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Songwriting and Music Production

Bachelor of

Code: HECABSMP Cricos: 090757J
Our courses are being delivered online
TAFEs are recognised as essential services by the Victorian Government and are continuing to operate.

In response to the current coronavirus restrictions, Melbourne Polytechnic is transitioning its more than 240 courses to remote and flexible learning. This means students will not be required on campus at this stage unless notified by their teacher.







3 years full time / available part time


3 years full time / available part time


Year 12 or equivalent. Interview.


Australian Year 12 or equivalency. Academic IELTS 6.0 with no individual band below 5.5. Interview.

Next Intake

February, July

Next Intake

February, July

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 growth industry with its roots in community, and you’ll be learning all about it in Australia’s music capital.

Empowering creative practice

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.

  • Songwriting and composition classes drive new ways of exploring and thinking about your creative practice through lectures, discussions, peer review and workshops.
  • Music production classes demystify the process whilst deepening your understanding of what is important in a recording. You will use current music software in our labs and recording studios.
  • Conceptual subjects enrich your practice and application of ideas through study of contextual histories of songwriting and music production. Experimental practice is encouraged as is an inclusive approach to other art forms.
  • Business subjects articulate revenue streams for music artists, explain marketing principles and approaches to management of music careers. You will be comprehensively guided through releasing music, making video clips and developing your performance skills with the expectation that you will release a single or EP at the end of second year, and an EP or album at the end of third year.

All subjects are taught by well-known music artists, producers, and experts in contemporary music scenes.

BSMP’s musical alumni include Chitra, who was signed by Melbourne label Our Golden Friend, released two singles in 2019 and is working on her 2020 debut album, and James Cro, currently in second year.

Career Pathways

Where will this take me

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

Alex Papworth

After all the regimented aspects of high school and expectations of what university was supposed to be like, this degree was an unexpected and embraced change. This degree exposed and encouraged me to explore the creative world around me, but also develop my own personality. The degree places you within a supportive and inclusive environment, where I had the right people to intuitively help guide my creativity and interests, and then further them into expression and confidence. I’m glad I did this degree because I feel as though I have a stronger sense of self, and know how to direct my practice.

Course Details

Delivery methods

  • Workshops
  • Lecture

Class Schedule

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 regarding 2020 timetable and for further information on undertaking the degree part-time.

Assessment Methods

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.

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.

Code Subject Elective Description Year Semester
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.
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

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.

2 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
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

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.

3 1
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
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
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

Fees & Costs

Per year $16384
Per semester $8192
Per year $19200
Per semester $9600

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.

Please note: Part-time student fees will be based on a per-subject rate. This is currently $2048 per subject.


Lists of required materials, books and timetables will be provided at course induction or class enrolment by the teaching department.

Book an interview

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


Selection for all categories is based on interview.
  • In the interview applicants will be required to demonstrate a clear understanding of both the study demands of this course and a clear purpose for undertaking the course, including future study and/or career ambitions.
  • A performance or submission of a recorded work or a musical work is required at the 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.
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

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.