Bachelor of Music (Degree with Honours)

Course BH-MUS (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Year and Campus: 2014 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 060219F
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Undergraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Professor Ian Holtham


Contact Centre
T: 13 MELB (6352)

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
VCA and MCM Student Centre

Course Overview:

The Bachelor of Music (Honours) is a highly specialised, music-only program offering specialisations in Performance, Composition, Musicology and Ethnomusicology.

It provides students with enhanced knowledge and expertise to further prepare student for entry to the profession and to link students with advanced graduate study opportunities.

Learning Outcomes:

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

  • contextualise their performing within the best practices of local, national and international standards;
  • demonstrate a strong knowledge and understanding of their discipline;
  • pursue musical knowledge and skills independently, with intellectual honesty and rigorous methods of inquiry;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • participate with integrity, discrimination and sound knowledge and understanding in national and international debates, dialogues and discussions in their area of specialsiation and in the discipline as a whole;
  • communicate effectively;
  • qualify for employment in a wide range of occupations in the music profession;
  • have a lifelong commitment to learning.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Bachelor of Music (Honours) requires the successful completion of 100 points in one of the following specialisations:

Performance - with a Concerto and Recital requirement, chamber music and ensemble subjects
Composition - with a major folio requirement and professional project subject
Musicology/ Ethnomusicology - with a thesis requirement and professional project subject



Breadth Tracks:

The Bachelor of Music (Honours) is a music-only program - no breadth study is required.

Available Breadth Tracks

Entry Requirements:

Selection into the Bachelor of Music (Honours) requires completion of a Bachelor of Music degree with a Grade Point Average of not less than 65. Additional selection pre-requisites for each specialisation area are also required.

For graduates of the University of Melbourne Bachelor of Music:

  • Performance - a result of not less than H2A (75) in the Bachelor of Music subject Music Performance 6/Performance Study 6
  • Composition - a result of not less than H2A (75) in the Bachelor of Music subject Composition 4
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology - a result of not less than H2A (75) in an academic elective subject at level 3 in the Bachelor of Music

For graduates of other institutions:

  • Performance - a 25-minute audition
  • Composition - the submission of a 20-minute folio of compositions
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology - the submission of a recent example of scholarly writing of no less than 2000 words

All applicants must satisfy the University’s English language requirements to be eligible for a place.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music policy to take reasonable steps to make reasonable adjustments so as to enable the student’s participation in the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music’s programs. The Bachelor of Music (Honours) is a degree which involves acquisition and refinement of musical knowledge and practice. All students of music must possess intellectual, ethical, physical and emotional capabilities required to participate in the full curriculum and to achieve the levels of competence required by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

A candidate for the BMus(Hons) degree must have abilities and skills which include the following:

a) Well developed existing proficiency in at least one musical instrument. This instrumental or vocal proficiency is initially measured at the application stage by audition into the Bachelor of Music. This proficiency will involve appropriately developed physical skills to achieve a well developed level of physical control of the instrument;

b) Well developed music literacy. A candidate must be capable of reading music notation fluently whether in standard musical notation or Braille musical notation;

c) Aural discrimination skills. A candidate needs to have well developed hearing to ensure that the aural requirements essential to the study of Music can be met;

d) The ability to comprehend complex music information and material independently. A candidate needs to possess an appropriate level of cognition to deal with required material relating to the theory and history of Music. This material may exist in written, and aural and schematised forms;

e) The capacity to communicate clearly a knowledge and application of music principles and practice in assessment activities and the ability to function as part of a musical team. A candidate must possess the emotional health required for full use of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment and the prompt completion of all responsibilities required by the course. All candidates need to be aware of their personal limitations and be aware of when and where to seek professional advice or supervision. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing musical practice and to function effectively under stress and isolation in musical preparation. They must also be able to function effectively as part of a musical ensemble, to adapt to changing environments and to display flexibility.

f) Behavioural and Social Attributes. A candidate must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

Students who feel their disability will prevent them from meeting the above academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit.

Further Study:

The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music offers a wide range of study options including:

Graduate Research programs:

Master of Music - specialisations available in Performance, Conducting, Composition, Musicology, Ethnomusicology and Music Therapy.
Doctor of Philosophy - a research degree, during which the candidate undertakes a substantial piece of original research that makes a distinct contribution to knowledge in the chosen discipline

Graduate Coursework programs:

Master of Music (Performance Teaching) - a specialist coursework degree enabling graduates in Western classical and contemporary music to work as performer-teachers in a variety of situations including community, private provider and further education settings and as instrumental/vocal instructors in schools.
Master of Music (Opera Performance) - a specialist coursework degree, offered in conjunction with Victorian Opera, delivering elite-level training for opera performers.
Master of Music Therapy - a coursework program leading to professional registration as Music Therapists (RMT) with the Australian Music Therapy Association (Inc.).
Graduate Diploma in Guided Imagery and Music - an intensive mode program providing advanced level training in Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) therapy.

For full details of graduate courses offered by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, see

Graduate Attributes:

Graduates of the Bachelor of Music (Honours) will be:

  • Academically excellent as a result of:
    o intensive and rigorous one-to-one tuition/supervision
    o participation in a diversity of teaching and learning modes
    o assessment practices that demand independent thinking, critical analysis and an openness to new ideas

  • Articulate and authoritatively informed in musical discourse
  • Familiar and competent with research protocols, written and spoken communication skills and the ethics of scholarship
  • Artistically sophisticated with a high level of understanding of the aesthetic of their discipline

  • Community leader through:
    o undertaking and developing new initiatives in community awareness and understanding of the place of music in society
    o a program of professional projects
    o leadership roles in University and community based public performances, workshops and outreach programs
    o high level development of teamwork and group dynamic skills

  • Attuned to cultural diversity through:
    o a raft of subject options that involve thinking about difference in ways of being musical as well as participating in music from other times and places
    o familiarity with culturally diverse ways of conceptualising and talking about music
    o hands-on experiences of culturally diverse styles of music making and musical pedagogy

  • Global citizens through:
    o participation throughout the course in the inherently international nature of music in all its manifestations
    o awareness as ambassadors for Australia through promotion of its cultural richness
    o facilitators and communicators between diverse cultural communities

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