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Bachelor of Music

Sharpen your musical talent with the guidance of our internationally acclaimed musicians and lecturers when you study a Bachelor of Music at Waikato. With countless opportunities for public performance and access to a world-class performing arts venue, you’ll be learning among the best.


The Bachelor of Music (BMus) is a specialist degree that will suit you if you have musical skill and ambition or just a sheer love of music. Choose an Academic or Performance based programme and learn different styles and techniques that build your skill-base in the areas of music that interest you.

Combining theory with practical tuition, you’ll have access to our specialist teaching facilities, including the acclaimed Dr John Gallagher Concert Chamber in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts.

The two BMus streams are:

Academic Programme

  • Composition
  • Digital Music
  • Māori Musical Instruments in Traditional and Contemporary Contexts
  • Māori Song and Dance in Traditional and Contemporary Contexts
  • Western Music History

Performance Programme

  • Chamber Music
  • Performance
  • Performance Techniques
  • Western Music History

Tuition is available in voice, piano, cello, violin, classical guitar, and a range of orchestral instruments.

Soloist Specialisation

Within the BMus degree, we offer a soloist specialisation for exceptionally talented music students who have the potential to become successful international soloists. Every specialisation student has their own programme of study and we provide intensive one-to-one teaching to raise technical and interpretative skills, with a strong focus on performance skills. You'll develop your on-stage personalities through multiple opportunities to perform before live audiences, and participate in national and international competitions.

Admission to the soloist specialisation is at the discretion of the Convenor of Music. It is restricted to exceptional students who have:

  • been awarded a major prize at a recognised international or New Zealand competition;
  • performed a concerto with a professional orchestra, or a solo or chamber music concert at a major concert venue;
  • successfully completed the interview process.

The core undergraduate papers in the soloist specialisation are:

Student Achievements

Students from Waikato's Conservatorium of Music are renowned for standing out on the world stage. They have excelled nationally in New Zealand's major music competitions, such as the New Zealand National Concerto Competition, the National Woodwind Competition and the Lexus Aria Competition, as well as on the international stage, for example the Beijing International Cello Competition and the Johanssen International String Competition in Washington DC.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Years: 3.0
Points: 360
Study Locations: Hamilton
Start Dates: Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Fees (Domestic): $6,922 per year
See if you're eligible for fees-free study in your first year
Fees (International): $29,705 per year
Entry Requirements: Undergraduate International
*Tuition fees shown are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.

Choose a major

Career opportunities

  • Advertising Executive
  • Arts Administration
  • Broadcaster
  • Composer
  • Film Music Producer
  • Journalist
  • Music Blogger
  • Music Retailer
  • Performer
  • Recording Artist
  • Teacher

Degree Planner

Degree planner — Bachelor of Music (BMus) Overview

Year 1

One from List A
(see BMus papers below)

100 Level

100 Level

100 Level

Year 2

One from List B
(see BMus papers below)

History of Music: 1600-1800
(MUSIC213, not offered in 2018)




200 Level

200 Level

200 Level

Year 3

One from List C
(see BMus papers below)

History of Music: 1800- Present
(MUSIC314, not offered in 2018)




300 Level

300 Level

300 Level

  • Compulsory
  • Elective
  • Stream
This information is provisional and subject to change.

Caleb Coffey Hillary Scholar Caleb Coffey performed in "Yesterday an Incident Occurred", "Blue Stockings", and "Once on Chunuk Bair" (for the centennial anniversary of WWI) while completing his conjoint BA/BBA(Fin) degree.

Read stories from other students

If you have (or expect to gain) New Zealand University Entrance you are eligible to apply for this degree. You must also meet one of the following requirements:

  • NCEA - 14 credits in Music at Level 3
  • NCEA - 20 credits in Music at Level 2
  • A Grade 3 Theory pass or better in the New Zealand Music Education Board or Australian Music Education Board examinations, or
  • A grade 5 theory pass or better in the Trinity College, or Royal College of Music examinations, or
  • A qualification considered equivalent

All other applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Note: The above entry criteria for the BMus will come into force in 2017, subject to approval from the New Zealand Universities Committee on University Academic Programmes.

For the Performance programme, a selection process applies and you will be required to successfully complete an audition. These are usually held in September and October and applications are required prior to the audition date. Find out further information about Music at Waikato.

Some first-year papers may have specific prerequisites, so please check the catalogue of papers carefully. If you do not meet the prerequisites, please contact as there may be other pathways that you can take to study in this field.

Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Find your scholarship


The Bachelor of Music with Honours (BMus(Hons)) involves two semesters of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study. The BMus(Hons) comprises 120 points at 500 level, of which 30 points must be in research, normally a 30 point dissertation or an approved equivalent, specialising in either composition or performance. The BMus(Hons) is awarded with classes of honours.


In general, to be admitted to the BMus(Hons) you must have a B grade average in the 300 level Music papers of your undergraduate degree. Performance candidates must also have passed an audition. Admission criteria may vary so please consult the Music Graduate Adviser for specific admission criteria.
Music is also available for the BA(Hons).

BMus(Hons) specialisations

  • Composition
  • Performance
  • Flexibility

You may take up to 30 points from subjects listed outside the degree. You should discuss your intended programme of study with the Graduate Adviser in each of the Faculties or Schools concerned.

Graduate study options

The opportunities for you to practice through performance are endless. Have your compositions performed, or perform yourself, at any of our regular events including the annual Opera production, weekly lunchtime recitals, Friday performance hours and competitions such as the Lilburn Trust Student Competition Awards concert – to name a few.

We also have strong networks in the wider community, which gives you a wider range of performance opportunities.

Qualifications links



Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4080

Conservatorium of Music:
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4380