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Bachelor of Music (Degree with Honours) (BH-MUS)

Bachelors Honours DegreeYear: 2019 Delivered: On Campus (Southbank)

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Award titleBachelor of Music (Degree with Honours)
Year & campus2019 — Southbank
CRICOS code060219F
Fees informationSubject EFTSL, level, discipline and census date
Study level & typeUndergraduate Coursework
AQF level 8
Credit points100 credit points
Duration12 months full time or 24 months part time

The Bachelor of Music (Honours) is a highly specialised, music-only program designed by students according to their strengths, interests, and vocational aspirations. The degree provides students with enhanced knowledge and expertise to further prepare for entry to the music profession, and links with advanced graduate study opportunities.

Distinct from the Tailored program, specialisations are available in Performance, Composition, Musicology/Ethnomusicology, Jazz & Improvisation, and Interactive Composition.

Entry requirements

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:

  • within the last 5 years, a Bachelor of Music or equivalent degree with a weighted average mark of at least H3 (65%), or equivalent, with a major relevant to the discipline stream within the Bachelor of Music (Degree with Honours) that they seek to enter.

Applicants are also required to meet any specific subject prerequisites, prior academic performance requirements and audition, folio or academic writing requirements associated with the discipline stream that they seek to enter.
Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:

  • prior academic performance, and where relevant audition, folio or academic writing requirements associated with the discipline stream that they seek to enter; and
  • the availability of supervision and resources in suitable areas.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Academic Board rules on the use of selection instruments.

4. For applicants who have not completed the Victorian Certificate of Education or the International Baccalaureate Diploma, the undergraduate English language requirements must be met.

Quotas may be applied to the degree as a whole or to individual discipline streams and preference may be given in some discipline streams to applicants with evidence of appropriate preparation or potential to undertake research.

Bachelor of Music (Degree with Honours): Schedule of Discipline Streams
(approved by the Academic Board on 25 June 2015)

This schedule shows available discipline streams and additional conditions applicants must meet to be eligible for (but not automatically guaranteed) selection into Honours within that stream.


  • the submission of a 20-minute folio of compositions
  • for applicants from the University of Melbourne Bachelor of Music, a grade of at least H2A (75%) in the Bachelor of Music subject Composition 4 guarantees entry into the Bachelor of Music (Degree with Honours) Composition specialisation


  • a 25-minute audition
  • for applicants from the University of Melbourne Bachelor of Music, a grade of at least H2A (75%) in the Bachelor of Music subject Music Performance 6/Practical Music 6/Performance Study 6 guarantees entry into the Bachelor of Music (Degree with Honours) Performance specialisation

Musicology and Ethnomusicology:

  • the submission of a recent example of scholarly writing of at least 2000 words
  • for applicants from the University of Melbourne Bachelor of Music, a grade of at least H2A (75%) in a third-year academic elective subject in the Bachelor of Music guarantees entry into the Bachelor of Music (Degree with Honours) Musicology/Ethnomusicology specialisation

Jazz & Improvisation:

  • a 30-minute audition including the presentation and discussion of a research project proposal

Interaction Composition:

  • a 30-minute interview including the presentation of a 15-minute Interactive Composition folio and a research project proposal

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.

Intended 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.

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 leaders 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

Course structure

The Bachelor of Music (Honours) requires the successful completion of 100 points from an array of elective subjects and subject sequences including:

  • Academic electives (one per semester)
  • Performance-based electives
  • Composition and conducting electives
  • Career preparation electives comprising arts administration and management (including an internship)
  • Research electives culminating in a 10,000 word dissertation

Completion Requirements

To be awarded honours students must gain: an Honours grade (H1, H2A, H2b or H3) in all core subjects for their stream, a pass mark in all electives, and an overall grade of 65% or greater.

Final Mark Calculation

The honours result will be determined over all subjects for which a result is entered.

Additional/Repeat Subjects

Students may be given permission to repeat an advanced coursework honours core subject/component in order to meet the requirements. Should students have achieved an Honours grade in all core subjects but not an overall grade of H3, they may be allowed to take a further elective to meet the requirements.

Breadth requirements

Find breadth subjects

Use the Handbook Breadth Search function to find subjects that can be used as breadth studies in the Bachelor of Music (Degree with Honours)

Majors, minors & specialisations

Tailored Program and Specialisations

The Bachelor of Music (Honours) is a tailored music program where students choose from a range of elective subjects.

Distinct from the Bachelor of Music (Honours) Tailored program, specialisations are also available.

Name Credit Points
Tailored Program
Interactive Composition
Jazz & Improvisation

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 www.conservatorium.unimelb.edu.au/grad

Last updated: 23 October 2019