Bachelor of Music

Music pic_piano


‌Music in all its forms is used the world over as a means of leisure, communication and enlightenment. The music industry is prolific globally and offers paid work to a vast array of practitioners.

The Bachelor of Music (MusB) is a specialised three-year degree for those who want to concentrate their studies on Music. 

Features of the Bachelor of Music at UC

  • A wide selection of courses, both practical and academic
  • Nationally and internationally respected staff of performers, composers and musicologists
  • A rich music environment is enjoyed university-wide, with over a hundred concerts performed on campus each year
  • Christchurch offers additional musical opportunities within a vibrant, extended music community.

Entry requirements

Admission to UC with University Entrance, or equivalent, is required to enrol for a Bachelor's degree. Domestic applicants over 20 who do not hold University Entrance, or equivalent, may gain admission by providing evidence of their ability to complete tertiary study successfully. For information on gaining admission to UC please see how to apply for undergraduate qualifications. Some courses have specfic entry requirements – please see below. 

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Specific entry requirements

It is strongly recommended that you have NCEA Level 2 or 3 music, or the equivalent of these.

Performance courses

Entry to the Performance courses (instrument or voice) is limited. Places are awarded on the basis of a School of Music audition. Apply for the 2018 Performance courses as soon as possible (no later than 21 October 2017).

Composition or songwriting courses

If you intend to study composition or songwriting courses in the Bachelor of Music, you will need to have good musical literacy and notational skills. Some previous experience in the writing and performance of your own music is recommended.

Submission of a portfolio is required for MUSA 120 Song Writing 1 and MUSA 121 Notated Composition 1A and should be made to the School of Music by 7 November 2017 for 2018 entry.

For more details on entry requirements and the application process for music courses see the School of Music.

Qualification structure and duration

The Bachelor of Music requires a total of 360 points:

  • about 75% must be in Music courses, including compulsory courses at 100 and 200-level
  • in the first year you must take four compulsory courses (60 points) as well as courses in your chosen major
  • a minimum of 60 points must be from 300-level Music courses.

Students have considerable flexibility in choosing their courses in the second and third years of the MusB degree.

Typical degree structure for Bachelor of Music (majoring in Musical Culture)*

Year 1Year 2Year 3
    Compulsory Music courses
    Music major courses
    Courses from Music or other degrees
(1) Some MUSA 300-level courses may be 30 points.
Each small block represents a 15-point course. However, some courses may be 30 points (or more). For complete Music major degree plans go to the Regulations for the Bachelor of Music.
* Subject to Universities New Zealand CUAP approval, due December 2017.

Double Degrees

It is possible to combine a music degree with other degrees, such as the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws or Bachelor of Commerce. If you are considering a double degree you should get advice from a College of Arts Student Advisor or the Liaison Office.

Find out more information about double degrees.

Subjects and courses


Further study

Postgraduate options at UC include:

Career opportunities

Music graduates are found in a wide range of occupations including positions in orchestras, choirs, opera houses, conservatories, universities, schools, and other education contexts. They are prominent in areas of leadership such as arts administration and management.

Those who wish to work in education find that the inclusion of some music in their degree can be beneficial.

UC Music graduates also work in fields such as journalism, television and radio (planning as well as production), publishing, and in technical areas such as recording, computer instruments, sound engineering and music technology. 

People with musical talent are sought after by festival organisers and arts organisations.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Music.

More information

For the full degree requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Music. For information on staff, resources and facilities visit the College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata

For more information email info@canterbury.ac.nz or freephone 0800 VARSITY (827 748).

For assistance with planning your programme of study contact the Liaison Office (new students), or a College of Arts Student Advisor (advancing students).

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Nicolette Paul

Nicolette Paul

'I love that my research directly impacts on my job...'

Thomas eves

Thomas Eves

'The University has all the tools in place to guide any musician on their way...'