Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 Years, Part-time: 6 Years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

112* (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



Joint Honours

Start date



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

What is Joint Honours?

A Joint Honours degree gives you the opportunity to study two subjects as one degree. This type of degree will broaden your skill set and enhance your career prospects.

You can combine any two subjects as long as they’re in different zones, find out what you can combine this subject with.

Course description

A Joint Honours degree gives you the opportunity to study two subjects as one degree. This type of degree will broaden your skill set and enhance your career prospects. You can combine any two subjects as long as they’re in different zones, find out what you can combine this subject with. 

Through our Joint Honours Scheme you can combine two subjects to tailor your degree to your interests, areas of skill and career aspirations. Popular Music Performance is part of the Department of Media and Performing Arts, so you'll be studying with other students who are also interested in media technologies and popular music. Our staff are, or have been, involved in professional work and are all actively engaged in applied research in these areas. The facilities at our Markeaton Street site include specialist labs, recording studios, music production labs, sound and lighting facilities, and a surround-sound research studio. And you'll be using our high spec computing resources too.

Watch the below video of our latest facilities...

John Crossley, Senior Music and Production lecturer, talks about the Music Recording Studios at Markeaton Street

What you will study

You can study Popular Music Performance as either a joint, major or minor subject. This will determine how many modules you’ll study at each stage. Please check your other subject to ensure it is possible to create your chosen combination.


You will study modules such as:

At this stage you will focus upon the transition into creative Higher Education, engendering a culture of risk-taking, experimentation and process-based learning across both practice-based and theoretical modules. Level 4 modules will introduce the subject, its ethos, methodology and the strands of expertise that you will need to develop for future study. All modules at this Level are graded as either pass or fail.

  • Performance Redefined (prescribed 40 credit module)
  • Introduction to the Art and Science of Recording (optional 20 credit module)
  • Music: Institutions, Industries and Audiences (optional 20 credit module)

At this stage you will continue to develop experimentation and process-based learning into a more assured professional approach to your study. Level 5 modules will enable you to identify your strengths, career aspirations and self-confidence, including a period of professional work experience. Through these experiences, you will develop a distinctive personal voice aligned to your career aspirations and your consideration and understanding of audience and market.

  • Performance Interpretation (prescribed 40 credit module)
  • Introduction to Studio Production Techniques (optional 20 credit module)
  • Industry: Research and Practice (optional 20 credit module)

Stage 3 further develops the your personal voice into a distinctive independent practice which enables you to pursue your ambitions in a changing world. Level 6 modules will provide you with the opportunity to extend, resolve and apply your accumulated knowledge and creative ideas into form, proposition and exhibition. You will be required to engage with independent projects and practical tasks and to transfer and apply your analytical skills to exercise personal judgement and manage your own scholarship. Emphasis will be placed on planning for the next phase of your career trajectory through self-promotion and more advanced and developed critical analysis.

  • Music Festival (prescribed 40 credit module)
  • Music Portfolio (option 20 credit module)
  • Research Project (optional 40 credit module)


There are two ways to combine the subjects in your degree:

Joint - study two subjects equally (each year, study for sixty credits from each subject)

Major-Minor – specialise in one Major subject studying for eighty credits with the remaining 40 credits from your second Minor subject.

The award of BA or BSc depends upon the combination of subjects taken. Popular Music Performance is classified as an Arts subject, so if taken with other Arts subjects the award will be a BA. If taken as a Minor along with Science subjects however, then the award will be a BSc. In cases of equal Science and Arts weighting, it is possible to choose the award type. Further detailed information about the Joint Honours Scheme, selection of modules and other considerations is available in the Joint Honours Scheme Handbook, referenced above. The Joint Honours Popular Music Performance Pathway is predominantly a subset of the single honours BA (Hons) Popular Music modules so you will be a part of a larger community of practising musicians.

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.

University of Derby student drinking coffee

How you will learn

Learning and assessment 

A variety of assessment methods will be used. Some Popular Music Performance Joint Honours 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 e.g. lab reports or short in-class tests.

There will be a major project at the end of the final year and a focus on developing your professional practice in either performance or 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.


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, including Derby Theatre which the University owns and runs as a professional producing theatre.

Male 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.

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112* (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

Must have music experience, normally at Grade 6 or above, including music theory at Grade 5 or above and must be able to read music notation, or provide a portfolio

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

For joint honours degree entry you will need to choose two subjects. The entry criteria here is for this subject only. Your offer will be based on the higher entry criteria from the two subjects you choose to do. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

*The UCAS Points required for entry will depend on the subjects you choose to combine. The subject with the higher entry requirements will determine your offer.

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

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year*

£1,155 per module*


£14,045 per year


* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

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

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


When you graduate you'll be well prepared to work as a performer or producer in the industry. And you'll have the ability and confidence to deal with professional bodies, such as the Performing Rights Society (PRS), British Academy of Composers and Songwriters, British Phonographic Industry (BPI), and the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS). 

You could go on to work as a music producer, musician or performer, recording engineer, or music teacher if you do a PGCE after your degree. Or you could choose to work in areas such as sound design or sound for games.

Employable graduates - We’re ranked 15th highest among all UK universities and 12th for English institutions, with 96% of graduates in work or further study within six months of completing their degree.

Notable Graduates:

Programme leader

Michael Brown

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.

Contact us Contact us

Additional information about your studies

You will typically study your two subjects equally at stage one, before choosing whether you want to major in one subject at stages two and three.

Download programme specification

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.

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.

You might also like