Interdisciplinary and Cross-Cultural Research (ICCR)

CHMS HDR Program intro

A Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Program

The Heritage and Museum Studies HDR program offers a unique opportunity to explore new modes of research, as well as use traditional scholarly methods, to provide innovative insights into the different ways the social phenomenon that is heritage, in all its different expressions.

Through its supportive environment the program encourages new modes of research while it also supports traditional scholarly methods of inquiry. The program is led by internationally renowned scholars from from within the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies.

A unique opportunity

We offer expert supervision within and across a range of disciplinary boundaries, including but not limited to heritage and museum studies, history and public history, anthropology, archaeology, and tourism studies.

You will be encouraged to adopt an interdisciplinary perspective in your research. Expert advisers are available from across the university and a range of national cultural institutions located in Canberra including the National Museum of Australia, the National Library of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

By undertaking research in this program you will be able to take advantage of intellectual and multi-form collaborations and have opportunities to be involved in the production of exhibitions, colloquia and multimedia projects, as well as to undertake short, practical internships. The program provides unique opportunities for research training in the context of collaborative team research, in partnership with cultural institutions and industries.

Off-campus study

The program also caters for students who wish to be based off-campus.

The Heritage and Museum Studies program offers:

  • The opportunity to work with staff members, adjunct faculty, post-doctoral fellows and visiting academics – all with international reputations in a range of disciplines.
  • Opportunities to present work-in-progress in a number of forms, including conferences, seminar series, and workshops.
  • Office space with computing facilities and access to state-of-the-art multimedia facilities.
  • Participation in occasional visiting scholars’ programs and master classes.
  • Access to some of the most extensive library and archival holdings in Australia and in some of the best cultural institutions in Australia including the National Library of Australia and specialist collections in the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, National Film and Sound Archives, the National Museum of Australia, the Museum of Australian Democracy, the Australian War Memorial and the National Archives of Australia.
  • Students are eligible for fieldwork support and scholarship holders receive an allowance for thesis preparation.

Apply to the HDR Program


HDR Coursework requirements

All HDR candidates commencing a PhD or MPhil are required to complete 24 units of coursework (Masters level courses) or 12 units of coursework (PhD level courses).


  1. HUMN9001 (6 units) + two or three postgraduate courses (the remaining 18 units) as agreed with the Chair/Supervisor
  2. HUMN9001 (6 units) + HUMN9002 (6 units)

The course HUMN 9001 Interdisciplinary Humanities Research: Theories and Skills is required for HDR candidates. The remaining 18 units are to be agreed upon with the supervisory panel. HUMN9001 is based on a participatory learning model and features guest seminar leaders drawn from among the RHSA’s faculty members, fellows and adjunct professors, as well as faculty located in other programmes across the University. It begins in mid-April and will run for approximately 7 weeks.

The course HUMN9002 Interdisciplinary Research: Frameworks, Connections &Dissemination is designed to pair with HUMN9001 Interdisciplinary Humanities Research: Methods, Theories and Skills. It is based around a schedule of research seminars (minimum 10) selected by the PhD candidate.


Dr Alexandra Dellios
HDR Convenor
Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies, RSHA, CASS
T: +61 2 6125 5889

Dr Lan Tran
HDR Program and Student Coordinator
School of Archaeology and Anthropology, RSHA, CASS
T: +61 2 6125 4812
F: +61 2 6125 1285


Given the broad nature of the program it is possible to select suitable supervisors from across the university. Advice on selecting prospective supervisors may be sought from the convenor

Useful link :

Current Heritage and Musuem Studies Students:


Browne, Kieran. Computing Culture: a humanities approach to artificial neural networks.

Catt, Emily. Cultural diplomacy in the Keating years: Asian Australian dialogues and the visual arts.

Chiu, Tzu Yu. Museum as a public sphere: exploring the potential of the City Museum.

Dixon, Renee. Developing a crowdsourced digital LGBTIQ archive: a new methodology to challenge knowledge hegemonies and hierarchies of normative archive practices.

Edelstein, Ian.  Interrogating myths, misconceptions and propaganda in South African history. A radical re-appraisal of the Sharpeville Massacre and the legacy of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe using theatre and virtual history as constructs.

Findlay, Gavin. Theatre as ecosystem: combining tangible and intangible heritage through a digital humanities approach to the Splinters Theatre archive.

Lamb, Karina. Objects can speak: Indigenous language and the object in Australian and New Zealand museums.

Macnicol, Douglas. A cultural history of violin pedagogy, ca 1780 – 1880.

Neale, Jodi. Converging domains: An ethnographic biography of Doris Eaton.

Sturrock, Angela. Stopping the boats: the discursive legitimisation and normalisation of Australia’s refugee and asylum seeker policies.

Viray, Bryan Levina. Commemoration as Intangible Heritage: Performing Collective Memories of the Fil-Am War, Philippines.

Clark, Alexander. Implementing the Australian Curriculum in Music: an initial study assessing its praxial potential in secondary schools in Canberra (2020)

Harrison, Andrew. Sounding out the past (2020)

Kinsman, Martha. 'Different but Equal': The Rise and Demise of the TAFE Teachers Association of Australia 1964 - 1992 (2020)

Menzies, Isa. Horses for Discourses: a critical examination of the horse in Australian culture (2020)

Wensing, Emma. Crafty Commemoration: Vernacular responses to the Centenary of World War One (2020)

Zhang, Lansheng. The Spirit of Individualism: Avant-Garde Art in Shanghai 1979-1989 (2020)

Robertson, Christopher. From Ruskin to Aalto: Prophets with a Message (2017).

Updated:  10 April 2018/Responsible Officer:  RSHA Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications