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University of Canterbury
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Bachelor of Music in Composition

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


University of Canterbury


Music features in every culture and society around the world, whether for enjoyment or to express and understand messages and ideas. The global music industry is growing and changing, and music professionals now have more career options available to them than ever before.

The Bachelor of Music (MusB) is a specialised three-year degree for those who want to concentrate their studies on Music.

The Bachelor of Music requires a total of 360 points:

135 points of compulsory Music courses

at least 120 points towards a major

120 points of courses in Music or from other degrees.

Students have considerable flexibility in choosing their courses in the second and third years of the MusB degree.

It is possible to combine a music degree with other degrees, such as the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws or Bachelor of Commerce.


Composition is the creation of new music. Enjoy learning from a diverse range of musical styles, from contemporary music to pop and everything in between. You could compose pieces for orchestras, create film or video game soundtracks, write lyrics, arrange electronic soundscape compositions, or produce your next EDM hit.

Career opportunities

Composition studies will give you significant hands-on experience writing music for instruments, voice, computers, and working with performers and improvisors. Some career pathways could include: Sound design Film composition Song writing Recording.

Further study

Postgraduate options at UC include:

  • Bachelor of Music with Honours
  • Master of Music
  • Master of Arts in Music
  • Doctor of Musical Arts
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Music

Entry criteria

Applicants must have completed New Zealand University Entrance through NCEA; or Cambridge International Examinations (CIE); or International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) or any other equivalent overseas qualification.

The Bachelor of Music is open to everyone (except for the Performance major — see below). Having some previous study or knowledge of music will be especially helpful.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.0, with no band score lower than 5.5.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 80, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 50, and no communicative skills score below 42.

Undergraduate applications: Semester 1 (February start) by 31 October; Semester 2 (July start) by 30 April.

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