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Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music (CASM)
Level 6 Schulz Building
The University of Adelaide
SA 5005 Australia

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CASM Study Programs

The Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music (CASM) offers an integrated suite of unique and exciting programs of music study for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians.

CASM Foundation Year (Non-award - 1 year full time - HECS free)
Diploma in Aboriginal Studies in Music (no intake in 2016)
Advanced Diploma in Aboriginal Studies in Music (no intake in 2016)

General Information

The CASM Foundation Year is the usual entry point for most students commencing music studies at CASM.

Students who complete all courses in the CASM Foundation Year gain automatic entry to the Diploma in Aboriginal Studies in Music, which leads on to the Advanced Diploma in Aboriginal Studies in Music.

Learning takes place in a supported academic environment, in which students are encouraged to:

  • develop their music, knowledge and skills to a high level
  • develop creative talents through performance, composition and arranging, in individual and group work
  • develop tertiary level academic, communication and research skills
  • develop skills and capacities in areas of individual interest
  • pursue pathways to professional engagement, employment, and/or further study

CASM programs aim to prepare graduates to participate in professional life, including:

  • as performers, composers and arrangers
  • in education
  • in research
  • in sound engineering and production
  • in community development activities - particularly those involving music making
  • in the broader music and performing arts industries
  • in arts curation, managment and administration
  • through further studies


CASM studies are broadly based and include:

  • Performance
  • Instrumental/Vocal Studies
  • Songwriting, Composition and Arranging 
  • Theory of Music and Notation
  • Aural Skills
  • Academic Learning and Communication Skills
  • Research Skills Development
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • Style Studies
  • Sound Engineering and Production
  • Computers and Music
  • Industry Skills
  • Career Management
  • Electives

Students study a range of musical styles from traditional to contemporary.  These include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music and dance, as well as blues, rock, country, reggae, jazz, classical, hiphop/rap, soul, and metal.

Students may study a range of instruments including:

  • guitar
  • voice
  • bass
  • drums and percussion
  • keyboard
  • saxophone
  • flute
  • violin
  • yidaki (didgeridoo)
  • other instruments as negotiated

Part Time Studies

All CASM Programs of study are 1 year full time.  Students may also undertake studies at CASM part time.

Campus Based Study

All CASM Programs are campus based.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at the University of Adelaide can obtain support through Wirltu Yarlu, and the wider support services of the University.  Individualised academic support is provided through the ITAS Program.

Further Studies

CASM Programs prepare students for ongoing study and training in a range of areas, with students going on to further studies and training in in a variety of fields including: music, teacher training, education, sound engineering, psychology, community development, youth work, arts management, health, linguistics, arts, theatre, media and broadcasting, visual arts, and dance.


CASM programs are Abstudy approved.


Students may apply for a range of scholarships.

Further details about CASM programs are available from the University Calendar.