Master of Music (Composition)

Course 652CO (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Year and Campus: 2012 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Research Higher Degree
Duration & Credit Points: Students are expected to complete this research in 1.50 years full time, or equivalent part time.


Dr Stuart Greenbaum, Convenor of Composition


T: +613 90353471
E: /

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
VCA and Music Student Centre


Course Overview:

The Master of Music is a research degree that prepares students for specialist careers in musicology, ethnomusicology, composition, performance, or music therapy. All candidates are required to complete satisfactorily a study in one area of specialisation, following the study plans described below.

Total weighting for the course is 150 points; the degree takes 18 months full-time (three years part-time) to complete.


On completion of this course students should be able to:

  • Apply the best practices of local, national and international standards in their professional performance in their chosen specialisation;
  • Pursue an informed program of independent further study in their chosen area of specialisation in music;
  • Provide leadership in the profession in their chosen area of specialisation in music;
  • Use current technologies and assimilate the potential of emerging technologies to facilitate and heighten the dissemination of skills, knowledge and information;
  • Value and participate in projects requiring team-work.

On completion of the Composition stream, students will have:

  • Developed compositional skills and techniques to a professional level;
  • Clarified a personal stylistic and philosophical rationale;
  • Developed a greater understanding and knowledge of the professional world of composition.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Full-time and Part-time study options are available.


Candidates enrolled in the Composition stream undertake the following subjects:

Subject Options:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2

PLUS either

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
RHD First Half Year, RHD Second Half Year


Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2

Additional Elective Subject

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Total points for course = 150

Entry Requirements:

To be accepted into the Master of Music, students should normally have a Bachelor of Music (Honours) degree, or equivalent, with a final result of first-class honours or high second-class honours.

Application Procedure

Further details regarding how tp apply are available via the Melbourne Conservatorium of 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 also 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 a number of works reflecting various compositional styles and media and should contain at least one sustained work of over 10 minutes' duration. Recordings of MIDI versions are acceptable, however it is advisable to submit at least one example of a live performance. Electro-Acoustic works should be submitted on CD. Please also submit a list of other compositions, including instrumentation, duration, and date.

Evidence of Scholarly Ability

Applicants in Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Music Therapy or Composition (Minor Thesis option) are required to submit a copy of their Honours dissertation or a substantial piece of scholarly writing with their application.

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:

Research Masters degrees at the University of Melbourne seek to develop graduates who have a capacity for defining and managing a research project characterised by originality and independence. Their training equips them for more sustained and original work at the doctoral level or for applied research positions in a wider variety of contexts.

Generic Skills:

The University expects its research masters graduates to have the following qualities and skills:

  • An ability to initiate research projects and to formulate viable research questions;
  • A demonstrated capacity to design, conduct and report independent and original research on a closely-defined project;
  • An ability to manage time to maximise the quality of research;
  • An understanding of the major contours of international research in the research area;
  • A capacity for critical evaluation of relevant scholarly literature;
  • Well-developed and flexible problem-solving abilities appropriate to the discipline
  • The ability to analyse research data within a changing disciplinary environment;
  • The capacity to communicate effectively the results of research and scholarship by oral and written communication;
  • An understanding of and facility with scholarly conventions in the discipline area;
  • A profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of research and scholarship;
  • A capacity to co-operate with other researchers;
  • An ability to manage information effectively, including the application of computer systems and software where appropriate to the student's field of study.

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