Bachelor of Musical Arts Bachelor of Music Arts

Qualifications and courses Study options
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DegreeFull time - 3 years; part time up to 5 years

Annual Fees(indicative 2016)

Programme code



$6,450 - $7,100







Course related costs

Advised on enrolment



Domestic Applications due

18 September and 27 November - late applications may be accepted

International Applications due

18 September and 27 November for February start


Christchurch - Madras Street


The Music Arts degree programme will equip you with the skills and attributes required to enjoy a rewarding career as a practioner in the music industry.

Learning from experienced and accomplished music industry professionals, you'll develop your skills with practical and theoretical courses in a variety of topics including music performance, composition, songwriting, arranging, improvisation, music technology, marketing and music industry studies.

The programme offers a choice of pathways in jazz or contemporary music (instrumental, percussion, electronic music or vocal), studio production, songwriting and music industry, integrating skills in performance, composition, production and marketing.

Find out more about studying music arts

Programme structure

To complete this Degree you are required to complete a minimum total of 360 credits. Please browse the guide below to view the course options currently available within this qualification.

Core courses
Elective Courses

To be a full time student you need to maintain a workload of 120 credits per year. We recommend you talk with us to ensure you choose electives to benefit your future career.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
    • NCEA Level 3 (60 credits at Level 3 and 20 credits at Level 2 or higher) which must include 14 credits at Level 3 in each of three approved* subjects and
    • Literacy* - 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of 5 credits in reading, 5 credits in writing and
    • Numeracy* - 10 credits at Level 1 or above (specified achievement standards, or unit standards 26623, 26626, 26627)

    Note: Students who have undertaken examinations other than NCEA (eg International Baccalaureate, Cambridge examination) should contact us for requirements.

    * NZQA approved subjects: see

Alternative requirements
  • Skills for tertiary study (including literacy and numeracy) may be acquired through study, work and/or life experience. Students who can demonstrate these skills may be approved for alternative entry. Literacy and numeracy assessments are available.

Additional requirements
  • Entry to the degree programme is also dependent on a successful audition covering: instrumental or vocal skills and ability, aptitude and potential to study music within a range of disciplines, musical aural competence and music theory literacy - tested at time of audition (equivalent to Grade 3 ABRSM or Trinity College level).

English requirements
  • If English is not your first language you may also be required to provide evidence of your English language skills. If you have no evidence of your English language skills and are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, contact us for an assessment.

    • For acceptable alternatives refer to the English Proficiency Outcomes Chart.
      Note: Students who have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance requirements are not required to provide evidence of English Language Skills.










Acceptable Alternatives Chart

Selection criteria

All applicants are subject to a selection process which is designed to assess the appropriate level of study of the applicant.

Applicants are auditioned, which includes a theory test, an aural test, a performance and an interview. The audition panel is comprised of the programme leader and specialist tutors from the degree programme.

Applicants are ranked based on their audition score. Depending on that ranking, applicants will be offered a place in the degree (or another programme) subject to any pending entry requirements being met (NCEA results etc.).

The offer of a place on the degree may be conditional on the completion a short course (eg. summer theory school) or other tuition.

To ensure a balanced programme, specific numbers of each instrument are accepted each year. Those who are not initially accepted but who meet the standard are waitlisted in order of ranking (within those instruments).

Next steps

To apply for this programme please:

  • complete an application form

If you don't meet the criteria for entry into this programme, we can help you meet entry level with our foundation and bridging programmes.

Alternatively, if you feel you have gained your learning through on the job experience talk to us about recognition or assessment of prior learning .

Application documents

Career opportunities

The opportunities for professional musicians are as varied as music itself. Diverse opportunities exist within the creative industries, education, music management and production, and encompass everything from composing film scores and performing in bands to being a theatre sound designer, music therapist, artist manager or music entrepreneur. The programme is designed to prepare you as either a specialist in the music industry, or a self-managed performing musician or producer with a wide range of skills suited to a variety of styles and scenes.

Learn more about careers in music.

Study pathways

A Bachelor of Music Arts degree will prepare you for postgraduate studies as a music specialist/researcher at honours or masters level with one of our many tertiary partners including WINTEC and UC.

Recommended school subjects

  • Music
  • English or English-rich subjects