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Program description

BA (Hons) Popular Music Performance and Production

Are you interested in a career as a music performer, songwriter or producer? Would you like to be involved in artist development? Suitable for both schooled and self-taught musicians, Solent University’s BA (Hons) Popular Music Performance and Production programme combines creativity and technical learning with in-depth study of the music industries.

Solent’s popular music performance and production programme offers a broad range of skills in music and production carefully balanced with academic skills involving research and critical thinking.  Students will gain experience both specific to the music industry and relevant to other careers.

The course features extensive study of the music industry including copyright, contract law and career pathways. Students are also expected to develop transferable skills in research, IT, presentation, teamwork, creative thinking, communication and project management.

Student learning is aided by free access to our industry standard facilities. These include nine recording studios (networked with Protools HD and Logic Pro), a range of mixing workstations equipped with Avid control surfaces, and a Production Lab with 24 Apple workstations (with Pro Tools, Logic Pro and Sibelius). You’ll also have access to large rehearsal rooms fully equipped with backline and PAs.

The curriculum is delivered by an experienced course team, many of whom are active industry experts with professional experience in performance, studio and live sound, electronic sound design and the business and culture of music production.  Staff frequently engage with on-going research in music composition, performance and production.  The team’s industry links also enable a handpicked selection of students to record at the world renowned Abbey Road Studios.

Southampton is home to nationally renowned venues including the O2 Guildhall and The Joiners. This vibrant mix of venues has encouraged a diverse music scene, perfect for gaining on-stage experience.

What does this course lead to?

Previous graduates have progressed to roles at Bang Post-Production, Sony Music, Metropolis Studios, EMI Music Licensing and Stage Miracles. Many are professional performers and teachers.

Who is this course for?

Solent’s popular music performance and production course is suitable for both schooled and self-taught musicians. Applicants should be interested by both performance and technical production, as well as music history and academic theory.

Applicants should aspire to careers as session musicians, producers, artists, songwriters, music journalists or promoters. 

Admission requirements

112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at DMM or BTEC Diploma at D*D* or equivalent.
  • All applicants are expected to be able to sing or play an instrument to the standard required for public performance. 
  • Direct entry into the second or third years may be considered for this course.
  • Applicants over the age of 21 may be considered based on relevant experience, without having the required tariff points.
  • Alternative entry to this course is available through the Popular Music Production Foundation Year.

We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants who are not in possession of the minimum entry requirements but are able to demonstrate aptitude, enthusiasm and motivation will be considered on an individual basis and may be admitted subject to satisfactory interview and/or portfolio. Please contact us for further details.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Program content

Year one

Core units

  • Intro to Studio Recording 1
  • Creative Music Production 1
  • Instrumental Skills and Artist Development 1 
  • Creative Music Practice 1
  • Creative Music Industries
  • Live Performance Techniques
  • Popular Music Theory

Year two

Core units

  • Advanced Studio Recording 1
  • Live Performance Techniques 2
  • Instrumental Skills and Artist Development 2 
  • Creative Music Production 2 
  • Creative Music Production 2.1
  • Music Business Networking

Options

  • Noise Annoys: Experiments and Alternatives in Popular Music
  • Songwriting Techniques
  • Experimental Music Production 
  • Advanced Live Music Production
  • Urban & Electronic Music Genre Studies
  • Pop – The Invisible Mainstream
  • Introduction to Experimental Music Performance
  • Music and Sound for Games
  • Creative Sound Design
  • Languages

Please note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run each year.

Year three

Core units

  • Major Project
  • Music Strategies and Entrepreneurship
  • Instrumental Skill and Artist Development 3

Options

Students must choose:

  • Advanced Music Production or Advanced Music Performance

And from the following:

  • Film Music
  • Songwriting Portfolio
  • Experimental Music Production 
  • Advanced Live Music Production
  • Advanced Music Production
  • Creative Sound Design
  • Experimental Music Performance
  • Advanced Mixing and Mastering
  • Languages

Please note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run each year.

Scholarships & funding

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. 

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About school

Solent University

Solent University

Solent University is all about creating opportunities: for its students, for its staff, for its partners. It offers expertise and experiences you couldn’t get anywhere else, opening doors and making introductions. We’re focused on the practical side of higher education...


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Contact info

Solent University

Solent University
E Park Terrace
SO14 0YN Southhampton
United Kingdom

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www.solent.ac.uk

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