Diploma in Music (Practical)

Course D-MUS (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 022054D
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Undergraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time.


Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
VCA and MCM Student Centre


Contact Centre
T: 13 MELB (6352)
E: 13melb@unimelb.edu.au

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
E: vcamcm-sc@unimelb.edu.au
W: www.conservatorium.unimelb.edu.au

Course Overview:

The Diploma in Music (Practical) enables students to study music performance and gain a music qualification while completing an undergraduate degree in another field. It is available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts, Biomedicine, Commerce, Environments or Science and is studied concurrently with the bachelor degree.

Diploma in Music (Practical) students study for a music qualification alonngside Bachelor of Music students, giving the opportunity to build valuable friendships and networks in a challenging musical environment. Studies focus on practical music, including both solo and ensemble music performance. Through elective subjects, students will also gain a basic contextual understanding that forms part of advanced musical training.

The Diploma provides students with the opportunity to engage in individual instrumental or vocal tuition and comprises a three-year sequence of practical, ensemble and elective subjects. The Diploma has been specially structured over a 3-year time frame to allow for concurrent completion of both Bachelor and Diploma courses. At the conclusion of the course, students should have acquired advanced practical abilities that compare (at a minimum) with the end of the second year of the Bachelor of Music course.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the Diploma in Music (Practical), students should be able to:

  • contextualise their performance practice on their chosen instrument within the best practices of local, national and international standards
  • demonstrate a sound knowledge and understanding of the practice of music performance
  • pursue musical skills independently, with rigorous methods of inquiry in their instrumental specialisation
  • make critically informed responses to new musical ideas in their instrumental repertoire
  • show critical intelligence in self awareness in the dissemination of skills and knowledge in their specialisation
  • work competently in a musical setting both alone and in groups
  • communicate effectively and persuasively in all forms of musical discourse relating to the area of their specialisation
  • be capable of further development and advancement in the area of their specialisation
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Diploma in Music (Practical) consists of a sequence of six Music Performance subjects, a set of applied skills electives – which include ensemble and chamber music subjects – and two Academic/Music Studies elective subjects.

The Diploma of Music (Practical) can be completed within a three-year time frame, by taking Academic/Music Studies electives within the breadth component of you main degree. Up to 25 points of Academic and/or Music Studies elective subjects taken within the Bachelor degree (as breadth subjects) can be cross-credited to the Diploma. These 25 points can be taken in any semester, however must be completed no later than the end of year 2. Students must advise the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music which subjects they wish to cross-credit.

Diploma of Music (Practical) students should seek course advice about structuring their academic programs.


David is undertaking a Bachelor of Arts (B-ARTS) with a major in Creative Writing plus a Diploma in Music (Practical) (DipMus) on piano. He is also interested in Psychology and has chosen subjects in this area, as well as Music as Breadth. His sample course plan is:

YEAR 1, Semester 1
B-ARTS - Creative Writing: Ideas and Practice
B-ARTS - Language
B-ARTS - Mind, Brain and Behaviour 1
Breadth - Music Language Studies 1: The Diatonic World
DipMus - Music Performance 1D
DipMus - The Art of Piano Teaching

YEAR 1, Semester 2
B-ARTS - Myth, Art and Empire: Greece and Rome
B-ARTS - International Politics
B-ARTS - Mind, Brain and Behaviour 2
Breadth - Musics of the World
DipMus - Music Performance 2D
DipMus - Alexander Technique for Musicians

YEAR 2, Semester 1
B-ARTS - Creative Non-Fiction
B-ARTS - Poetry
B-ARTS - Biological Psychology
Breadth – Australia in the Wine World
DipMus - Music Performance 3D
DipMus - Piano Duo and Duet

YEAR 2, Semester 2
B-ARTS - Short Fiction
B-ARTS - Egyptian and Near Eastern Mythology
B-ARTS - Cognitive Psychology
Breadth - Remaking the Body
DipMus - Music Performance 4D
DipMus - Piano Duo and Duet

YEAR 3, Semester 1
B-ARTS - Poetry and Poetics
B-ARTS - Novels
B-ARTS - Underworld and Afterlife
Breadth - Music Psychology
DipMus - Music Performance 5D
DipMus - Chamber Music 5

YEAR 3, Semester 2
B-ARTS - Writing for Theatre
B-ARTS - Backgrounds to English Literature
B-ARTS - Encounters with Writing (Capstone subject)
Breadth - Music and Health
DipMus - Music Performance 6D
DipMus - Chamber Music 6

Subject Options:

First Year

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


Two Applied Skills Electives 12.500

12.5 points of Academic Electives and/or Music Studies Electives, taken within the breadth component of the new generation degree*.

*25 points of Academic Electives and/or Music Studies Electives must be completed no later than the end of year 2. Students may complete these 2 subjects in this timeframe at their discretion.

Second Year

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


Two Applied Skills Electives 12.500

12.5 points of Academic Electives and/or Music Studies Electives, taken within the breadth component of the new generation degree*.

*25 points of Academic Electives and/or Music Studies Electives must be completed no later than the end of year 2. Students may complete these 2 subjects in this timeframe at their discretion.

Third Year

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


Two Applied Skills Electives 12.500

Entry Requirements:

The Diploma of Music (Practical) is available to students enrolled in Melbourne Model bachelor degrees at The University of Melbourne.

Applications to the Diploma of Music (Practical) can be made after you gain a place in a bachelor degree program. You must apply directly to the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music before the 31st January of each year. Auditions are held prior to Orientation Week.

For further information about admission requirements and procedures, and to access application forms, please visit www.conservatorium.unimelb.edu.au/dipmusprac.

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 Diploma in Music (Practical) 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 DipMus 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:

Graduates of the Diploma of Music (Practical) are eligible to apply for the following music programs:

  • Bachelor of Music - The Melbourne Model Bachelor of Music is a three-year program that offers a rich range of choices, experiences, career outcomes and graduate pathways. Bachelor of Music students benefit from a highly flexible new-generation degree, tailored to meet their interests, skills and needs in preparation for their future life in music. Students have exciting opportunities for specialisation in four key areas; Performance, Composition, Musicology and Ethnomusicology.*
  • 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.**
  • Graduate Certificate/Diploma in Music - designed for university graduates in any field who wish to undertake university-level study in music. Specialisations available in Practical Study, Composition, Musicology and Ethnomusicology.

*graduates of the Diploma of Music (Practical) applying for the Bachelor of Music will be eligible for some advanced standing (credit) for previous studies.

**entry requirements for the Master of Music (Performance Teaching) requires an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than music and a concurrent Diploma in Music (Practical), together with an additional 50 points of appropriate academic music study. For more information about entry requirements for the Master of Music (Performance Teaching), please visit the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music website.

Graduate Attributes:

Graduates of the new generation Diploma in Music (Practical) will be:

Academically excellent as a result of:

  • one-to-one tuition in performance over three years
  • participation in a diversity of teaching and learning models including individual tuition, masterclasses, concert classes, large lectures, seminars, tutorials, on-line learning and ensemble experiences

Knowledgeable across disciplines as a result of:

  • participation in a variety of "ways of knowing" within the discipline of music - solo and ensemble performance competency, theoretical, historical and contextual knowledge of music.
  • able to us the interaction of music and other disciplines with creativity and insight

Leaders in communities through:

  • high level development of teamwork and group dynamic skills through participation in music ensembles
  • leadership roles in University and community based public performances, workshops and outreach programs.

Attuned to cultural diversity through:

  • a raft of academic elective and ensemble opportunities that involve thinking about difference in ways of being musical as well as participating in music from other times and places.
  • familiarity with culturally diverse ways of conceptualising and talking about music
  • hands-on experiences of culturally diverse styles of music making and musical pedagogy

Active global citizens through:

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

Every subject you take in the DipMus has a set of objectives which relate the content of the subject and its assessment requirements to your acquisition, not only of specific skills and knowledge, but also of generic skills. Generic skills will accompany you throughout your life and will provide you with the expertise to enter a huge variety of careers in or related to the music profession. For example:

  • Juggling your practice, study, leisure and work time commitments provides you with generic skills in planning and time management, an ability necessary for almost any employment you can imagine.
  • Playing in ensembles, and organising rehearsals and performances, involves you in the generic skills of teamwork and leadership, which you will also need in your future career.
  • Assessment tasks in many academic and music studies elective subjects involve you in the generic "thinking skills" including critical thinking skills, analytical skills and problem-solving skills. You will also gain a sophisticated attitude towards knowledge, and develop and enhance your abilities in seeking, evaluating and retrieving information.
  • Written and spoken presentations in many subjects develop your communication skills.
  • Your life at the Melbourne Conservatoriun of Music will bring you into contact with students from many different backgrounds with whom you will work closely in practical and academic tasks, increasing your skills in intercultural understanding and sensitivity.

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