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Bachelor of Performing Arts

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Apply for the Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA) through the Dunedin campus in 2017

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The Bachelor of Performing Arts degree requires three years of full-time study or its equivalent in part-time study and offers specialisations in the combined study of music, theatre and dance.

The degree totals 360 points and is made up of music, theatre and dance papers but may include up to 90 points (usually five papers) in further specialisations in music, theatre, dance or other subjects.

Graduates of the degree will be able to pursue careers in a wide range of musical/theatrical forms and styles, as well as in musical and theatrical education, media, and other related fields.

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Information for new applicants

The Bachelor of Performing Arts is a blended specialist degree that contains practice-based training in some key areas for which students must pass an audition to be accepted.

Audition applications for singing and/or playing an instrument due by early September

In music, you must choose one or more areas of specialisation, including singing, playing a musical instrument and/or composing/song-writing. If you choose the singing and/or playing an instrument option/s, then you must audition for entry. These papers are MUSI 140 and MUSI 141 (classical), MUSI 146 and MUSI 156 (contemporary) and PERF 102 1A and PERF 102 1B (musical theatre).

Auditions for these papers normally take place in Dunedin during the last weekend of September for entry the following year. It is also possible to audition by submitting a DVD or YouTube link, with these being due on 1 September for entry the following year.

Please note:

If you wish to audition for Contemporary performance please use the Contemporary audition form.

If you wish to audition for Classical performance please use the Classical audition form.

If you wish to audition for Musical Theatre please use the Musical Theatre audition form.

The song-writing paper, MUSI 135, does not require an audition and is open to all students regardless of whether they can read or write music notation. However, the first year composition paper, MUSI 131, requires that beginning students are comfortable in both the reading and writing of music. There are no auditions required for entry into the theatre and dance papers.

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Contact details


Theatre Studies Programme
Tel 64 3 479 8896

Dr Ian Chapman, Head of Programme, Bachelor of Performing Arts

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Programme Requirements

Bachelor of Performing Arts

Level Papers Points

MUSI 101  Materials of Music 1

THEA 122  Drama on Stage and Screen

THEA 151  Improvisation

THEA 153  Voice and Movement

One of:
PHSE 115  Fundamentals of Dance or PHSE 116  Elements of Dance

Either one of:
MUSI 131  Composition 1
MUSI 135  Songwriting
MUSI 146  Professional Practice 1A
PERF 102  Musical Theatre Voice 1A
MUSI 141 Performance 1








MUSI 265  Music and Theatre

THEA 221  Theatre: Ancient to Contemporary

THEA 252  The Actor’s Imagination

Either one of:
MUSI 231  Composition 2
MUSI 235  Contemporary Composition
MUSI 246  Professional Practice 2A
PERF 202  Musical Theatre Voice 2A
MUSI 241 Performance 2







PERF 301 Performance Project

One of:
THEA 351 Performing Shakespeare
THEA 352 Directing
THEA 353 Bicultural Theatre, and

One of:
MUSI 331 Composition Projects
MUSI 341 Performance 3
MUSI 346 Professional Practice 3
PERF 302 Musical Theatre Voice








Either 36 further MUSI, PERF, THEA, or PHSE (Dance only) points at 200-level or above and 72 further points in any subject; or for students who have passed MUSI 141 and MUSI 241 (36 points each), 18 further MUSI, PERF, THEA or PHSE (Dance only) points at 200-level or above and 54 further points in any subject.



Total   360

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Regulations for the Degree of Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA)

  1. Structure of the Programme

    Every degree programme of study

    1. shall satisfy the requirements set out in the BPA Schedule
    2. may include an optional minor subject (in a discipline or subject other than Music, Theatre Studies or Dance Studies) which satisfies the Minor Subject Requirements listed in Arts and Music Schedule A, or Commerce Schedule A, or Science Schedule A, or Applied Science Schedule A.

  2. Prerequisites, Corequisites and Restrictions

    Every programme of study shall satisfy the requirements for prerequisites, corequisites, and restrictions set out in the Prescriptions (published in the Guide to Enrolment).

  3. Cross Credits

    A candidate who is enrolled for the degree concurrently with another degree, or who has completed one degree and is proceeding with the other, may cross credit 100- and 200-level papers which are common to both degrees up to a maximum of 126 points where the other degree is a three-year degree and up to a maximum of 180 points where the other degree is longer than a three-year degree.

  4. Variations

    The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

Note: An application for admission to Performance and Limited Entry papers is required; this is separate from the enrolment process.

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