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Songwriting and Music Production

Bachelor Of

Code: HECABSMP Cricos: 090757J







3 years full time / available part time


3 years full time / available part time


This qualification is a music artist’s degree for emerging songwriters, composers and music producers, who will be taught as artists.

Next Intake


Next Intake

February, July, February, July, Midyear, Midyear

A unique degree for music artists

Study music with a degree that is unique in Australia: Melbourne Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Songwriting and Music Production. This qualification is suited to emerging songwriters, composers and music producers who will engage with music as creative practice and be taught as artists. Our pursuit of excellence in contemporary music-making is based on the understanding of music as an art form. Aligned with “do it yourself” practice, your study engages with commercial practice and is grounded in historical context. Songwriting in Australia is a $380+ million industry with its roots in community, and you’ll be learning all about it in Australia’s music capital.

Break free of convention

Melbourne Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Songwriting and Music Production is not a conservatorium-style degree. Your songwriting and composition classes will be about being inventive, establishing goals, and finding new ways to challenge and engage yourself and your future audience. Learn multiple ways of recording sound and developing stylistic approaches to songwriting, recording and producing. Your musical and artistic explorations will be grounded in theory classes of music business, music history and cultural theory subjects and a suite of electives that includes making video clips, starting record labels, performance classes, and composing music for film. You’ll have access to rehearsal rooms set up with drum kits, pianos, PAs and amplifiers and computer labs and studios equipped with recording equipment and music software. The Bachelor of Songwriting and Music Production is a welcoming, inclusive, and gender-diverse learning environment.All of your teachers will be musicians, songwriters and producers with years of musical experience and their own ongoing creative practice. Melbourne Polytechnic’s musical alumni include Alexander Biggs, Hollie Joyce, Sweetz, Dominique and Chitra, who was signed by Melbourne label Our Golden Friend whilst completing her Bachelor of Songwriting and Music Production.

Mix business and pleasure for a career in music

Students who have successfully completed the first two years of the Bachelor of Songwriting and Music Production may choose to exit with the Associate Degree of Songwriting and Music Production qualification. The full three-year Bachelor of Songwriting and Music Production will prepare you for many jobs across the arts and music industry. You may find work as a music artist, songwriter, composer, sound artist, record producer, studio audio engineer, musical performer, performer, performance artist, artist manager, arts administrator, festival director, live touring manager, live venue manager, music programmer or record label manager within existing business and organisations, or you might even start your own music industry business.

Career Pathways

Where will this take me

The full three-year Bachelor of Songwriting and Music Production will prepare you for many jobs across the arts and music industry.
  • Music Producer
  • Music Composer
  • Music Editor
  • Musician
  • Music Arranger
  • Music Performer
  • Motel Manager
  • Festival Director
  • Sound Artist
  • Songwriter
  • Live Tour Manager
  • Live Venue Manager
  • Music Programmer
  • Record Label Manager


Graduates will be equipped to advance into post graduate study at other tertiary institutions

Akolda Bil

"It means future to me now. All I was doing before this was working in small jobs, or jobs that aren't going to get me far in life, so studying is a huge deal to me. It got me where I am now.... And it actually, studying gave me a path to go somewhere in my life."

Course Details

Class Schedule

Speak with the department to receive further information on undertaking this degree part-time

Assessment Methods

Various forms of assessment may be used including presentation for peer review, essays, assignments, musical performances, class presentations, folio work and reflective journal/blogs

Units of Study

Credit points are a basic measure of student workload. All subjects are given a credit point value. Most subjects at Melbourne Polytechnic are 12 credit points. A normal full-time annual workload is 96 credit points. The academic year is divided into two main semesters; full-time students usually enrol in 48 credit points each semester, part-time students usually enrol in 24 credit points each semester or less.

Units of Study
Code Subject Elective Description Year Semester
SMP112 SUBCULTURES AND THE AVANT-GARDE Core Subcultures and avant-garde movements influence and have always influenced directions in contemporary songwriting and sound production. You will traverse the more extreme and/or subversive historical trends within songwriting and music production and examine their impact on contemporary music cultures. 1 1
SMP113 SONGWRITING AND COMPOSITION 1 Core An introduction to the craft of songwriting, exploring strategies to embark on the project of writing a song and developing existing songwriting methods. You will be encouraged to link historical songwriting practice with contemporary methods. Peer review will form a key part of the songwriting workshops. By the end of the semester, you will have written and recorded new works. 1 1
SMP114 MUSIC PRODUCTION 1 Core An introduction to the engineering skills, studio technique and production methods used in sound recording. Gain an understanding of contemporary methods, and develop critical listening skills as a music producer and work towards submitting a demo by the end of semester, having a thorough grounding in the skills and art of recording and production. 1 1
SMP122 MUSIC BUSINESS Core This management subject examines and re ects upon the way in which contemporary music artists develop career and project strategies for their musical projects. Students apply timelines, audience building and project management skills to their own musical releases, and examine strategic excellence in the eld. 1 2
SMP123 SONGWRITING & COMPOSITION 2 Core This subject extends from Songwriting & Composition 1, with students deepening their knowledge of composition and style in workshops and being exposed to seminal songwriters and contemporary composers through a series of lectures. 1 2
SMP124 MUSIC PRODUCTION 2 Core This subject covers the broad roles and responsibilities of a music producer including conceptual planning, artistic overview, technical engineering and musical arranging. It provides a deeper analysis of the art of music production and the aesthetics associated with producing music. Students will further develop their critical listening and aural perception skills as a music producer. 1 2
SMP213 SONGWRITING AND COMPOSITION 3 Core This subject is workshop based and aimed at the development of distinct artistic directions in songwriting or music production. Practical outcomes will be explored theoretically in writing and you will drive your own songwriting explorations while being supported by peer review and robust critique. By the end of this semester, you will have completed a short set of finished new works. Songwriting and Composition 3 is also offered as an elective for students who have chosen Music Production 3 as their major. 2 1

Builds on recording and production skills already developed and further explores music production techniques in a studio environment. Continue to refine and develop your critical listening and aural perception skills as a producer.

Students will complete a music recording as a finished and mastered production by the end of semester.

Music Production 3 is also offered as an elective if you have chosen Songwriting and Composition 3 as your major

2 1
SMP223 SONGWRITING & COMPOSITION 4 Core Workshop driven development of songwriting and composition catalogue. This subject is designed to be a precursor to the major project of third year, exploring self-directed practice and its goals. 2 2
SMP224 MUSIC PRODUCTION 4 Core The student will develop an understanding of the crucial concepts underpinning the art of music production. Students will further develop and apply their critical listening and aural perception skills as a music producer including practical applications. 2 2

Major Project 1 is a focal part of the final year and you will manage a self-directed project over the two semesters using content created in Studio 1 and 2. The focus of the project will be either songwriting, music production or a fusion of both. The scope of the project will be negotiated with each student with clear outcomes to be obtained by the end of the year.

You will be designated a mentor for your project and this one-on-one mentoring in set hours per week will keep the project focused and moving, while group workshops will provide context. A 'brains trust' support system will be applied to each individual project, with a series of guest lectures throughout the semester.

3 1
SMP321 STUDIO 2 Core Following on from Studio 1, students present songs and recordings for review by peers and lecturers. Workshops are built around feedback in a supportive and challenging environment where the dynamics of creative practice will be explored. The lecture series, will present a range of themes that apply to students’ own and other artists’ practices. 3 2
SMP322 MAJOR PROJECT 2 Core In this subject students manage to completion the self-directed project initiated in Major Project 1. Throughout the semester, students will work with their class lecturer and individual mentor to problem solve, plan and deliver their major project. 3 2
SMP011 LABEL Elective ELECTIVE SUBJECT FOR YEARS 2 and 3 Explores both the histories of the record and publishing labels and their relationship to musical and sound production artistry, as well as introducing the principles of starting up a label. 3 2
SMP012 MUSIC CLIP Elective ELECTIVE SUBJECT FOR YEARS 2 and 3 Explores the historical context of the film clip - pre-production, production and post-production elements of making a clip as well as use of the clip as a marketing tool. Explore the implications of the choice of hardware and software at all levels from the mobile phone to a large-scale production. 3 2
SMP016 MUSIC FOR VISUAL MEDIA Elective This subject explores the relationship between sound and vision. Students compose music for visual contexts – film, theatre, public events and contemporary art – exploring the impact of sound work to visual work, and strategies for making. 3 1
SMP017 PERFORMANCE DELIVERY 2 Elective A continuation of Performance Delivery 1, students further examine individual performance style and practical skills in order to develop approaches to professional level performance in studio and stage environments. 3 2
SMP019 LYRICS Elective The impulse to write is uniform across all elds of art which employ language as a means of expression. This subject is a study of lyrics in relation to the history of songwriting and in the context of literature. Lyrics are not poetry, but they employ many of the same techniques. There will be analysis of key lyrics, poems and literature. Assessments include both analysis and lyric-writing. 3 1
SMP216 THE ARTIST'S LIFE Core The artist’s life explores historical and contemporary conceptions of the artist as a gure in society. The characteristic attributes of artistic practice are explored through an analysis of historical and contemporary practice and artistic tactics and strategies are considered in light of the way they function in broader communities. The subject explores de nitions of art, the value of artistic work and the function of the artist in culture. 2 1
SMP226 MINOR PROJECT Core Learn the skills required to be a small artistic business owner, using strategies to create, develop and commercialise new music products and artists. Students will become familiar with concepts such as budgeting, acquiring funding, and cash flow management. You will be able to use this knowledge to make business decisions in a creative context on the viability, feasibility and risk of an artistic endeavour. This subject involves students in the planning and delivery of a minor business project related to the student's artistic musical practice. 2 2
SMP217 Sound Studies Core This subject engages the student with sound as a standing quality, both within expanded conceptions of music and as a medium. Listening, creating and improvising using sound will be explored both in terms of sound per se and in relation to sound as a quality within compositional practice. 2 1
SMP225 CULTURAL THEORY Core This subject is an introduction to the critical thinking that is necessary for students to develop in order to determine the meanings and values of songs and music. It provides an overview of the history of some of the twentieth century fields of critical enquiry, and the value of these movements as frames of critique in the twenty-first century. 2 2
SMP115 SONGWRITERS & PRODUCERS Core To write the future, you have to understand the past. The art of songwriting and the resultant history of music production is crucial to an understanding of contemporary music culture. This subject will look at seminal examples of songwriting and music production, and explore the way fusions of style create new genres in both disciplines. Students will examine how these fusions come about, and how understanding this can inform their own creative practice. 1 1
SMP125 MUSIC CRITIQUE Core An exploration of seminal texts that relate explicitly to songwriting, composition and sound production. This subject examines the contemporary field of music critique from academic criticism to the blogosphere. 1 2
SMP013 PERFORMANCE DELIVERY 1 Elective ELECTIVE SUBJECT FOR YEARS 2 and 3 An introductory performance subject where you will explore and develop critical thinking relating to your own performance within the realm of songwriting and sound production. Explore these themes through your own performances, examining image and stage technique along with an analysis of what constitutes excellence in musical performance. 3 1
SMP311 STUDIO 1 Core

Based around the concept of an art school studio, you will present songs and recordings for review by peers and a group of lecturers. Workshops are built around feedback in a supportive and challenging environment where the dynamics of creativity and creative practice will be explored. In a lecture series, practitioners in the field will discuss their own and other practices.

The expectation is that you continue to compose songs and produce with a view to developing robust practice, material outcomes and a firm sense of the context and direction of their work. The artistic outcomes in Studio 1 and 2 (second semester) will form the content for Major Project 1 and 2 (second semester).

3 1

Fees & Costs

When you are studying higher education courses you may qualify for FEE-HELP payments for part or all of your tuition fees. FEE-HELP loans do not cover materials costs.

Find out more information about FEE-HELP.

Fees displayed are effective for new applications received on or after 1 November 2019. Tuition fees do not include textbooks, course materials or overseas student health insurance and visa fees.

After initial deposit, international students are able to pay tuition fees in installments, four times per year.

For more detailed information please read the International Student Fees.

Tuition Fees
$8192 per semester
$16384 per year
$9600 per semester
$19200 per year
Course Fees are only estimated. Find out what subsidies apply to you by contacting us.

Book an interview

This course requires an interview for entry. Please make a booking for your interview time by clicking book an interview


Academic: Australian Year 12 equivalency
English: Academic IELTS 6.0 with no individual band below 5.5, Pearson PTE Academic 50 overall with no individual communicative skill below 42, or Melbourne Polytechnic recognised equivalency.
Other: Applicants will be required to present a folio of musical work at interview. Interviews and auditions by Skype or telephone are available for overseas applicants. For further information please email:
Applicants with Australian vocational education and training (VET) study
Students who have successfully completed a Diploma of Music Industry (Music Production or Music Performance) or Advanced Diploma of Music Industry (Sound Production or Music Performance) will receive specific first year subject credits.

Next Steps

We're really excited for you to join the Melbourne Polytechnic community and support you on your education journey. The first step to enrolling is completing the application short form. You'll be redirected to the longer enrollment form where you'll provide your supporting documents and identification.

If at anytime you need support in progressing through your enrollment, you can contact one of our Education and Course Advisors on 03 9269 8400.