3 years full time / available part time
Become a lyrical legend as you earn songwriting, composition, production and sound studies while also delving into the business aspects of the contemporary music industry that take a song from concept to commercial product. You’ll be taught by renowned musical artists and producers from both local and international scenes – and join the ranks of notable Alumni including Chitra and Outtatime. This course differs from our Bachelor of Music in its specialisation in both the craft of songwriting and the nuance of 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. Running since 2016, our graduates are music artists, producers, and freelance creatives, and all Bachelor of Songwriting and Music Production subjects have been updated this year for our 2024 delivery.
Bachelor of Songwriting and Music Production is an inspiring degree that empowers students within their creative 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, context and theory, industry and delivery of creative product.
We understand that songwriting and music production are interdependent creative practices and shared skill-sets. You may write songs but want to both develop your writing skills and learn how to record. You might write through a DAW and want to develop this practice as well as having the ability to record other artists. You may have already released material but are wondering where to go next in terms of your creative practice and artist identity.
All subjects are taught by well-known music artists, producers, and experts in local, national, and international 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 apply now
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.
The Bachelor of Songwriting and Music Production is focussed on creating exceptional music artists whose songs are at the heart of the music industry. As a music artist you need to be community focussed and engage with the industry. You may choose self-employment as a songwriter, composer, sound artist, record producer, audio engineer, musical performer, performance artist, artist manager or video clip maker. You might start your own record label or find work within existing businesses and organisations including those engaged in music media, publishing, streaming, arts administration, venue and festival activities.
Graduates will be equipped to advance into post graduate study at other tertiary institutions
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.
|SMC101||Songwriting & Composition 1||Core||In this subject, students are introduced to foundational methods and techniques of songwriting and composition. Through analysis, self-reflective critique and peer review, these methods and techniques are applied to the writing of songs/compositions in development.|
|SMC102||Music Production 1||Core||This subject introduces students to foundational music production methods and techniques. Through self-reflective critique and peer review, these methods and techniques are applied to the recording of songs/compositions in development.|
|SMC103||Writing About Music||Core||In this subject, students examine music writing in journalism and in academic contexts. Critical reading practice and a diversity of writing techniques are applied to analysis, review, and industry-standard formats, equipping the student with skills necessary to communicate their own work and critique the work of other artists.|
|SMC104||Music Foundations||Core||In this subject, students examine foundational elements of music theory and techniques that can be applied to a range of styles. Melody, harmony and rhythm are analysed through traditional and non- traditional notation to enable the organization and communication of songs/compositions and to develop a shared musical language for use in solo and collaborative work.|
|SMC105||Songwriting & Composition 2||Core||This subject investigates developmental contemporary methods and techniques of songwriting and composition. Through analysis, self-reflective critique and peer review, these methods and techniques are applied to the completion of a selection of songs/compositions.|
|SMC201||Songwriting & Composition 3||Core||In this subject, students further engage with collaborative methods and techniques of songwriting and composition. Written analysis, self-reflective critique and peer review are applied in the development and presentation of a portfolio of songs/compositions.|
|SMC205||Songwriting & Composition 4||Core||This subject examines advanced methods and techniques of songwriting and composition through analysis of key historical and contemporary exemplars. Written analysis, self-reflective critique and peer review are applied to the creation and completion of a portfolio of songs/compositions.|
|SMC106||Music Production 2||Core||In this subject, students examine developmental music production methods and techniques. Through peer review and reference to contemporary context, these methods and techniques are applied to the creation of a selection of recordings.|
|SMC202||Music Production 3||Core||In this subject, students research advancing music production methods and techniques and apply written analysis, self-reflective critique and peer review to the development and presentation of recordings.|
|SMC206||Music Production 4||Core||Further expanding on the content of prerequisite subject Music Production 3, students engage advanced music production methods and techniques in the planning and completion of a self-directed production project.|
|SMC107||Independent Music Pathways||Core||This foundational subject prepares students for engagement with industry, outlining career pathways and engagement strategies, and planning for a future small-scale music project.|
|SMC108||Music Subcultures||Core||In this subject, students examine relationships between subcultures and music with focus on how musical and aesthetic conventions within subcultures influence genre and artistic identity. Analysis of historical and contemporary artists working within music subcultures is applied to the student's creative practice.|
|SMC203||Independent Music Artist||Core||In this subject, students analyse the role of the independent music artist in community, research local and national music organizations, and prepare visual and written supporting materials for a self-directed music project.|
|SMC204||Sound Studies||Core||Sound Studies engages students with theories, processes, and techniques relating to expanded fields of sonic practice such as experimental music, sound installation, and sound art. Listening, improvisation, and sound creation are explored through a series of lectures and workshops focused on experimentation and expanding perspectives on sound and music.|
|SMC207||DIY Music Release||Core||In this subject, students plan, develop and manage a self-directed DIY music release for online delivery, including the development and delivery of a marketing strategy with supporting visual and written materials.|
|SMC208||Performance||Core||This subject develops performance skills and capabilities in live and recorded music contexts. Communication and audience engagement methods are developed in class through self-reflective critique and peer review to inform an end of semester performance.|
|SMC301||Creative Studio 1||Core||In this subject, students research and develop advanced songwriting and composition methodology through written analysis, self-reflective critique and peer review, in the creation and presentation of songs/compositions for a large-scale project and the establishment of a sustainable creative practice.|
|SMC303||Creative Studio 2||Core||This subject builds on Creative Studio 1, consolidating advanced songwriting and composition methodology through written analysis, self-reflective critique and peer review in the completion of a portfolio of songs/compositions for a large-scale project and further development of a sustainable creative practice.|
|SMC302||Major Project 1||Core||In this subject, students apply advanced music production methodology to the planning and development of a large-scale self-directed project.|
|SMC304||Major Project 2||Core||Following on from Major Project 1, students research and develop multi-disciplinary support materials and manage the completion and delivery of a large-scale self-directed project. Analysis and self- reflective critique are applied to evaluation of the project.|
|SME301||Independent Label||Elective||In this subject, students plan and develop an online platform to support the release of a large-scale project, including support materials and analysis of branding and audience engagement strategies.|
|SME302||Art Project||Elective||In this subject, students engage with relationships between art-making and musical practice through a range of mediums, concepts, and creative approaches. An artwork employing diverse materials and methods is developed and presented to extend creative practice.|
|SME303||Lyrics||Elective||This third-year elective subject is a study of lyrics, poetry and spoken word, exploring methods and techniques shared by these related disciplines and applying them to practice. Through literary criticism and peer review, students develop a creative writing practice expressed through lyrics, poetry or spoken word performance.|
|SME304||Sound & the Moving Image||Elective||In this subject, students analyse sonic and visual relationships while applying informed compositional methods and techniques to generate soundtrack, foley and sound design for the moving image.|
|SME305||Music Clip||Elective||In this subject, students analyse the content and production process of music clips. Planning, conceptual development, pre- and post-production skills are researched and applied to the making of a music clip.|
|SME306||Sound in Space||Elective||This subject engages students with expanded sound presentation methods such as sound installation, spatial sound composition and public art. Students develop and present an artwork that engages space as a creative tool or presentation strategy.|
|SME307||Collaborative Performance||Elective||This third-year elective subject develops collaborative live performance skills and related materials. Performance practice is advanced through self-reflective critique and peer review and applied in group work to inform a collaborative end of semester public performance.|
|SME308||First Nations Music and Sound||Elective||This subject explores Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives relating music, sound and listening. Students research and produce a podcast episode that explores these concepts.|
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.
Selection for this course is based on applicants meeting specific criteria and successful outcome of an interview.
When the applicant initiates the application process, they will receive a Welcome Email containing a hyperlink to schedule an interview.
Register for interview and attend at the allocated day/time.
At interview applicants will be required to demonstrate:
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
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If you'd like to speak to one of our International Office staff directly, call 1300 635 276
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