Graduate Diploma in Music (Composition)

Course M01CO (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Year and Campus: 2016 - 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.


Associate Professor Stuart Greenbaum


Currently enrolled students:

Future students:

Course Overview:

The Graduate Diploma in Music is designed for university graduates in any field who wish to undertake university-level study in music. The program draws together subjects from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music's existing degree programs, and may be taken part-time or full-time.

Through the Graduate Diploma in Music (Composition), students will acquire skills in instrumental and vocal writing, orchestration, electro-acoustic music, professional score presentation, rehearsal skills and concert management, alongside the development of a personal and original voice. Encouraging composition in all styles, students will work through all phases of the composition process, from first ideas, to completion of a professionally presented score, to interaction with performers in rehearsals, culminating in a public performance. Students can also choose from a range of electives, including ensembles, conducting, academic and applied skills, to complement the composition focus.

Learning Outcomes:

Students will gain a general understanding of the key concepts and issues in a music specialisation and develop relevant academic and applied musical skills and knowledge.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

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


Students normally undertake a course of study as follows:

Subject Options:

First Semester of Study

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


Ensemble elective 6.25

Academic and/or Music Studies Electives 25.00

Second Semester of Study

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Ensemble elective 6.25

Academic and/or Music Studies Electives 25.00


Click here to view Ensemble (or Applied Skills), Academic and Music Studies Electives.

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.

1. The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicant’s ability to pursue successfully the course using the following criterion –

  • an undergraduate degree or equivalent at a pass level with an average of H2B (70%) in the major; or
  • at least five years of documented professional experience relevant to the specialisation.

2. Selection into the Composition specialisation will be subject to successful assessment of a composition folio.
3. The Selection Committee may conduct interviews, or may call for written work, referee reports, or employer references to elucidate any of the above.

Application Procedure

Detailed information is available via

Composition Folio

Applicants must submit a folio of two or three original works only with at least one notated, bound score and at least one work written in the last two years. 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:

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:

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 - Music

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.).

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

For other graduate courses offered by the University, see

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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