Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 Years, Part-time: 5 Years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2021/22)

International/EU fee

£14,045 per year (2021/22)

UCAS points

112 (September 2021 entry)

UCAS code

W340

Course level

Undergraduate

Qualification

BA (Hons)

Start date

September

Location

Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

This course is designed for practising musicians who want to understand the technical environment within which commercial music takes place. 

The BA (Hons) Popular Music programme is one of the few courses of its type in the country and is designed to equip you with the ability to interact and innovate within a vibrant environment, nurturing a specialism in popular music and related industries. The area of popular music is a dynamic, well established creative aspect of the music industry involving sophisticated craft, technical, analytical and scholarly approaches. 

You will develop a wide range of disciplines through performance, composition, technology, media production and musicology. You will also develop an in-depth appreciation of the increasing significance of popular music in economic and professional terms. 

Here's what you can expect from this course: 

Take a look at the professional Music facilities at Markeaton Street:

John Crossley, Head of Discipline for Music and Theatre and Dance at the University of Derby talks about the industry-standard Music facilities at our Markeaton Street site.

View Professional Music facilities at Markeaton Street video transcript

The music technology part of the course covers the technology of the recording studio, video production, along with the application of music software on digital audio workstations and the production/post-production of music for a variety of commercial applications.‌

This course is accredited by JAMES (Joint Audio Media Education Support) so that you can be confident that the course meets the high standards demanded by industry.

If you don't have the appropriate qualifications to start this course, you can study the Arts Year Zero first. You could also enhance your skills further, by going on to study our MA Music Production

A student working in the music studios

Music studios

The music studios at our Markeaton Street site include sound technology labs, surround-sound testing rooms and electronic labs.

Take a look at the studiosTake a look at the studios

Facilities

All Art and Design, Film, Photography and Music courses are based at our Markeaton Street site where industry-standard, purpose built studios and labs provide a modern and creative space for our students. Markeaton Street encompasses Chandos Pole Street which is home to our Fashion and Textiles courses and Britannia Mill is home to Fine Art, Illustration and Interior Design studio spaces. Our Theatre students learn from professionals at the professional producing and learning Derby Theatre in the heart of Derby city centre. 

Markeaton Street is a 15 minute walk from Kedleston Road, and is serviced by regular free site shuttle buses.

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What you will study

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

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Live Subject Chats

Join us on Saturday 6 February for a day of Live Subject Chats. You’ll be able to ask our teaching team questions about the courses we offer, speak to Admissions advisors about applying and chat to current students about their experience.

Book your live subject chatBook your live subject chat

How you will learn

The timetable contains around 12 hours of contact with staff a week, with the remainder of the academic week engaged in directed study. All modules are supported through UDo, the University of Derby Online, so you have access to essential support materials at any time of the day or night.

Facilities 

You’ll discover a superb range of music making facilities at our Markeaton Street site, including state-of-the-art recording studios, rehearsal space, music technology labs and three post-production rooms equipped with latest software.  

The University has invested almost £350,000 in these facilities, ensuring you have access to resources which match those of professional studios in the UK and overseas. We offer a wide range of instruments, amplifiers and outboard gear on which you can develop your skills, together with a classic 48-channel Neve recording console. Take a look at our  virtual tour of the studios.

We are one of the leading universities conducting research into surround-sound technologies and all of our control rooms accommodate 5.1 speaker arrays. We also have a surround-sound research lab which has a 40-speaker ambisonics surround speaker array allowing height and depth parameters.

While these studio facilities will provide an excellent setting for your taught sessions, they are also available for you to book at other times to fine-tune your personal music projects. You will also be encouraged to hone your performance skills at venues across the city.

Learning and assessment

A variety of assessment methods will be used. Some Popular Music modules are assessed through coursework only, others by a combination of coursework, portfolios, assignments, case studies, oral and graphic presentations, collaborative and interdisciplinary team work projects, computer testing and examinations, so providing a flexible and effective means of assessing your progress. Assessments are designed to enable you to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes for your module. An assessment component may sometimes take the form of a number of small submissions eg lab reports or short in-class tests.

The two major music projects during your final year will focus on developing your professional practice in both performance and composition. The aim is to maximise your potential for securing employment in the creative industries.

As part of the course, you will have the opportunity to access exchange opportunities in Europe through the Erasmus Plus programme – where you’ll be exposed to a rich variety of musical approaches and techniques.

You will be taught by very experienced lecturers, many with international research portfolios and current professional experience.

Black and white photo of student playing guitar

Degree Show

Every year students from the School of Arts celebrate their time at University by showcasing their work at an end of year Degree Show at Markeaton Street and across the City of Derby. The Show usually runs throughout June and is a fantastic opportunity for potential employers, friends, family, industry and members of the public to see exciting creations by the next generation of artists, designers, creators and makers from Derby. The Show takes the form of:

Take a look at highlights from the 2019 Degree Show.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Programme leader

Phil Baggaley

Entry requirements

September 2021 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / Audition

N/A

PortfolioYes - see portfolio details

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Offers will be made initially based on your application, including predicted grades and/or grades you have already achieved. Following this, if you submit a strong portfolio we will make you an unconditional offer, to reflect the quality of your work and your potential.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)

 Full-timePart-time
UK

£9,250 per year

£1,155 per 20 credit module

International/EU

£14,045 per year

N/A

Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

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Supporting your UCAS application

We know there have been changes and there is some uncertainty, however we are here to help and support you every step of the way with your university application.

Take a look at how we can help youTake a look at how we can help you

How to apply

Apply by 29 January to start September 2021

Need help applying? Find out how we can help you with your UCAS application

UK students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Careers

Our graduates are equipped for employment within the modern commercial music sector as performers, composers, producers, educators, promoters, publishers, academics, recording studio engineers and entrepreneurial freelance musicians. They also work in a range of media organisations.  

Others have gone on to further study, at MA, MSc or PhD level, or successfully completing PGCE for school of college level teaching, some gaining QTS teaching qualifications for primary or secondary education. This enables them to become teachers, entering the primary and secondary education sector, lecturing for colleges of further education and freelance instrumental teaching. 

Notable graduates

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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