Bachelor of Music


Program Description

Bachelor of Music

Sharpen your musical talent with the guidance of our internationally acclaimed musicians and lecturers when you study a Bachelor of Music at Waikato. With countless opportunities for public performance and access to a world-class performing arts venue, you’ll be learning from the best.

The Bachelor of Music (BMus) is a specialist degree that will suit you if you have musical skill and ambition or just a sheer love of music. Choose an Academic or Performance-based programme and learn different styles and techniques that build your skill-base in the areas of music that interest you.

Combining theory with practical tuition, you’ll have access to our specialist teaching facilities, including the acclaimed Dr John Gallagher Concert Chamber in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts.

The two BMus streams are:

Academic Programme

  • Composition
  • Digital Music
  • Māori Musical Instruments in Traditional and Contemporary Contexts
  • Māori Song and Dance in Traditional and Contemporary Contexts
  • Western Music History

Performance Programme

  • Chamber Music
  • Performance
  • Performance Techniques
  • Western Music History

Tuition is available for voice, piano, cello, violin, classical guitar, and a range of orchestral instruments.

Soloist Specialisation

Within the BMus degree, we offer a soloist specialisation for exceptionally talented music students who have the potential to become successful international soloists. Every specialisation student has their programme of study, and we provide intensive one-to-one teaching to raise technical and interpretative skills, with a strong focus on performance skills. You'll develop your on-stage personalities through multiple opportunities to perform before live audiences, and participate in national and international competitions.

Admission to the soloist specialisation is at the discretion of the Convenor of Music. It is restricted to exceptional students who have:

  • been awarded a major prize at a recognised international or New Zealand competition;
  • performed a concerto with a professional orchestra, or a solo or chamber music concert at a major concert venue;
  • successfully completed the interview process.

The core undergraduate papers in the soloist specialisation are:

MUSI130 Soloist Studies 1
MUSI131 Soloist Performance
MUSI230 Soloist Studies 2
MUSI330 Soloist Studies 3

Student Achievements

Students from Waikato's Conservatorium of Music are renowned for standing out on the world stage. They have excelled nationally in New Zealand's major music competitions, such as the New Zealand National Concerto Competition, the National Woodwind Competition and the Lexus Aria Competition, as well as on the international stage, for example the Beijing International Cello Competition and the Johanssen International String Competition in Washington DC.

Career opportunities

  • Advertising Executive
  • Arts Administration
  • Broadcaster
  • Composer
  • Film Music Producer
  • Journalist
  • Music Blogger
  • Music Retailer
  • Performer
  • Recording Artist
  • Teacher

Practical experience

The opportunities for you to practice through performance are endless. Have your compositions performed, or perform yourself, at any of our regular events including the annual Opera production, weekly lunchtime recitals, Friday performance hours and competitions such as the Lilburn Trust Student Competition Awards concert – to name a few.

We also have strong networks in the wider community, which gives you a wider range of performance opportunities.

Admission and enrolment

If you have (or expect to gain) New Zealand University Entrance you are eligible to apply for this degree. You must also meet one of the following requirements:

  • NCEA - 14 credits in Music at Level 3
  • NCEA - 20 credits in Music at Level 2
  • A Grade 3 Theory pass or better in the New Zealand Music Education Board or Australian Music Education Board examinations, or
  • A grade 5 theory pass or better in the Trinity College, or Royal College of Music examinations, or
  • A qualification considered equivalent

All other applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Note: The above entry criteria for the BMus will come into force in 2017, subject to approval from the New Zealand Universities Committee on University Academic Programmes.

For the Performance programme, a selection process applies, and you will be required to successfully complete an audition. These are usually held in September and October and applications are required before the audition date. Find out further information about Music at Waikato.

Some first-year papers may have specific prerequisites, so please check the catalogue of papers carefully. If you do not meet the prerequisites, please contact as there may be other pathways that you can take to study in this field.

Last updated Jul 2019

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