The University of Sydney


Australian Laureate Fellow
"I had thought it’d be interesting to look at why we teach the way we do today, but then I just found myself working back through history."

“I did an arts degree, and then I did honours in art history on Pre-Raphaelite art. It was so full on I thought, ‘I don’t want to do research ever again!’ so I did a Masters in Teaching because I thought that was more me. I love the teaching but after a year of that there was an option of doing a second honours project..."

  • PhD

    After my 2nd Honours thesis, I thought: ‘actually this is a thing that needs to be done because it hasn’t been done before’ Then I got the opportunity, with an APA scholarship to do a PhD.

    Rebecca's profile

    Rebecca's profile

    This thesis explores the history of art education in Australia from 1850 - 1915, focusing on New South Wales. Nineteenth century art education took a very different form from what we know today. Practical art was taught in technical institutions.

  • Masters in Teaching (Honours)

    Throughout the course of the Masters of Teaching I’d kind of been interested in the history of teaching art. There was not a lot of literature about it. I was looking for stuff and it was either stuff written by art teachers or more reflective pieces that weren’t really formal research work. There was nothing that really canvassed the history of art education in Australia. So I started my second honours project and I wrote on a very narrow part of art education in the history of Australia. I used one historical magazine and traced what they said, because it was such a short project.

  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

    It’s funny, I’ve thought ‘really I’m a Victorian Scholar.’ I had thought it’d be interesting to look at why we teach the way we do today, because that’s a really interesting topic. However, when I started, I found myself working back and back in history. I guess maybe I’m an historian after all because I wanted to know how it started in Australia. The only reason I started in 1850 and not 1788 is because there’s nothing really happening or recorded before then. I wanted to know how art education started in Australia and how we have ended up with what we have today.

    Saint Cecilia by John William Waterhouse

    Saint Cecilia by John William Waterhouse

    The integration of art and beauty into every aspect of life was one of the foremost tenets of the Aesthetic Movement. Artists who subscribed to this ideal stepped outside of the confines of their medium of choice and experimented with all variety of design: painters became furniture designers and architects designed textiles.


How to Apply

  • How to apply for a research degree

    Applying for entry to a research degree requires some time and preparation.

  • Step 1. Identify and establish an academic contact/potential supervisor

    Contact a member of academic staff to send your initial research proposal to. Use our Research Supervisor Connect tool to find them.

  • Step 2. Develop and submit an initial research proposal

    Once you have initiated discussions with an academic contact, you should prepare your initial research proposal of around 500 words.

  • Step 3. Revise and finalise your research proposal

    In conjunction with your academic contact, refine your research proposal ready for submission of your formal application.

  • Step 4. Identify and contact two academic referees

    Once you have completed the proposal and had it reviewed by your academic contact, you’re ready to submit your application.

  • Step 6. Submit your application

    All research applications are made online through the Find a course database. For PhD applications, go to Find a Course, search for 'Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)' and pick your faculty. Click 'apply now' and follow the instructions.

  • Please note

    You may be required to provide supporting documentation. All documents submitted need to be either original or certified according to the University's Certification of Documents Guidelines (PDF 40KB).

  • Note for International students

    The University of Sydney has many scholarships available for international students.

  • Note for local students

    Domestic research students are exempt from paying fees for the duration of their course.

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