3 years full time / available part time
February, July, February, July
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 growth industry with its roots in community, and you’ll be learning all about it in Australia’s music capital.
Bachelor of Songwriting and Music Production is an inspiring degree that empowers students within their practice towards a sustainable career - a welcoming and inclusive learning environment for songwriters, composers and music producers. We are committed to diversity with regard to both student intake and musical genre.
Within the degree, practical knowledge and artistic expression are interwoven in a unique curriculum which considers contemporary music an art form. There are four main strands in the degree – songwriting, music production, concepts and context, business and delivery of creative product.
All subjects are taught by well-known music artists, producers, and experts in contemporary music scenes.
Sara Retallick is an artist, musician, and educator whose work explores listening and human perceptions of sound through installation, live performance, recording, and research. Currently, she creates exploratory electronic music works under the name Golden Syrup and plays bass for post-punk trio Mod Con.
Lisa Salvo is a songwriter/composer, performing artist based in Melbourne/Narrm. She has been shortlisted for the APRA/AMCOS Vanda and Young international songwriting competition, and her latest release with experimental pop band On Diamond was nominated for the Australian Music Prize, Best Album in the Music Victoria Awards, and received album of the week on Triple R, PBS and 4ZZZ fm.
Andy White is a singer-songwriter, author, producer and academic whose work connects literate pop, folk, and punk over the course of twenty internationally released albums and three books. Writing and collaborating with Peter Gabriel, Sinéad O’Connor and John Leckie, Andy’s next releases are a spoken word project written as part of his PhD for UTAS, and a duo album recorded with Tim Finn.
Robin Waters is a producer, musician and solo artist who has worked with Ella Hooper, Kate Miller Heidke, Eves the Behavior, and Washington. Highlights as a performer include playing the Sydney Opera house with Machine Translations as well as multiple international tours and supporting David Byrne with The Boat People.
Robyn Doreian is a magazine journalist, educator, and former editor of British rock bibles Kerrang! and Metal Hammer. Her published interviews include Kurt Cobain, Keith Richards, Slipknot, Metallica, and Patti Smith.
Tony Dupé is a music producer, composer and academic who makes music that is distinctively organic, emotional, and connected to stories and places. He has a new album out this year on U.S. label Lost Tribe Sound and is writing a book as part of his PhD with the University of Queensland.
Louise Terry is an electronic music producer, community cultural development artist and educator who has cultivated a multifaceted career with groups including Sugar Fed Leopard and Sawtooth, as well as under artist name Louise Terra. Exploring the nexus between music and technology, she is currently developing a live VR music video and pursuing collaborative practice with electronic music makers in Central Victoria.
Our lecturers also currently include music artist and founder of I Manage My Music Jen Cloher, videographer Edwina Stevens, and vocalist and educator Georgie Darvidis.
BSMP’s musical alumni include:
Attend an information session or interview
Bachelor of Songwriting graduate Mofiz Ul Haq writes and records under the artist name Vertex (spotify.com). In 2021 we were delighted that Mofiz was judged Melbourne Polytechnic's Higher Education Student of the Year. This clip gives you good insight into Mofiz's practice and the opportunities open to you in our degree course.
This program will respond to any future COVID-19 restrictions by modifying its delivery model to support remote learning. At present, all classes are on campus.
Students enrolling for full-time study attend four three-hour classes per week each semester. There are 13 weeks in each of the two semesters per year. All classes take place on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday between 10am and 5pm.
Please email us at BSMPadmin@MelbournePolytechnic.edu.au regarding timetable and for further information on undertaking the degree part-time.
Various forms of assessment may be used including song demos and recordings, essays, musical performances, class presentations, folio work, reflective journal/blogs and music clips.
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.
|SMP012||MUSIC CLIP||Core||ELECTIVE SUBJECT FOR YEARS 2 OR 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.
|SMP017||PERFORMANCE DELIVERY 2||Core||ELECTIVE SUBJECT FOR YEARS 2 OR 3
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.
|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|
|SMP014||MUSIC TECHNIQUES 1||Core||This introductory subject explores approaches to organising and communicating musical elements in songwriting. Students explore melody, chords, rhythm and structure through lectures, creative workshops and song analysis.||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||1|
|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||2|
|SMP122||MUSIC BUSINESS||Core||This management subject examines and reacts 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 field.||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.||2||1|
|SMP214||MUSIC PRODUCTION 3||Core||
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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|SMP312||MAJOR PROJECT 1||Core||
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.
|SMP019||LYRICS||Core||The impulse to write is uniform across all fields 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|
|SMP013||PERFORMANCE DELIVERY 1||Core||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|
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).
|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||Core||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|
Connect with the Bachelor of Songwriting and Music Production
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The facilities you have access to as a music student at Melbourne PolytechnicMusic Facilities
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.
Fees displayed are effective for new applications received on or after 1 November 2021. 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.
Attend an interview. Selection for all categories is based on interview.
Applicants with recent secondary education (within the past two years): Completion of VCE English with a study score of at least 20.
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.
Applicants with higher education: A complete or incomplete higher education qualification. Selection is based on satisfactorily meeting the interview requirements.
Applicants with work and life experience: Selection is based on satisfactorily meeting the interview requirements.
As well as the specific entry requirements above, Melbourne Polytechnic admits students on the basis of the following categories:
If you have already studied higher education: Y ou may meet the admissions criteria for higher education at Melbourne Polytechnic if your highest level of study since leaving secondary education is a higher education course, such as a university degree.
If you have studied a VET course: You may meet the admissions criteria for higher education at Melbourne Polytechnic if your highest level of study since leaving secondary education is a vocational education and training (VET) course.
If you have recent secondary education: You may meet the admissions criteria for higher education at Melbourne Polytechnic if you are a recent secondary education student whose admission is primarily based on the completion of Year 12 within the past two years.
If you have work and life experience: You may meet the admissions criteria for higher education at Melbourne Polytechnic if you have work and life experience and left secondary education more than two years ago and have not undertaken vocational education training (VET) or higher education study since then.
Attend an interview.Academic: Australian Year 12 equivalency
To enrol in this course you are asked to attend an interview and folio presentation with one of our Creative Arts staff to ensure that this is the right course for you.
When we receive your application, the International Office will be in contact with you shortly to discuss your application and provide you additional instructions.
If you'd like to speak to one of our International Office staff directly, call 1300 635 276
Local student means; you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.