Bachelor of Music (Performance)

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music is Australia’s premier music institution. Located in the picturesque Governor’s Stables next to the Botanical Gardens and minutes from the Sydney Opera House, the SCM offers world-renowned tuition by Australia’s leading musical practitioners in a strongly collaborative, challenging and performance-based environment.

In the Bachelor of Music (Performance) you will expand and master performance skills in instrument, classical voice or jazz. As a student of this successful and highly regarded program, you will combine your chosen principal study with jazz ensemble, orchestral studies or other performance-related units, with core studies that include music skills, analysis, history, culture and pedagogy. You will benefit from one-on-one tuition and make use of SCM’s state-of-the-art facilities—including practice rooms, extensive library resources and cutting edge music technology—as well as opportunities for international tours with professional orchestras, bands and ensembles. You will undergo a comprehensive education on your chosen instrument that is designed to push your creative and performative abilities to the next level.

For information about specific areas of study, please click here.
To find out more about our program directors, please click here.

Course outline


Study plan


The Bachelor of Music (Performance) may be undertaken full-time over four years or part-time over eight years. Full-time students enrol in junior units of study with a maximum 48 credit points (cp) during first year. The course is structured to allow students to achieve a high standard in their area of specialisation and to undertake other study central to the development of the professional musician.

There are five compulsory core studies in which students must complete a minimum number of credit points: principal study (72cp), studies in analysis, history and culture (24cp), music skills (24cp), performance and ensemble studies (36-60cp), and teaching music (3cp). Students also select other units of study, either from within their specialisation, in another area of musical study at the Conservatorium, or in another faculty of The University of Sydney, subject to approval.

Majors

What is a major?

A major in the Bachelor of Music (Performance) is defined as a principal study. Students undertake an instrumental (including jazz) or vocal (classical) principal study over eight semesters. In addition, students complete core studies in music skills, music analysis, history and culture, performance and ensemble studies and pedagogy.

Core majors

Further course information

Progression rules

Under normal progression, a student shall undertake all units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester as prescribed for the course. Students are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and performance-related activities prescribed for their units of study.

What is an elective?

An elective is a unit of study within a degree, usually an option within a course. Electives allow more detailed study of a particular subject. Electives can be selected from the units of study offered by the Conservatorium or from other faculties within the university (subject to permission from the Conservatorium).

Course opportunities

All students at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music participate in masterclasses with visiting artists, public recitals and performances in world class venues. Students may participate in international performance tours each year and may undertake exchange study at an overseas university as an integral part of their course.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

The Bachelor of Music supports the development of professional musicians through acquisition of an integrated body of knowledge, skills and attitudes. While students are required to specialise in their principal study and to reach levels of excellence demanded by the music profession, graduates are prepared for a diverse range of career opportunities, including careers as performing soloists, chamber musicians and orchestral/ensemble players, as well as music educators, creators, researchers and writers.

Course accreditation

A key focus of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music is its partnership programs with Australia's major music organisations, such as Opera Australia and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Opera Australia: Opera Encounters allows selected students to work with principal artists and directors from Opera Australia and to benefit not only from the extensive knowledge which these professionals are able to share, but also to develop important contacts with key artists and administrators.

In recent years, some of the Sydney Conservatorium's major opera productions have been developed as part of this program. An innovative new alliance has been forged, allowing for not only our Opera students to be coached, but to allow for outstanding students (vocal, instrumental and conductors) to perform in Opera Australia productions. Sydney Symphony Orchestra: A project jointly developed by the Conservatorium and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra is the Sydney Symphony Sinfonia. Students audition to join members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in a series of performances and regional tours. The success of this partnership can be measured through the level of success of Conservatorium students in securing casual and permanent employment in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and other professional orchestras.

Further study

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music has a vibrant and diverse community of staff and students, many of whom enjoy exceptional careers worldwide as both performers and scholars in the finest musical company. The Conservatorium places a high emphasis on its research activity and is recognised as a gathering place for experiencing music performance, scholarship and culture by individuals who push the boundaries of innovation, creativity, cognition and expression. The faculty offers the opportunity to pursue research degrees at either Masters, PhD or Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) levels in the following areas of Composition, Music Education, Applied Research, Musicology and Performance.

About honours

The Bachelor of Music (Performance) Honours is designed to allow students with superior performance ability and potential to extend their knowledge and skill bases and to develop artistic autonomy in the area of their principal study. Honours students will have demonstrated superior performance ability in recital and the capacity to develop and carry out a specialised research project.

Honours provides opportunities for students to: extend their pass degree work and gain excellence in performance and performance-based research in a specific area relevant to their own professional and musical interests and needs; develop performance, research and writing skills essential to a level suitable for entry qualification for quality postgraduate programs; obtain an extra professional qualification that may assist employment prospects; and work closely with performance and academic staff of the Conservatorium.

Other study options

Since 1974 the Open Academy has opened it's doors to the community through programs, courses and workshops for school students, musicians, music teachers and to all those who are interested in learning more about music. Courses are held in the outstanding facilities of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on Macquarie Street in Sydney and are designed to inspire and challenge.

Admission

Admission requirements

Admission to this course is on the basis of a secondary school leaving qualification such as the NSW Higher School Certificate (including national and international equivalents), tertiary study or an approved preparation program. English language requirements must be met where these are not demonstrated by sufficient qualifications taught in English. Special admission pathways are open for domestic mature aged applicants who do not possess a school leaving qualification, educationally disadvantaged applicants and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Applicants are ranked by merit and offers for available places are issued according to the ranking. Details of admission policies are found in the Coursework Rule.

In addition, admission to this course requires the applicant to complete a music skills or jazz aptitude test; and to undertake a practical audition in their nominated instrument or voice. The results of this process will form part of the ranking of applicants.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Applications for the University's undergraduate courses are made though the Universities Admission Centre (UAC). On-time applications for the March Semester close on the last working day of September. On-time applications for the July Semester close in May. Please note: not all courses are offered in the July semester intake.

Assumed knowledge

Music 2 or international equivalents.

International students

How to apply

International applicants may apply (i) directly to the University via the ‘APPLY NOW’ link on this page, or (ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent). OR (iii) through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) for students applying on the basis of a current Australian Year 12 secondary school examination, or studying a New Zealand Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 3.



Applicants studying an International Baccalaureate in Australia may apply either directly to the University's International Office by clicking the "APPLY NOW" button on the right hand side of the screen; OR through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

For general information about how to apply as an international student, please see the International Undergraduate page.

For more information on the application process for this course, please click here.

Further admission requirements

In addition to the application you need to submit a recorded audition DVD or portfolio following the audition requirements.

Audition performances can be submitted by DVD or uploaded to YouTube or similar streaming platform. Please note CD format will not be assessed.

If you are posting a DVD, please despatch your DVD to the following address:

Admissions office
Level 4, Jane Foss Russell Building (G02)
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

If you are submitting a DVD, you will to need label clearly the following - your full name, date of birth, application number and course applied.

If you are recording your audition performances using YouTube, you will need to submit the relevant URL as part of your online application for admission assessment.

Details regarding audition requirements can be found at: http://music.sydney.edu.au/study/audition-requirements.

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

Indicative Undergraduate Student Contribution Amount

This student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. If you are a Commonwealth supported student and was enrolled in a University course before 1 January 2014 your student contribution may differ.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Future Students' website.

Annual review

Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.

International students

Indicative international tuition fees for undergraduate students

This international tuition fee is an indication only of the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact tuition fees that you pay will depend on the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total tuition fees, please refer to the University's Future Students' website.

Annual review

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.