Popular Music BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

Cambridge

September

Overview

Learn how to succeed in the music business, from performance to production, and develop your musicianship. Explore the history and cultures of popular music while getting practical experience in up-to-date production and performance techniques.

Full description

Careers

Our BA (Hons) Popular Music will give you a knowledge of music theory as well as the practical skills you need for a career in the music industry. You can choose from many optional modules to tailor the course towards the career that you want. Many of our past students now enjoy successful careers as performers, composers, music technologists, music teacher or arts administrators.

Studying the creative and performing arts will give you the ideal training for any position that requires quick thinking, self-reliance, imagination, teamwork and the ability to organise both yourself and others.

If you are interested in postgraduate study, after you graduate you could also go on to take our MA Music Therapy, for example.

Work placements

You will have opportunities throughout the course to find work experience in areas such as music education, instrumental teaching, artist management, marketing, recording and studio work, or events management. Our links with local industry partners, including venues such as Cambridge Junction, will give you a head-start in securing your placement.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Popular Music Performance 1A
    This module will give you the opportunity to develop your performing skills by exploring a variety of rock and popular music performance scenarios. The central aims will be to develop your understanding of what it is to perform and to build your confidence. You will be encouraged to analyse and consider popular music performance issues and to extend your knowledge through a process of discovery and collaboration. There will be weekly performance workshops, masterclasses and sessions on aspects of performing and critical analysis. You will be graded on your end of module performance and formatively assessed on your contribution to weekly performance workshops. Your final performance will be assessed on: stagecraft appropriate to the style of performance; integration of techniques acquired from the analysis seminars; appropriate vocal/instrument techniques specific to genre; onstage group cohesion and interaction; if cover versions, creative interpretation; engagement of audience/assessment panel. You will be assessed in the module activities through a single end-of-module report providing structured feedback. This report will provide feedback both on your end-of-module performance (10 minutes) and your ongoing engagement and active contribution to workshop sessions over the course of the module.
  • Popular Music in Context 1A
    This module will provide you with the historical, social and cultural context for the study of contemporary popular music. You will learn the basis for identifying and considering a range of styles in Twentieth- and Twenty-First century popular music and for the subsequent study of particular genres. It will also allow you to engage in informed debate about current issues in contemporary popular music. You will discover how the development of music is determined by factors that often lie outside issues of artistic expression, exploring the political and social aspects of the creative environment. In considering these issues, you will also examine music from a range of popular music periods and cultures, placing them within an appropriate historical, cultural and aesthetic framework. You will also consider current trends, as well as your own interests, in order to relate contextual issues to contemporary practice. Your assessment will comprise a presentation demonstrating your understanding of the contextual matters under investigation.
  • Dots, Lines and Waves
    On this popular music theory module, you'll cover music notation, music vocabulary and aural training. Aural training is crucial to an understanding of written notation and the two skills will be combined in terms of delivery – hence the title 'Dots' (notation systems), 'Lines' (text and staves) and 'Waves' (sound waves and ear training). The module will develop your keyboard and listening skills, and your understanding of stave, guitar and drum notation, with all aspects linked in to specific popular music audio examples. As well as lectures and seminars, you'll attend in Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) sessions for smaller group work, undertaking theory-based problem-solving tasks as well as independent theory work. You'll be assessed through a portfolio of practical analysis tasks and an analytical essay.
  • Recording Techniques
    By working on a number of creatives, you'll learn to use computer software for recording, editing, sound-processing and sequencing, as well as how to use microphones and the importance of their placement relative to a particular sound source. You'll learn about the different approaches to recording demanded by particular musical situations, including the special situation of recording the human voice, and examine multi-tracking, editing and post-production techniques such as normalising, compression and gates as tools to enhance the quality of recordings made in different situations. You'll be able to work collaboratively by forming and recording your own musical ensembles, with the intention of realising particular recording scenarios. Your assessment will comprise a portfolio of two main tasks, each defined by a specific musical goal, and each appraised by the extent to which you have chosen techniques (of microphone placement, recording, editing, sound processing and mastering) appropriate to the musical goal.
  • Popular Music Performance 1B
    This module will give you a further opportunity to develop your performing skills by exploring a variety of rock and popular music performance scenarios. The central aims will be to develop your understanding of what it is to perform and to build your confidence. You will be encouraged to analyse and consider popular music performance issues and to extend your knowledge through a process of discovery and collaboration. There will be weekly performance workshops, masterclasses and sessions on aspects of performing and critical analysis. You will be graded on your end of module performance and formatively assessed on your contribution to weekly performance workshops. Your final performance will be assessed on: stagecraft appropriate to the style of performance; integration of techniques acquired from the analysis seminars; appropriate vocal/instrument techniques specific to genre; onstage group cohesion and interaction; if cover versions, creative interpretation; engagement of audience/assessment panel. You will be assessed in the module activities through a single end-of-module report providing structured feedback. This report will provide feedback both on your end-of-module performance (10 minutes) and your ongoing engagement and active contribution to workshop sessions over the course of the module.
  • Popular Music in Context 1B
    This module will further develop your musical literacy and understanding of musical syntax in the analysis and composition of popular music. You will analyse musical styles within their appropriate historical, cultural and aesthetic frameworks, as well as exploring concepts relating to the application of melodic, rhythmic and harmonic systems, and the relative relevance of such systems in matters of musical analysis. You will also have the opportunity to develop research methodologies appropriate to the consideration of a range of musical issues and styles. You will further your awareness of the character of the many popular musical forms, including Popular Music of the World, and your understanding of the nature of musical development. Your assessment will comprise a portfolio of written work and stylistic exercises, combining technical analysis and composition with written research.
  • Entrepreneurship for Music 1: Digital
    The contemporary musician requires a range of skills alongside composition, performance and production to make their mark in the world of music. Increasingly they need to understand the opportunities that new and emerging digital technologies provide in gaining a profile for their music-making, and as a platform for launching their future careers. This module will help develop an understanding of the potential of digital media platforms for music networking, promotion, distribution and retail, and wider ethical and legal issues concerning online music. You will explore broader issues concerning the music industries and the impact digital technologies have had in their operations. You will be assessed through two exercises. Firstly, you will write an analysis of a chosen topic that draws from material covered in module sessions. Secondly, you will develop an online presence using appropriate digital platforms to showcase your developing work as musical artists and/or your potential as a future music industries employee. The approaches you take must be clearly located in and related to ideas and practices encountered in your degree course. Along with contributing to module sessions, the Anglia Ruskin University Employability Service will provide you with additional module support through drop-in support and CV Surgery sessions. You will also have access to a range of online employability information via the Careers and Employability Portal.
  • Songwriting 1
    This creative and practical module will help develop your songwriting skills through composition assignments, which will be workshopped using recorded audio demonstration and practical performance. You will focus on the production of creative work in audio format accompanied by clear lead sheets, visual scores and reflective commentaries. Your lyric writing will also be developed using a weekly songwriting workbook/blog. You will be given the opportunity to consolidate your existing levels of musicianship, increase your critical awareness of your creative practice and develop new songwriting skills in a variety of popular music styles. You will be encouraged to try out new techniques and expand your stylistic range in your own popular music compositions. The module is structured around four different aspects of songwriting: lyric writing; structure; texture; and instrumentation. Your compositions will be regularly workshopped in all sessions and critical skills, alongside team working abilities, will be developed on the module, equipping you with a variety of techniques and musical knowledge and the ensuing confidence to try out new ideas in a broad range of styles. You will be assessed through your submission of a portfolio of compositions.

Year two, core modules

  • Popular Music Performance 2
    This module will give you further opportunities to develop your performing skills through increasingly complex performance scenarios, and encourages increasing autonomy. You will encounter a variety of rock and popular music performance scenarios, the central aims being to further develop your understanding of what it is to perform and to build your independence and confidence. You will be encouraged to analyse and consider popular music performance issues and to extend your knowledge through a process of discovery and collaboration. There will be weekly performance workshops, masterclasses and sessions on aspects of performing and critical analysis. You will be graded on your end of module performance and formatively assessed on your contribution to weekly performance workshops. Your final performance will be assessed on: stagecraft appropriate to the style of performance; integration of techniques acquired from the analysis seminars; appropriate vocal/instrument techniques specific to genre; onstage group cohesion and interaction; if cover versions, creative interpretation; engagement of audience/assessment panel. You will be assessed in the module activities through a single end-of-module report providing structured feedback. This report will provide feedback both on your end-of-module performance (20 minutes) and your ongoing engagement and active contribution to workshop sessions over the course of the module.
  • Popular Music in Context 2A
    This module will expand your musical experience and familiarity with a variety of popular music styles and genres. Your understanding of the contextual development of music, often determined by factors beyond issues of artistic expression, will be encouraged, along with your understanding of the importance of political and social aspects of the creative environment. In considering these issues, you will examine music from a range of musical periods and cultures, in order to place them within an appropriate historical, cultural and aesthetic framework. Primarily, you will consider popular music as a vehicle for protest and socio-political comment. Your developing aural recognition skills and ability to apply appropriate research and analytical methodologies will complement this contextual exploration, and you will need to demonstrate awareness of a range of technical aspects appropriate to the repertoire being considered. Your assessment will comprise a portfolio of stylistic exercises, demonstrating your stylistic familiarity and technical competence, and an independently-researched essay.
  • Chords, Contours and Grooves
    Chords, Contours and Grooves is a follow-on module from Dots, Lines and Waves that will allow you to apply your theoretical knowledge to specific musical examples in a more advanced critical manner. You'll further develop your understanding of the musical parameters of genre and style with a practice-based approach, analysing the harmony, melody and rhythm in popular music styles, including jazz, blues, progressive rock, post punk, rap, indie, electronica and post millennial popular forms. In Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) sessions, you'll undertake small group-based analytical assignments designed to support the technical portfolio tasks. Through a series of assessed analytical tasks, you'll develop an understanding of the importance of cultural context needed for detailed musical analysis, as well as musicianship, ear training skills and a comprehensive knowledge of the parameters of musical expression. You'll be assessed by a portfolio of technical exercises and a 1,500 word essay.
  • Live Performance
    This module will give you the opportunity to engage in the planning, negotiation, organisation, promotion, marketing, budgeting and management of a live musical event at a public venue. You will be expected to perform at the event (individually or in a group/ensemble), but assessment will focus on your organisation and management skills. Collaboration is a vital element of this module. You will need to carefully manage and negotiate a variety of responsibilities in your event group, drawing from knowledge and a theoretical underpinning introduced in taught sessions. Before delivering your event you will present a proposal, including an initial budget, justification of your plan and supporting research in a 10 minute presentation. The module tutor will provide formative feedback and advice. You will then prepare an action plan with a framework for the musical event that you intend to present, considering content/theme, promotion, ethical issues and financial planning. You will develop the plan further in group tutorials. You will be expected to evaluate the overall effectiveness of your musical event through a final group report incorporating a contextual and critical framework. This report will contain supplementary materials (not included in the word count) including a risk assessment specific to your event; a financial budget; copies of e-mail correspondence; meeting minutes; and a promotional pack containing copies and evidence of your promotion and PR for the event. Alongside taught module sessions, you will attend performance workshops, where you will develop the content of your contribution to musical performance at the event. You will separately submit a personal project review evidencing your individual input and skills development during the project. The collaborative focus of this module will help prepare you for further collaborative project work in the final year of your degree.
  • Popular Music in Context 2B
    On this module you will examine a variety of key developments in popular music, including the impact of internal and external factors, with the central learning being that the evolution of popular music cannot be separated from, and is intrinsically bound up with, developments in technology, global awareness and socio-political movements. You will expand your musical experience and familiarity with a variety of popular music styles and genres, encouraging your understanding of the contextual development of popular music, often determined by factors beyond issues of artistic expression, as well as your understanding of the importance of political and social aspects of the creative environment. In considering these issues, you will examine music from a range of popular musical periods and cultures, in order to place them within an appropriate historical, cultural and aesthetic framework. Your developing aural recognition skills and ability to apply appropriate research and analytical methodologies will complement this contextual exploration, and you will need to demonstrate awareness of a range of technical aspects appropriate to the repertoire being considered. Your assessment will comprise a portfolio of stylistic exercises that demonstrate your stylistic familiarity and technical competence, as well as an independently-researched essay. Your work will be supported by a particular focus on research practice, exploring research approaches, methodologies and ethics, specifically in preparation for your third year research in major project work.
  • Songwriting 2
    This creative and practical module will develop your songwriting and arranging skills. You'll undertake composition assignments, workshopping these in seminars using recorded audio demonstration and practical performance. With a focus on the art of arranging, you'll be encouraged to experiment with different stylistic elements and techniques for variation. This module builds on songwriting work from Songwriting 1, emphasising the arrangement of original material and developing your use of harmony, melody and rhythm. You'll be assessed through a final portfolio of two substantial recorded compositions with corresponding scores and commentaries.
  • Entrepreneurship for Music 2: Placement
    This module will support you in finding a placement or internship opportunity that focuses on a potential career pathway in an area of the music industries. Particularly important will be your development and self-evaluation of transferable and employability skills. Supported by module tutors and Anglia Ruskin's Employability Service, you will identify an area of career interest and negotiate, generate and complete a placement opportunity lasting the equivalent of 35 hours. The placement should be clearly located in and related to ideas and practices encountered in your degree course. You will be assessed through two elements: firstly, a presentation that outlines the tasks and activities you aim to undertake on the placement, including research into the context within which your placement organisation operates and an outline of how you aim to develop and evaluate your transferable and employability skills during the placement; secondly, a reflective portfolio that documents and self-evaluates your placement experience. This module combines independent study with lecture sessions and tutorial support that guides you through the placement or internship, with the module Canvas page providing further support. You will also have the chance to attend presentations from visitors who work in roles within the music industries. As well as contributing to module sessions, the Anglia Ruskin University Employability Service will provide additional module support through drop-in support and CV Surgery sessions. You will also have access to a range of online employability information via the Careers and Employability Portal, and be able to access additional placement support through the ALSS Faculty Placements Officer, with drop-in support or scheduled one-to-one sessions.

Year two, optional modules

  • Music for the Moving Image
    On this module you’ll compose and realise original music to accompany a film, video or other type of digital moving or still image. You may either work with supplied material or with other students undertaking complementary work within related media production modules. By undertaking a series of practical exercises, you'll examine a range of techniques, and consider the approaches to film music composition of various commercial and non-commercial film composers. Using appropriate editing software, you'll better understand how your music will fit in to the overall scenario of audio-visual collaboration. You'll be assessed by the submission of a portfolio of materials, accompanied by a brief critical evaluation.
  • Music in Education
    This module will introduce you to a number of key principles, concepts and methodologies of music education, developing your understanding of certain theoretical foundations crucial to the study and practice of teaching music. Topics may include: introductory philosophies of education; the application of music education in a variety of contexts; the sociological and psychological elements of music pedagogy. You will consider such questions as why music education is important, how do people learn through music, and how can teaching be delivered effectively through the music? You will also evaluate the role, function and practice of music in primary, secondary and further education, peripatetic teaching, and the role of music in community arts education, as well as examining current educational methodologies and policy frameworks, including the implications of national curricula, and issues of equality. Practical work is included in the module so you can gain first-hand experience of issues in music teaching practice, providing you with a useful insight if you intend to pursue a career in the field. This will take the form of teaching a group of students focusing on an aspect of music education.
  • Production project
    This module will give you the opportunity to pursue a negotiated music project with a practical outcome. The project can be undertaken individually or collaboratively, but you will be assessed individually through your final submission, consisting of a production artefact with a researched critical commentary. You will produce an E.P. of 3-4 tracks, including associated visual and written material (e.g. covers, text and logos), so that the outcome is a standalone artefact. Owing to the many digital and analogue music production technologies available, you will need to identify and negotiate in individual or group tutorials how you will creatively approach the music production and visual elements of the the project. You will reflect on your existing technological interests and abilities developed during the course - curricular or extra-curricular - in the context of the array of music technologies available in the current production environment. To support your practical work, the taught element will help improve your understanding of appropriate critical tools and language relevant to the evaluation of your production work in two ways: through a critical discussion of current debates in contemporary music production practice (e.g. issues of fidelity and authenticity, loudness and technostalgia); and through the consideration and use of visual critical analysis tools, that will help you evaluate potential meanings of your chosen cover design, in terms of both the visuals and text. The knowledge and skills you acquire in this module will provide a strong basis for professional work where current and emerging music technologies are deployed in creative and commercial contexts beyond the University.
  • Principles of Music Therapy
    This module will introduce you to the theory and practice of music therapy, as practised by registered professionals in the UK. It will not train you to be a therapist, but will equip you with knowledge of the field and some introductory skills that are useful in considering music therapy as a vocation. It will introduce you to the clinical field and enable you to make informed choices about music therapy and other related professions such as teaching and nursing. You will be taught through experiential workshops, which will be linked to theoretical lectures and also a possible field trip. Audio-visual presentations will allow you to demonstrate your work in process. Through these activities you will be able to evaluate, develop and analyse your musical potential and explore the application of different media to therapeutic situations. Your assessment will comprise a small group practical focusing on musical improvisations (as appropriate), in which you will actively demonstrate an understanding of the use of music as a therapeutic tool. The knowledge you gain on this module can be applied to others that involve improvisation, role-play or performance, and can contribute to a basic understanding of groups and how they function.

Year three, core modules

  • Major Project
    The individual Major Project will allow you to undertake a substantial piece of individual research, focused on a topic relevant to your specific course. Your topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The project will require you to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct research, evaluate information, process data, and critically appraise and present your findings/creative work. You should arrange and attend regular meetings with your project supervisor, to ensure that your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.
  • Professional Music Practice 1
    This practical module will allow you to further enhance the knowledge, skills and understanding you have developed on your course at Level 4 and Level 5 in a chosen area of practice. You will explore practically an area of contemporary professional music-related practice, producing an end-of-module artefact or undertaking a performance and negotiating the specific nature of the project outcome with your module tutor. You will be allowed to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the key components through which music in all its forms is created, realised, received and/or mediated, and to demonstrate your knowledge of the creative affordances of music and/or media technologies and instruments in your chosen area of practice. You will be expected to analyse, critically evaluate and interpret the practices you undertake, demonstrating an ability to convey personal expression and imagination in practical work while employing appropriate technical and interpretive means. You will be able to choose one of four professional strands through which to focus your practice: Performance; Composition; Technology and Production; or Music Media and Journalism. After initial group sessions, you will individually identify and negotiate an appropriate practical approach that allows you to achieve the learning outcomes you have identified. You will be supported in your research through tutorials, as well as other taught sessions and workshops. You will be assessed through an artefact submitted at the end of the module, or through an end of module performance.
  • Collaborative Project Development (Music)
    You will be given the opportunity to develop and negotiate a collaborative music project in which you will employ and meet relevant professional practices and expectations. You will perform a variety of practical and creative roles, critically reflecting upon the processes involved in undertaking professional, ethical and sustainable composition, performance, production, promotion and/or other responsibilities in a negotiated project. Through this, you will demonstrate your understanding of concepts of entrepreneurialism and professionalism in music in a live project. Your project must be clearly located in and related to ideas and practices encountered in your degree course. Your collaboration can involve students from across the music courses at Anglia Ruskin University. You will need to take your work to an extra-University audience, and as such your collaboration may also involve external individuals, agencies or organisations. During initial lecture and seminar sessions, you will identify collaborative groups and discuss project management and the requirements of the module. As you progress, group tutorials and seminars will allow you to formatively explore and develop your initial project ideas; discuss contextual and theoretical research needs; identify audiences and stakeholders; and consider and agree technical and, if appropriate, outsourced requirements. You will be assessed through a group presentation (either in live or video form) that pitches your project, explains its relationship to wider cultural and industry contexts, and identifies your overall aims and objectives. This presentation will also allow you to demonstrate your work in progress and outline how you will deliver the final project on time and to an external audience. Alongside contributing to module sessions, Anglia Ruskin University Employability Service and the ALSS Faculty Placements Officer will also provide support. You will then put your project proposal into operation in the semester 2 module ‘Collaborative Project’.
  • Professional Music Practice 2
    This practical module will allow you to further enhance the knowledge, skills and understanding you have developed on your course and in the Professional Practice 1 module. You will explore an area of contemporary professional music-related practice, and produce an end of module artefact or undertake a performance that is negotiated with a module tutor. You can continue with the same area of practice as Professional Practice 1, or focus on another area to develop a new project. However, whichever you choose, you will be expected to identify how your approach in Professional Practice 2 has reflected on and responded to your achievement of module and learning outcomes in Professional Practice 1. You will further demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key components through which music in all its forms is created, realised, received and/or mediated, and your knowledge of the creative affordances of music and/or media technologies and instruments in your chosen area of practice. You will be expected to analyse, critically evaluate and interpret the practices you undertake, and demonstrate the ability to convey personal expression and imagination in practical work while employing appropriate technical and interpretive means. You will choose one of the following professional strands: Performance; Composition; Technology and Production; Music Media and Journalism. After the initial group sessions, you will identify and negotiate an appropriate practical approach, supported in your practice through tutorials and other taught sessions and workshops. You will be assessed through an artefact submitted at the end of the module, or an end-of-module performance.
  • Collaborative Project (Music)
    Working in a team or group, you will put into practice the collaborative music project you developed in the Collaborative Project Development module. You will demonstrate your ability to work collaboratively in performing a variety of practical and creative roles, and critically reflect upon the processes involved in undertaking professional, ethical and sustainable composition, performance, production, promotion and/or other responsibilities in a negotiated project. Through this, you will demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of concepts of professionalism and entrepreneurialism. You will be expected to contribute effectively to group work, demonstrate adaptability in determining and achieving individual goals (including supporting or being proactive in leadership) and critically evaluate the roles you have carried out. Your collaboration can involve students from across the music courses at Anglia Ruskin University. In putting their project into practice, you will need to take your work to an extra-University audience. As such, your collaboration may involve external individuals, agencies or organisations. Your work will be supported by group tutorials, which will allow you to identify and negotiate the requirements for the two assessed elements: a group project portfolio and an individual project evaluation. In the individual project evaluation, you should place the project in its wider cultural and industrial context, reflecting on your roles throughout the project with a focus on transferable and employability skills.

Year three, optional modules

  • Film Music Composition
    This module will develop your skills in creating a film soundtrack. Over the course of the module you will analyse soundtracks in a wide range of styles and periods, from the birth of synchronised sound in 1927 to the present day. You will study the techniques of composition and sound design used in these films, consider the process of collaboration between composer and director, and examine the cultural context of the films and their dissemination. You will also study advanced techniques of sound design, instrumentation and orchestration appropriate to film music and will acquire specific skills for the musical representation of narrative, character and mood. Your assessment will comprise a portfolio of film soundtrack compositions as detailed in the module guide, and a critical evaluation of 500 words that places your work in the context of current and historic trends in film music, draws attention to particular techniques of sound design and composition, and explains why the choice of music or sound design is appropriate. The skills you acquire in this module will provide a strong basis for professional work in the audio-visual industry, which is now a significant employer of composers.
  • Radiophonica
    Radiophonic techniques are essential tools in the creation of content for media broadcasters involving the spoken word. A knowledge of radio genres, including those of an experimental nature, goes hand in hand with principles of compositional design, structuring, editing and realisation, and experience in this area will prepare you for involvement with the media industries. This module will give you practical experience with the aesthetic issues and unique characteristics of radio. You'll also be introduced to key moments in the history of experimental, documentary and dramatic radio English language broadcasting and encouraged to respond to the spoken word in a musical way, integrating into your work concepts of sound design that originated in radio. Your assessment will take the form of a portfolio including radiophonic work and an evaluative critical commentary including evidence of project planning.
  • World Music and Globalisation
    The accelerating influence of the internet and social media is continuing to enable the instant distribution of music around the globe. What we listen to is no longer exclusively conditioned by economics, since so much is free online, nor by national boundaries. Instead individuals choose. On this module, you'll investigate the various factors that influence how these choices are made, including who the listener is, the varying degrees of censorship and technological access to music to which listeners around the world are subjected and historical legacies such as colonial links. You'll also trace the dynamics of the relationship of different music industries with foreign 'others', from the early Western appropriation of blues and other African genres through to the imitations of western styles in, for example, China and the Far East. You'll also examine how certain musics have remained hugely popular in their home countries but less so abroad, while others have been accommodated into the commercial Western paradigms of festivals, recordings and broadcasting. In this context, you'll consider notions of authenticity, exoticism, and cultural appropriation, together with the conflicts and ironies encountered in bringing traditional musics onto the world stage and away from their original performance contexts. You'll further investigate the role of Western pop music in other societies, the power dynamics of cultural transmission, and the extent to which certain traditions have survived or been altered in the face of competition from Western commercial interests (in so doing, challenging our normal distinctions between pop and classical or traditional musics and the identities that they define). You will develop a range of employability skills, including an understanding of cultural diversity and an insight into changing global patterns of migration as well as presentation preparation and public speaking.

Assessment

For a full breakdown of module options and credits, please view the module structure.

You’ll show your progress on the course through a combination of public performance, creative projects, essays, presentations and portfolios of work, including projects, which can include practice-led work.

This ongoing assessment will help you develop your musical and academic skills, such as improvisation and sight-reading, your creativity in composition and recording work, and your writing, analysis and research. We’ll also encourage you to use self-help packages, particularly for aural training, and undertake an extensive listening programme.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

Using our creative expertise and industry connections in Cambridge and beyond, we create experiences that entertain, educate, inspire and improve lives.

At Cambridge School of Creative Industries, we believe in the importance of experimentation and risk-taking to create experiences that entertain, educate, inspire and improve lives.

Whether writing bestselling fiction, creating challenging documentaries or sharing a piano with people on the autism spectrum, the expertise of our staff goes far beyond teaching. Their research produces significant funding success, leading to important publications and international conferences.

Where can I study?

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Additional study information

Study abroad options

Our student exchange programme with a university in the USA will give you the option of studying abroad for one semester in Year 2. We also run annual trips to places like Rome, Vienna and New York.

Specialist facilities

You’ll work in our purpose-built music centre, which includes: band rooms; recording studios; lecture and practice rooms; a large recital hall; an extensive suite of computer music studios with workstation laboratories; and digital editing studios. You’ll also have access to other instruments, including traditional ones.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2018/19 or 2019/20 (per year)

£9,250

International students starting 2018/19 (per year)

£12,500

International students starting 2019/20 (per year)

£13,100

Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

You can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or alternatively, there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments

Scholarships

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

International students

You must pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit or sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

Interview and audition

You will be required to attend an interview of around 30 minutes, during which you will also need to perform an audition piece or present samples of your musical work.

For more guidance on how to prepare for this, please visit our auditions and interviews page, or go straight to the detailed auditions information for School of Performance courses.


We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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