Our forward-thinking Popular Music degree prepares musicians to build sustainable and diverse careers in the creative industries. You’ll develop creative music-making skills including production, songwriting, performance, composition for screen media, studio techniques, marketing, business enterprise and more.
If you like playing live, you’ll have opportunities to perform at festivals like Wychwood, Cheltenham Jazz and 2000trees, or at our annual European Capital City Showcase in cities such as Barcelona, Amsterdam and Berlin. You’ll also work on industry projects, for example with the BBC Introducing team, and enhance your CV through client briefs and placements with the likes of Universal Music, Sony ATV and independent Grime label, No Hats No Hoods.
Our award-winning tutors are all industry active, as songwriters, producers, performers and researchers. They curate independent labels and festivals, and run community and digital music projects. Their extensive connections ensure you get the latest industry insights and hear regularly from guests from organisations like International Talent Booking, Warner Chappell and Keychange.
You’ll have 24-hour access to our music studios, production labs and rehearsal spaces, and will make music videos in our film, TV and VFX studios. Working closely with other media students, you’ll create music for film, animation and games, and develop live events and business solutions with students from across the university.
In lectures and workshops, you’ll hear from professional content creators and taste-makers who tour, record, design and produce music and media projects. You’ll be assessed 100% by coursework.
In Year 1 you’ll explore composition, performance and creative music production. With a market-focused approach you’ll write and record songs, develop audio-visual content and play gigs as part of a vibrant community of musicians. You’ll also examine music’s place in cultural, economic and political contexts.
In Year 2 performance continues with regular live events on and off campus. You’ll explore the potential of web and broadcast technologies as a live performance platform, as well as music for moving image. You’ll also develop expertise in business relevant to your musical area. This includes licensing and royalties, label management, live event management, marketing and global music opportunities. You’ll be able to choose from a range of optional modules to match your interests and career goals.
In your final year you’ll demonstrate your creative, commercial and academic expertise, creating a product and live performance in your final year – as well as undertaking a placement and dissertation.