Master of Music Therapy

Course M04AA (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 055550D
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 200 credit points taken over 24 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Dr Katrina McFerran, Head of Music Therapy



Contact Centre
T: 13 MELB (6352) International +(61 3) 9035 5511

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
VCA and MCM Student Centre

Course Overview:

The Master of Music Therapy (MMusThrp) provides a course of study for those people who have completed a Bachelor's degree and also have a high level of formal music training. The course provides a thorough study of the theory and practice of music therapy.

The Master of Music Therapy coursework degree is 2 years full-time. Part-time study may be undertaken only with the approval of the Course Coordinator. On satisfactory completion of the MMusThrp, graduates will be eligible for Registration as Music Therapists (RMT) with the Australian Music Therapy Association (Inc.).

ON CAMPUS MODE Delivery for Melbourne-based students:

Subjects are tuahgt via a combination of weekly lectures, intensive teaching periods and through regular participation in clinical placements (minimum 80 days in total across the two years, approximately 20 days per semester). The course requirements are full time and limited time is available for undertaking additional work commitments.

BLENDED LEARNING (Intensive/Online) Delivery for Interstate Students:

The Master of Music Therapy (coursework) degree will be also offered through "Blended Learning" delivery, which combines online and intensive-mode teaching. This will enable students in States of Australia where there is no available course to undertake music therapy training, subject to the availability of suitable clinical placements.

The Blended Learning version of the course covers all subjects offered in the traditional on-campus mode: Theoretical subjects (i.e. Applications, Research and Thesis subjects) will be offered via online delivery; Music Therapy Skills subjects will be taught in intensive mode; Clinical Training will be carried out in the student’s home state where suitable supervision from a qualified Music Therapist is available, and research tutorials will be incorporated into the intensive teaching blocks.

Students enrolled in the Blended Learning mode will be required to travel to Melbourne twice per semester - the first time approximately at or before the beginning of semester, and the second around mid-semester.

The Blended Learning mode has been approved by the University of Melbourne, and the Education Committee of AMTA.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the Master of Music Therapy, students should:

  • Be able to understand and identify, use and evaluate concepts and principles of music therapy and the various theories that underpin the practice of music therapy;
  • Have acquired the skills in musicianship and the advanced knowledge of music styles and idioms, including improvisation, which will enable them to direct creative music activities for clients within the music therapy context;
  • Have acquired skills in the assessment, design, implementation and evaluation of music therapy programs in a diverse range of clinical/special education settings;
  • Understand relevant clinical conditions and the application of music as a treatment/special education modality;
  • Be able to carry out independent research and analysis into music therapy and to think creatively about issues arising in their practice;
  • Appreciate the ethical responsibilities of music therapists in health and special education facilities and to the individuals within those facilities;
  • Be committed to enhancing the well being of clients.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Students in both Blended Learning and On Campus modes undertake the subjects listed below - please follow individual subject links for detailed information regarding the requirements for each group of students.

Subject Options:

The full-time course structure is as follows:

YEAR 1 - Semester One

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Total points for Semester One = 50.0

YEAR 1 - Semester Two

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Total points for Semester Two = 50.0

YEAR 2 - Semester One

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Total points for Semester One = 50.0

YEAR 2 - Semester Two

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Total points for Semester Two = 50.0

Total points for Course = 200.0

Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:
• Bachelor of Music or an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline; and
• demonstrated instrumental skills equivalent to eighth grade AMEB standard; and
• demonstrated commitment to care for vulnerable people or promote health of individuals or/and communities through volunteer work, community music activities or prior studies; and
• at least 12.5 points of psychology studies at tertiary level; and
• an audition; and
• an interview; and
• a 3,000 word essay by the applicant on a topic related to music therapy that illustrates their interest in the discipline; and
• an academic reference, a musical aptitude reference, and a character reference (from three different referees).
Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:
• prior academic performance; and
• commitment to care for vulnerable people or promote health of individuals or/and communities; and
• the audition; and
• the interview; and
• the essay; and
• the references.
The Selection Committee may also confer some advantage in ranking on those applicants who have:
• music history studies equivalent at least to one year of tertiary study; or
• music theory studies equivalent at least to fifth grade AMEB; or
• a clinical observation report from a Registered Music Therapist for a music therapy observation placement undertaken by the applicant.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Student Application and Selection Procedure.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for postgraduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 6.5 is required.

• Further details regarding how to apply are available via the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music website:
• Numbers of applicants able to be accepted are limited by the availability of clinical training sites.
• Changes have been made to the procedures under which many of the external organisations host clinical placements and students are required to have obtained a police check as to their suitability to undertake such placements. Students are required to undergo, at their own expense and arrangement, a police check prior to the commencement of their course. Please note: A Police Check is not required at time of application.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

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 may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:

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.

Professional Accreditation:

Graduates of the Master of Music Therapy course are eligible for Registration as Music Therapists (RMT) with the Australian Music Therapy Association (Inc.).

Generic Skills:

The University expects its postgraduate coursework graduates to have the following qualities and skills:

  • An advanced understanding of the changing knowledge base in the specialist area;
  • An ability to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature in the discipline
  • Advanced skills and techniques applicable to the discipline;
  • Well-developed problem-solving abilities in the discipline area, characterised by flexibility of approach;
  • Advanced competencies in areas of professional expertise and/or scholarship;
  • A capacity to articulate their knowledge and understanding in oral and written presentations;
  • An advanced understanding of the international context and sensitivities of the specialist area;
  • An appreciation of the design, conduct and reporting of original research;
  • A capacity to manage competing demands on time, including self-directed project work;
  • A profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of scholarship;
  • An appreciation of the ways in which advanced knowledge equips the student to offer leadership in the specialist area;
  • The capacity to value and participate in projects which require team-work;
  • An understanding of the significance and value of their knowledge to the wider community (including business and industry);
  • A capacity to engage where appropriate with issues in contemporary society; and
  • Where appropriate, advanced working skills in the application of computer systems and software and a receptiveness to the opportunities offered by new technologies.

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