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New early offers for talented students in music and visual arts

2 July 2020
The new Creative Arts Special Admissions Scheme offers talented Year 12 students a chance to enter music and visual arts degrees based on audition and portfolio prior to getting their ATAR.
Photo of a group of musicians smiling and laughing

Students can now apply to music and visual arts without an ATAR. Photo: Jamie Williams.

Early offers

Exceptionally talented students in music and visual arts can now apply for courses at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Sydney College of Arts prior to receiving an ATAR. Students can receive an early offer based on an audition and interview or by submitting a portfolio of art works and undertaking an interview. The offer applies to domestic students wishing to apply for studies in 2021.

The new admissions scheme ensures talented students are selected on ability and potential rather than academic ranking. 

“This is an opportunity for the most talented music students in the country to join the Sydney Conservatorium of Music as we shift our focus away from Year 12 results and concentrate on giving talented musicians greater certainty around their future,” said Professor Anna Reid, Dean (Sydney Conservatorium of Music).

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Artistic merit

Mr Andrew Lavery, Director of Sydney College of the Arts, said: “Now more than ever, it is important for us to support our visual artists. By foregrounding artistic merit, this scheme is an opportunity for Australia’s most talented artists to undertake university training in a renowned art school.”

The available degrees using the new admissions scheme include: Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music (Composition), Bachelor of Music (Performance) and Bachelor of Visual Arts. Applicants will be assessed on audition or portfolio performance, and Year 11 and 12 academic results to date. The scheme applies to domestic Year 12 students only.

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Auditions open

Professor Matthew Hindson, Deputy Dean at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, said the new admissions scheme meant the music school could choose the best of the best students.

“We know that there are so many exceptional young musicians and visual artists who have a really bright future ahead of them,” Professor Hindson said. “Once they have passed their audition or portfolio assessment, these outstanding applicants will have certainty that they can study at the #1 ranked University for the Performing Arts in Australia. And we really look forward to having them study here, with us."

Music students can register now for auditions to be held in September. Due to COVID-19 restrictions auditions will not be in person this year. Instead applicants will submit a recorded audition and be interviewed via Zoom.

photo of a young student working on a screen print

All creative students can also enrol in electives across the university.

Personal feedback

Visual arts students can register to attend Portfolio Day to get advice on preparing a portfolio. This is an opportunity for students to hear from our academic staff and receive personalised feedback on their portfolio and visual arts practice.

Enrolled students will also have the opportunity to combine their talents and study interests by choosing elective subjects from over 100 different study areas in the university as part of the shared pool of majors and minors.

Elissa Blake

Assistant Media Adviser (Humanities and Science)