BA (Hons) Popular Music (Awarded by Birmingham City University)

This course provides the training and skills necessary for a wide range of careers within the music industry. You will develop understanding of the global commercial music sector, study musical output and techniques, and improve your creativity, professionalism and practical musicianship to a level needed for graduate employment. This full, three year Honours degree develops both the practical and transferable skills required to make you industry ready, and the contextual understanding and academic rigour inherent in high level study.
Duration:3 Year(s)
Contact Apply
About the course

Awarded by Birmingham City University, this is a high level course with experienced staff and excellent resources. With 3 recording studios, 7 rehearsal rooms, 2 sequencing suites and a 600-capacity working venue onsite, you will enjoy the exciting, creative opportunities and supportive environment. Your principal study can be in performance, music technology, live sound or composition. The course takes a holistic approach to musical study, with every student developing the broad range of skillsets required to become a successful music professional. Assessments are varied and innovative, and often modelled on real industry practice. You will learn through workshops, lectures, recording sessions, seminars and tutorials. You will study the theory, wider contexts and contemporary issues surrounding the global music industry and there will be regular visits from industry experts and artists. You will also develop the musical and creative skills required by a performer, composer or producer, learn how to work well in teams and demonstrate leadership, organisation and decision-making skills. This programme will help you to develop a profile suitable for an artist looking for employment within the music industry, and to develop a clear conceptual understanding of connected issues and narratives, researching deeply into current musicology and practice. All students receive weekly one-to-one instrumental sessions, delivered by our highly qualified visiting instrumental specialists on vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard.

Year one key areas:
• MIDI, audio and studio techniques (M.A.S.T.)
• Working live (performance or live sound)
• Contextual study in action
• The music industry
• Technical development (instrument, music technology or composition)
• Creative portfolio
• MAST (MIDI, Audio, Studio Techniques) (20 credits) The aim of this module is to develop music-specific techniques and understanding that provide a solid basis for your development on the programme. Being the first module on the programme it has an introductory role, but the skills it requires you to demonstrate will be central to many subsequent modules. The skills in question include music theory, MIDI input, audio recording, use of music software (e.g. Logic) and acoustic audio recording in a studio.
• Contextual Study in Action (20 credits) This module introduces students to the academic skills required in an undergraduate Honours programme, through the tuition of research skills, socio-contextual and musicological study, and the presentation of formal academic writing. In addition, students have the opportunity to illustrate their musical research and contextual understanding in a practical way through the medium of a linked original composition.
• Working Live (20 credits) This module provides students with tuition and an assessment framework in which they learn and rehearse the personal, technical, production and performance skills needed in a live musical situation, either as a performer or live music engineer. Delivery will cover both live performance and live sound techniques in distinct sessions, with content both on underpinning knowledge and the opportunity to develop the necessary skills in practice. Students ultimately choose which discipline to be assessed in (performance or live sound).
• The Music Industry (20 credits) This module focuses on relating and discussing the underpinning knowledge of the current music industry, its structures, organizations, regulations an

What do I need?

You will need to be aged 18 years or over on or before 31 August of the academic year the course commences. You must have English Language GCSE at grade 4 or higher, plus 96 UCAS points at A-level or equivalent, preferably including music, which may be gained from the following qualifications:
• Scottish Certificate of Education/Scottish Qualification
• Authority Intermediate/Higher/Advanced Higher/ Irish Leaving Certificates
• International Baccalaureate
• BTEC National Diploma or Certificate
• Level 3 diploma in creative and media skills
• A recognised (Kitemarked) Access course
• ABRSM/Rockschool
• Other relevant international qualifications
• International applicants will be asked to demonstrate equivalents with the above qualification levels and an IELTs score of 6 or above As part of the application, you will need to undergo an audition, qualification check and supply suitable references. Students with significant, relevant experience may be accepted onto the course subject to successful audition. We would consider students who wish to enter into the final year of this programme, please contact us to discuss suitability.

Where can I progress next?

Graduates from this full degree programme benefit from a wide range of career opportunities through professional graduate training programmes, and by demonstrating high-level employability through the academic, creative and transferable skills developed during the course. In the music industry itself, South & City College graduates have progressed successfully to work with BBC Radio 1/1Xtra, BBC Introducing, Craig David, Sydney Opera House, X Factor, the Royal Variety Performance, Urban Audio, Blitz Games, music management and a range of ongoing corporate and independent music opportunities. You may also choose to progress to postgraduate study, completing a Masters at BCU or another institution. A PGCE in Music Education is one example, which equips you to teach at primary, secondary or post-compulsory schools and colleges nationally.

BA (Hons) Popular Music (Awarded by Birmingham City University)
Career opportunities
BA (Hons) Popular Music (Awarded by Birmingham City University)
Apply for the course
BA (Hons) Popular Music (Awarded by Birmingham City University)
Digbeth Campus
Start date:
16 September 2024
Study mode:
Full Time
Contact Apply
Related courses
See more courses