Master of Music Studies (Composition)

Composition is at the centre of new knowledge creation in music.

The Master of Music Studies (Composition) is a three-semester coursework degree that focusses on the acquisition of high-level composition technique. It provides the opportunity for those interested in composition, or with a background in composition, to develop their compositional style, technique and ideas within a rigorous musical environment.

The Master of Music Studies degree is based entirely upon coursework components that enable students to gain practical skills in composition. Students have weekly composition lessons with a tutor and will take part in a specific composition class geared towards Master of Music Studies (Composition) enrolled students.

Composition skills that students may acquire in this degree include the areas of compositional style, instrumentation, technology, performance genres and technique.

The Master of Music Studies also provides for the acquisition of skills useful to life as a professional composer, such as conducting, sound recording, research skills and concert curation. Students enrolled in the Master of Music Studies work weekly with student performers in the first two semesters, allowing them to try out new ideas and hear them immediately translated into sound.

There are no genre restrictions or guidelines as to music that students may create in this degree: this is negotiated between each student and their tutor. High level notation and music theory skills are strongly recommended.

In contrast to the Master of Music (Composition) degree, composers in the Master of Music Studies degree are not required to write a thesis or dissertation. The Master of Music Studies (Composition) degree contains a greater degree of practical coursework components specifically relating to composition.

Students who successfully complete a Master of Music Studies (Composition) degree may apply for entry into the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in composition and creative work.

Students may opt in their fourth full-time semester of the degree to apply for an internship as a professional composer.

Language requirements for international candidates

An IELTS level of 6.5 with no component below 6.0 is required for entry to this degree.

Course structure

This degree is structured around a mandatory 72 credit point (3 full time semesters or up to 6 part time semesters) with an optional 24 credit point further specialisation in the form of a Composition Internship.

Typical enrolment pattern

The following table shows a typical full-time enrolment.

Semester 1   Semester 2  
CMPN5121 Composition Practice 1 12 CMPN5122 Composition Practice 2 12
MCGY5610 Research Skills for Music Performance 6 Elective* 6
Elective* 6 Elective* 6
  24   24
Semester 3   OPTIONAL - Semester 4 (Internship)  
CMPN5123 Composition Practice 3 12 CMPN5240 Composition Internship 24
Elective* 6    
Elective* 6    
  24   24

*Two Graduate Seminars "Recording Portfolio" (CMPN5006) and "The Independent Arts Professional" (PERF5611) need to be taken as electives at some stage during the degree.

 

Master of Music Studies (Composition)


These resolutions must be read in conjunction with applicable University By-laws, Rules and policies including (but not limited to) the University of Sydney (Coursework) Rule 2014 (the 'Coursework Rule'), the Coursework Policy 2014, the Resolutions of the Faculty, the University of Sydney (Student Appeals against Academic Decisions) Rule 2006 (as amended) and the Academic Board policies on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism. Up to date versions of all such documents are available from the Policy Register: sydney.edu.au/policies.

Course resolutions

1 Course codes

Code

Course and stream title

MAMUSCPT-01

Master of Music Studies (Composition)

MAMUSCPT-02

Master of Music Studies (Composition) (Internship)

2 Attendance pattern

The attendance pattern for these courses is normally full time. Part time study may be permitted upon successful application.

3 Master's type

The degree of Master is an advanced learning course, as defined by the Coursework Rule.

4 Admission to candidature

(1)
Available places will be offered to qualified applicants based on merit, according to the following admissions criteria.
(2)
Admission to candidature requires:
(a)
a master's degree in an appropriate discipline as determined by the faculty; or
(b)
a pass bachelor level degree with a credit average, or a degree of Bachelor with Honours from the University of Sydney, or an equivalent qualification in an appropriate discipline as determined by the faculty; or
(c)
an award of graduate diploma from the University of Sydney, or an equivalent qualification in an appropriate discipline as determined by the faculty; and
(d)
successful presentation of a folio of original compositions and an interview to ascertain candidature suitability.

5 Requirements for award

(1)
The units of study that may be taken for this award are set out in the Table of Master of Music Studies (Composition) in the Faculty Handbook, together with their designation for each area of study; Composition Practice, Composition Skills, Research Skills for Composers and electives.
(2)
To qualify for the award of the Master of Music Studies (Composition) a candidate must complete 72 credit points, including:
(a)
Core advanced units of study; and
(b)
A capstone experience as described in the handbook.
(c)
Candidates may also apply to undertake an optional 12 credit points of research as part of their degree.
(3)
To qualify for the award of the Master of Music Studies (Composition) Internship, a candidate must complete 96 credit points, including:
(a)
Core advanced units of study; and
(b)
A capstone experience as described in the handbook
(c)
An Internship elective of 24 credit points, which is taken in the fourth semester of the program.
(d)
Candidates may also apply to undertake an optional 12 credit points of research as part of their degree.

6 Examination

For each semester of the degree the Faculty shall appoint examination panels comprising three members (excluding the Principal Study teacher) to assess the performance of candidates in principal study units.

7 Limitations on available places

The Faculty may place quotas on the number of available places in the Master of Music Studies (Composition) Internship.

8 Transfer

(1)
Students enrolled in the Master of Music Studies (Composition) may apply to transfer to the Master of Music Studies (Composition) Internship subject to places being available.
(2)
Students enrolled in the Master of Music Studies (Composition) Internship may apply to transfer to the Master of Music Studies (Composition) subject to places being available.