Music Performance BMus(Hons)

2020-21 (also available for 2019-20)

Start date

21 September 2020

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

Entry requirements

A Level - BBB

BTEC - DDM

See full entry requirements

UCAS Code

W3W3

Places available (subject to change)

30

Phone contact: +44 (0)1484 472007

About the course

If you are a classical, jazz, or popular musician who wants to focus particularly on Performance – as a soloist or in one of our many bands and ensembles – then this course is for you. It is designed for expert performers with a passion for performing and improvising across a variety of styles and contexts.

Alongside performance, you’ll have opportunities to study composition and musicology. In your musicology modules you’ll be able to explore how music and performance have developed through history. You could choose to specialise in subjects like early music, popular music, experimental music, film music, world music, or opera and musical theatre.

  • QS World University Subject Rankings 2019 ranked the University of Huddersfield 25th in the world for 'Performing Arts'.
  • You’ll be taught by leading academics, a number of whom are also professional performers with active international careers as soloists and ensemble members.
  • You’ll have up to 20 hours of individual tuition per year on your main study, provided by our team of expert instrumental and vocal tutors.
  • You can opt to spend a year abroad studying performance or choose to take a year-long placement with an employer.
  • 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 and two purpose-built on-campus concert halls.
  • We have been awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for ‘world-leading work to promote, produce and present contemporary music to an international audience'. This is one of the most coveted distinctions in UK Higher Education.

Masterclasses and workshops are a regular feature of the course, given by distinguished visiting performers such as Emma Kirkby (soprano), euphonium player David Childs, pianist Martin Roscoe, Wissam Boustany (flute), drummers Mike Heaton (Embrace) and Craig Blundell (Roland), bassist Jah Wobble (PiL), guitarist Alex Hutchins (Michael Jackson), saxophonist Snake Davies (Take That) and trumpet player John Thirkell (Bruno Mars, Kylie Minogue, Stevie Wonder).

Staff and students alike give frequent concerts, forming new ensembles, and exploring new and unfamiliar repertoire. We have numerous links with a range of ensembles, organisations and venues, including Opera North, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Arts Council, Yellow Arch Studios, and the Leadmill.

The BMus Music Performance course is designed for outstanding performers who want to concentrate on developing as a solo and ensemble musician across popular or classical music genres. You can work in ensembles and bands throughout your course as well as receiving one-to-one tuition on your voice or instrument from our expert tutors. With the support of our amazing performance and production facilities and staff, you will develop as a creative, practical and versatile musician through modules such as conducting, song writing, improvisation and orchestration. Whether your ambition is to be a session musician, a brass band director, an opera singer or touring guitarist BMus Music Performance will help you build the foundations of your musical journey.

Emily Worthington

Emily Worthington, Lecturer in Music

Course detail

Core modules:

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.

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.

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.

Plus choose one from a list which may include:

Introduction to Analysis

Equipping you with a range of techniques and methods for analysing music, this module will give you the skills to analyse both classical and popular repertoire. Printed scores and recordings will be studied, giving you opportunities to develop the complementary skills of score-based analysis and critical listening. The module is assessed by coursework.

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.

Option modules:

Choose one from a list which may include:

Technology for Music

This module takes a hands-on approach to various aspects of music technology, giving you the skills to feel confident working in today's industry. You will learn how to use music notation and Desktop Audio Workstation (DAW) applications like Logic Pro, alongside location and concert hall recording techniques. An in-class recording test and composition coursework will be used to assess your progress.

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.

Plus choose one from a list which may include:

Composition 1

This module introduces you to the fundamentals of musical composition by exploring various aspects of melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre and texture. You will work on a series of preliminary exercises in seminars and group tutorials, before building on your skills through the creation of a portfolio of short pieces for piano, voice, and strings. Professional visiting artists and ensembles provide additional demonstrations, performances, and workshops. Assessment is though your individual portfolio of coursework.

Stylistic Composition

Examining a range of compositional approches from the Baroque through to contemporary music, you will develop a heightened understanding of how various idiomatic musical styles work in terms of instrumentation, form, structure, and compositional materials. You will investigate how these idioms have been adapted by current film and videogame composers, and apply your findings to your own original music. Assessment is through a folio of short compositions in term one, followed by an extended composition with commentary in term two.

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.

Entry requirements

BBBat A Level including a minimum grade B in Music or Music Technology

120 UCAS tariff points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications including a minimum grade B at A Level or Distinction in BTEC in Music or Music Technology

DDM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

  • Practical and theory music grades are accepted in the total points (see UCAS tariff).
  • Admission to this course is strictly by audition.
  • Applicants must have reached at least Grade 8 standard of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), Rockschool or equivalent at entry.
  • Pass Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits at Merit or above, to include modules in Music or Music Technology
  • 120 UCAS tariff points from International Baccalaureate qualifications including Higher Level Music or Higher Level Music Technology at grade 6.

For international students:

We understand international and mature students may not have traditional Music or Music Technology qualifications, and are happy to accept a portfolio from you to demonstrate skills relevant to the course. For applicants to our specialist Music Performance degree, you will need to audition by sending us links to videos of you performing two contrasting pieces. You should be equivalent to at least grade 8 ABRSM standard for the Music Performance course. We will also ask you to demonstrate your understanding of music theory to around grade 5 ABRSM (this could come from a graded exam, harmony exercises, or notated compositions in any style).

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

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

-->

Placements


In addition to the short term (8 week) work placement in your final year Work and Professional Practice module, this course offers you the opportunity to take an optional one-year (48 week) work placement after your second year, in the UK or abroad. Previous placement providers have included BBC Music Magazine, Kirklees Music School, AVID, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Buxton Opera House and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

During my final year, I was on placement with Cumbria Music Service, which gave me a valuable insight into the day to day life of a Peripatetic Music Teacher. I feel I could use the experience gained during this placement to good effect in the future.

music student

Daniel McLaughlin, Music BMus(Hons)

Teaching excellence

  1. Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
  2. We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
  3. Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. We’ve been the English university with the highest proportion of professionally-qualified teaching staff for the past four years*.
  4. For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
  5. We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff** have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.

*HESA - First awarded in 2016, maintained in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

**Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.

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 tied for 7th in the sector, alongside Edinburgh, Southampton, Royal Holloway and Cambridge. The impact of Huddersfield’s music research was judged to be 5th among the 84 submissions in music, drama, dance and performing arts, receiving the second highest possible score. The ranking for impact acknowledges the breadth and reach of research at Huddersfield, with impact 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.

The Music Department

For more information regarding the Music department at the University of Huddersfield, please click the images below

Your Career


Studying Music Performance at Huddersfield provides numerous opportunities for you to develop the professional skills and connections that will help you succeed in the field as a graduate. Every aspect of our courses - performance, composition, musicology, education, and arts administration - includes significant opportunities to work alongside leading music professionals in workshops, masterclasses, rehearsals and in a working environment.

A selection of companies that have employed Huddersfield graduates in recent years include Warminster School, Elmhurst Ballet School and Nottingham Music School. Many graduates go on to work freelance and establish a portfolio career while many go on to postgraduate study.**

*Percentage of graduates from this subject area at Huddersfield who go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17)

89% 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.

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, 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.

You may also be interested in...

Music BMus(Hons)

Music BMus(Hons) includes composition, performance and musicology, plus chances to collaborate, research, and perform in orchestras, choirs and bands.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time

Undergraduate


Popular Music BMus(Hons)

Songwriting, composition, production, performing as a soloist or part of a group, we give you the chance to build skills for a career in popular music.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time

Undergraduate


Sonic Arts and Composition BMus(Hons)

Instrumental and studio-based composition, sound production, orchestration, recording – we look at all aspects of sonic arts and composition.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time

Undergraduate


Creative Music Production BA(Hons)

Enhance your artistic potential with production and recording techniques – giving you the creative skills to compose, perform and innovate in the studio.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time

Undergraduate


Music and Sound for Image BA(Hons)

Film, TV, computer games – we’ll help you learn how to apply sound to the moving image, looking at composition, orchestration, recording and performance.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time

Undergraduate