Popular Music BMus(Hons)

2021-22

Start date

20 September 2021

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

Entry requirements

A Level - BBB

BTEC - DDM

See full entry requirements

Places available (subject to change)

30

About the course

If you're passionate about popular music and want to take your skills as a performer, songwriter, and audio studio professional to the next level, then our Popular Music degree is for you. Popular music is a highly competitive industry, so we’ll do all we can to help you on your way to a career. We’ll give you the opportunity to develop industry-standard practices and techniques, while learning how to break the rules to unleash your creativity.

Why study Popular Music at Huddersfield?

  • You will study in the purpose-built Richard Steinitz Building, a state-of-the-art creative hub with many practice rooms, rehearsal spaces, and professional-standard recording studios. You'll also have access to a large instrument collection, all the technical equipment you'll need and two purpose-built on-campus concert halls.
  • 100% overall student satisfaction rating (NSS 2020).
  • You’ll have the opportunity to work with successful musicians who will develop your abilities as a composer and a producer and take part in masterclasses and workshops given by distinguished visiting performers.
  • QS World University Subject Rankings 2020 ranked the University of Huddersfield equal 27th in the world for 'Performing Arts'.
  • You’ll choose your own focus, specialising in songwriting, performing, production or a mixture of subjects, whether concentrating on guitar music, pop, electronica or your own new style.

The Popular Music course at the University of Huddersfield will expose you to new ways of composing, recording, performing and thinking about music. It will help you develop your own interests, passions and creative voice, and will give you the technological tools to realise these ideas in the studio.

Toby Martin

Dr Toby Martin, Visiting Lecturer in Popular Music

Course detail

Core modules:

Songwriting 1

This module equips you with the skills needed for success as a contemporary songwriter. You will learn about lyric and melody writing, chord progressions and song structure. Using different arrangements, and a variety of compositional and vocal techniques, you will explore a range of songwriting styles and genres, helping you to develop your own individual creative voice.

Performance Skills 1

This module is designed to help you to gain a range of key musical skills. You will study improvisation and improve your aural awareness, as well as learning how to critique your own music-making and the performances of others. You will perform in musical groups, with a wide choice of styles and genres available. You will be assessed based on your contributions to performances, through practical musical tests, and through written coursework.

Desktop Music Production 1

This module will introduce you to relevant techniques and technologies for computer-based music production, including sequencing, sampling, arrangement, and a variety of other sound processing techniques. A range of practical work - both technical and creative - will develop your critical listening and production skills, and seminars will support you in applying these techniques to your own creative work.

Studio Engineering and Mixing Essentials

This module equips you with the core skills and practical principles involved in producing, engineering, and mixing popular music. You'll gain experience of working in an analogue/digital recording studio, allowing you to put your theoretical understanding to practical use in a range of situations.

Introduction to Music Research

This module equips you with the skills needed to be a successful and confident music researcher. Drawing on examples from a range of styles and genres appropriate to your course, lectures and seminars will consider the idea of music and musicians as part of historical and contemporary culture. Coursework will allow you to focus on repertoire and issues of your choice, investigating the musical links between aesthetics, society, politics, and technology.

Option modules:

Choose one from a list which may include:

Solo Performance 1

Supported by individual lessons with one of our professional visiting instrumental and vocal teaching staff, you will develop your technical skills and musical insight as a solo performer. An in-lesson technical test and end of year recital will be used to assess your progress, and you will have access to a variety of masterclasses and workshops.

Theory and Analysis of Popular Music

You will explore the musical building blocks of popular music, developing an understanding of key theoretical principles such as melody, harmony, rhythm, arrangement, and form. This will allow you to investigate a number of key works in detail, giving you an insight into how music works in ways that will also help to develop your creativity as a performer or composer. An in-class test and coursework will be used to assess your progress.

Entry requirements

BBBat A Level .

120 UCAS tariff points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications alongside evidence of prior Music or Music Technology experience (which could be offered either through formal qualifications or a portfolio of creative work). ​

DDM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma.

  • Practical and theory music grades 6-8 will be accepted in the total points.
  • Applicants who would like to take our optional Solo Performance modules (where you will receive one-to-one tuition on your primary instrument/voice) are encouraged to audition as part of the application process. You should have a good standard of technical ability and potential as a performer (roughly equivalent to the standard of grade 7-8 practical music making, where applicable).
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits at Merit or above.
  • 120 UCAS tariff points from International Baccalaureate qualifications.

Entry is also possible for applicants who don’t hold standard UK qualifications.

International and mature applicants who don’t hold standard UK qualifications can provide a portfolio to demonstrate skills relevant to the course. If you would like to take our optional Solo Performance modules then we will also ask you to send us video links of you performing two contrasting pieces. You should have good technical ability and potential as a performer (roughly equivalent to the standard of grade 7-8 practical music making, where applicable).

If you are able to attend an in-person audition then you may find the information here helpful.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent will be considered acceptable. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

Other suitable experience or qualifications will be considered. For further information please see the University's minimum entry requirements.

Placements


Students from our Music and Music Technology courses have previously been on placement at Angel Studios, Yellow Arch, Warner Records, BBC, Elstree Studios, Wigwam Audio Group, Chapel Studios, and the Leadmill and many have had the opportunity to work with them following their placement.

For more information visit our placements page

For my work placement, my title was "Publishing and Sync Assistant" at Anara Publishing - an independent music publisher based in Leicester. My work placement gave me a general understanding of the music publishing industry and how it fits into the wider music industry as a whole.

None

Alex Broadgate, Music BMus(Hons)

The Music Department

To see more information about our Popular Music course including our facilities, bands you can get involved in, our staff and examples of student work, please click the images below.

Your Career


Popular Music graduates can consider careers in performance, teaching, composition, arranging, session recording, arts administration, community music, and music therapy. A selection of companies that have employed Huddersfield music graduates in recent years include Abbey Road Studios, BBC, Royal Northern College of Music, Chethams School of Music, Opera North, ITV, and Calderdale Music Services.**

*Percentage of graduates from this subject who are in work and/or further study fifteen months after graduating (HESA Graduate Outcomes 17/18, UK domiciled graduates).

**Source: LinkedIn

92% Graduates employed*

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Research excellence

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. Our staff are recognised as leading figures in their fields, as evidenced by major commissions, performances, recordings, and publications.

In the 2014 REF, 85% of music research at Huddersfield was judged to be Internationally Excellent, with 44% of the overall submission ranked as ‘World-Leading’. In addition to a strong profile of individual research outputs, Huddersfield’s research environment for music was ranked alongside Edinburgh, Southampton, Royal Holloway and Cambridge. The impact of Huddersfield’s music research received the second highest possible score. This acknowledged the breadth and reach of research at Huddersfield, with case studies encompassing innovations in music technology and audio software, historically-informed performance practice in early music, and intercultural exchange in music composition as a model for social change.

For more information, please refer to our research pages.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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