A new Study Design for Music is being introduced in 2023. The structure of VCE Music has significantly changed; there are now four VCE Music options at the Unit 3&4 level.

  • Please note that the structure of VCE Music subjects in 2023 at PHSC will be based on enrolment numbers.
  • We are initially expecting that Music Composition could run as a composite class with Music Inquiry, and Music Contemporary will be paired with Music Repertoire.
  • It is also permitted for students to study multiple VCE Music Unit 3&4 sequences as part of their Year 12 program.

What is it and why should I do it?

Music Composition is an updated and more accessible version of the former 'Style and Composition'. It enables students to explore the organisation of sound in music to create expressive outcomes. In other words; compose new music! As part of this, students learn to critically listen to and analyse musical compositions in various forms across a range of styles and traditions to understand the ways music is organised, created, and performed. Students also analyse and develop knowledge on how composers use ideas, stimuli, and creative processes to inform their own approach for musical composition.

This study is perfect for students who want to learn about and create music without needing to perform, or be assessed on performance.

How much homework/study will I have?

All Unit 3 and 4 subjects require 3 - 5 hours of study per week.

It is expected that students will practise on their chosen DAW software and/or instrument/sound source at least 2.5 hours per week (ie 5x 30min sessions) with a focus on the specific technical and creative outcomes of this study. However, students aiming to access the highest marks will often spend at least 5 hours per week in this area.

  • It is highly recommended that students do have an understanding of at least one traditional instrument, with piano/keyboard regarded as having the most value due to the translation across to MIDI inputting.

Students should also dedicate 1 - 2 hours per week practising general musical concepts/material studied in class.

We highly recommend that students enrol in one-on-one instrumental lessons. The PHSC Music Department provides access to highly experienced teachers across most instruments. Enrolment details can be found here:


What contributes to my study score?

Music Composition has a vastly different graded assessment structure compared to other VCE studies.

Unit 3 - SACs

Task DetailsMarks%
AoS1 | Two creative responses (short compositions) influenced by AoS2 analysis works and relevant documentation20


AoS2 |

  • Analysis of two selected works (1x teacher choice, 1x student choice)
  • A folio design brief for Unit 4 (compositional intent)
AoS3 | Written responses to structured questions.20

End of Year Exam

An end of year examination will be completed under the following conditions:

  • 60-minutes in duration
  • Part of the written exam period
  • Contribution of 20%

Further exam specifications are available on the VCAA website.

Unit 4 - SAC

Task DetailsMarks%
AoS1 | NA-

AoS2 | NA-
AoS3 | Written responses to structured questions20

Unit 4 - EAT (Externally Assessed Task)

Task DetailsMarks%
AoS 1&2 | A folio that contains documentation, audio recordings, and composition/arrangement works as relevant to the students statement of intent.




How do I satisfactorily complete the unit?

To pass any VCE unit you need to demonstrate that you have met the Outcomes for each Area of Study (Aos).

Area of Study

Unit 3 Outcomes

Unit 4 Outcomes

1 | Creating

Students will develop creative responses to works studied and document the creative process.Students will create and evaluate an original work, or group or short works.

2 | Analysing for composition

Students will analyse the use of the elements of music, concepts and compositional devices in music works, explain how musical material is developed within the works, and formulate a Folio design brief.Students will describe and discuss their creative process and approach to creating a coherent work, and produce an analysis of their original music work/s that explains their use of music elements, concepts of music, and compositional devices.

3 | Responding

Students will aurally analyse music from a range of styles and make critical responses to music.Students will aurally analyse music and make critical responses to music.

Give me all the details I want to know more:

VCAA: Introduction to the new VCE Music Study Design

PHSC Music Inquiry/Composition Unit 3&4 Wiki Page

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