Diploma of Music (Songwriting)

  • Complete this Diploma of Music (Songwriting) in less than one year
  • Get the knowledge & technical skills to work as a Songwriter

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At a glance

Study mode



JMC Academy
Career Opportunities
  • Composer
  • Performing Singer/Songwriter
  • Lyricist
  • Music Producer

Nationally recognised - meets Australian Qualifications Framework standards.


At least 17 years of age, Year 12 or equivalent & audition


NSW - Sydney

Course length
2 trimesters (30 weeks)
Study mode



Study from anywhere, when it suits you best and graduate with the identical qualification as an on-campus student.


Study part of the course online. Combine your online learning with classes or practical sessions on-campus at a college or university.


Attend classes on-campus at a university, TAFE or college and interact face-to-face with teachers and fellow students.

Research projects, presentations & performances
Start date

3 start dates per year.

JMC Academy

JMC Academy is Australia's leading educator in the entertainment industry.

You will learn from a dedicated team of industry professionals, and you’ll gain hands-on skills in a supportive environment.

All campuses have the latest professional facilities – such as digital media and 3D animation labs, recording studios, digital television studios and editing suites.

Read more about
JMC Academy

The course price can vary depending on a few factors, including whether you are an Australian resident or your chosen payment option. To find out more, contact the course provider.


  • Year 12 or equivalent
  • Minimum of 17 years of age
  • Audition

What you'll learn

Become trained in:

  • Brainstorming song ideas
  • Overcoming writer's block
  • Expressing yourself in word and music
  • Melody and harmony theory
  • Historical and current use of songs

Course structure

10 units


  1. Music history I

    This unit provides an overview of Western Contemporary music since the 1950s. Students investigate major musical styles and periods, and develop the ability to define key characteristics of each. 

    The unit introduces the broad themes of music with an emphasis on musical events, personalities, institutions and publications which contributed to the development of different musical styles. Students are exposed to the structure of the music industry, developing their understanding of the inter-relationship between the different sectors as well as the professional practice opportunities available. Students also gain an appreciation of the music tradition within which they will work. 

    The unit provides a context and preparation for the concepts which are explored further in subsequent units, and is essential for future professional practice in the music industry. Basic essay writing skills will also be covered in this unit.

  2. Music theory I

    This unit provides musicians with the basic ideas, techniques and principles of musicianship to allow you to begin to successfully compose, arrange and notate contemporary music. Skills and understanding achieved in this subject will enable a basic level of musicianship, which will be further developed during the duration of the course. 

    This fundamental level of musicianship will eventually allow you to compose successful compositions and help develop your technical musical skills on your chosen instrument. Classes in this unit will be streamed, determined by previous experience and a basic theory examination.

  3. Music technology I

    This unit introduces students to the capacity of music technology to enhance their potential as musicians, composers, and recording artists. Students will investigate the fundamental range and features of music technology available and gain understanding of its potential in the creative process. Students will learn the fundamentals of the technology underlying all stages of music creation and distribution. They will also investigate the operations and parts of a computer; set-up and operation of small music home recording systems; operation of industry standard software programs (Pro Tools); program using Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), and understand basic principles behind sound synthesis. Students will acquire (or reinforce) basic musicianship and keyboard skills.

  4. Ensemble I

    This unit is an introduction to musical style, technique and form. Students will develop musicianship through a prescribed repertoire. Stage performance is developed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for effective performance presentation. This includes aspects of movement, stage dialogue, microphone technique, musicianship and stage image. 

    The unit emphasis is to explore, rehearse and develop musical skills in a group or ensemble environment. Style masterclasses will develop understanding of a range of styles and genres. Students will develop planning skills and the ability to set specific, timely and achievable goals. Attention is placed on learning basic communication and interaction skills suitable for performance. The culmination of this unit will be the performance of a set of music to an audience at a professional public venue.

  5. Instrument I

    In Instrument I, students will begin to develop their technical expertise in their principal instrument and awareness of repertoire. The unit involves the study of technical work and repertoire. For each subsequent instrument subject, students are required to demonstrate increased technical proficiency, creativity and the development of their personal playing styles.

  6. Music business I

    The purpose of this unit is to give students an introduction to the music industry enabling a basic understanding of key sectors, roles and structures within it. It will also introduce students to copyright as it applies broadly to musical, literary, dramatic and artistic works and the functions and responsibilities of publishers and publishing companies. All areas relating to the application of copyright and the workings of publishing are considered. 

    This unit outlines the practical application of the Copyright Act within the entertainment industry from its formative beginnings in the early twentieth century into an increasingly expanding competitive industry in the twenty first century. The course also introduces music publishing contracts, distribution deals, and opportunities that are emerging with the development of digital technology & the practices of independent artists. This knowledge is essential for any person wishing to work in the entertainment industry and provides the student with a solid understanding of these key elements.

  7. Songwriting I

    This unit develops students' conceptual knowledge and technical skills in songwriting, focusing on songwriting technique and practice methods, harmonic and melodic analysis, and the ability to present their songs using industry standard lead sheets. Students will investigate the links between music and text (prosody), form and structure of contemporary song, and analyse influential songwriters and their works. 

    The unit contributes to the degree by giving students the opportunity to create their own original songs. The unit will also continue to develop students' musicianship and aural skills.

  8. Lyric writing I

    This unit develops students' conceptual knowledge and technical skills in writing and composing lyrics, focusing on structure, rhyme, poetics and song analysis. Students will develop their own writing ability with a view to nurturing their own unique lyrical style, and investigate and analyse seminal lyrical works across a number of contemporary music genres and forms. 

    The unit contributes to the degree by giving students the opportunity to create their own original compositions. The unit will be the first in a series of units that focus on developing students' ability to incorporate words and music together, using advanced methodology and originality.

  9. Ensemble II

    This unit will provide further development in the understanding of musical style, improvisation, understanding of form and associated techniques. Students will continue to develop musicianship through a prescribed repertoire; however there will be focus on developing original arrangements and student's choice in repertoire. Students will develop planning skills and the ability to set specific, timely and achievable targets. Reflection and evaluation will be introduced and developed. Communication and interaction skills suitable for performance will also be a focus. The culmination of these areas will be the performance of a music set to an audience at a public venue. 

    Students will also be involved in a weekly style masterclass, predominantly in a group with their own instrument. The groups will develop specific understanding of genre and style to provide a broad understanding of contemporary music. Students will develop set repertoire and improvisational skills.

  10. Instrument II

    Instrument II will continue to develop the necessary skills to become eventually a master of your selected instrument. It will involve the study of technical work and repertoire. It is essential that you constantly develop yourself as not only a member of a band but also as an individual player to ensure your future musical career. For each subsequent instrument subject, students are required to demonstrate increased technical proficiency, creativity, and the development of their personal playing styles. 

    In Instrument II, students will continue to develop their technical expertise in their principal instrument and awareness of repertoire.

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