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Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA)

Two students in front of the Clocktower


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 (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.

Go to the Audition information page on the School of Performing Arts website for audition application forms.

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


Tel +64 3 479 8884

Dr. Ian Chapman, Convenor, Bachelor of Performing Arts

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Programme requirements

Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA)

Level Papers Points

THEA 153  Voice and Movement

One of:
MUSI 103  Popular Music
MUSI 104  World Music
MUSI 105  Music Matters
THEA 122  Drama on Stage and Screen



Above 100-level

MUSI, THEA, PERF or DANC papers above 100-level worth 126 points, including 300-level papers worth at least 72 points



Further papers worth 198 points, including 54 above 100-level, comprising:

  • Papers worth 108 points ( MAOR 108 may be substituted for one 18-point paper) from:
  • Further papers in any subjects worth 90 points


Total   360

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) 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, or BHealSc Schedule Part 2.

  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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