BA (Hons) Music (Popular)

Undergraduate, Full-time

Music (Popular) BA (Hons)



Our graduates are working at the highest levels of the music industries in Scotland and beyond

Overview

Explore performance, composition, music production and engineering, in a breadth of musical styles.

Our Popular Music programme is designed for applicants with an interest and experience in composition and performance who wish to develop a breadth of skills that will allow them to pursue a portfolio career in the Music Industries. Career destinations include: performance, composition, production and engineering, teaching, management and promotions, music therapy, and community music projects.

You’ll achieve a high level of musical competence and fluency with an option to specialise in composition, guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, voice, and production. You’ll also extend your critical, entrepreneurial, and creative abilities throughout this wide-ranging degree.

Students playing guitars

Mode of Study:

Full-time

Duration:

4 years

Start date:

Sep

UCAS code:

W341

Placement:

Yes

Study Abroad:

Yes


About you
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Course details

This is a full-time course studied over four years. The course is supported by state-of-the-art facilities, with three high-quality recording studios and a fully networked MIDI lab, running Logic, ProTools, Sibelius and a range of other industry-relevant software. We have two Avid Certified Instructors and ProTools experts on the staff. Our well-equipped practice rooms (with 24/7 access), teaching rooms and recital areas ensure that all your needs are met on campus.  

We’re also one of the few music departments in the UK to offer an undergraduate module in Music Therapy.

If you have studied an HND Music, Music Business, Sound Production or equivalent, you may be eligible for direct entry. Note that you can only choose option modules in Years 3 and 4 that relate to, and follow on from, your HND qualification.
  • calendar How you’ll be taught

    Your learning experience will be supported by lectures, tutorials, one-to-one and group lessons.

  • note and pen Assessments

    50% coursework/50% practical exams in Years 1-3, with assessment based on chosen area of study and independent strengths in Year 4.

  • briefcase Work placement

    Optional supervised work placement or overseas study module. Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study. Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

    We are eager to support short-term work placements and promote various internal opportunities throughout the course.

    Our students studying Instrumental and Voice Teaching have the opportunity to shadow music tutors at local schools, while our relationship with the Eric Liddell Centre provides those studying Music Therapy with a unique opportunity to gain practical experience working with people with dementia.

  • study abroad Study abroad

    You’ll have the opportunity to spend one trimester or a full year abroad in Years 2 or 3.

    Taking the opportunity to study abroad provides a unique opportunity to develop your studies in music while embarking on a rich cultural exchange.

Popular modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules: 
  • Performance: Integrated Musicianship 
  • Composition: Originating Popular Music 
  • Music Technologies: Making Music with Technology 
  • Contextual Studies: Sampling Musical Worlds
  • Western Art Music 1
Options include: 
  • Western Art Music 2
  • Recording Studio Theory and Practice 1

Year 2

Compulsory modules: 
  • Performance 
  • Composition 
  • Music Technologies
  • Contextual Studies 
  • Music Industries
Options include
  • Jazz 1 - America
  • Recording Studio Theory and Practice 2

Year 3

  • Music Industries and Entrepreneurship
  • Music in a Globalized World
  • Performance/Composition
  • Recording Studio Theory & Practice
  • Music Software Applications
  • Instrumental/Vocal Teaching
  • Introduction to Music Therapy

Year 4

  • Major Music Project
  • Production & Professional Practice
  • Performance
  • Instrumental/Vocal Teaching 2
  • Music Psychology
  • Music Research Project

Disclaimer

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Please tell us your principal/main instrument at the beginning of your personal statement. If you meet the minimum academic requirements, your application will be considered by the Department and you may be invited to an audition/interview.

All applicants are required, as part of the audition, to demonstrate practical music skills which equate to Trinity Rock/Rock School Grade 7.

These requirements apply to all years of entry.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

Minimum year 1

SQA Higher

ABCC including Music at Grade A and English or other literary subject* at Grade B

Applicants must also pass ABRSM or London College of Music Grade 5 Theory test

Adjusted Offer Entry Requirement

You may be given an adjusted offer of entry if you meet specific widening participation criteria as outlined in our contextual admissions policy. For further information see our entry requirements and admissions policies.

A Level

BCC including Music at Grade B and English or other literary subject* at Grade C

Applicants must also pass ABRSM or London College of Music Grade 5 Theory test

Irish Leaving Certificate

Pre-2017 Grading System:

A1, B3, B3, C2 at HL including Music at A1 and English or other literary subject* at B3

New Grading System:

H1, H3, H3, H4 at HL including Music at H1 and English or other literary subject* at H3

Applicants must also pass ABRSM or London College of Music Grade 5 Theory test.

BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma Level 3

Minimum grades MMM (Merit, Merit, Merit) in a related subject

Applicants must also pass ABRSM or London College of Music Grade 5 Theory test

BTEC (QCF) Diploma

Minimum grades D*D (Distinction*, Distinction) in a related subject

Applicants must also pass ABRSM or London College of Music Grade 5 Theory test

International Baccalaureate Diploma

Award of Diploma with 27 points overall with three HL subjects at grades 6,5,4 including Music and English or other literary subject* at Grade 5 or above. In exceptional circumstances, where the applicant's school does not offer Music as an element of IB, applicants who are able to demonstrate practical music skill equivalent to Trinity Rock/Rock School Grade VII or above on the Principal Study instrument may be considered. In such cases, academic referees should clearly state that HL Music is not offered as part of the curriculum.

Applicants must also pass ABRSM or London College of Music Grade 5 Theory test

Literary subjects accepted

*Modern Studies, History, Psychology, Sociology, RMPS, Theology, Media Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Sociology, Geography, Latin and Classics.

Minimum year 2

HNC

Pass HNC in Music Performance with Grade A in the graded unit

Applicants must also pass ABRSM or London College of Music Grade 5 Theory test

Minimum year 3

HND

Pass HND in Music Performance with Grade A at SCQF Level 8 in all graded units

Applicants must also pass ABRSM or London College of Music Grade 5 Theory test

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2018/19 2019/20
Scotland/EU £1,820 £1,820
England Wales and Northern Ireland (RUK) £9,000 £9,250
Overseas £14,350 tba
RUK Students starting in 2018/19 will be invoiced the 2018/19 fee for 3 years of their 4 years of study. Students starting in 2019/20 will be invoiced the 2019/20 fee for 3 years of their 4 years of study.


Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

Careers

Music showcase for Creative Industries Employability Week

Career opportunities

Recent graduates have been employed in a wide variety of fields of work including:

  • Arts Management
  • Performance
  • Composition
  • Songwriter
  • Artist Manager
  • Producer
  • Postgraduate study
  • Musicologist
  • Music Teacher
  • Music Therapist
  • Session Musician
  • Audio Engineer
  • Arts Administrator
  • Foley Artist
  • A&R Coodinator
  • Music Distribution Manager
  • Tour Manager
  • Plugger

Man using the recording facilities at Merchiston Campus