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Should I do a Bachelor of Entertainment Management at AIM?


Hi Footnotes,

I am currently studying for the HSC. I am not doing business studies or music, yet I really want to study the Bachelor of Entertainment Management at the Australian Institute of Music (AIM).

I love the music industry and have always dreamed of working in it, but I didn’t choose the right subjects I’m currently studying now in year 12 as I WAS set on another career path. Would I be considered eligible?

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For this round table discussion we called in:

  • Expert one: A musician manager (Muso 1)
  • Expert two: An agency manager (Muso 2)

The Footnotes:

Who wants to go first?

Muso 2:

Purely on a pragmatic level, have you looked at the ATAR score for this course? Does it specify “business studies” or “music”?

If so, then you probably wouldn’t be eligible but if it’s just a score that you have to get with no pre-requisite subjects, then you will eligible assuming you get the score they are looking for…

The Footnotes:

Under there prerequisites it says students must, “Provide Certified Academic transcripts of previous study; especially in Arts/Entertainment, Mathematics and English (including HSC). Year 12 school leavers should provide this once received.”

It’s pretty ambitious, so I think you’ll have no trouble with admission.

Muso 1:

I hate to be the barer of bad news, but I’d be careful with this course.

It has a cool name, you know, “Bachelor of Entertainment Management” to harvest enrolments, but little real-world credibility.

The first thing you learn in the music business is that  first and foremost,  it is a *business*. There’s nothing special about the entertainment industry – it is about products which need to be manufactured, organised, delivered, sold, tracked, paid for and so on. So I’d recommend studying business at a more reputable institution and applying these skills to the industry.
No university ‘business’ course requires Business Studies as a prerequisite either.

Muso 2:

You’ve got youth on your side, so don’t jump into such a niche course. As Muso 1 said, this industry is a business – we don’t require people with entertainment specific degrees.

My advice is to find out the approximate title of the job you want. Do you want to be an artist manager, a marketing manger, a promotional manager, an event’s manger etc.

Next, find out who are the top twenty music and/or event promoters in your state – include everything, pop/ EDM/ opera/ theatre/ whatever – and contact them directly.

Tell the receptionist that you’re 17, you’re making uni course choices and you’d like to buy the XYZ manager a coffee to get five minutes of their time for some career advice. If you do this right, you could very well end up with work experience, summer job, or any number of other excellent career starting points.

Muso 1:

Honestly, you’d be better off financially in the long run if you did a double degree through a public university. It wouldn’t surprise me if the every major university didn’t offer a Business degree with an opportunity to take some art electives in Communications or Music –  something in the same vain.

I think Muso one hit the nail on the head. Private niche colleges get their intake from naive young people who want jobs as animators, actors, artists, photographers; they are often far more expensive with little industry recognition.

Also, TAFE offers a certificate in music business – don’t discount that. Most people who make it in the Music business do so via hard graft and working their way up from the bottom (and rarely have or need a formal qualification).

As for whether they would accept you, I doubt they would have any issue!

Disclosure: It’s important to remember these are just opinions of the panel, and that this article’s advice shouldn’t be used in isolation when making your decision about studying Music & Entertainment. Remember, opinions are limited to a person’s own experience. 

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