Music (Honours) - 4508

Program Summary

Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences


Campus: Sydney

Career: Undergraduate

Typical Duration: 1 Years  

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 6

Max UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC For Award: 48

Domestic Entry Requirements: See Domestic Entry Requirements

International Entry Requirements: See International Entry Requirements


Bachelor of Music (Honours)

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Program Description

The Bachelor of Music (Honours) is a 48 UOC (one year equivalent) advanced undergraduate degree for high achieving students which may be taken upon completion of an undergraduate pass degree in Music. The BMus (Hons) can be completed full-time or part-time.

The program enables students to further explore their studies in an area of musicological or practice-based research. The Honours year involves seminars and a thesis for candidates focusing on music research OR seminars, a thesis, and the completion of a practice-based project for candidates focusing on music practice. The program may be a pathway into a PhD.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

Program Objectives
The aims of the BMus (Hons) are to develop:
  1. a deeper understanding of theories and knowledge in an area of musicological research
  2. the ability to critique existing musicological knowledge, ideas and practice as it applies to a specific research topic
  3. the skills to plan and execute independent research
  4. the ability to present and communicate research effectively through writing.
Additional aims for creative practice candidates are to develop:
  1. an understanding of knowledge practices in music performance and composition
  2. knowledge, skills, and resources for research in music performance or composition
  3. creative practice through collaboration between performers, composers and scholars.
Learning Outcomes
The Program-Level Learning Outcomes for the BMus (Hons) are as follows:
  1. Demonstrate coherent and advanced knowledge of the underlying principles and concepts in musicology or composition, and/or demonstrate the skills required for advanced musical performance
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of research principles and methods in musicology, composition, and/or performance practice
  3. Demonstrate cognitive skills that review, analyse, consolidate and synthesize musical knowledge
  4. Identify and formulate solutions to complex musicological and aesthetic problems with intellectual and creative independence
  5. Demonstrate a broad and detailed understanding of Western music literature and the musical-theoretical concepts that underpin it
  6. Demonstrate an ability to adapt knowledge and skills in diverse musical contexts
  7. Demonstrate initiative and judgement in scholarship and creative music making
  8. Demonstrate responsibility and accountability for own learning and practice and musical leadership in collaborative situations
  9. Demonstrate communication skills to present a coherent exposition of knowledge and ideas to a variety of audiences
  10. Construct a research and/or creative project that demonstrates technical skills in research and design, or skill in creative problem-solving
  11. Construct a research and/or creative project that demonstrates critical thinking and/or aesthetic judgement in developing new understanding, or in producing professional musical performance or composition.

Program Structure

The BMus (Honours) requires the completion of 48 UOC (the equivalent of one year full-time study or two years part-time study).

The program involves seminars and the completion of a research project or thesis. It consists of 18 UOC of coursework and 30 UOC of thesis/practical project. The thesis/practical project is an undertaking of either an original piece of research extending throughout the year and the submission of a 15,000-word thesis based upon it or a research project, also year-long, involving a practical project and the submission of a written thesis of 7,000 – 10,000 words.

1. Coursework (18 UOC)
2. Research project/thesis (30 UOC)

Students complete a total of 30 UOC in Research project/thesis chosen from a combination of the following:
or for Creative Practice students

1. Coursework (18 UOC)
2. Creative Practice project/thesis (30 UOC)

Students complete a total of 30 UOC in Creative Practice project/thesis chosen from a combination of the following:

Sample Program

Full-time Honours (1 year)

Semester 1
Semester 2
Part-time Honours (2 years)

Year 1 Semester 1
Year 1 Semester 2
Year 2 Semester 1
Year 2 Semester 2

Honours Mark and Classes of Honours

The Honours mark for the awarding of the class of Honours is based on all components of the program. It will be determined from the student's weighted average mark for all of the courses (coursework and thesis/research project).

Honours will be awarded in the following classes, based on the student's WAM rounded to the nearest whole number:
  • Class 1: WAM of 85 and above
  • Class 2 Division 1: WAM of 75 to 84
  • Class 2 Division 2: WAM of 65 to 74
  • Class 3: WAM of 50 to 64

University Medal

An honours student in this program may be nominated for a University Medal in line with the University Medal Policy ( and Procedures (

Entry Requirements

Students must have completed the UNSW Bachelor of Music or other recognised Level 7 qualification with a major in a stream offered in the program. Students in a dual degree must have completed 144 uoc including all requirements for the Music component. Entry to Honours requires a WAM of 70 or higher (or equivalent) in the stream seeking to be further studied. It is subject to resources and the approval of the Head of School in which the stream is based.

The conferral of the honours degree for dual degree students is subject to students completing all requirements of the dual degree. Students who subsequently withdraw from their dual degree after the completion of honours will only be conferred the honours degree if they have met all requirements for the single degree.

How to Apply

Students intending to apply to the Honours program must first discuss their eligibility and study program with the Honours Convenor in the relevant school prior to submitting an application.

All applications are to be submitted to UNSW Apply Online.

Academic Rules

To qualify for the award of the degree a student must:
  1. complete all requirements for the Honours program (48 UOC)
  2. complete the coursework requirement for their area of study (18 UOC)
  3. complete a research project or thesis (30 UOC)


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:  UNSW Fee Website.

Important Information

The Academic Rules for the BMus (Hons) and the online enrolment facility provide students with a wide range of course choices. The online enrolment facility checks that students meet the enrolment requirements for individual courses but not that a course complies with Program Rules. Students are responsible for ensuring they are enrolling in accordance with the Academic Rules outlined above. Students should not assume that because they have enrolled in a course online that the course is automatically credited to their degree program.

Further Information

Contact the UNSW Arts and Social Sciences Student Centre for advice.
Tel: + 61 2 9385 2289
Location: Room G1 Ground Floor, Morven Brown building (C20)
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm
Frequently asked questions

Glossary of Terms

Area(s) of Specialisation