Bachelor of Recording Arts



Programme Overview

The Bachelor of Recording Arts is an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the audio and music industries.

The programme is highly practical, involving hands-on experience right from the start, and workplace scenarios where you will learn technical and operative skills, project workflow and management, research skills, documentation and communication with clients and other industry professionals.  The degree provides the opportunity to collaborate with student film practitioners in a unique interdisciplinary creative hub, and culminates in individualised capstone creative projects.

You will meet high profile creative industry professionals up close in small workshops and seminars who give an insight into their perspectives, knowledge and experience.  As well as focussing on further development of music production skills, the programme includes relevant aspects of cultural studies, business management and legal matters.

This degree opens the way to the highest levels of academic education (Master's and PhD).

Who should take this programme?

  • Diploma graduates interested in enhancing their creative production skills
  • Those seeking to broaden their engagement with the wider creative industries
  • Individuals with previous industry experience wishing to expand their scope of business practice
  • Those wishing to pursue academic/research based careers

NZQA Accredited (PC1196)

  • Auckland


Skills and Outcomes

  • Establish networks
  • Conduct independent academic research
  • Present findings and discuss the implications
  • Interpret and respond to a design brief
  • Create a business plan


Career Options

  • Concert promoter
  • Publicist
  • Operations manager
  • Sound designer
  • Audio post-production
  • Music producer
  • Electronic musician
  • Marketing
  • Systems designer
  • Consultancy, education and associated careers
  • Studio owner
  • Studio manager
  • A&R executive
  • Digital media entrepreneur
  • Broadcast manager
  • Equipment representative


Bachelor of Recording Arts
Academic Research and Writing Techniques
Industry Perspectives, Issues, and Research Techniques
Cultural Perspectives
Business & Legal Studies
Technology and Education
Research Project
Research Project
Academic Research and Writing Techniques
Industry Perspectives, Issues, and Research Techniques
Cultural Perspectives
Business & Legal Studies
Technology and Education
Research Project



What do I need to get in?

The entry criteria for this qualification is outlined on the KIS info tab.

I’m keen to undertake the Bachelor of Recording Arts, but I’m being enrolled in the Diploma of Audio Engineering. Why?

The Diploma of Audio Engineering is a Level 5 programme that constitutes the first year of the degree. Near the end of your Diploma year, you’ll be asked to complete an Intention to Graduate form, indicating whether you wish to exit with the Diploma qualification or continue for two more years and complete the Bachelor of Recording Arts.

If I continue onto a Bachelor of Recording Arts degree, what happens to my Diploma?

If you undertake the degree, that Level 7 Bachelor qualification supersedes the Level 5 Diploma qualification. Once you successfully complete your degree, the Bachelor of Recording Arts is the qualification that we would record next to your name in our records.

How long is this programme?

Two further years AFTER successful completion of the Diploma in Audio Engineering (ie 3 years in total).

How many intakes are there per year?

The Bachelor of Recording Arts usually has one intake per year starting in February. Occasionally we also offer a July intake depending on demand.

When is the next intake for the Bachelor of Recording Arts?

The next intake starts on the 12th February 2018. Apply now to secure your spot!

How much are the student fees for this programme?

The Bachelor of Recording Arts is approx. $17,047 for the 2 years of study for domestic students, and $39,583 for international students. This is in addition to the fees associated with the Diploma in Audio Engineering.

Why is this figure slightly different from the fee under the KIS info page?

The KIS info page links to the Ministry website and is an estimate based on averaging recent enrolments including students who may have studied part time. It also considers the fees for all 3 years, however if you have already successfully completed the Diploma in Audio Engineering you do not need to undertake that Level 5 study again. Therefore, the fees above are the full figure of all the Level 6 and Level 7 courses that you will need to undertake in order to obtain a Bachelor of Recording Arts.

Is there an administration fee?

There is no administration fee for Degree study, as typically you have already been enrolled at SAE as a Diploma student.

Can I pay for the fees via StudyLink?

Yes, both the administration fee and tuition fees can be paid by StudyLink.

Beyond the tuition fees, are there any additional costs?

Everything you need to complete the programme is included within your fee. However, you may want to allow for costs associated with personal items such as stationery. You may also choose to pay for additional equipment etc, but this is not a requirement.

When do I need to pay the tuition fees?

You should pay fees before the commencement of your programme. Fees for multi-year programmes are paid annually.

Can I study part-time?

Most students study full time with us, but it is possible. If you are keen, get in touch to talk through options.

What if I enrol, and then change my mind?

It's important that you choose the right programme. We appreciate however that you may not know until you start. So, you have the first 8 days (for domestic students) or 10 working days (for international students) to decide. This is referred to as the Census Date. If you choose to withdrawal before Census Date, you will be refunded your fees.

What if I change my mind after the first 8-10 days?

If you choose to withdrawal after census date, you will not be refunded any fees and your academic transcript will show as 'unsuccessful completion'.

Are there any implications of withdrawing after census date for future study?

Potentially yes. Having a 'unsuccessful completion' on your academic record can jeopardize future enrolment opportunities at both SAE and other tertiary institutions. It can also jeopardize your ability to access StudyLink support for future study.

What if I fall behind for a legitimate reason, such as being unwell?

SAE offers fantastic Student Support to help you catch up. We are as keen to see you succeed as you are!

How do I apply?

Email us at and we'll send you an application form.

I'm still unsure, can I come in, have a look around, and chat with one of the staff?

Of course! Complete an inquiry form and we'll line up a campus tour for you.

Key facts


    2 Years Full Time (on completion of the Diploma in Audio Engineering)



    Enrol By: N/A

    Start Date: N/A

    End Date: N/A



Entry requirements


Proof of Identity
  • A copy of the student's valid photo ID must be provided.
General Academic Admission
  • For Level 7 Degree programmes, candidates are required to have gained a minimum of NCEA Level 3 or equivalent

Special Admission

  • Domestic applicants aged 20 years or above who have not met the General Admission or entry requirements for a programme but whose skills, education or work experience indicate that they have a reasonable chance of success may be eligible for Special Admission. Special admission will be granted at the discretion of the Academic Manager or designated nominee. Such applicants may be required to successfully complete a foundation, bridging or tertiary introduction programme as a condition of entry into higher level programmes.  

Provisional Admission

  • Domestic applicants aged under 20 years who have not met the general academic admission and entry criteria for a programme but who can demonstrate a reasonable chance of success through other educational attainment and/or work or life experience may be eligible for provisional entry at the discretion of the Academic Manager. Provisional entry places restrictions on re-enrolment to be lifted if the applicant’s performance is deemed satisfactory by the Academic Manager.

English as an Additional Language Applicant requirement

  • English as an Additional Language (EAL) applicants, including NZ Residents must meet standard NZQA minimum English Proficiency Outcomes for a diploma programme, i.e. for the academic version of IELTS they will require a score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5, or acceptable equivalent as per the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.

An applicant must be a minimum of 17 years at the start date of the programme. Applicants aged less than 18 years old must apply with parental/guardian consent.

International students must be a minimum of 18 years of age at the time of enrolment.  

All students are given the tutorial and pastoral support needed to satisfactorily engage with the academic and technical demands of the programme, and in particular students entering with the minimum qualification of NCEA Level 2.

All entry is at the discretion of the Academic Manager.


Selection Process

Where there are more applicants than the number of places available a selection process may be applied.  An offer of place in a diploma or degree programme would be extended to applicants who meet the entry criteria and demonstrate the potential to successfully complete the programme on the basis of:

  • A portfolio of work that represents the applicant’s level of achievement

  • An interview

  • Curriculum vitae (optional)

Applicants who submit a formal application to enrol in the programme, and who meet the entry criteria would be invited to submit a portfolio of work and participate in an interview.  The purpose of the interview is to assess the applicants’ suitability for the programme. It will determine whether an applicant is offered a place in the programme, and if so, at what level of the programme the applicant will be offered a place. Applicants would be welcome to enlist whānau support.


Fees and Payments

Total Fees   $17,765

Programme fees may be paid by Student Loan or Direct Credit, and must be paid in full prior to the start of the course.