Graduate Diploma in Music (Composition)

Course M01CO (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 Graduate Diploma in Music is designed for university graduates in any field who wish to undertake university-level study in music.

A student may focus on either practical skills or academic study, or blend the two together. The programs draw together subjects from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music's existing degree programs, and may be taken part-time or full-time.

Objectives: Students will gain a general understanding of the key concepts and issues in a music specialisation and develop appropriate technical and critical skills.
Course Structure & Available Subjects: Full-time and Part-time study options are available.
Students enrolled in the Composition stream normally undertake a course of study as follows:
Subject Options:

Semester 1

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2011


Ensemble elective 6.25

Academic and/or Music Studies Electives 25.00

Semester 2

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2011


Ensemble elective 6.25

Academic and/or Music Studies Electives 25.00


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
  • Conducting
Entry Requirements:

This program is designed for graduates of undergraduate degrees in disciplines other than music.

Applicants are eligible for entry into the Graduate Certificate or Diploma if they:

  • Hold an undergraduate degree at a pass level, with an average of at least H2B (70%) in the major.
  • 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.
Further Study: Completion of the Graduate Diploma in Music leads to eligibility to apply for masters-level programs offered by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
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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