School of Creative Industries

PhD and Research Masters

Doctor of Philosopy (PhD) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil) students in the School of Creative Industries are preparing themselves for the world that we all know is just around the corner; a future where creativity, innovation and collaboration converge in an interdisciplinary global landscape.

Opportunities will depend on the ability to produce ideas, knowledge and skills for a world where the 'not yet known' demands innovation and creative thinking.

PhD student works from left: Shan Turner-Carroll Hair Jacket # 2, 2015, Digital inkjet print on archival rag paper, 53"x 36", edition of 7; Bliss Cavanagh at her sensory art exhibition Studio Bliss; Ruth Liou's The Bell at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi

PhD and MPhil degrees offered by the School of Creative Industries

Find a supervisor

Your first step in applying for a PhD or MPhil is to contact a supervisor in your chosen field, so you can discuss possible research topics.

Find a Communication and Media Supervisor

Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • Professor Mark Balnaves: specialises in audience research, new media and society, digital ethnography, history of media.
  • Associate Professor Phillip McIntyre: researches how novel and valued things come into being. Supervises postgraduate research across a variety of domains concerned with creativity and innovation within the field of communication and media.
  • Dr Janet Fulton: specialises in creativity and cultural production, journalism, online journalism, media entrepreneurship, media studies and social media.
  • Dr Melanie James: specialises in public relations, strategic communication and positioning.
  • Dr Susan Kerrigan: supervises thesis and creative practice projects in film, television and screen production, including screenwriting, drama or documentary.
  • Dr Michael Meany: specialises in humour, comedy and creativity produced and performed in traditional and new media forms.
  • Dr Keith Russell: communication media law and ethics, design concepts and methods, new humanities, new media poetics, phenomenology, philosophy of communication, philosophy of design.
  • Dr Judith Sandner: researches vernacular creativity and collaborative theatrical, television and film productions generated from fact-based community narratives. She supervises projects concerned with Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of news media productions; communication and media personnel as creative practitioners; social media engagement and identity constructions.
  • Dr Simon Weaving: is passionate about cinema and is interested in supervising research that involves film-production, distribution and exhibition – in particular screenwriting and directing cinematic drama.
  • Ms Felicity Biggins: narrative journalism, radio, creative non-fiction, feature writing, journalism, media production, radio.
  • Ms Christina Koutsoukous
  • Ms Cathie Payne
  • Mr Paul Scott: journalism, politics, public affairs and communication, public policy, radio journalism.

Find a Creative and Performing Arts Supervisor

Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • Professor Frank Millward: the intersection between fine art, music and theatre making; how technology is turning the arts into a fertile ground for innovative research.
  • Dr Gillian Arrighi: Acting theories and pedagogy, animals and performance, Australian performance histories, children in entertainment, circus studies, contemporary circus and physical theatre, contemporary performance practices, masks in training and performance, performance and intermediality, popular entertainments, role play and simulation pedagogies, Victorian & Edwardian popular entertainments, youth circus and social circus
  • Dr Jocelyn McKinnon: Curriculum development, experimental theatre and performance, interdisciplinary, pedagogy in the creative arts, political and community performance, student centered learning

FIND A FINE ART SUPERVISOR

Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • Professor Frank Millward: the intersection between fine art, sonic art and performance, and how technology is turning the arts into a fertile ground for innovative research
  • Dr Andre Brodyk: expanded painting and drawing; interdisciplinary practices; installation art; painting paradigms; drawing paradigms; biotech art; genetic art; art & science intersections; agencies of materiality; performative research - practice as research: critical and technology-mediated practice, which explores the use of biotechnology recombinant process and materials as models of material creativity; new critiques of materials and protocols of biological science and technologies at the micro and molecular levels as the agencies of new expression
  • Dr Deidre Brollo: printmaking, artist's books and installation; perception and memory
  • Dr Miranda Lawry: photomedia - investigating the notion of trace within the landscape, evidencing both historical marking and contemporary presence to redefine notions of identity, memory and 'place'; media investigations, include early photography technologies, digital imaging photomedia interventions, artist books and installation; collaborative engagement with a focus on determining a multi level framework that enables the arts to have intrinsic value within and beyond the art gallery; arts/health research
  • Dr Faye Neilson: 3D art and its theoretical discourse, particularly in relation to contemporary art practice and installation; object materiality, analogy and signification with reference to the domestic environment, especially in the reworking of traditional fibres-textiles processes
  • Dr Angela Philp: art history and theory; museology and contemporary practice; feminism and women's art history (in particular the Sydney Society of Women Painters 1910-1934); historical and contemporary Australian art; Aboriginal art; the art market
  • Mr Kris Smith: digital media and multi-media practice; digital animation; digital photomedia; hybrid photomedia; time-lapse photography; traditional photomedia; pre-cinema time-lapse photography, modernist films of the 1920s, investigating time as the fourth dimension in art

Find a Music supervisor

Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • Professor Frank Millward: The intersection between fine art, music and theatre making; how technology is turning the arts into a fertile ground for innovative research.
  • Associate Professor Rosalind Halton: Baroque and classical performance practice, harpsichord and fortepiano, Italian baroque cantata, performance as research
  • Dr Jim Chapman: African music, computer mediated learning, jazz and popular music, music education, music and intercultural syncretism, musical rhythm theory, world music
  • Dr Philip Matthias: Academics, chamber choir, organ, Australian choral music, Australian sacred and spiritual music, Torres Strait Islander music
  • Ms Helen English: Australian music, keyboard, musicology, 19th century music, music and gender, sociology of music
  • Mr Nathan Scott (co-supervision): Audio recording and production, cognitive neuroscience of music, creative music production, digital sound synthesis & processing, game music development, ICT literacy in music education, music technology, network music technology (telematics), soundtrack design
  • Ms Anthea Scott-Mitchell (co-supervision): Circles, spirals and cello physics; improvisation; martial arts and cello technique; music, meaning and mythology; music, sound and spirituality
  • Mr Colin Spiers (co-supervision): music composition and analysis, music composition and piano teaching, music performance
  • Ms Sally Walker (co-supervision):Australian music; chamber music; composer/performer collaborations; flute and physiology; flute, piccolo, alto performance and repertoire; historical flutes' performance and repertoire; inter-relation of vocal and flute techniques; inter-disciplinary collaborations; orchestral music; woodwind pedagogy; world music
  • Ms Linda Walsh (co-supervision): Chamber music, instructional video, multi-media collaboration, music documentary, oboe, 20th century oboe repertoire, video, woodwind

Find a Natural History Illustration supervisor

Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • Dr Andrew Howells: Drawing as inquiry; Digital/Traditional Illustration Practice; Natural History Illustration; Art and Science collaboration;
  • Dr Bernadette Drabsch: Contextualised history of illustration; Role of prehistoric art as a mnemonic too; Art creation as a ritual process; Early visual narratives and linear inscriptions; Connection between art, religion and social complexity in the Levantine Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age; Syrio-Mesopotamian cylinder seals; Rock art of New South Wales; Illustrators of the Hunter Region, past and present

Find a Visual Communication Design Supervisor

Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • Professor Mario Minichiello: human design for; behaviour, Visualisation, Visual Narrative and story telling, Branding, Animation, film and moving imagery, drawing, conflict art and design for medical applications.
  • Associate Professor Mark Roxburgh: design practice and theory; photographic practice and theory; user-centred, participatory, and user experience design; visual representation, visual storytelling and visual methodologies.
  • Dr Caelli Jo Brooker: visual art; mark-making; drawing; painting; print media; artists books; graphic design; typography; hapticity: practice as research; visual research methodologies; materiality; visuality; visual literacies; the nexus between art and design; art and design pedagogy; art theory and the philosophy of art and design.
  • Dr Michael Dickinson: transforming creative ideas through design into commercial realities. Design for innovation and engagement. Expertise in design theory and practice led research.
  • Dr Mike McAuley: the creative process, and how ideas originate and are developed in visual form. This interest is applied within the area of information visualisation and his latest work explores how the claim/evidence protocol of academic discourse can be authoritatively pursued through the hegemony of visual language.
  • Dr Simone O’Callaghan: user experience design and human interaction as well as creative practice-based methods for research
  • Ms Jane Shadbolt: research into relationship between stop motion animation and special effects in live action cinema. It looks at ideas of illusion and the visual representation of the impossible through theory and practice.

Who can apply?

Even if you don't have an Honours or Masters degree, you can apply to undertake a Research Masters, and, depending on progress, transfer to a PhD after your first full-time year of study. Applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Explore how to write a graduate research proposal, and talk to a supervisor to find out more.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to demonstrate meeting the University's English proficiency policy.

How much will it cost?

There are no tuition fees, no HECS debt – postgraduate research degrees are free. Australian students are currently exempt from paying tuition fees for PhD and MPhil study.

  • For international students, see our costs section.

What support does the Faculty provide?

Our Higher Degree Research (HDR) Advantage Package means that you will have access to the information and support you need during your MPhil or PhD journey. This includes:

  • A detailed induction process to help make the transition to post graduate research easier.
  • A rich program of workshops, seminars and courses that will enhance your research skills, enable you to connect with other students, and provide timely support at key moments of your candidature.
  • Awards and prizes celebrating graduate research achievements and contributions to our research culture.
  • Access to resources tailored to our diverse graduate research cohort.
  • State-of-the-art creative spaces, including fine art studios, photomedia studios, 3D printers, galleries, music labs, production suites for TV and radio, broadcast studios, theatres and music labs.

Images (above): PhD and MPhil student works from left: Shan Turner-Carroll Hair Jacket # 2, 2015, Digital inkjet print on archival rag paper, 53"x 36", edition of 7; Bliss Cavanagh at her sensory art exhibition Studio Bliss; Ruth Liou's The Bell at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi