Popular Music Performance and Songwriting BA (Hons) 2020/21 entry

Course code:

W315

Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2020

 

Fees:

2020/21 fees TBC*
2019/20 fees - £9,250

Find out more

Faculty:

Faculty of Arts and Humanities


Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2222
ukadmissions@coventry.ac.uk

Overview

The first step to becoming a popular musician is to think of yourself as one. Get trained up with our Popular Music Performance and Songwriting BA (Hons) and who knows where you’ll end up!

This is a practice-based, ‘outward-facing’ course that prepares you to be a versatile, flexible, and adaptable operator within the twenty-first-century music industry and is designed to prepare you to be a creative musical artist and skilled popular music professional.  

We are looking to produce critically astute musicians who are confident performers and songwriters, working with today’s technologies to make, reproduce, and disseminate music, and who understand the potential income streams available to them in the profession.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

Employability

Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

What our students say...

This course provides a great environment that promotes collaboration between people that clearly share your passion. It helped me to improve beyond my expectations to become the skilled musician I am today.

Joe Taylor BA Music Performance graduate 2019

Course information

We seek to provide you with the opportunity to develop a solid foundation of knowledge, practical experience and a professional portfolio with which you can launch a career within the global field of popular music, related industries, or postgraduate study.

Throughout the course, you will be encouraged to be a proactive musician performing and composing, in bands and student-led music groups. We see this as a key part of the learning experience for any musician. We also focus on cultivating your professional practice in popular music.

Modules

Overview

In your first year you will be actively engaged in music performance, songwriting and musicianship skills training, supported by contextual reflection. In order to progress your performance skills on your principal instrument/voice you will receive dedicated specialist classes through the Personal Instrumental Learning Plan. You will explore and develop key skills in both the practice and the academic study of music in a range of scenarios that often involve group work and problem-solving in typical practice-based music projects. Modules, such as ‘The Digital Musician’ and ‘The Recording Studio’ help to develop your confidence to work in practical, creative scenarios involving music technology. Popular music theory and musical literacy are an integral aspect of the course, while ‘Music in the Marketplace’ is the first of a strand of modules identifying and facilitating methods important to developing a career in the music industry.

Modules

  • Taking Notes, Making Music

  • The Digital Musician

  • Music in the Marketplace

  • Performance and Song Writing

  • Popular Music: Context and Culture

  • Studio Recording

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

Overview

In the second year of the course there is an emphasis on the application of your music skills. You are introduced to more profession-based scenarios, with more advanced levels of performance and songwriting, underpinned by professional reflection, and the continuation of the Personal Instrumental Learning Plan. You will develop a personal website to reflect your applied level of engagement, a negotiated recording studio project, plus the continuing development of your musicianship skills (including music literacy and popular music theory). Moreover, you have the option of doing either ‘Music and the Moving Image’, or ‘Live Sound’ – the latter is a more advanced study of sound technology in the production of live performance.

Modules

  • Band Performance

  • Writing about Popular Music

  • Studio Project

  • Applied Performance and Song Writing

  • Music and the Moving Image or Live Sound

  • The Online Artist

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

Overview

After your second year, you have an opportunity to take a sandwich year, studying abroad or on professional placement.

Modules

  • Select One

    International Enhancement Year or Professional Enhancement Year

    Subject to availability, application and visa requirements. Further costs incurred as a result of the enhancement year shall be borne by the student.

Overview

In the final year, the aim is to advance your music skills, critical understanding and industry knowledge in order to navigate a career in the music industry, preparing you to operate as an independent artist: a versatile and reflective musician, who can work under pressure and produce a representative body of practical work in performance and songwriting. Instrumental lessons (usually small group) continue through the Personal Instrumental Learning Plan, as do popular music theory/musicianship classes, and performance-based activity.

Modules

  • The Music Industry

  • Popular Music Research Project

  • Working Briefs

  • Music Collaboration

  • Advanced Performance and Song Writing

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

In more detail...

  • A focus on creative-based music skills in performance and songwriting which is underpinned by popular music theory.
  • A vibrant and creative environment, offering you access to professional practices, new research and outstanding graduate support;
  • To engage effectively with a range of technology in the creation, performance and recording of music, including recording studios and live performance.
  • Regular opportunities to showcase students’ performing and songwriting talent in a public context throughout their studies.
  • To develop your own personal website (e.g. Domain of One’s Own) which by the later stages of the course, is intended to be a professional-looking, outward-facing website that demonstrates the breadth of your learning and professional experience.
  • Performance spaces on-site include a large room with two grand pianos, suitable for small recitals, and The Hub’s Square One, a large performance space kitted out with PA, amps, drums and a grand piano.
  • You will have the opportunity to perform in at least one of the following city's live music venues, which previously has included: Studio 54, The Herbert Art Gallery, Kasbah, The Phoenix, The Cross, Drapers, The Cottage, The Tin, The Litten Tree, Ego Arts and Nexus.
  • Extensive specialist facilities: a music seminar room with grand piano, PA, amps, drum kit, 5.1 surround sound and directly linked to a control room for recording; music practice rooms with pianos, drums and PA; three band rooms; a 5.1 studio and live room; instrument storage; an iMac music tech suite plus further state-of-the-art recording studios running Pro Tools, Logic, Live, Max and Sibelius on Apple macs
  • Visiting master classes which have included: Black Sabbath founder Tony Iommi, singer/songwriter Gwyneth Herbert; composers: Nick Ryan, Derek Nesbitt, Kit Turnbull and Juwon Ogungbe; sonic artist Trevor Wishart; guitarist Sam Cave; avant-garde bass clarinettist, Sarah Watts; composer and multi-instrumentalist Frank Moon; jazz keyboardist and music production composer, Andy Quinn.

Performance and songwriting: your creative practice is at the heart of the course. Throughout you will have opportunities to develop, reflect on and apply your performance and songwriting skills in a range of working scenarios.

Musicianship skills and popular music theory: through both individual work and band musicianship you will have the opportunity to develop your core musical and ensemble skills.  Ultimately your depth of understanding in popular music theory and musical literacy may be key drivers in gaining suitable work opportunities in the music industry and, consequently, we see an important study theme is a working understanding of music theory.

Music technology and studio recording: you study and utilise creatively a range of technologies across the course.

Critical skills: reflective practice, scholarship, and research are embedded in modules throughout the three years.

Music industry and the development of the musician as artist: your studies will include looking at aspects of the music industry and its operation. Moreover, you will create your own personal website during your first semester, thus beginning to build your online artist profile, and which you will populate and curate over the duration of the course.

Students successfully completing the first two years of the course can opt to spend a year out between the second and third years on placement or study abroad.

The course involves a high level of practice-based coursework – essential if you are to acquire the practical skills to compete for work on graduation. In addition, your personal tutor will review and discuss your progress with you and will be available for advice.

Within ensemble and performance-based work there is, naturally, a high proportion of group work, again a key element within music practice. Your workloads reflect this balance and assessments are planned to take account of this. 

The course includes opportunities to collaborate with students on other courses, with outside agencies and with local and regional communities. You will be encouraged to present performance work within the wider community, thus gaining valuable experience for the future, a form of work-based learning and a more informed perspective on their own musical practice. In the past, for example, music students have worked with BA Theatre students setting up Fabularium, graduate guitarist Phil Braithwaite touring and performing on TV with Vanessa-Mae, Mencho – Coventry city men’s choir set up by music students, and a sound installation in the Herbert Art Gallery.

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will could vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include, coursework, tests, essays, practical or project work and presentations/posters.

This course is predominantly assessed by coursework.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes. Assessments may include exams, individual assignments or group work elements.

On successful completion of the course, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a professional approach to music making in the areas of performance, songwriting and music production in an international context;
  • Evaluate and utilise established and experimental approaches to music-making within an international context;
  • Demonstrate professional competence in a variety of performance, music-creation, re-creation, and presentation modes and contexts, both conventional and unconventional;
  • Apply analytical, reflective, and critical skills to the evaluation of your own work, and to that of others, in the global music industry;
  • Manage your own professional development and profile in the music industry;
  • Demonstrate that you are an enterprising, creative, innovative, and flexible practitioner able to work with diverse communities within a global context;
  • Communicate effectively in global and local communities across a range of different media, situations, and social groups;
  • Work in a professional manner, both independently and as a member of a team, so as to effectively function in a range of roles and responsibilities;

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 14 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 2 hours of tutorial (or later individual project supervision) every two weeks.
  • Medium group teaching: 8 hours of workshops or practice-based work each week.
  • Large group teaching: 4 hours of seminars and large group work each week.

Music is both international and multicultural. Throughout the course this is recognised and cultivated through the study of a diverse range of musicians, the wide range of popular musical styles and cultures explored, as well as our internationally renowned teaching staff. We have also been fortunate enough to attract a number of guest speakers, including the New York ‘cello innovator’ (Time Out NY) Madeleine Shapiro and Martin Atkins of cult band, Public Image Ltd.

Internationalisation is a central feature of these courses: in recent years, students have studied abroad for a year in Cyprus, Spain, Finland, South Korea and Canada. We also try to organise an annual overseas fieldtrip, such as a recent three-day music cultural trip to Vienna, where students took in concerts and the Mozart and Schoenberg museums. We have previously visited Prague and New York, which included seeing the Broadway show Chicago plus a workshop with some of the cast, as well as going to Carnegie Hall.

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2016/17, we were able to provide a total of 3,482 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days. 

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA 2016/17)


3,482

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2016/17


21,000

and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


12

global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

What our students say...

This course provides a great environment that promotes collaboration between people that clearly share your passion. It helped me to improve beyond my expectations to become the skilled musician I am today.

Joe Taylor BA Music Performance graduate 2019

Entry Requirements

Applicants will be required to attend an interview and audition. The selection process is friendly, informal and designed to help us assess the your suitability for the course, and whether it is the right course for you. You should demonstrate prior engagement in songwriting/music composition and performance and your musical skill level should, typically, be at an equivalent to Grade 6 (or above) ABRSM/RSL/LCM on an instrument or voice. Applicants who do not have Grade 6 will be able to demonstrate musical ability equivalent to Grade 6 (e.g. in songwriting/composition) at interview.

University Course Code: AHU019
A Level BTEC IB Diploma GCSE requirement
BBC DMM 29 points 5 GCSEs at grade A*-C including English.

 

 

*Candidates (e.g., from overseas) unable to attend in-person will be interviewed and auditioned online (e.g. via Skype, FaceTime, WeChat).

The selection process is friendly, informal and designed to help us assess the candidate’s suitability for the course, and whether it is the right course for the candidate. The candidate should demonstrate prior engagement in songwriting/music composition and performance. Candidates will attend* an interview and audition. Candidate’s musical skill level should, typically, be at an equivalent to Grade 6 (or above) ABRSM/RSL/LCM on an instrument or voice. Candidates who do not have Grade 6 will be able to demonstrate musical ability equivalent to Grade 6 (e.g. in songwriting/composition) at interview.

*Candidates (e.g., from overseas) unable to attend in-person will be interviewed and auditioned online (e.g. via Skype, FaceTime, WeChat).

English as a Foreign Language This course requires IELTS 6.0. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

The selection process is friendly, informal and designed to help us assess the candidate’s suitability for the course, and whether it is the right course for the candidate. The candidate should demonstrate prior engagement in songwriting/music composition and performance. Candidates will attend* an interview and audition. Candidate’s musical skill level should, typically, be at an equivalent to Grade 6 (or above) ABRSM/RSL/LCM on an instrument or voice. Candidates who do not have Grade 6 will be able to demonstrate musical ability equivalent to Grade 6 (e.g. in songwriting/composition) at interview.

* Candidates (e.g., from overseas) unable to attend in-person will be interviewed and auditioned online (e.g. via Skype, FaceTime, WeChat).

English as a Foreign Language This course requires IELTS 6.0. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

What our students say...

This course provides a great environment that promotes collaboration between people that clearly share your passion. It helped me to improve beyond my expectations to become the skilled musician I am today.

Joe Taylor BA Music Performance graduate 2019

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

For more information, please visit our Finance pages.

Starts

Fee


September 2020

2020/21 fees TBC*
2019/20 fees - £9,250 (per year)


UK Scholarships

If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship.

Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.

Starts

Fee


September 2020

2020/21 fees TBC*
2019/20 fees - £9,250 (per year)


EU Scholarships

For the September 2019 intake we're investing in a range of EU Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Starts

Fee


September 2020

2020/21 fees TBC*
2019/20 fees - £15,600 (per year)


International Scholarships

For the September 2019 intake we're investing in a wide range of Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising international students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments.

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

What our students say...

This course provides a great environment that promotes collaboration between people that clearly share your passion. It helped me to improve beyond my expectations to become the skilled musician I am today.

Joe Taylor BA Music Performance graduate 2019

Career prospects

There is a strong emphasis within the course on future career paths. This is aimed not only to help you to explore what your chosen career path might be, but also to help build a professional level of business skills and knowledge.

Typical options may include: the portfolio music artist utilising a range of music performance and creative skills both in-person and online; you tube/live-streamer songwriter; performer as session musician and tour artist; teaching; arts management; music examining; musical arranging; incidental music and concert-based music; setting up bands and ensembles; developing careers as songwriters/composers working in such areas as: film and dance, sound-libraries and the games industry; postgraduate study.

Our Creative Futures employment team is on hand to offer tailored career and enterprise support if you wish to gain employment or take advantage of professional practice opportunities within course specific industries. Our dedicated enterprise officers also offer valuable assistance on how to begin as a freelancer/entrepreneur. 

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University's Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

Where our graduates work

Our graduates pursue careers as performers, sound designers and composers. This degree also enables direct progression to suitable courses while others undertake the appropriate qualifications to become teachers in schools and colleges, or they become freelance instrumental or music theory teachers. Graduates also work with community arts organisations or as arts administrators.

Notable successes include a leading professional guitarist and author of a series of advanced guitar handbooks, a recording artist who has released three EPs to date, a YouNow live-streamer and songwriter, an examiner for Rockschool, PhD in composition, and a London-based professional drummer doing a PhD.

What our students say...

This course provides a great environment that promotes collaboration between people that clearly share your passion. It helped me to improve beyond my expectations to become the skilled musician I am today.

Joe Taylor BA Music Performance graduate 2019
Disclaimer

By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. A copy of the 19/20 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the University will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the University.

The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase for UK and EU Students is expected to be in line with inflation. For international students, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.

*2020/2021 course fees have not yet been determined by the University or government legislation. Once the course fees have been determined, the course web page will be updated to reflect your first year course fee. Please continue to revisit the course web page to identify the fee before you accept an offer of a place on the course and/or before you enrol at the University.

Coventry University ranked 15 in the UK
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year for student experience
QS Five Star Rating 2019
Coventry City of Culture 2021