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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

This is a degree in creative work, such as performance or/and composition, with a related research component; or by research only.

For more information on the PhD click here.

Master of Arts (MA)

This degree is by research only. For more information on the MA click here.

Master of Music (MMus)

This degree is in creative work, with a related research component. For more information on the MMus click here.


For additional information on the postgraduate degrees or to enquire about graduate studies in Music at Wits please email

How prepared are you to undertake masters or doctoral degree studies?

For the first time in their university careers, masters and doctoral candidates have a great deal more choice in what topics they wish to research. Lecturers don’t teach according to prescribed course outlines within a set curriculum; instead, supervisors function as guides to assist postgraduate researchers along the path of their chosen research route. This requires a great deal of self-discipline, motivation and long hours of reading, writing and revising as well as use of proper research techniques and skills as required by the University’s academic standards. Your research will need to demonstrate independent, critical and informed thoughts and ideas which are presented in a professional, scholarly and unbiased fashion. While you are never alone in this process as your supervisor is always there to assist, guide and advise you, a masters or doctoral degree requires far more independent work and thought than an undergraduate degree. At no point should you assume that successful Bachelor/Honours or masters degree studies mean an automatically successful masters or doctoral degree. Postgraduate study of this nature is a substantial commitment, but it also has many personal, academic and professional rewards.

Ask yourself the following questions to gauge your readiness for masters and doctoral study:

  1. Do I regularly feel interested enough in a certain topic to find out more about it and do I feel naturally curious to know more about the world around me and about music in particular?
  2. How often does this interest compel me to undertake research, such as use of internet search engines or reading of newspaper or encyclopaedia articles?
  3. When did I last read a review of an academic book in my field in a recognised scholarly journal?
  4. If someone had to ask me to summarise in a few sentences what I would like to study for my masters or doctoral degree, what would I say?
  5. Do I know what plagiarism is? Am I familiar with proper academic reference techniques?
  6. Do I have the necessary computer skills and knowledge to use online databases or search engines for research purposes?
  7. Can I summarise in a few sentences why Wits is my chosen institution for my postgraduate studies?