Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedNot offered in 2011
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Nikki Rickard


Music psychology is the empirical study of how humans perceive and experience music, and the resulting impact on individual, group and cultural behaviour. This unit will encompass an introductory exploration of music psychology across the lifespan. Selected researchers within the field, including music therapists, behavioural neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, and experimental psychologists will outline contemporary research findings relating to the influence and processing of music from the womb and childhood, through adulthood and senescence. Each seminar will present work within a particular theoretical framework, and will involve seminar discussion associated with the assessed web-based discussion and subsequent quizzes'. Assessment will also include an end-of-semester essay.


On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. critically analyse contemporary research conducted on the relationship of music and behaviour across the lifespan;
  2. recognise varying theories and research paradigms pertinent to Music Psychology;
  3. identify relevant theoretical and empirical research approaches for investigating the influence of music;
  4. discuss and debate current issues in music psychology;
  5. demonstrate skills in written communication, and the use of modern information technologies, that are fostered in the core undergraduate psychology program, with particular emphasis on the relevance of these skills to the field of music psychology.


Weekly Participation in web-based discussions (10%) and quizzes (30%); 2000 word Written Assignment (30%); One Examination (30%).

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Nikki Rickard

Contact hours

One 2-hour seminar, 2 hours of tutorial related activity per week (web quizzes and discussion) and up to 8 hours private study (e.g., prescribed reading, preparation for assessments). Two compulsory workshops relating to preparation for assessments will also be held during semester.

Off-campus attendance requirements

Completion of the first year of any degree (48 points) at Monash University.


Completion of the first year of any discipline at Monash University.

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: