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New Zealand Diploma in Creativity (Music)

New Zealand Diploma in Creativity (Music)

Level 5

Take your skills and understanding of music peformance to the next level with UCOL's New Zealand Diploma in Creativity (Music).

A photograph of a student recording music
Quick info

Level: 5

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North

Duration: 1 year, full-time

14 Feb 2022 - 18 Nov 2022
28 Feb 2022 - 02 Dec 2022

Domestic Fees: *
$6896.00Scholarship info

International Fees:*

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

If you have a qualification or experience in music performance, and are wishing to expand your skillset, study UCOL's New Zealand Diploma in Creativity. You'll gain skills and knowledge to effectively apply creative processes across a range of musical vocations and disciplines.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Graduates of this qualification will have transferrable skills and knowledge to complement employment roles in creative industries, other professions, and service agencies that require creative processes that cross sector boundaries.

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Performing Artists and Film, TV and Music Technicians.

 Course Information

This programme comprises 120 credits.

Compulsory courses

Performance 1A (15 Credits)
Create, interpret and evaluate original musical works and/or arrangements in a live performance environment. The course will cover compositional form and structure; arrangement techniques; self-management; communication; stage planning; technical riders; live sound mixing; PA system set up and pack down; health and safety regulations; stage performance; and audience engagement.

Composition and Technology 1A (15 Credits)
Create, develop and critique original musical works and/or arrangements using a wide range of music technology equipment and processes. The course will cover a variety of composition techniques and processes; application of software and hardware audio effects; sampling acoustic instruments; sampling loops; research of musical styles and sounds; arranging musical works; writing and arranging music for film; and writing and arranging music for advertising.

Music Theory (15 Credits)
Learn to define and contrast the use of music theory in a practical, written and aural environment. The course will cover exploring composers and their compositions; chord construction; chord-scale relationships; chord progression; harmonic analysis; chord substitution; interval recognition; rhythmic dictation; and melodic dictation.

Performance 1B (15 Credits)
Create, interpret and evaluate original musical works and/or arrangements in a live performance environment. The course will expand on your skills and help you to challenge conventions and discover new possibilities across a range of contexts. You'll create, arrange and evaluate musical compositions for a live performance; demonstrate leadership for a solo artist, band or ensemble; organise and evaluate a live performance for a solo artist or band/ensemble; and record and evaluate a live performance using multitrack recording hardware and software.

Composition and Technology 1B (15 Credits)
Create, develop and critique original musical works and/or arrangements using a wide range or music technology equipment and processes. The course covers exploring a variety of composition techniques and processes; evaluatioin of software and hardware audio efects; critical analysis of a song; recording and production techniques; and remixing and structural arrangement of songs.

Creative Industries (30 Credits)
Develop creative processes, implement a creative project and determine its viability. The course will cover marketing music; researching the viability of a business; small business finances; small business management; creative processes; self-management; communications; understanding of legal requirements for events; health and safety for public events; financial self-management; goal setting; and small business structures.

Elective courses (choose one)

Knowledge Transfer (15 Credits)
Develop and analyse the skills and framework for teaching music as a private tutor. The course will cover time management; lesson planning and development; learning style analysis; basic teaching pedagogy; communication in teaching; and creation of resources for a variety of learning styles.

Recording (15 Credits)
Develop skills and analyse various sound recording techniques in the recording studio. The course will cover application of advanced studio setup; organising studio time and musicians; detailed audio mixing techniques; producing songs for commercial release; basic mastering techniques; computer based file management; and studio maintenance.

Design Media (15 Credits)
Examine the application and effectiveness of digital marketing and design in the context of the New Zealand music industry. The course will cover design software; design principle basics; conceptual development; target markets; social media for business; and marketing basics.

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Learning Facilities

  • Recording studio
  • Mac Suite

 Domestic Entry Requirements

Applicants may be required to audition. 

NCEA Level 3


Equivalent academic achievement


On a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean

For applicants 20 years of age and over there are no minimum academic requirements.


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international student applicants.

English language proficiency
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (ie combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre.

Under 20 years of age
For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply.

 Advice & Guidance

If you're not ready to study New Zealand Diploma in Creativity (Music), you can study UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Music.

Work experience
There are no practicum or work experience hours for this programme although students will be participating in public performances as part of their study.

Recognition of prior learning
Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course have already been met. Applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the UCOL Academic Statute and other relavant policies and procedures.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email (not via the online application form).

Previous Related Programmes

The New Zealand Diploma in Creativity (Music) supersedes and takes the best from the following programme of study, which is no longer offered:
  • Diploma in Contemporary Music Performance

 Additional Costs

There are additional costs involved in this programme based on the subject you have selected.

Contemporary Music Theory - Level one by Mark Harrison ISBN 0-7935- 9881-8
Hal Leonard Corporation

Headphones with adapter - $99
Metronome with earphone socket - $15
Portable hard drive 1TB - $100
Manuscript books - $6
Note book - $6
Pencils 2B - $15
Pens - black,blue,red - $15
2 Clear files - $7.50
Ear plugs - $59

Own guitar/bass - $599
Spare strings - $30
Tuner - $179
Picks - $1.00 each
2 Quality Leads - $80
Boss Tuner TU3 - $180

Professional Quality Microphone SM58 - $199
Mic Lead - $40
Mic Stand - $149
Sticks x 2 - $25
Drum Key - $15
Drum Practice Pad - $24
Cymbals - $500

Keyboard 61-88 note - $1200
Stand $69; Stereo DI - $89
2 x 10ft Jack leads - $60


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.