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Major: Music

Major Details



Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies
Faculty of Arts

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

100 level

Experiencing Popular Music (3)
Passion, Rebellion and Identity in Popular Music (3)

200 level

6cp from
Musical Authorship and Songwriting (3)
Music Production 1 (3)
Music Production 2 (3)
Music at the Limits: Experimentation and Innovation (3)
Introduction to Vocal Studies (3)
Intermediate Vocal Studies (3)
Guitar Principles (3)
The Music Business (3)
Sound Cultures (3)
Studies in Rhythm (3)

300 level

Musical Creativities: Projects and Directions (3)
9cp from
Music, Sound and Moving Image (3)
Advanced Music Production (3)
World Musics (3)
Sound, Image and Interactive Media (3)
Advanced Vocal Studies (3)
Advanced Guitar (3)
Digital Music: Performance, Remixing and DJ-ing (3)
Musical Literacy (3)

Any level

3cp from
MUS units


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Additional Information
Overview and Aims of the Program A Major in Music offers students the opportunity to follow specialised musical interests, as well as gain a comprehensive understanding of diverse 20th and 21st century musics and industries. The Music major is suited to students wanting to undertake particular musical fields of study such as music production, singing, performance, popular music studies and world music. The Music major offers studies in popular music, music in socio-cultural contexts, culturally diverse musics, the music business, and screen music. Students choose from a range of practical streams and units in music production, vocal studies, guitar, rhythm studies and DJ practice. Musical creativities, performance and collaboration are incorporated within these units.

The Music major is open to all students undertaking a Bachelor of Arts degree, so prior musical training is not a prerequisite. The major respects and builds on shared listening histories and genealogies from a wide range of musics and includes popular, indigenous and world musics, the avant-garde and more. The teaching faculty includes musicians, practitioners and researchers.
The Music major offers students the opportunity to critically engage in and analyse a range of musics, theories, and contexts. The major combines practical and theoretical components in ways to ensure Music graduates are innovative and prepared with a range of skills for careers in 21st century music environments. This ensures that Music graduates are equipped to enrich their future lives and careers in the rapidly evolving music industries.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. integrate knowledge of contemporary 20th and 21st century music practices, technologies and associated industries (K, L)
2. integrate and/or apply disciplinary knowledge to solve problems appropriate to contemporary music and practices (K, T, P, I)
3. apply independent, professional judgement and objective understanding in a range of musical, social and cultural settings (T, P, J)
4. demonstrate awareness of social, ethical, environmental and sustainability aspects within contemporary music (E, A, J)
5. engage with music in ways that integrate respect for and awareness of diversity (E, A)

6. critically analyse, evaluate and participate in contemporary musical practices, theories and technologies (K, T, J, L)
7. creatively synthesise and demonstrate relevant concepts and practices in musical contexts and media (I, C)

8. collaborate and effectively communicate practical and theoretical literacy in a range of musical media and contexts (C, J)
9. identify, critically analyse and adapt to changing practices and technologies in the music industries (K, T, L).
Learning and Teaching Methods Music major level outcomes are aligned to both unit level outcomes and to Bachelor of Arts graduate capabilities. To enable the realization of major level outcomes, the Music major offers a range of learning and teaching methods:
• Lectures: contingent upon individual unit aims and requirements, lectures are delivered either in a face-to-face format or are recorded. Lecture slides or summaries may be available to students on iLearn and is dependent upon unit content.
• Tutorials and seminars: tutorials and seminars provide opportunities for students to engage in specific unit content and small group learning. Tutorials can be conducted utilising specific modes of practice (e.g. instrumental learning) or in more traditional formats to critically examine, analyse, discuss and/or debate. Tutorial content provides students with time to question and to resolve learning issues as they arise.
• Workshops: group ensemble and individual activities where students are actively engaged in hands-on learning, in classroom or lab environments.
• Intensive sessions.
• Teaching materials include:
a. lectures
b. readings (paper and/or electronic)
c. lecture and/or tutorial worksheets/handouts
d. online learning
e. musical performances
f. guest lecturers and industry speakers
g. recording facilities
h. computer labs.
• Major structure: the Music major is comprised of 100, 200 and 300 level unit offerings. While 100 level units provide an introduction to theoretical and practical components of musical learning in a contemporary context, 200 level units provide students with options to undertake practical streams or to develop analytical skills. The 300 level units build on musical learning, the 300 level capstone unit provides students with opportunities to consolidate their learning. Throughout their candidature, Music students are able to engage in practical, theoretical and analytical unit content; they are encouraged to be creative thinkers able to work independently or in collaboration.

The Music major constitutes 24 out of the 69 credit points required for a single undergraduate degree and leaves students 45 credit points or of elective units that can be undertaken to fulfill the requirements of a double major, or a minor pattern of study, in the various faculties across the university.
Assessment There is a range of assessment tasks and types (formative and summative) undertaken by students in the Music major. These include:
• Written assessments: Written tasks typically demonstrate independent thinking (critical, analytical and reflexive, and examinations). These word count of these tasks vary and is usually determined in the context of the assessment the aim and percentage weighting.
• Practical assessments: Music majors create, perform and collaborate in a number of practical tasks. The practical tasks are dependent on their selected program of study and include:
a. performances (from traditional instrumental to electronic and interactive)
b. recorded artifacts (music recordings, audiovisual works).
• Quizzes: online and in-class.
• Presentations.
• Participation: Students are assessed on their respective contributions and is assessed through unit components such as tutorial discussions, practical collaborations and iLearn forums.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability Students find employment in (but not limited to):
o musicians
o music publishing
o performers
o composers
o producers
o community arts practitioners
o music writing/journalism
o management
o screen and game music design
o event management
o researcher
o arts and cultural administration
o music teacher.

While many graduates seek employment at the conclusion of their undergraduate studies, some feel compelled to undertake further studies in the form of either a professional postgraduate award or a high research degree.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

2017 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148