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Programme overview

Perhaps you're a school leaver with some musical ability, a working musician or sound artist who wants to formalise their musical education, or a music teacher who wants to update their expertise. The Diploma in Contemporary Music develops your musical and professional strengths, including collaborative performance, creative and cross-disciplinary skills, music fundamentals and techniques, and technology-based and music industry skills. 

Highlights

  • Working on band or ensemble performances, composing new music and learning about music production and collaboration 
  • Emphasis on developing a broad, genre-inclusive understanding of contemporary performance and recording, and an understanding of the contexts of music and culture in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • An opportunity to try your hand at a variety of musical styles, from hip-hop, jazz and experimental to Maori and Pacific music
  • Lecturers who are well-known and highly regarded in the music industry
  • Visits from well-known music practitioners – your chance to find out what a career in the music industry is really like
  • Drop-in computer labs and dedicated rehearsal space

Admission requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:

1. A total of 48 credits at NCEA Level 2 from four different subjects
2. 12 credits at NCEA Level 1 in English
3. Be at least 16 years old by the time the programme begins
4. Completed Unitec’s Certificate in Music (Introductory) with a grade of P or M in all four courses or demonstrate your competence in aural and musical abilities by attending an audition/interview
5. If English is your second language, you are required to have one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University entrance
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

Don’t have NCEA? We also accept:

  • A relevant qualification at Level 3 on the NZQF or above or an equivalent qualification; or
  • Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for special or discretionary admission.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

All courses and timetables for 2018 will be available shortly.

CoursesCreditsAim
Basic Musical Techniques 1 (PASA4401) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to gain a fundamental understanding of harmony, rhythm and music notation, and develop aural skills with a basic competence in practical harmony.
20th Century Music in Context (PASA4404) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To facilitate an examination of the history and social contexts of composition and songwriting, performance practice and recording since 1900, with a focus on post-World War II developments and New Zealand music. To enhance students? development of tertiary study skills, including research skills and formal writing.
Collaborative Performance 1 (PASA4406) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To facilitate the experience of small ensemble work via rehearsals and performances, develop techniques of improvisation, and collaborate in the creation of new work.
Maori and Pacific Sounds (PASA4408) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To facilitate, through a range of creative performance and research activities, an exploration of the historical and cultural contexts and performance practices of Maori and Pasifika music from Aotearoa and the Pacific region.
Music Technologies and the Industry 1 (PASA4410) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide practical experience with MIDI and digital audio technologies, facilitate a basic understanding of copyright and tax laws, and provide an understanding of basic recording techniques and key audio equipment such as amplifiers and PA systems.
Composition 1 (PASA4412) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To facilitate the creation of songs and other original musical works for live performers and computers which incorporate a range of stylistic and notational approaches and techniques.
CoursesCreditsAim
Basic Musical Techniques 2 (PASA5401) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to gain further understanding of harmony, rhythm and music notation, and enhance skills in aural perception, with practical harmony.
Applied Music Theory (PASA5403) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable a greater understanding of harmony, rhythm and music notation, further develop aural skills, and demonstrate theoretical principles in the analysis of written and aural musical examples.
Musical Chameleons (PASA5404) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To expand on knowledge of the history and social contexts of composition and songwriting, performance practice and recording since 1910, via detailed study of key figures and their music, focusing on artists whose artistic careers have involved significant changes in style and aesthetic. To further develop tertiary study skills, including research skills, formal writing and seminar presentation.
Collaborative Performance 2 (PASA5406) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To offer further experience of small ensemble work via rehearsals and performances, develop techniques of improvisation, and collaborate in the creation of new work.
Music Technologies and the Industry 2 (PASA5410) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide further experience with MIDI and digital audio technologies, including computer sequencing and music editing and notation programs, while examining the current state of the music industry in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Music Technologies and the Internet (PASA5411) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To facilitate an understanding of the roles of digital technology and the internet in music creation and dissemination, further develop digital audio skills, and develop basic skills in music marketing and management.
Composition and Application (PASA5412) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To facilitate the creation of original musical works for live performers and computers, demonstrating a broad range of stylistic approaches and compositional techniques, and gain experience of cross-disciplinary work with other performing or screen artists.
Composition with Technology (PASA5413) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To facilitate the creation original musical works using computer-based technologies with or without live performers, demonstrating a range of stylistic approaches and techniques.
CoursesCreditsAim
Music in the Age of Sampling (PASA6404) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to gain an understanding of the technical and aesthetic developments in music since 1981 through the exploration and evaluation of such developments as MTV and the mainstream, sampling, the emergence of Hip Hop, music for film and computer games, and the rise of celebrity culture.
Collaborative Performance 3 (PASA6406) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To offer further experience of small ensemble work, encouraging students to adopt a range of roles within the group and collaborate in rehearsals towards the creation of new work for public performance. To facilitate the extension of technical and musical performance skills.

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Disclaimer

The 'Key Information for Students' below does not reflect any international student information.

Please take this information as a guideline only. For example, you will often see a difference between these tuition fees and our estimate above. This is because there are a number of variables, such as the specific courses chosen within a programme.

The national graduate outcomes information is for all tertiary New Zealand providers including Unitec. This information is provided by the New Zealand Government and is derived from a national database that links educational and income information.



Key Information for Students

Entry requirements

Minimum requirements: Unitec's Certificate in Music (Introductory), 48 credits at NCEA Level 2 from four different subjects, English language requirements and be 16 years old or relevant and equivalent qualifications, special and discretionary admission also accepted.

Detailed requirements: See the above "Admission requirements" section for more information about entry to this progrogramme.

Duration

2 Years

Tuition Fees

Annual

Total Qualification

Student fees:  $5,814$11,628
Government tuition subsidy: $6,210$12,421
Total:$12,024$24,049

Compulsory Student Services Fee
Student loan information available at StudyLink.

National graduate outcomes

(3 years after completion)
Median earnings$27,017
Earnings range$18,007 - $37,818
In employment50%
In further study35%
On a benefit11%

Note:All KIS information is the most recent available relating to domestic students only. Click here for more information about the Key Information for Students.