Popular Music

Inspire as a contemporary performing artist

Career opportunities  Learn from the best ​​​​​​​ How to apply

Singer in a recording studio

Join us

Immerse yourself in a creative environment that fosters the musical innovation, business expertise and industry networks required by successful, professional musicians. 

Studying popular music is about valuing your passion and pushing boundaries. Our Popular Music degree equips you with the knowledge and skills needed to excel as a creative professional. You will: 

  • develop your own unique identity, presence and style as a song writer 
  • explore cutting-edge technologies for music production 
  • have 24/7 access to rehearsal and recording studios to develop your work 
  • collaborate in song writing and performance classes 
  • receive mentorship and business coaching from industry professionals 
  • research and analyse contemporary music 
  • showcase your original music through regular performances. 

You can also expand your skills by studying electives outside music. A range of options are available in Arts, Business, Science or Media. 

What you'll study

Bachelor of Music (Creative Practice)

Bachelor of Music (Popular Music)

"It's an incredible course and if you love music and want to turn that love into a career opportunity, this is the place for you." - Zak Stuart

Learn from the best

Learn from industry-leading musicians and artists.

  • Dr Luke Harrald

    Dr Luke Harrald

    Luke Harrald is a composer, performer and new-media artist who is known for his groundbreaking work with improvisation and interactive computer music. Possessing a wide range of musical interests, Luke has played in a number of cover and original bands, spanning genres from ‘60s pop to death metal, written for film, and has been an important contributor to the Adelaide art music scene.

    Luke has spoken on and performed his work widely throughout Australia, and internationally, including performances and artist talks in London, Paris and Montreal. Recent commissions include a radio play, a permanent immersive sound installation, two immersive sound and visual works.

    Luke is currently the head of studies for the Popular Music and Creative Technologies program, and lectures in Sonic Arts. He is also an associate artist with the Australian Music Centre.

  • Mr Grayson Rotumah

    Mr Grayson Rotumah

    Grayson Rotumah’s career has been centred within Australian Indigenous Music for over 30 years. He has been active in the advocacy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music through focussed curatorial efforts that give voice to the diversity of a living, dynamic and evolving Indigenous tradition. 

    For 25 of these years his role at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music has been one of significant influence on many new emerging Indigenous artists. He is currently working with new emerging artists Electric Fields, Emily Warramurra and Marlon X Rulla. 

  • Derek Pascoe

    Derek Pascoe

    Derek Pascoe has been a professional musician for over 50 years including regular TV, radio broadcasts and studio recordings across a range of genres. At the age of 17 he was a member of pop group Flintlock, who produced 5 albums and were featured weekly on UK national television including Top of the Pops and Tomorrow’s People.

    Alongside a jazz saxophone career, Pascoe has composed and co-composed songs which have been recorded by numerous bands including the National Youth Jazz Orchestra UK, Bone Structure UK, and Lorraine Craig UK. Pascoe has played on recordings by Television Personalities UK, Jacqui Dankworth UK, Field of Blue UK, The Yearlings AUS and the Shaolin Afronauts AUS.

    In 2014 Pascoe completed a recording of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milkwood accompanied by his own original compositions. Pascoe has recently composed original music for his band She Gave Him Oleander AUS comprised of musicians Lauren Henderson, John Aue and Chris Martin all of whom are associated with The Elder Conservatorium of Music.

    Currently, Pascoe is working on an 18 CD box set of improvised music with pianist Chris Martin based on James Joyce’s 1922 novel, Ulysses.

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!