Monash University

Postgraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2012 should refer to this course entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course.

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This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Arts

Managing facultyArts
Abbreviated titleMA (Mus Composition)
CRICOS code048451K
Standard duration of study (years)2 years FT, 4 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Clayton)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

Inquiries (Clayton): Room 101 Performing Arts Centre, building 68; Telephone +61 3 9905 3231; Email or visit

Course coordinator

A/Professor Thomas Reiner


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the handbook are not available for study in the current year.
  • The minimum period of candidature is one year full-time, two years part-time.


This course is designed for composers interested in developing a distinctive compositional voice, and to research and acquire a range of compositional techniques. Through regular work in the School of Music - Conservatorium's music studios, candidates will acquire knowledge of music technology and an understanding of music technology as a compositional tool.

Research component

100 per cent


In close consultation with their supervisor, candidates develop a composition folio consisting of both musical scores and sound recordings that demonstrates their ability to work in various media, including traditional, electro-acoustic, and contemporary solo and chamber combinations. The overall duration of the submitted music would normally be between 30 to 45 minutes. Depending on the complexity of the submitted music, however, the overall duration may deviate considerably from the given range. Together with the folio of compositions, candidates are required to write a critical commentary of between 10,000 and 15,000 words. The critical commentary must be scholarly in character and, at a minimum, address the following:

  • explication of aesthetic arguments that provide a conceptual basis for the submitted compositions
  • compositional approach, process, and techniques
  • aesthetic placement and stylistic predecessors
  • sonic realisation and performance context.

Full-time candidates are expected to allocate 48 hours per week to compositional activities and meet with their supervisor(s) on a regular basis. Full-time candidates are required to attend a minimum of 10 of the school's postgraduate seminars during each year of their candidature. Part-time candidates are required to attend a minimum of five seminars per year. Candidates are required to present at least one postgraduate seminar during the course of their candidature.


Master of Arts (Music Composition)