Bachelor of Music
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.
- 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.
- Ōtautahi Christchurch offers additional musical opportunities within a vibrant, extended music community.
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.
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.
Entry to the Performance courses (instrument or voice) is limited. Places are awarded on the basis of a School of Music audition. Applications for the Performance courses should be made to the School of Music no later than 17 October 2018. Early auditions begin August 25–27 2018.
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.
An application form and submission of a small portfolio of previous work 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 2018.
Entry into MUSA 120 Song Writing 1 requires the submission of a portfolio that demonstrates the applicant's songwriting abilities. This portfolio may contain recordings and/or notated songs, and the notation format may include anything from a lead sheet to a fully notated music score. A typical portfolio will contain approximately three songs that demonstrate the stylistic breadth and songwriting strengths of the applicant.
Entry into MUSA 121 Notated Composition 1A requires the submission of a portfolio of approximately three notated works that demonstrate your composition style and strengths to date. It should include notated scores for each composition (handwritten or computer typeset), and may also include recordings and/or MIDI files.
For more details on entry requirements and the application forms for music courses, see the School of Music website.
Typical degree structure for Bachelor of Music (majoring in Musical Culture)
Compulsory Music courses
Music major courses
Courses from Music or other degrees
(1) Some MUSA 300-level courses may be 30 points.
For complete Music major degree plans go to the Regulations for the Bachelor of Music.
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.
If you are considering a double degree you should get advice from a College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata Student Advisor or the Liaison Office.
Find out more information about Double degrees.
All students in the MusB take core Music courses in their first and second years.
- MUSA 100 Essentials in Music Techniques
- MUSA 101 Musicianship, Harmony and Analysis 1
- MUSA 125 Music Technologies 1
- MUSA 131 Organum to Autotune
- MUSA 150 Music in Aotearoa New Zealand
- MUSA 200 Musicianship, Harmony and Analysis 2
- MUSA 201 Musicianship, Harmony and Score-Reading
- MUSA 250 Music in our Community 1: Surveying the Scene
Plus one of:
Additional Music courses include notated composition, songwriting, popular music genres, Kapa Haka and Māori performances, acoustics and recording techniques, chamber choir, performances, and music internships.
Note that some 100-level performance and songwriting courses are limited entry and require an application, audition, or a portfolio. See 'Entry requirements' for more information.
Our MusB graduates are found in a wide range of occupational contexts.
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 training are sought after by festival organisers and arts organisations.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.
For assistance with planning your programme of study contact the Liaison Office (new students), or a College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata Student Advisor (advancing students).