Postgraduate Diploma in Music (Composition)

Course 889CO (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Year and Campus: 2011 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Dr Stuart Greenbaum


Faculty of the VCA and Music Student Centre
Tel: +61 3 9685 9419
Fax: +61 3 9685 9358
Course Overview:

The Postgraduate Diploma in Music provides a pathway for music graduates with a 3-year degree from other institutions in Melbourne, nationally and internationally, to gain an Honours-degree equivalent and thereby become eligible to apply for Masters courses in the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.


On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Contextualise their performing within the best practices of local, national and international standards;
  • Pursue musical knowledge and skills independently, both in a specialisation and in the discipline as a whole;
  • Use and assimilate the potential of technologies to facilitate the dissemination of musical skills, knowledge and information;
  • Make critical, informed and sophisticated responses to new musical ideas, methodologies and theoretical frameworks, both in their specialisation and in the discipline of music as a whole;
  • Show empathy, self-reflection and critical intelligence in the dissemination of skills and knowledge in their specialisation;
  • Work competently and productively in a musical setting, both alone and in groups;
  • Integrate a holistic view of music from different times and places into their working and intellectual lives.
Course Structure & Available Subjects: Full-time and Part-time study options are available.

Students enrolled in the Composition stream undertake the following course structure:

Subject Options:

Semester 1

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2011
Semester 1

Ensemble elective 6.25

Academic and/or Music Studies Electives 12.50

Semester 2

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2011

Ensemble elective 6.25

Academic Elective 12.50

Music Studies Elective 12.50


Ensemble, Academic and Music Studies electives are co-taught with the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music's Bachelor of Music program.

For elective subject options, see

Students should seek to take (or have previously taken an equivalent of) as many of the following advised electives as allowable before freely selecting from other options:

  • Electro-Acoustic Music
  • Orchestration
  • Music Language 3: Modern Directions
Entry Requirements:

To be accepted into the Postgraduate Diploma in Music, students should normally have completed an undergraduate degree with a major in music, with at least H2B (70%) in the major, or equivalent documented professional experience of at least five years.

  • Selection into the Composition specialisation will be subject to the satisfactory assessment of a composition folio.
  • The Selection Committee may conduct interviews, or call for written work, referee reports, or employer references, to elucidate any of the above.

Application Procedure

Applicants are required to apply online via the Faculty of the VCA and Music website -

Students are encouraged to provide as much detailed information in support of their application as possible and to discuss their application with a member of the Academic Staff prior to submission.
Certified transcripts of academic records at any tertiary institution other than The University of Melbourne must be forwarded with the application. If the transcription is not in English a certified translation must be provided.

Composition Folio

Applicants for the Composition stream are required to submit a folio of original works with their application. The folio should comprise two or three representative works only. Recordings of MIDI versions are acceptable, however it is advisable to submit at least one example of a live or studio performance. All recordings, including electro-acoustic works, should be submitted on CD.

Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit.
Graduate Attributes: University of Melbourne postgraduate coursework degrees seek to develop graduates who demonstrate a capacity for contemporary professional practice and/or specialist knowledge and theory. Postgraduate coursework degrees have multiple purposes. They are designed to provide students with the opportunity for advanced knowledge and understanding in a specialist area; to enhance professional knowledge and skills; and to engage with new and emerging fields of study.
Generic Skills:

Graduates should also have developed the following skills:

  • A sound attitude towards undertaking life-long learning in music;
  • A well-developed capacity to understand and participate as an individual and in collaborative teams as a leader or as a team member;
  • A sophisticated level of written, verbal and musical communication skills;
  • An ability to think critically and analytically about the musical experience in all its facets: as performance, as composition, and as historical-sociocultural document.

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