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


In this core unit in the Specialist Music Studies major students choose to specialise in one of three streams; composition, musicology, or performance.

Composition students apply techniques and technologies studied in previous Principal Studies units to the development of a portfolio of original compositions. Students rehearse, perform and present one composition from the portfolio to develop collaborative performance skills. Students undertake independent research and analysis of repertoire, and present their research to develop skills in communication.

Musicology students develop skills in research-based activities of writing and practice, and are introduced to a range of different ways of critically thinking about music from cultural, historical and theoretical perspectives. Students undertake a supervised individual research project on a topic of their choice, develop a portfolio of scholarly work, and participate actively in the intellectual life of the Conservatorium through collaborative and interdisciplinary projects that develop skills in communication.

Performance students further refine musicianship, technical skills and repertoire addressed in previous Principal Studies units. The emphasis is upon the preparation of technically focused repertoire drawn from the literature of the student's principal instrument or voice, of greater difficulty than in MUSC2542, and upon developing technique and performance skills.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) in Performance—(a) demonstrate instrumental/vocal technique beyond the intermediate tertiary level attained at Level 2; (b) demonstrate advanced control of intonation, rhythm, accuracy, articulation and tone quality through performance of advanced technical work and repertoire; (c) prepare repertoire with a technical emphasis that incorporates vocal/instrumental literature of greater difficulty and complexity than that studied at Level 2; (d) demonstrate musicianship through sophistication of phrasing, dynamic control and general expression beyond the level attained in MUSC2542 Principal Studies 4; (e) demonstrate sophistication in collaborative music making skills appropriate to this level of tertiary performance, and (f) demonstrate an increasing sophistication of performance practice conventions and style beyond that studied at Level 2; (2) in Musicology—(a) demonstrate advanced knowledge of music's social, historical, political and philosophical contexts; (b) evaluate sources and concepts related to music; (c) formulate original and creative modes of thinking and communicating about music, suitable for a range of audiences and supported by scholarly practices; (d) demonstrate individual initiative and the capacity to undertake high-level modes of critical enquiry; and (e) work collaboratively and in interdisciplinary contexts

; and (3) in Composition—(a) demonstrate command (where utilised) of relevant technologies for composition and performance; (b) apply advanced compositional techniques to the development of original compositions; (c) demonstrate competence with idiomatic and extended scoring for acoustic instruments, in solo and small chamber ensemble contexts; (d) demonstrate sophistication in collaborative music making skills appropriate to this level of tertiary performance; (e) verbally communicate their own creative ideas and analytical insights to others about their own work; and (f) produce legible scores and parts suitable for performance; and work of other composers.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) composition: composition projects and listening/repertoire examination; OR musicology: portfolio of scholarly work; OR performance: solo repertoire examination; (2) composition and performance: collaborative music project; OR musicology: music research project; and (3) concert and weekly composition/instrumental/research workshop participation. 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)
James Ledger {00059285} (composition) ~ Dr Sarah Collins {00092805} (musicology) ~ Graeme Gilling {00018108} (performance)
Unit rules
MUSC2542 Principal Studies 4
OR MUSC2402 Practical Studies 4 AND for Musicology stream at least one level 2 Music History unit (MUSC2341, MUSC2342, MUSC2331, MUSC2332)
or by permission of the unit coordinator.
MUSC3591 Music Large Ensemble 5
MUSC3401 Practical Studies 5
Contact hours
individual/group lessons and/or supervision: 12 hours per semester

workshops: 20 hours per semester

collaborative music and music research projects: varies according to each project
  • 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.