See yourself as the next Lady Ga Ga or Bruno Mars? Does your band dream of emulating the success of music's biggest names? Perhaps you aspire to a career behind the production desk, promoting artists, or staging concerts and tours.
Guided by lecturers who are successful and influential within the industry, the Bachelor of Contemporary Music will prepare you for a career in the 21st century music industry.
Along with access to our state-of-the-art Studio One29 facility in Lismore, you can participate in collaborative, practical music-making activities, attend APRA AMCOS songwriters' workshops featuring visiting artists, and revel in access to artists and producers at some of Australia’s biggest music events such as Splendour in the Grass and Byron Bay Bluesfest.
This course opens the way to a career as a performer, songwriter, producer, sound engineer, educator, session musician, musical director, promoter or venue manager. Graduates completing the required units can also study our Master of Teaching and teach secondary school music.
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
The flexible course structure enables you to choose the pathway most suited to your interests. You can combine elements from different streams to create your 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.
Performance audition and Songwriting/Composition audition streams
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 scu.edu.au/music.
Students who achieve a high level in the performance non-audition stream, or songwriting/composition non-audition stream, can transfer into the audition stream in second year.
Music Education stream
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 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 either English, history, maths or geography.
Sound Production stream
The Sound Production stream develops students' skills in live recording and 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.
New Media Arts and Screen streams
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 Art and Design.
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 Attribute||Course Learning Outcome|
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.
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.
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.
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.
As performers, songwriters, producers, sound engineers, music educators, session musicians, musical directors, music event promoters, band and venue managers.
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.
|Duration||3 years full-time; 6 years part-time
3.5F/6.5P if commencing in Session 2
|Fees|| Commonwealth supported
|Duration||3 years full-time; 6 years part-time|
|English language IELTS||
Academic scores by country
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 through virtual meeting spaces, classrooms, and discussion boards. They can share files, presentations and applications. If a tutorial or lecture is recorded, students can view it afterwards.
Learning materials include the provision of unit information guides, study guides and readings. Students may need to purchase or access prescribed text books.
The SCU Library provides a wide range of services that include face-to-face and online help, and access to print and electronic resources.
The Academic Skills team supports student learning by offering online and on-campus academic skills workshops, assignment reviews and small group or one-on-one face-to-face, phone or Skype consultations during business hours 9am to 4.30pm. Appointments can be made via the MySCU Hub 'Connect Now' button or on the Academic Skills home page. Students can also book appointments online in Career Hub.
The Studiosity service provides online after-hours study support for SCU students. This service is available from 4pm to midnight Sunday to Friday via the 'Connect Now' button on MySCU Hub or from a link in nominated unit learning sites. The Studiosity service offers generic writing feedback and live online chat assistance for foundational concepts and study skills.
Equipment and facilities
Southern Cross University provides students with modern well equipped teaching spaces such as lecture theatres, classrooms, and studios or laboratories tailored to meet the needs of specific study disciplines. Contemporary audiovisual equipment is standard in most teaching venues, and students have access to computer labs for individual study purposes.
Students access state-of-the art equipment and facilities at the Lismore campus for tuition, rehearsals, performance, recording and production. These include recording studios, music production labs, keyboard lab, and Studio One29 – a professional standard concert performance space.
There is a state-of-the-art recording studio which has been designed in collaboration with internationally renowned acoustic designer David Connor. The main control room offers an exceptional sound quality experience for both the recording and mixing phases of music production, incorporating the latest digital audio advances, including a Solid State Logic (SSL) AWS 948 Delta analog recording console.
Students have access to the latest audio technology and a Mac lab equipped with the latest music software. There are comprehensive practice facilities for individual and band performance. Students have ample opportunity to perform on campus and at local venues. Visit: scu.edu.au/studios
See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.
Table of contents
Students wishing to be considered for the performance or songwriting/composition audition streams must complete the audition process prior to entry into the course.
To be eligible for the award of Bachelor of Contemporary Music degree a candidate shall successfully complete not less than twenty-four (24) units (288 credit points) comprising:
- all fourteen (14) units listed in Part A; and
- six (6) units from Part B (including at least 2 advanced level units) and 4 elective units; or
- one ten (10) unit Recommended Stream from Part C
To be eligible for the award of Diploma of Contemporary Music a candidate shall successfully complete not less than eight (8) units (96 credit points) comprising:
- six (6) units listed in Part A and 2 units in Part B or Part C
- A candidate who, while enrolled in the Bachelor of Contemporary Music, may elect to be awarded the Diploma of Contemporary Music following withdrawal from the Bachelor Degree.
Candidates who can demonstrate artistic or academic expertise at a professional level in any approved area of the course may be granted advanced standing for up to 12 units from Parts A or B, provided that except in special circumstances, such artistic expertise has been demonstrated within seven (7) years prior to admission of candidature.
Schedule of units
|Note 1:||Electives can be any undergraduate unit offered by the University|
|Note 2:||Enrolment in Specialist Studies I-VI units is restricted and requires UA and CC approval|
|Note 3:||Only suggested in the music education stream if not doing Specialist Studies I and II|
|Note 4:||Depending on whether Instrumental Techniques I and II are undertaken as part of the music education stream|
|Note 5:||Students wishing to gain entry into a graduate music education course should use the 4 electives to complete a second teaching area. At SCU the recommended areas are: English, maths, history or geography. Confirm with the School of Education the specific units required.|
Part B Units
|Title||Level of learning||Note|
|MUS71010 - Instrumental Techniques I||Introductory|
|MUS71011 - Instrumental Techniques II||Introductory|
|MUS71003 - Sound Production I||Introductory|
|MUS72005 - Sound Production II||Intermediate|
|MUS73006 - Sound Production III||Advanced|
|MUS10545 - Oceans of Sound: Global Music Cultures in the 21st Century||Intermediate|
|MUS10524 - Studies in Western Art Music||Advanced|
|MUS10525 - Advanced Studies in Western Art and Contemporary Music||Advanced|
|MUS10550 - Screen Sound||Advanced|
|MUS71007 - Specialist Studies I||Introductory||Note 2|
|MUS71008 - Specialist Studies II||Introductory||Note 2|
|MUS72006 - Specialist Studies III||Intermediate||Note 2|
|MUS72007 - Specialist Studies IV||Intermediate||Note 2|
|MUS73009 - Specialist Studies V||Advanced||Note 2|
|MUS73010 - Specialist Studies VI||Advanced||Note 2|
|COM00471 - Professional Placement||Advanced|
|COM10112 - From Page to Production: Essential Screen Skills||Intermediate|
|COM10113 - Visions of Light: Making Music Video||Advanced|
|SOY10114 - Independent Project||Advanced|
|COM10627 - Telling Tales: Introduction to Digital Storytelling||Introductory|
|COM10110 - Visual Communication and Design||Introductory|
This course is available to:
Where and when do you want to study?
Session 1March 2020
Applications for this course are made directly to Southern Cross University via our online application service.Apply Online
STAR Early Offer
If you're a current Year 12 student in the SCU footprint you can register for our STAR Early Offer program and may be eligible to receive an early offer based on your School Principal's recommendation. Visit the STAR Early Offer website
Session 2July 2020
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'