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Bachelor of Music

Southern Cross University

About the Course

This Bachelor of Music equips graduates for a range of careers in the music industry and reflects the diverse creative practices that are part of music-making in the 21st century. The course prepares students for a portfolio career in music –  the multi-faceted career pathway that is now most common for contemporary musicians.

Students learn in a professional music industry environment, using state-of-the art facilities and work with lecturers who are all practising musicians with strong industry links. During the course, students hone their practical, musical and musicianship skills while developing extensive knowledge across a range of contemporary music-making practices.

Many students perform individually or with bands at a variety of North Coast entertainment venues. Students have the opportunity to regularly use the professional studio and performance space, Studio One29, at the Lismore campus, for rehearsal and performance.

Situated in a region with vibrant creative industries, students benefit from numerous high profile music events such as Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay Bluesfest and the Falls Music & Arts Festival.

Career opportunities

As performers, songwriters, producers, sound engineers, music educators, session musicians, musical directors, arrangers, music event promoters, band and venue managers.

When combined with the Bachelor of Laws, graduates can pursue careers as solicitors and legal specialists in areas that relate to the music industry.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Music who complete the required units, can study the Master of Teaching to enable them to work as a secondary school music teacher.

Professional placement

Students have the opportunity to undertake professional placements at major national and international venues and with music organisations. Public performances are a major part of the assessment process and students have opportunities to perform at North Coast entertainment venues or form bands, taking advantage of the rich music environment throughout the region. 

Major areas of study

There are eight streams:

  • Performance (audition stream)
  • Performance (non-audition stream)
  • Songwriting/Composition (audition stream)
  • Songwriting/Composition (non-audition stream)
  • Music Education
  • Sound Production
  • New Media Arts
  • Screen

The flexible course structure enables students to choose the pathway most suited to their interests. Students can combine elements from different streams to create their own pathway.

All students participate in collaborative practical music making activities throughout the degree. An extensive ensemble program includes small and large repertoire-focused groups and student-led project bands. Students write, arrange, rehearse, record and perform a wide range of music, and are encouraged to develop their own creative projects.

The Performance audition stream and the Songwriting/Composition audition stream offer students who are entering the course with high-level abilities the opportunity to work closely with staff and hone their skills in a specialist area. Students in these streams receive extensive one-on-one tuition and consultations.

Please note that students wishing to be considered for the performance or songwriting/composition audition streams must complete the audition process as part of their application to this course. Information about the audition process is available at

Students who achieve at a high level in the performance non-audition stream, or songwriting/composition non-audition stream, can transfer into the audition stream in second year.

Students who complete the degree with the Music Education stream can then apply for a graduate education course (such as the Master of Teaching at SCU) to become a secondary school music teacher. The Bachelor of Music course structure enables them to also pick up a second teaching area by taking elective units in either English, history, maths or geography.

The Sound Production stream develops students skills in live and recording sound engineering. Students have access to state-of-the-art production facilities, including purpose built recording and performance spaces. They work closely with performers and songwriters in both live and recording environments.

Students in the New Media Arts stream and the Screen stream pursue design, film, video and emerging arts practices. There are opportunities for students to collaborate on projects with students studying the Bachelor of Digital Media and Communication and the Bachelor of Visual Arts.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods include performances, composition/songwriting portfolios, recording portfolios, technical assessments, musicianship exams and assignments, oral presentations, reflective writing tasks, peer and self-assessments, essays, projects and written exams.

Teaching methods

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including lectures, tutorials, individual tuition, online activities and video-linked or podcast virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

Advanced standing

Your previous learning experiences relevant to one or more units in this course may help you reduce the duration of your degree.

  • Recognition of formal and non-formal learning
    Credit may be awarded to a student for formal learning (gained through full or partial achievement of an accredited qualification or course) or non-formal learning (that takes place through a non-accredited course or program of learning) completed at Southern Cross University or in other learning settings in Australia and/or overseas.
  • Recognition of informal learning
    Credit may be awarded on the basis of current informal learning (that takes place through work, social, family or leisure activities).

To help you identify how much credit you may receive for your related prior learning visit SCU Pathways.

An application for advanced standing must be submitted so we can assess your prior learning. Please apply for advanced standing at the same time as you apply for admission into this course, because the amount of credit awarded will determine the sequence of units you will study.

Learning resources

MySCU is a student's point of entry to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. The portal includes unit learning sites and information sites where students can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to their studies.

The web-based study environment Blackboard Learn delivers an advanced online learning environment for students and lecturers to communicate and collaborate


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