Bachelor of Music Studies and Bachelor of Arts

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

The combination of the Bachelor of Music Studies and Bachelor of Arts will allow you to acquire musical skills in performance, composition, or musicology, together with academic expertise in your chosen discipline within the humanities and social sciences.

You will select a principal study in an instrument, voice (classical or jazz), composition or musicology, and complete core units of study in music skills, analysis, history and culture, pedagogy and other units of your choice from the Faculty of Arts. Principal study at the Conservatorium may be undertaken in brass, composition, early music, piano, musicology, percussion, strings, voice (classical or jazz)or woodwind. This combined degree is structured to allow you optimum flexibility in your choice of classes, so you can pursue your own preferred combination of musical and non-musical study.

Course outline

Unit of Study information on faculty page

Study plan


The Bachelor of Music Studies and Bachelor of Arts may be undertaken full-time over five years or part-time over ten 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 flexibility in their choice of units so they may pursue their own combinations of musical and non-musical disciplines.

Overall, 126cp will come from units of study taught in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, with 72cp from senior units in Part A of the table of units if study for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, including a major comprising 36cp of senior units in a single subject area. Students complete a further 54cp from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, which may include a second major from Part A or a major from Part B, and 114cp from the units of study for the Bachelor of Music.
All students take a principal study in an instrument, voice, composition or musicology.

There are five compulsory music core studies in which students must complete a minimum number of credit points: principal study (36cp), analysis, history and culture (24cp), music skills (24cp), composition, performance and/or musicology related studies, as well as teaching music (3cp) .

Majors

What is a major?

A major in the Bachelor of Music Studies is defined as a principal study. Students undertake a vocal or instrumental principal study over eight semesters. In addition, students complete core studies inmusic skills, analysis, history and culture, performance and pedagogy. A major in the Bachelor of Arts comprises 36cp of senior units of study in a single subject area from Part A from the Table of Units of Study in the Faculty of Arts .

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. Most subject areas within the Bachelor of Arts also allow for students to take part in an international exchange program. The program enables students to enhance their skills in a language other than English and their knowledge of other societies and cultures.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Graduates of the Bachelor of Music Studies and Bachelor of Arts will be broadly educated musicians who are able to apply their knowledge, skills and attitudes creatively and flexibly in a variety of music and music related professions.

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 Studies and Bachelor of Arts with Honours comprises a widely recognised and highly regarded additional year of undergraduate study available to students who have recently completed an undergraduate degree. Honours is a unique opportunity for students to explore their research potential with an independent project supervised by one or more academic staff members.

Honours may be undertaken in Music, following completion of the Bachelor of Music Studies, or at the end of the Bachelor of Arts component of the combined degree. Completing a music degree with an honours year opens the door to many employment and research opportunities. For detailed advice see the Bachelor of Music Studies (Honours) . Students may also undertake honours in the Bachelor of Arts subject to meeting admission requirements.

Other study options

Since 1974 the Open Academy at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music 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 undergraduate courses at the University of Sydney is either on the basis of completion of secondary study via the NSW Higher School Certificate, leading to the award of an Australian Tertiary Admission Ranking (ATAR) or equivalent. Applicants are ranked by merit and offers for available places are issued according to the ranking. Eligible applicants who submit additional information may improve their ranking by participating in the University’s access and equity schemes.

In addition, admission to this course requires the applicant to complete a music skills test or jazz aptitude test and:
(a) for principal study in composition, to submit at least three compositions in different performance media which should represent their present level of achievement as composers and to attend an interview;
(b) for principal study in musicology, to present an example of recent written work and to attend an interview;
(c) for principal study in performance, to undertake a practical audition in their nominated instrument or in 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.

Further requirements

To gain entry to all courses, including the Diplomas and the combined BMusStudies/BA, BMusStudies/MBBS applicants will need to:
1. Gain an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).
2. Undertake a practical audition or submission, as well as an interview for some specialisations.
3. Undertake a written Music Skills test or Jazz Aptitude test.

Applicants without an ATAR from the NSW Higher School Certificate may be granted admission on the basis of equivalent secondary school level qualifications (including overseas qualifications); or on the basis of having successfully undertaken other tertiary studies; or in a special admission category such as mature age entry.

International students

How to apply

International applicants may apply directly to the University's International Office by clicking on the “APPLY NOW” button on the right hand side of the screen; OR through a University overseas representative (education agent); OR through the Universities Admissions Centre, for students applying on the basis of a current Australian Year 12 secondary school examination, or studying either an International Baccalaureate in Australia or a New Zealand Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 3.

Further admission requirements

To gain entry to all courses, including the Diplomas and the combined BMusStudies/BA, BMusStudies/MBBS applicants will need to:
1. Gain an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).
2. Undertake a practical audition or submission, as well as an interview for some specialisations.
3. Undertake a written Music Skills test or Jazz Aptitude test.

Applicants without an ATAR from the NSW Higher School Certificate may be granted admission on the basis of equivalent secondary school level qualifications (including overseas qualifications); or on the basis of having successfully undertaken other tertiary studies; or in a special admission category such as mature age entry.

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 2014 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 2013 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 2014, 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.