Study Music at UNSWStudy Music at UNSW

Performance, Composition, Sonic Arts & Musicology



Make music with confidence

Do you have a desire to develop your ability to the highest standards in performing, composing, improvising, researching, producing, and teaching?

As a Bachelor of Music student at UNSW you will benefit from our creative and contemporary environment including:

  • innovative music courses
  • purpose built facilities
  • diverse performance opportunities
  • leading academics in the field

Our Music program is your opportunity to develop your academic and professional skills in performance, composition and musicology.

At UNSW, our graduates make music with confidence, artistic conviction and social commitment.


What you will study

The Bachelor of Music is a four year, full time degree.

As a Music student at UNSW you will complete the following:

  • core courses in music performance, musicianship and musicology
  • your choice of specialist music stream from the options below
  • extensive training in ensemble skills and professional practices
  • 'free elective' courses that give you the flexibility to combine your music studies with complementary areas

Music streams

Music Creative Practice:

Intensive training in performance or composition in a self-selected musical style or tradition, including classical, jazz and world music.

Music Inquiry:

Intensive training in historical musicology, ethnomusicology or the psychology of music. Music Inquiry enables students to develop excellence in theoretical and critical subjects, music from various styles, genres and cultures, and in a comprehensive range of ensemble practices.

Sonic Arts:

Focuses on the use of sound as a means for a broad-range of creative investigations and applications. Students gain foundational skills and knowledge in sound recording and processing, post production techniques, digital sound manipulation, acoustics, and psychoacoustics in preparation for advanced applications of sound in various media and genres, such as, film and video production, sound installations, sound art, and electronic-based composition.

Music Pedagogy:

Offers extensive pre-professional training in musicianship, musicology, ensemble performance, pedagogical methods, and educational and motivational psychology specifically for studio music teaching. This stream requires the study of leading pedagogical practices through lectures, seminars, workshops, observation and practice.

Assignments and self-directed projects will provide opportunities for developing teacher modelling skills and best practices for the studio-teaching environment.

Graduates in all four major streams may also continue with study in music education.


All applicants must complete an audition to gain entry to the Bachelor of Music program. 

Audition information and the online application form can be found on the School of the Arts and Media website.

Applicants are expected to have reached the level of at least Grade 7 AMEB Performance (or equivalent) and 2 Unit Music course 2 or 3 Unit Extension or Grade 6 AMEB Musicianship (or equivalent).

Register for an audition


Graduate skill

Our graduates are highly skilled musicians with specialist knowledge in music history, culture and analysis as well as practical skills in arrangement, composition, performance and production.

Your career options include:

  • Performance
  • Teaching
  • Broadcasting
  • Arts management
  • Arts event management
  • Composition
  • Conducting
  • Arts advocacy
  • Recording and film industries
  • Arts journalism



Performance opportunities in the Bachelor of Music include a diverse array of solo and ensemble work, as well as interaction with the University’s high profile ensemble in residence, the Australia Ensemble.

Vocational placements

Our Music students have the option to enrol in an elective internship through the Arts & Social Sciences Vocational Placement (Internship) course.

The program provides an exciting opportunity to put theory into practice and gain valuable professional experience.

Overseas exchange program

As one of Australia’s most international universities, UNSW offers you the opportunity to spend a term or more overseas studying at one of our partner institutions as part of your music degree.

UNSW manages a large and active exchange program with over 200 different student exchange opportunities in 38 countries.


High performing students in the Bachelor of Music have the option to complete the fourth year of the program as an Honours year. Honours is an intensive study program that provides the opportunity to engage in specialised and extended research, to further develop research and analytical skills and expand graduate options.

Dual degrees

Combine music with another degree

Studying music in the Bachelor of Arts

Students can also study Music in the Bachelor of Arts (BA).

The BA does not require an audition and two streams of study are available:

  • Music Studies is for students with less formal training in music who wish to gain a general degree in music, one that explores music as part of the Liberal Arts.
  • Music Studies Extension provides a more comprehensive range of prescribed music courses. This stream is normally undertaken concurrently with the Bachelor of Education for students wishing to gain a professional secondary teaching qualification in Music and also in a second teaching specialisation.

UNSW handbook

Degree program structure and academic rules information:

If you are a current student, please refer to the Online Handbook in the year you commenced your degree.

Student Profiles

See what some of our students have to say about their Music degree.

Benjamin McDermott - Bachelor of Music (Honours)/ Arts

Alumni Profile
Alumni Profile Leah Curtis

See how Leah went from studying a Music degree at UNSW to becoming one of Hollywood's most accomplished composers

Alumni Profile
Alumni Profile Sonya Holowell

See how Sonya went from studying a Music degree at UNSW to becoming a freelance vocalist and curator.

Find out more about Music at UNSW
Find out more about Music at UNSW Visit our discipline hub

Learn about our research, staff and events.

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Domestic International
Term 1
80 + audition (2019 Lowest Selection Rank) / 80 + audition (2020 Guaranteed Entry)
Grade 7 AMEB Performance (or equivalent) and Music 2 or Extension or Grade 6 AMEB Musicianship (or equivalent)
On Campus
Accepted Qualifications
Band 1
Videos Meet Bachelor of Music Student – Rhyan Clapham   Meet Bachelor of Music Student – Rhyan Clapham

Wondering what it’s like to be a student at UNSW? Hip hop artist and jazz drummer Rhyan Clapham shares his student experience. Rhyan has completed a Bachelor of Music and will join the inaugural intake for the Indigenous Studies Honours program.

More Videos
Degree Structure
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