Undergraduate study in Creative Practice: Popular Music

What can you study in the Creative Practice: Popular Music specialisation?

In the first year you will compose, perform and record songs on a weekly basis, have one-on-one instrumental lessons, study music technology and production, arranging, vocal performance and music notation, theory and history. In the second year you will continue to add to your skills with the goal of establishing your own distinctive creative process and style. The third year offers an opportunity to concentrate on advancing either your music technology and music production skills, or your performance skills, while still composing and performing as a songwriter. Each student finishes their degree with the creation of a significant portfolio of their final creative work and a major public concert.

All School of Music students have access to auxiliary performance studies. You will also study other topics of interest to you, including music education, pedagogy, music technology, conducting, music studies, musicians’ health and various industry-related topics.

The core courses of the BMus degree include music theory and other music studies subjects. You will also take two General Education courses offered by other faculties from across the University to acquire a broader range of skills and understanding, and be exposed to cross-disciplinary research.

General Education

Entry requirements for Bachelor of Music in Creative Practice: Popular Music

You must meet the entry requirements for a Bachelor of Music, detailed on the BMus programme page.

Selection will be based on the combined strength of your academic achievement, audition and statement of musical background.


Your audition will be live. We'll contact you to schedule a time for this once you have completed your Application for Admission*.

  • In-person 2021 audition date: Saturday 16 October, University of Auckland City Campus

* If you live outside of Auckland, then please email us for information about how you can audition. info-creative@auckland.ac.nz

Statement of musical background

Your statement of musical background should list all relevant musical training and performing experience (professional and amateur), including involvement in community and extracurricular music activities. Include details of any musical prizes/awards you have received. You also need to provide a referee contact email address as part of your statement of musical background. Your referee should be your current instrument/music teacher who can comment on your musical work and your suitability for study.


Structuring your undergraduate programme


  • 4 x core courses
  • 3 x specialised theory and musicianship courses
  • 9 x creative practice courses
  • 6 x elective courses
  • 2 x General Education courses

2020 Bachelor of Music – Creative Practice: Popular Music degree requirements:

* 60 points from: MUS 104, 143, 243, 343

* 45 points from: MUS 284, 287, 288

* 135 points from: MUS 180, 181, 196, 280, 281, 282, 380, 381, 382

* 60 points from: MUS 103 – 188, 206 – 288, 306 – 389

* 30 points from: ANTHRO 103, 106, 202, 217, 234, 301, 327, 329, 357, MAORI 190, MUS 103–397, PACIFIC 110

* 30 points of General Education

You can also find degree structure information in the University Calendar.


Discover the courses available within the Bachelor of Music, including those for Creative Practice: Popular Music.

Help and advice

You are welcome to email or visit our Student Centre with any subject-related queries.

Creative Arts and Industries Student Centre
Level 2, Building 421
(Architecture and Planning Building)
26 Symonds St

Open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
Email: info-creative@auckland.ac.nz