Monash University

Postgraduate - Area of study

Students who commenced study in 2014 should refer to this area of study entry for direction on the requirments; 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 area of study.

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Managing facultyFaculty of Arts
Offered bySir Zelman Cowen School of Music


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.


Music at Monash comprises the areas of composition, ethnomusicology, musicology and performance; students may choose to complete a postgraduate program in music that is oriented towards one or more of these areas. Facilities are available for the supervision of research candidates in most of the main areas of music, including historical and systematic musicology and ethnomusicology, music pedagogy, music performance and music composition.

The school's concentration is on:

  • 19th and 20th-century music
  • composition and music technology
  • contemporary music
  • European (Western), including Australian music
  • music pedagogy
  • music of Southeast Asia
  • music semiotics
  • organology
  • popular and folk music.


The Monash Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music has one of the finest composition programs in Australia in terms of works composed and performed by staff and students. The school also offers performance opportunities dedicated to the development and performance of works written by its students. Composition students will have access to a wide range of facilities at various levels of sophistication in computer music, studio recording, and electronic music. They can also be involved with the sonic art group, which is a studio-based ensemble for composition students interested in electronic and computer music.

Ethnomusicology and musicology (music studies)

The programs in music studies are designed for musicians who wish to develop a greater knowledge, understanding and competence in music. Students can acquire skills in research methods and techniques and develop the capacity for critical reflection and informed assessment in the area of music specialisation. Vocational outcomes include musicology, ethnomusicology and world music, composition, music education and pedagogy, contemporary music and Australian music.


The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music is involved in presenting sixty to seventy concerts a year by students, staff and outside artists. They include large-scale choral/orchestral and small-scale solo and chamber music concerts, covering music from countries from all continents. The concerts are widely advertised as part of the Monash performing and visual arts activities and are presented mainly in the excellent venues of the Monash Arts Precinct (which comprises the Robert Blackwood Hall, Music Auditorium, Alexander Theatre, and Drama Theatre, as well as the Religious Centre) but also in the city of Melbourne, and overseas.

The school offers many major concerts of choral and orchestral works as well as solo, chamber and small ensemble concerts. The large ensembles in the school and their vibrant public concert seasons include performers from across the faculties of the University and from the external community. They include the Monash Academy Orchestra, the Monash Sinfonia (string orchestra), the Monash Wind Symphony, the Monash Viva VoceChoral ensemble, re-sound (a contemporary music group), and the Monash Gamelan Orchestra. There are also several chamber groups. In recent years, the school's choirs and orchestras have toured Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.


2846 Master of Arts by Research and Coursework

The entry below only details the coursework component of this degree. For all requirements including the research/thesis component refer to the full course entry.


Students complete 24 points at fifth-year level from:

  • APG5835 Topics in musicology
  • APG5836 Directed reading in music
  • APG5838 Medieval and Renaissance music
  • APG5839 Music scholarship
  • APG5843 Compositional thought: Writings by composers and sound

Candidates are required to attend a minimum of 10 (five for part-time candidates) of the school's postgraduate seminars during each year of their candidature.

Course coordinator: Dr Joel Crotty

Further courses

For a list of units in this area of study refer to the requirements for courses listed under 'Relevant courses'.

Relevant courses

  • 2846 Master of Arts by research and coursework
  • 3059 Master of Arts (Music Performance)*
  • 2695 Master of Arts*
  • 3063 Master of Arts (Music Composition)*
  • 0020 Doctor of Philosophy*
  • 4067 Doctor of Philosophy (Music Composition)*

* By research.