Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


How does music shape our experience of visual media? Focusing on the relationship between music and the moving image, this unit explores issues and debates surrounding this question from the era of ‘silent' cinema to contemporary film, music videos, TV, video games and other new media. Students are introduced to the history, theory and aesthetics of music used in conjunction with moving images, as well as to the key concepts and methods for their interpretation and analysis. The unit includes consideration of issues such as the role of music as an element of filmic narrative, the use of musical symbolism across different visual media and the status of music as a component of interactivity in gaming.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Music; Music and Society major sequences
  • Level 3 option in the Music Studies; Music General Studies; Music; Contemporary Popular Music major sequences
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate familiarity with the key concepts and history of music and the moving image, as well as with primary audio-visual sources and related secondary critical literature; (2) synthesise and evaluate the broader aesthetic and contextual matters that condition our understanding of the relationship between music and visual media; and (3) critically analyse the function of music and sound in a range of visual media.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tests; (2) critical review; and (3) research essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Sarah Collins
Unit rules
any level 2 unit (this unit does not require any technical music literacy)
Contact hours
seminars: 10 x 2 hours
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.