The best start in commercial music
Radical shifts are happening in the global music industry. Learn how to perform, promote and produce the music of tomorrow, from leading New Zealand artists and industry specialists, in the Bachelor of Commercial Music.
- Undergraduate, NZQF Level 7
- 3 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
Note: This programme may have an on-campus or in-person requirement and therefore requires that students submit a current My Vaccine Pass on enrolment.
In the Bachelor of Commercial Music, you will:
- think critically about the music industry and where you want to position yourself
- work collaboratively on a wide range of music events and experiences
- become proficient with industry-standard production tools.
The degree has three majors: Music Practice, Music Technology, and Music Industry, so you can choose whether you want to make and perform new music, engineer live and studio sound as well as design new music technology, or immerse yourself in the business of the music industry.
Commercial Music has a strong emphasis on popular music genres and new technology and methods. You’ll consider the role of streaming and digital media in the music industry and explore how to disrupt and operate outside of traditional business models.
Alongside the core courses in your major, you’ll work with students from across the programme to learn music content creation, online and media skills, organise and produce music events and experiences, and make and release recordings.
The critical content of the programme spans new musicology, the political economy of music, and music philosophy.
Learn from people who know the music industry
All our commercial music lecturers are active in the industry. They perform, record, tour, produce and manage successful music ventures in New Zealand and internationally.
Master your craft in world-class facilities
The purpose-built facilities at Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts are some of the best in the Southern Hemisphere. You’ll master industry-standard software and hardware, including recording and production methods, in world-class recording studios and rehearsal spaces.
Careers and further study
Recent developments in digital technologies and online platforms offer new and exciting entrepreneurial and employment careers in the music industry. Musicians can compose for films, TV, games, apps and digital platforms, produce recordings, tour, manage artists and promote their brand.
Working behind the scenes, you can find jobs in the recording and publishing industries such as artist and repertoire (A&R), marketing or management. The live sector is also lucrative, and provides jobs in promotion, venue management and a range of other support roles.
If you’re interested in music technology you can find entrepreneurial and employment careers in software and hardware development, sound engineering live and in studios, as well as lighting design, and stage and production design.
Extend your study with postgraduate research in the Bachelor of Commercial Music (Honours), or take a creative product or idea to market in the Master of Creative Enterprise. Or, develop your own creative practice in a Master of Fine Arts.
New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.
Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.
As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
There are no specific entry requirements for the Bachelor of Commercial Music, outside of university admission regulations.
However for the Bachelor of Commercial Music (Music Practice) you must register for an audition. You should apply for entry to this degree before registering for your audition and you will be assessed for selection into the programme.
We also recommend you join us for a consultation if you’re applying for Music Technology or Music Industry, to make sure it’s right for you.
Note that application dates vary per major:
- 31 January 2022 for February 2022 (Semester 1) start. Late applications may be accepted, subject to available spaces.
English language requirements
To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.
Prior learning, credit and exemptions
For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:
- review the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations
- contact us through the Enquire button on this page.
If you do not have the entry requirements
English language and foundation courses
If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and qualifications that may help.
If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.
Courses and planning
- Compulsory courses – 165 credits
- Compulsory course selection – 15 credits
- Major courses – 120 credits
- Electives including at least 15 credits at 200 level or higher – 60 credits
Ensure that overall, you have:
- Not more than 150 credits at 100 level
- At least 105 credits at 300 level
Courses for this programme
Schedule A: Core courses
|133152||Music Media 1||15|
|133153||Music Project 1||30|
|133253||Music Project 2||30|
|133256||Music Media 2||15|
|133257||Philosophical Perspectives on Creative Practice||15|
|133350||Major Project Pre-Production||15|
|133355||Political Economy, Freeconomy and Community||15|
|133356||Graduate Portfolio Development||15|
Compulsory course selection (15 credits)
Any 100-level Music (133 prefix) course
Schedule B: Specialisations
Majors (120 credits)Please refer to individual specialisation page for a list of courses for your specialisation.
Minors (60 credits)Please refer to individual specialisation page for a list of courses for your specialisation.
Schedule C: Elective courses
Any other courses offered by the University and may include
|No more than 60 credits from|
|133178||Introduction to Ableton Live||15|
|133179||Vocal Performance and Production||15|
|133190||Music Special Topic||15|
|133191||Contemporary Music Project 1A||15|
|133192||Contemporary Music Project 1B||15|
|133287||Applied Lighting and Visuals for Music||15|
|133290||Music Special Topic||15|
|133291||Contemporary Music Project 2A||15|
|133292||Contemporary Music Project 2B||15|
|133390||Music Special Topic||15|
|133391||Contemporary Music Project 3A||15|
Majors and minors
Completing a major is compulsory. A major requires 120 credits.
You will have specialist classes in your chosen major. You will also study a range of shared courses and collaborate each semester on external projects, for example:
- staging a live show
- staging and promoting a tour
- developing media campaigns.
Find out more
You may complete a minor by passing at least 60 credits from the schedule for one of the Bachelor of Commercial Music majors, including:
- at least 45 credits above 100 level, and
- at least 15 credits at 300 level.
Due to prerequisites you may need to complete more than 60 credits to complete your minor. If you’re interested in doing a minor you should contact us using the enquire button on this page. Our student advice team will be able to talk you through your options and help you plan your degree.
Planning your programme
If you study full-time, in your first year, you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.
If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.
More information: ‘Yellow Book’.
Fees and scholarships
Fees and finance
Fees, student loans and free fees scheme
Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.
There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.
- Get an estimate of the tuition fees for your qualification
- View a list of non-tuition fees that may be payable
Already know which courses you're going to choose?
You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.
Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme
You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.
The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.
Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.
A good fit if you:
- love creating new music and music technologies
- want hands-on experience in high-tech production facilities
- want to graduate with a portfolio of projects including music recording, distribution, live events and music media.
Meet our students
Forward-thinking faculty with great connections with the tight-knit music industry of New Zealand—what else would I be doing?” Elleana Dumper
Tour coordinator, Banished Music
I chose music because I was living and breathing it. I realised I didn’t want to do anything other than write music.” Ellie Rose
I play drums for New Zealand artist BENEE. We’ve toured internationally, travelling all over Europe and America.” Felix Holton
Key information for students
Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.
Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.
Applying and enrolling
Applying for the programme
Check you are ready
If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.
Choose your programme and click on Apply now
You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.
Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.
Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place
You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.
Enrolling in courses
You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.
When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:
- prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
- corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
- restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
- location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.
Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.
More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.
You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.
We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!
If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.
What are courses and credits?
What are courses and credits?
Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).
You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.
Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.
There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.
- See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
- Courses search
Understanding course numbers
The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.
The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:
- sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
- undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
- as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study
|Subject area||Level||Course ID number|
Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.
Workload and time management
Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.
For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.
In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.
Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.
Scholarships and awards
Scholarships related to this programme
- Commercial Music Scholarship
- School of Music and Creative Media Production Māori Scholarship
- School of Music and Creative Media Production Pacific Scholarship
There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.