and Staff seminar series. More information about scheduling is provided in the School of Music HDR Community Blackboard site.

Facilities and Support

The School provides a range of facilities during your candidature, including:

  • Practice Studios may be booked for up to 3 hours per day by HDR candidates in the field of Performance. Contact the School Office for further information on bookings.
  • Office Space is provided for HDR candidates, subject to availability. The School maintains offices and desks designated for HDR candidates (including provision of desktop computers) in the General Purposes South Building. Contact the HDR Administration Officer to apply for office space. If you are a part-time student you may be considered for a shared desk space. If you have completed your Thesis Review Milestone you can apply for facilities in the Graduate School's Thesis Hub
  • The School of Music has two computer labs, one for undergraduate students and one for postgraduates (room 420). Computers in the lab include score writing and sound production software. There is also a fully equipped recording studio (room 511) for those students whose creative projects require it. Contact the School Office for further information.
  • The School also provides scholarships to support candidates in their projects. Confirmed candidates can apply for research support of up to $1,500 (for PhD) or $750 (for MPhil) over the duration of their HDR candidature. More information is provided in the School of Music RHD Community Blackboard site.
  • The School also offers the annual R. D. Kitchen Scholarship, which provides up to $5,000 to one HDR candidate each year. The HDR candidate must intend to present on their research project at distinguished international research conferences, or equivalent forums for the presentation of creative work outside Australia, and is chosen following a competitive selection process. More information is provided in the School of Music RHD Community Blackboard site.