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Course summary

See yourself as the next Lady Gaga 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.

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.

Guided by lecturers who are successful musicians with strong industry connections, the Bachelor of Contemporary Music will prepare you for a 21st century music career. Along with access to our state-of-the-art facilities in either Lismore or Coomera, you can participate in collaborative, practical music-making activities, attend APRA AMCOS songwriters' workshops featuring visiting artists, and access 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.



3.5F/6.5P if commencing in Session 2

Coomera1, 2
Lismore1, 2



There are nine streams in total:

  • Performance (audition stream)
  • Performance (non-audition stream)
  • Songwriting/Composition (audition stream)
  • Songwriting/Composition (non-audition stream)
  • Music Education
  • Sound Production (audition stream)
  • Sound Production (non-audition stream)
  • New Media Arts
  • Screen.

Please note: New Media Arts and Screen streams are not currently available at Coomera. Sound Production (audition stream) is not available at Lismore.

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.

PerformanceSongwriting/Composition and Sound Production audition streams

These audition streams 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 and/or small group tuition and consultations.

Please note that students wishing to be considered for the audition streams must complete the audition process as part of their application to this course. Information about the audition process is available at

Students who achieve at a high level in a 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 another specialist area.

Sound Production non-audition stream

The Sound Production non-audition 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 (Lismore only, not available at Coomera)

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 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.

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.


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'