Start date

1 year(s) full-time


Program Code


Assumed Knowledge

2021: AUD$ 30,300 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [6.0]
  • IELTS reading [6.0]
  • IELTS writing [6.0]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements


Degree overview

  • Complete your studies at the innovative James Morrison Academy of Music.
  • Study a unique diploma that is solely focused on jazz music.
  • Be taught by some of the finest jazz educators in the world, including acclaimed Australian jazz musician James Morrison.
  • Study a vibrant, exciting curriculum that has been designed by James Morrison.
  • Gain performance experience, either as part of The James Morrison Academy Jazz Orchestra or as part of another ensemble.



This unique diploma focusses solely on jazz, and is taught at the innovative James Morrison Academy of Music in Mount Gambier, South Australia.

You will be immersed in jazz history, styles, analysis and arrangements when you embark on this one-year journey. Taught by world-renowned jazz musicians and educators, including acclaimed Australian jazz musician James Morrison, you will cover topics such as:

  • improvisation
  • piano harmony
  • principal study
  • large ensemble and repertoire ensemble

Students who have completed the one-year Diploma in Music are able to apply for the Bachelor of Arts and will be eligible for credit equivalent to one year of study. Students may also apply for the Bachelor of Arts/Master of Teaching (Secondary) packaged option as a direct pathway to teaching. For further information contact the Program Director.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

This diploma offers the opportunity for you to gain valuable practical experience; you will also gain a strong theoretical background and knowledge of the origins of jazz, as well as technical knowledge and skills. Courses studied cover topics such as:

  • jazz history
  • styles and arranging
  • improvisation
  • large ensemble and repertoire ensemble

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Musicianship 100 PERF 1014 4.5
Jazz Studies 100 CREA 1014 4.5
Improvisational Studies 100 CREA 1012 4.5
Ensemble Performance 100 PERF 1012 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Musicianship 101 PERF 1015 4.5
Jazz Studies 101 CREA 1015 4.5
Improvisational Studies 101 CREA 1013 4.5
Ensemble Performance 101 PERF 1013 4.5

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects, as well as to contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12–26 hours of study when at university and 14–28 hours of independent study per week.



Your studies will incorporate practical, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. There may be essays, assignments and examinations. You can also expect them to include:

  • presentations
  • projects
  • tutorial work
  • practicals 

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

Why Diploma in Music

Why this Degree

We have teamed up with one of Australia's most highly recognised jazz musicians to offer a diploma that is focused solely on jazz music.

At the vibrant and creative James Morrison Academy of Music you will receive practical experience and tuition from a variety of professional musicians, including James Morrison himself. This qualification is also flexible, allowing you to study at your own pace with part-time options available.

Real-world connections

You will be immersed in a highly creative, vibrant environment, and will be taught by some of this country’s leading musicians. There is no better place to study jazz and to build your network of industry contacts. We host regular University-wide employee master classes, employment expos, and alumni events in Australia and overseas.

Career outcomes

Your career

This diploma is for people who want to be involved in the music industry and have a particular interest in jazz. The employment prospects for music professionals is expected to grow moderately through until November 20201. Careers to consider include:

  • composer: create original musical scores
  • music director: also known as conductors, they direct musical groups such as orchestras and choirs
  • musician/singer: perform music for live audiences and recordings

1 Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015

How to apply

To apply to study with us go to the top of this page and click Apply. You will be directed to our online application portal.


Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

This diploma is taught in Mount Gambier at the James Morrison Academy of Music. This diploma offers a unique experience to aspiring musicians where they can work with some of the finest jazz educators in the world. The courses are performance-based, where students don’t just learn about music – they learn how to make music.

The James Morrison Academy of Music is situated in the 'Old Town Hall' in Mount Gambier right in the heart of the city. Apart from having all the facilities we need within this beautiful historic building, we are also right next to the City Library and Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre, creating a cultural precinct around the Cave Gardens. 

Student services

Student services

Our international student services provide you with all the support you need at university. We want you to succeed, and if you need help, we're here to assist. You can access a full range of support services, including:

  • career advice and mentoring
  • help with student visas and health cover
  • personal counselling
  • academic counselling
  • fees and finance help
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • accommodation services 
  • as well as services offered through our student association, USASA

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies, and can offer help with the English language too. When you become a UniSA student, you can also contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and more.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your program director

Mr Peter Nielsen

Program Director

Portrait image for Mr Peter Nielsen
Portrait image for Mr Peter Nielsen

Mr Peter Nielsen

Program Director


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