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.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit is designed to leverage the specialist skills and knowledge from existing and visiting academic staff, and the content and delivery style will therefore change every semester. The unit will usually have a different topic focus delivered - e.g. based upon a composer, or a style of music, or historical events, or new research within a specific field. The topic focus will be advertised before each semester to enable students to decide whether the topic focus aligns with their interests and/or specialisation.

The unit will typically engage with theoretical, historical, and practical elements related to the topic. Three hypothetical examples may indicate the flexibility of this unit:

1. a topic focussed upon a Parisian nineteenth-century female composer-pianist may investigate social norms within Parisian society, the role of salons, their influence upon the development of keyboard instruments, aspects of musical scholarship and criticism, musical elements relating to rubato, dynamics, pedaling, typesetting and engraving.

2. a topic focussed upon research in music technologies and focus upon a case study of the technology, the product development cycle, the role of business and marketing, the process of testing with musicians.

3. a topic focussed upon scholarship in a specific performance practice may incorporate theoretical knowledge, critical exploration of key texts, development of performance materials (e.g. printed scores), and a performance project.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the Music major sequence
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) critically review key concepts related to the study of music, society and ideas; (2) apply conceptual knowledge to the interpretation of musical meaning and contexts; (3) demonstrate advanced skills in critical reading and communication; and (4) demonstrate creativity and research skills.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) portfolio and (2) tests. 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)
Dr Cecilia Sun
Unit rules
any MUSC Level 2 unit
Contact hours
seminars and tutorials: 3 hours per week
  • 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.