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Course summary

The Bachelor of Contemporary Music prepares you for a portfolio career in music — the multi-faceted career pathway that is now most common for contemporary musicians. Tailor your degree towards your area of interest, whether it’s production, performance, songwriting or other professional areas of the music industry.

You will learn using state-of-the-art facilities in either Lismore or Coomera, taught by lecturers who are practising musicians with strong industry links.

On-campus facilities include recording studios, rehearsal studios, music production labs, keyboard lab, and professional-standard performance spaces. You can immerse yourself in the rich local music scene that includes major annual events such as Splendour in the Grass and the APRA AMCOS songwriters’ workshops featuring visiting artists.

Students participate in collaborative, practical music-making activities throughout the degree. An extensive ensemble program also includes small and large repertoire-focused groups and student-led project bands.

Join a fantastic community of Southern Cross music graduates that include award-winning producer Matt Fell, singer-songwriter BUOY, composer and musician Yantra de Vilder, Matt Smith of Thirsty Merc, US country music number-one hit songwriter Phil Barton as well as Matt Collins, Michael Watson, Scott Finch and Fraser Rojo Perrott of WHARVES to name just a few.

Please note: Applicants for the Bachelor of Contemporary Music must complete an Audition/Interview. For more information please see the Important information for applicants.



3.5F/6.5P if commencing in Session 2

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Students can focus their study on either contemporary music performance, songwriting, composition or production.

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.

Students who complete the degree can then apply for a graduate education course (such as the Master of Teaching at Southern Cross) to become a secondary school music teacher. The Bachelor of Contemporary Music course structure enables students to also pick up a second teaching area by taking elective units in another specialist area.

Please note, an interview/audition is part of the application process for the Bachelor of Contemporary Music. Details

Course Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a course. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes.

Graduate AttributeCourse Learning Outcome
Intellectual rigour

Demonstrate skills of analysis, interpretation, evaluation and research.

Apply these skills to musical and other cultural contexts.


Demonstrate creative and interpretive skills in a range of music composition, music performance, music production, and allied activities.

Apply these skills to creative work and outputs.

Ethical practice

Demonstrate a commitment to ethical practices and legal obligations in professional and personal contexts.

Knowledge of a discipline

Demonstrate a broad, integrated command of knowledge, skills and technologies in music.

Demonstrate the ability and confidence to make a successful transition to professional life.

Lifelong learning

Demonstrate the ability to be responsive to change, to be reflective in practice, and to be information literate.

Apply this ability to update and develop one’s knowledge through independent and self-directed learning.

Communication and social skills

Demonstrate a repertoire of written, oral, sonic and gestural communication skills.

Apply these skills to personal, and professional settings.

Cultural competence

Demonstrate the ability and confidence to engage with different cultural and indigenous perspectives at local, national and international levels.

Apply these skills in the conduct creative artistic practice.

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.

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.

This course prepares students for a career as a performer, songwriter, producer, sound engineer, music educator, session musician, musical director, music event promoter, band and venue manager.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Contemporary Music who complete the required units can study the Master of Teaching and teach secondary school music.

Students have the opportunity to undertake professional placements at major local festivals such as Splendour in the Grass and with music organisations and businesses.


The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this web page again before acting and see our disclaimer

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'