Develop your creative and stylistic individuality in our experience rich, hands-on learning environment.

Music composer with a keyboard and sheet music

Join us


Benefit from the advantage of studying with leading staff in our inclusive conservatoire environment.


  • attend a weekly composition class which explores matters of technique and repertoire.
  • be allocated a different composition tutor each year so you can learn best practice from many talented minds.
  • experience one-to-one classes in second and third year.
  • have the opportunity to compose for the Elder Conservatorium large ensembles.
  • take a range of courses in orchestration, music analysis and music technology.


Investigate compositional challenges at higher degree levels (MPhil and PhD).


  • address a significant problem or challenge.
  • investigate and document the challenge through the music itself.
  • develop a creative portfolio accompanied by an exegesis explaining how the research and its doctoral originality are embedded in the new works created.

What you'll study

Bachelor of Music (Creative Practice)

Master of Philosophy  Doctor of Philosophy

Bachelor of Music (Music Composition)

"The creative projects such as composing a portfolio of original musical compositions, and having these works performed makes this degree unique." - Aaron Pelle

Learn from the best

Composition at the Elder Conservatorium has been shaped by two of Australia’s leading composers.

  • Professor Charles Bodman Rae

    Charles Bodman Rae

    Professor Charles Bodman Rae is a composer, pianist, conductor and author.  

    As the seventh Sir Thomas Elder Professor of Music he holds the senior academic position at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide.  This continuing appointment to Australia's senior professorship in music (established by endowment in 1883) was made in 2001.  

    He has also led the Elder Conservatorium in the managerial and administrative roles of both Dean and Director (2001-2007).

    He currently serves as both Head of Composition and Head of Postgraduate Studies.

How to apply

Audition registrations are now open for Semester 2, 2024 entry.

Register for your audition/interview

Submit your audition/interview application

Pay audition/interview fee

When registering, you must pay a non-refundable audition/interview registration fee via the online shop to be guaranteed an audition (search 'audition').

Bachelor of Music applicants

There is an audition registration fee of $26 for the first audition and $21 per subsequent audition.

Pay audition/interview registration fee

Apply to SATAC or International Admissions

Domestic students

You will need to lodge an application through the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Visit the SATAC website

International students

You will need to lodge an application through our International Admissions Service. You do not need to register for an audition.

International applications

Current UofA students

You will need to lodge an internal transfer application.

Apply for an internal transfer

Prepare for your audition/interview

Please ensure you have followed the audition requirements for your specialisation:

Audition requirements by program

The Conservatorium does not provide accompanists except for the Bachelor of Music Theatre auditions. All other auditions that require an accompanist should contact the Accompanists' Guild of SA.

Applicants should contact accompanists as early as possible as auditions cannot be rescheduled to accommodate accompanist availability.

On the day of your audition, please ensure you arrive 15 minutes prior to your audition or interview. You will receive notification of your audition outcome following your audition.

We look forward to meeting you!