Senior Lecturer in Popular Music
Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology
Music Production (Top-Up) BA (Hons)
BA (Top-Up): W376
Full Time: 1 year
Part Time: 2 years
Fees UK 23/24:
Full Time: £9,250
Part Time: £1,540 (per 20 credits)
Fees International 23/24:
Full Time: £15,500
Waterside Campus, Development Hub
Get in touch
For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:
UK/EU Students enquiries
International Students enquiries
Next available entry for this course is from September 2023. Apply now via UCAS.
Our Music Production Top-Up programme is intended to prepare you for a growing, and ever-evolving industry which contributed £4.5 billion to the economy in 2018. The course is specifically designed to ready you for a range of potential avenues of music creation, for example working in the video game industry or in the world of live music, or working as an educator. We aim to provide you with the broad range of transferrable skills required to be a self-producing Artist. You will develop a breadth of skills within the digital domain, the studio environment, and – perhaps most importantly – academically.
- Accredited by Joint Audio Media Education Support (JAMES)
- Opportunities to work in real-world situations across Northampton
- Extra-curricular masterclasses in music production
- Interaction with partner degree in Popular Music
- Industry expertise from published and researching music team
- Contemporary specialisms in many areas of EDM
- Cutting-edge software: Native Instruments, Ableton, Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, SoundToys, Mac OS X
- Field Trips to events such as BBC Music Introducing Live, and visits to professional recording studios.
- Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.
While studying for your Music Production Top-Up degree at the University of Northampton, you’ll build on the fundamental principles you have acquired in your previous practice/ study so far (in areas including sequencing in the DAW, audio and MIDI, acoustics and psychoacoustics, studio engineering, hardware implementation, synthesis, critical listening skills, and reasoning, writing and debating).
You will have the opportunity to specialise within the music production domain; choosing from a range of areas, including music production, composition, live sound and sound for media and gaming industry, sound design, and music education.
Our modules are informed by staff actively researching, composing, performing and publishing in their specialist areas within the music industry. These modules introduce you to music principles and techniques which will help you develop the necessary analytical and creative skills, to aid you when evaluating and implementing real-life practice.
Culture of Music
Music’s role in culture is critically and philosophically examined throughout this course. Using musical examples, you will learn to engage with esoteric and difficult concepts around inter alia genre, gender, race, politics, capitalism, culture, power, evolution, and science.
Please note the modules shown here relate to the academic year 22/23. The modules relating to the academic year 23/24 will be available from June 2023.
Music and Sound Design for Media (20 Credits)
Module code: MUS3127Status: DesignateThis module is designed to develop skills in audio production and sound design. Through lectures, seminars and workshops, students will gain an understanding of the context of sound design in media applications including location based media, film and computer games.
Music Education (20 Credits)
Module code: MUS3130Status: DesignateThe Music Education module has been designed to bridge between undergraduate study and post-compulsory teaching qualifications. Much of the content is drawn from PGCE level accompanied by a placement. This module prepares students for teaching by providing information about a wide range of teaching and learning methodologies, theories and practice.
Innovation in Music Production (20 Credits)
Module code: MUS3140Status: CompulsoryInnovation in Music Production enables higher education music production practitioners to develop new ways of thinking about, creating and producing through an object-based programming approach.
Sound Design and Music in the Games and Apps Industry (20 Credits)
Module code: MUS3141Status: DesignateThe purpose of this module is to deliver a series of projects typical of those presented to sound designers and media composers in industry. Students will develop material for a wide range of text-based mediums, for example: podcasts, radio programmes, games, software applications and the moving image.
Module code: MUS3142Status: Compulsory
Advanced Recording and Production: Client Demos (10 Credits)
Module code: MUS3143Status: DesignateThe module will enable students to develop their recording and production skills to an advanced level in order to produce recordings which are ready for commercial release on our NN1_Records label. Projects will be achieved by working at the University studio and through working with external partners.
Advanced Recording and Production: Final Product (10 Credits)
Module code: MUS3144Status: DesignateThe module will enable students to ensure their recording and production skills are to an advanced level by producing recordings which are ready for commercial release on our NN1_Records label. Projects will be achieved by working at the University studio and through working with external partners.
Module code: MUS4130Status: Compulsory
- Music and Sound Design for Media (20 Credits)
The Admissions Policy for the Music Production Top-Up programme is in accordance with the University’s Admissions; and Equality and Diversity policies; and seeks to recruit to the programme students from diverse educational and social backgrounds who have the ability to benefit from and motivation to complete the programme. The programme welcomes applications from those with a wide variety of educational qualifications, and will consider on merit/experience applicants with no formal qualifications.
- A pass at HND level on a Music Production or equivalent course
- Applications from applicants with no formal qualifications will be considered on merit (i.e. significant industry experience and a convincing academic ability – assessed during interview).
Applicants should be able to evidence:
- Skills in musicianship in at least one instrument (including the voice) or via technology (i.e. beat mixing). These may be demonstrated through recordings provided or through performance as part of the interview process as well as the personal statement and reference parts of the application.
- Commitment and motivation to develop themselves intellectually, creatively and professionally. This may be demonstrated through the personal statement and the interview process.
Admissions Procedures and Selection Criteria
- University of Northampton admissions policies apply.
- Applicants are selected for offer or invited to interview on the basis of information provided in the application form, the personal statement and academic reference.
The following criteria are taken into account:
- Formal qualifications and experience
- Evidence of written English
- Predicted grades
Commitment and enthusiasm for engagement with music through live performance, production and recording and or composition.
For more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.
If you are an International student and would like information on making an application, please see our How to Apply page.
English Language Requirements
All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:
IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands for study at undergraduate level.
For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.
2023/24 Tuition Fees
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 23/24 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
- UK – Full Time: £9,250
- UK – Part Time: £1,540 per 20 credit module
- International – Full Time: £15,500
2022/23 Tuition Fees
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 22/23 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
- UK – Full Time: £9,250
- UK – Part Time: £1,500 per 20 credit module
- International – Full Time: £14,500
For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.
Our Music Production Top-up degree is Industry Accredited by JAMES representing APRS, MPG and associate industry bodies. Accreditation of a course by relevant industry bodies provides assurance to students and employers of its potential and value.
Whatever your ambitions, we’re here to help you to achieve them. We’ll support you to identify the skills you’re learning during your course, find your strengths and secure practical experience so that when it comes to applying for jobs or further study you’ll feel confident in standing out from the crowd. We’ve created the Northampton Employment Promise because we are so confident that if you focus on your studies and complete one of our awards you’ll be highly employable by the time you graduate. Putting you in a great position to secure employment or continue your studies.
To check out the full list of perks, visit our Student Perks page.
Senior Lecturer in Popular Music
Mark Thursby is the programme leader for the music department, comprising of the BA (Hons) in Popular Music and the BA (Hons) in Music Production.
He is a drummer and guitar player, and also specialises in electronic music production. You can find him on all streaming platforms under the moniker ‘Conscious Program’.
Specialist facilities include
- Three fully kitted specialised soundproofed rehearsal booths plus break-out space.
- Small group sessions for most practical sessions.
- Live PA equipment and technician support for assessed gigs.
- Two recording studios: running Pro Tools and Audient 8024 mixing console, Neve 1073LB preamps, SSL VHD preamps, Apollo 8P, Apollo Satellite Octo, Rupert Neve Designs 5043, SoundToys bundle, Arturia V studio, Universal Audio Ultimate, Spitfire Audio Hybrid, Steven Slate Drums.
- Two Mac Suites: running Logic Pro X, Ableton 10, Native Instruments Komplete 12, Pro Tools, iZotope, FabFilter.
- Microphones: U87 condensers, AKG414s, Telefunken FET M60s, AKG 451s, Radial DI boxes, Radial SGI and re-amp boxes, and a full range of other industry mics.
- Hardware synthesisers: Arturia DrumBrute, Novation Circuits, Roland TB303, Behringer Deepmind 12, Roland Juno DS, Novation Bass Stations, Ableton controllers – Launchkey 49s, Launcontrol XLs, Launchpad Mark 1 and Mark 2.
- Live performance hardware: Vox amps, Marshall MG 4×12 amps, Orange Crush Pro amps, Peavey Amps, Ampeg PF500 Bass amplifiers, Yamaha Stage Custom kits, Gretsch Drum Kit, Studio AAX, full PA, three rehearsal rooms.
- Two grand pianos: Steinway Studio B, Bechstein Boudoir Grand; two Yamaha upright pianos.