Popular Music Performance BA (Hons)

Arts, Media and Publishing

Arts, Media and Publishing
Arts, Media and Publishing
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What will you be working towards?

Alternative Title Popular Music Performance BA (Hons)
Code W315
Qualification Type Undergraduate Qualification
Qualification Level Level 6
Course type Full Time


BA (Hons) Popular Music Performance programme aims to develop students into successful contributing members of the local, national and international popular music industry. Our students will have access to our industry-standard rehearsal and live performance spaces, including our Corner Lounge informal acoustic performance space in our new University Centre building and 250 seat live music theatre in the School of Art.

Further information on this and the BA (Hons) Music Production is available on the website - https://grimsby.ac.uk/higher-education-courses/?fwp_search_he_course=Music

Applications are via UCAS - https://digital.ucas.com/coursedisplay/courses/12e50dbb-8e16-4934-86b7-931f9d7c73a0?academicYearId=2021

Our four rehearsal studios include the very latest in backline equipment and professional PA sound reinforcement. For guitarists and bassists we have Marshall, Orange, Peavey and Blackstar amplification to cater for many styles, and our drummers can enjoy our top-of-the-range TAMA and Sonor drum kits. Keyboard players have the opportunity to use our Kurweil, Roland and Yamaha electric pianos and our Bechstein grand piano. Industry standard sound reinforcement is available in every rehearsal room for acoustic guitarists and singers, including Shure microphones, Yamaha powered mixers and Peavey loud speakers. For those interested in learning about live sound, our DB fully active live rig and Allen and Heath desks are available for live use.

Our specialist technician team, consisting of Pro Tools and Live Sound experts, will be on hand to guide you through the rehearsal process, not to mention our highly qualified academic team that consists of active musicians who continually produce work, write and record. Our academic team are on hand to help you every step of the way with one-to-one tutorials and a sensible and relaxed attitude to rehearsal studio time and lecturer access.

For those wishing to develop additional recording skills, students can have the opportunity to study professionally recognised production qualifications including the Avid Pro Tools 101 course with our in-house Avid Instructor.

All students will be expected to become active musicians, contributing to the music scene from the very start of the course by taking part in real-world experience by managing and performing at our White Box live sessions.


The programme has been carefully constructed to provide students with a clear pathway from skills acquisition, through to application and development, finishing with a 'springboard to industry' in the final year.

Year One focuses on the development of key skills required of a modern musician including:

Performance 1 - explore performance as part of your specialism, performing at various events and venues as part of a band.

Sound Production – developing skills using our recording studio to record clients and own material.

Electronic Music Composition and Song Writing – using our Logic Pro X lab to write songs and programme original material

Live Sound – delve into the field of mixing live with our 2000 watt fully-active DB live rig and Allen and Heath mixing desk. Perfect for performing musicians!

Music Theory and Listening Skills – develop an understanding of the building blocks of music with our theory module that starts from the very beginning.

Popular Music Studies – a detailed look into the creative influences of the past.

Year Two applies knowledge gained in Year One by developing and applying skills in:

Performance Portfolio – developing professional-quality skills in performance culminating in a large-scale live performance at in-house and local venues. Manage and perform at our weekly White Box acoustic sessions to hone those all important stage skills.

Composition for TV and Film – using our Logic Pro X software and lab to compose underscores for film and TV.

Radio Production – a look into creating music and production work for series, news, weather and interviews for radio.

Music Theory and Composition Studies and Popular Music Studies – further look into our past and how we can compose for the future.

Honours Stage allows learners to tailor their study programme to fit their career path/specialism. Focus will be on:

Final Major Project – our negotiated project, focusing on top-class performance or recording techniques.

Creative Collaboration – working with practitioners from another art form to create stimulating and challenging work.

Dissertation – chance to research in depth in a topic of your choice.

Music Business and Digital Promotion – to prepare students for a life of a producer/engineer.

How will it be delivered?

The course involves a mixture of lectures/seminars on rehearsal and recording studio techniques followed by workshop and rehearsal time in our industry-standard Pro Tools HD studios.   It will allow you to contribute to the local and national music scene by performing, song writing, recording, selling and promoting new and innovative music.

We believe that demonstrating practical skills is the best way to develop an understanding of live music and performance work. Therefore, our programme is weighted in favour of developing and evidencing practical work (performance and composition etc.), supplemented by written elements including research into previous practitioners and evaluative comments on practical progress. During all modules, students are encouraged to showcase work-in-progress to ensure that everyone is on the path to success.

Entry requirements

80 UCAS points (UCAS 2017 tariff). This equates to MMP or above at BTEC National Diploma, CCD at A-Level, or Merit on the Diploma Foundation Studies (Art, Design and Media). Students are also required to hold English & Maths GCSE (or equivalent) grade C or above.

We understand that many active musicians and producers have a wealth of industry experience with no traditional entry qualifications. Therefore, to reflect this, applicants with no traditional entry qualifications are welcome and will be considered on an individual basis. Applicants may be asked to complete a short written essay on a musical influence and attend an informal interview to showcase production and/or performance skills.

Your next steps...

Postgraduate study, teacher training, employment as a performing musician, working in the recording and production industry, multimedia, radio and television, music promotion and management.