Sound and the Screen

MDA30019 12.5 Credit Points Hawthorn Available to incoming Study Abroad and Exchange students


  • One Semester or equivalent

Contact hours

  • 36

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning.

2024 teaching periods


Higher Ed. Semester 1

26 Feb 24 - 26 May 24

2 Jul 24

Last self enrolment:
10 Mar 24

31 Mar 24

Last withdraw without fail:
12 Apr 24


100 Credit Points

Aims and objectives

This unit introduces students to screen sound and music cultures across film, television, video games, streaming media services and online digital platforms. Students will examine:
• Major theoretical frameworks and key debates in the field of screen sound
• Local and indigenous sonic traditions and how they can serve as conduits for representation or are appropriated in screen sound conventions and music styles
• Industrial and technological histories of screen sound and music, and how these histories are shaped by gendered and power structure across global/local cultures
• How key technical developments in screen music and sound design continuously impact the forms and styles of screen media around the world
• Where different music composition, performance, and sound design methods shape screen audience cultures and interpretative practices Students will become equipped with the critical tools to analyse the intersections between the audio and visual dimensions of screen texts and will understand how pivotal industrial and technological developments have shaped screen sound cultures. Students will produce a podcast using professional-standard software and meeting industry expectations.

Unit Learning Outcomes (ULO)
Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:
1. Critically analyse how sound and music shape genre, form, and style in screen media
2. Identify the relationships between screen sound theory, diverse social and cultural context and and professional practice
3. Relate specific screen texts, as well as types of screen media, to their technological and industrial contexts in music and sound design
4. Apply key principles of screen music and sound design to audio-visual practice
5. Understand how gendered and cultural power dynamics have impacted screen sound industries and conventions

Courses with unit

BA-ARTMCO2 Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communication)
BA-ARTPROF Bachelor of Arts (Professional)
BA-ARTS2 Bachelor of Arts
BA-ARTS3 Bachelor of Arts
BA-CMNMS1 Bachelor of Communication (Media Studies)
BA-MCMN Bachelor of Media and Communication
BA-MCMPROF Bachelor of Media and Communication (Professional)
BB-ARTSC Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
BB-HSCMCMN Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Media and Comm.
BB-LAWART Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts
BB-MCMNBUS Bachelor of Media and Communication/Bachelor of Business
BB-DESMCMN Bachelor of Design / Bachelor of Media and Communication