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Bachelor of Commercial Music

Key facts

  • Available at Wellington
  • Three years full-time
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

The best start in commercial music

Radical shifts are happening in the global music industry, and the Bachelor of Commercial Music is designed to meet this challenge. Taught by award-winning musicians, technicians and industry experts, this degree is ideal if you want to study popular music-based genres, digital-based music technologies, and music industry practice.

What is it like?

Find out more about entry requirements, fees and courses in the planning section.

Get the full picture

In the Bachelor of Commercial Music, you will:

  • learn the skills of your major: Music Practice, Music Industry or Music Technology
  • broaden your expertise with courses from a second music subject
  • think critically about the music industry and where you want to position yourself
  • work collaboratively on gigs, short tours, music videos and other projects.

There are three majors: Music Practice, Music Technology, Music Industry.

Music Practice

You’ll study musicianship and cross-genre performance using your instrument or musical interface of choice, along with computer-based production and composition techniques.

All content will be firmly based in popular music, covering a wide range of genres and approaches to learning with a focus on original music.

Music Technology 

You’ll study software and hardware development, electronics, and concepts for developing new musical interfaces.

Once we know you have the basics, you will be designing and building your own instruments and applications.

You’ll also learn how to operate industry standard large consoles, as well as the latest digital recording and editing technologies.

Master microphone techniques and sound design. Learn how to work with musicians to capture great recordings, and mixing and mastering techniques to produce professional quality recordings.

You’ll also learn live light and sound skills, including how to operate small and large scale PAs, and design and programme advanced lighting and projection rigs. We’ll teach you about all aspects of live, venue-based industry requirements.

Music Industry

You’ll study artist development and management, label and distribution, music publishing, one-off and large-scale live events, and future industry trends.

Your skills will be developed by project managing live music for concerts, tours and festivals.

Join with students from other majors to study courses in music video production, web development, gigs, touring, recording and music media. The critical content of the programme spans new musicology, free culture, the political economy of music, and music philosophy. All courses in all majors of the programme foreground music as the primary discipline, whether explored through a creative, critical, technical or commercial context. 

Learn from people who know the music industry

All our Commercial Music lecturers still work in industry. They perform, record, tour, produce and manage successful music ventures in New Zealand and internationally. These include Trinity Roots, The Chills, Shapeshifter and A Low Hum.

International recognition

Massey’s College of Creative Arts is ranked in the top 100 by QS University rankings. The College of Creative Arts is NASAD approved as Substantially Equivalent.

If you are an international student, please check out how to apply.


We offer a range of scholarships you might be eligible for:

To find out more about our scholarships please click here.

How to plan your degree

There is more detail under the “Planning” tab at the top right of this page, and at

How to apply

All applicants must meet the basic requirements for university admission. In addition:

  • Music Practice: attend an audition. The application due date for Music Practice is November 1. Late applications may be accepted, subject to available spaces.
  • Music Technology and Music Industry: attend a consultation. The application due date for Music Technology and Music Industry is January 13, but you should apply early. If you want to include a Music Practice minor in your degree, you must audition. 

Book an audition or consultation

We recommend attending an audition or consultation before the final application due date.

If you have any further questions email

Late applications will be considered if space is available.

International applications

It is recommended that international students apply at least three months before the start date to allow for processing.

A good fit if you:

  • Love creating new music and music technologies
  • Want to learn from leading New Zealand musicians, technicians and industry specialists
  • Want to graduate with a portfolio of projects including music recording, distribution, live events and music media
  • Want to be proficient with industry-standard production tools
  • Want to be part of a vibrant creative arts college where you can work collaboratively with students from other art or design disciplines
Student profile photo
Katherine Winitana
Bachelor of Commercial Music
Due to graduate in 2019

“I love my study which is challenging at times, but in a constructive way; making me think differently…”

Katherine Winitana could not be happier; she is doing exactly what she always wanted to do. With the help of a scholarship from Vodafone she is now in her second year of her degree in Commercial Music majoring in Voice.

“I was excited about the course from the first interview I had at my audition - it was just perfect with everything I wanted in one place.

“Since starting, the thing that has really struck me has been the friendly and caring vibe; you get from every lecturer, and the fact because they are all in the industry you just get the real stuff.

“I love my study which is challenging at times, but in a constructive way; making me think differently.

“I studied music at High School, and although I like classical music, it was not what I wanted to do. I had no one to bounce ideas off - here it has just exploded - I am among lots of like-minded people.

“I have a passion for jazz, blues, and soul, but I am working on my song-writing and putting my own sound to things. The question for me is whether I continue jumping between genres or whether I am better spending time on one - I want to figure out where I sit in the industry,” Katherine said.

Katherine is very grateful for the scholarship. She says “they ran the scholarship through schools and I was incredibly lucky to get it. I know they just want for me to be the best I can be which is amazing.

“I am hoping when I have finished I will have the opportunity to perform for Vodafone.”


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.

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