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Popular Music BA (Hons)

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code:

    W340

  • Level:

    Undergraduate

  • Duration:

    3 years full time
    4 years full time (with foundation)
    4-6 years part time

  • Starting:

    September

  • Fees UK/EU:

    Full Time: £9,250 Part Time: £1,450 per 20 credit module Integrated Foundation Year: £6,750

  • Fees International:

    Full Time: £12,900 Integrated Foundation Year: £12,900

  • Location:

    Waterside

Get in touch


For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries

study@northampton.ac.uk
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries

international@northampton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1604 892134

TEF Gold. Teaching Excellence Framework.

Overview


Our Popular Music course will help you to develop your musical creativity, critical analysis and recording skills, giving you the opportunity to become a fully equipped musician for the 21st century.

We will give you all the skills you need to become a creative music practitioner, helping you to understand how to work in a range of areas in the music and media industry, as well as the teaching profession and other related areas.

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.

Updated 28/09/2020

Highlights


  • Accredited by Joint Audio Media Education Support (JAMES)
  • Work placements in the industry
  • Learn new instruments for free
  • Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.*
  • Dedicated record label
  • Innovative and exciting performances in a variety of venues
  • Taught by industry professionals
  • Opportunity to have your work professionally mixed and mastered for release
  • Specialised extra-curricular masterclasses for music production, Choir and instrumental and jazz performances
  • HP Laptop and software included with this course. Terms and Conditions apply

Course Content


  • Our degree in Popular Music equips you with the skills your need to compose, record and produce music. You will graduate with a 360° view of the music industry, your place within it and how you can move forward from here. The course follows three strands:

    • Performing and Composing
    • Recording and Producing
    • Thinking and Writing

    When you graduate you will be more than a performer and engineer, you will understand why music is important culturally and economically and understand how the music industry fits together. With the changes to music distribution and marketing that have taken place over the past ten years, musicians need to be a part of this change rather than pursuing old ideas of labels and deals.

    The Popular Music course at the University of Northampton offers students incredible opportunities to succeed after graduation. This stems from the support and guidance of academics, who have worked with global icons and international artists within the music industry.

    Changing Futures Week

    Our annual Changing Futures Week is an exciting event and an excellent opportunity for our students to explore the potential of their course and understand where their university experience can lead them beyond graduation. It offers a unique chance to network with high profile industry professionals from the arts, TV, film, fashion and more.

    MODULES

    Information about the modules for this course can be found on the award map:

    View Popular Music BA (Hons) modules

  • This course 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.JAMES accreditation logo

  • How will I be taught on Popular Music BA (Hons)?

    You will be taught through, small group lectures, seminars, tutorials, online tutorials, workshops, independent and group study, one-to-one supervisions.

    How will I be assessed?

    Assessment includes practical project work, seminar presentations, essays, and examinations. All performance assessments take place in a public venue in Northampton in front of a live audience.

    Are there any specialist facilities and features?

    Your teaching will take place at Waterside Campus, specifically the newly renovated Development Hub.

    Specialist facilities include

    • Two Mac Suites: running Logic Pro X, Ableton 10, Native Instruments Komplete 12, Pro Tools SoundToys bundle, Arturia V studio, Universal Audio Ultimate, Spitfire Audio Hybrid, Steven Slate Drums
    • 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
    • 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 such as 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.
    • Three fully kitted rehearsal rooms.
    • Live performance hardware such as 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 – Bechstein Boudoir Grand, Steinway Studio B, two Yamaha upright pianos.
    • The BA Popular Music course is supported by a fully ProTools HD enabled recording studio. Students also have access to three digital audio workstation suites and two live rehearsal rooms.

    Special course features include

    • introducing you to a critical engagement with popular music
    • fostering musicianship and studio craft
    • developing performance skills
    • exploring the music industry in the digital age
    • fully equipped recording studios
    • full access to a range of instruments and free tuition on an instrument you don’t play
  • The Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) offers a new and exciting route into studying for a degree, attracting ambitious and driven students who are willing to learn and advance.

    If you have non-standard qualifications or do not quite meet the admissions requirements we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year programme which includes an Integrated Foundation Year. The Integrated Foundation Year will help you develop the theoretical/practical and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.

    Featuring a reduced tuition fee in the first year, our four-year courses will enable you to successfully follow the degree pathway of your choice while gaining essential study skills. The foundation year of your chosen degree will be studied on a full-time basis and is aimed at supporting the transition to higher education. Years two, three and four are then studied as a standard degree programme.

  • Standard entry requirements apply. A typical offer is BCC at A-Level or DMM at BTEC. All qualified applicants will be invited for interview. We welcome international applications and applications from students with a range of non-traditional educational or professional qualifications.

    For more 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.

    Integrated Foundation Year Entry Requirements

    Admission to this foundation programme is normally DEE at A-Level or MPP at BTEC. However, we would also like to hear from you if you have professional or industry experience instead, a range of other qualifications or self-developed subject knowledge that relates to the programme you wish to study.

     

    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.

  • UK & EU

    2020/21 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 20/21 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,450 per 20 credit module
    Foundation: £6,750 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA rate)

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 20/21 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    Additional Costs

    • 1TB portable hard drive (approximately £50)
    • a good pair of closed back headphones (approximately £60-100)
    • core texts for first year modules:Bennett et al. The Popular Music Studies Reader – £28.99
    • John Storey, Cultural Theory and Popular Culture:  An Introduction – £27.99
    • consumables for individual instruments (jack leads, capos, plectrums, drum skins, drum sticks, reeds, strings etc.)
    • USB Flash drives (data sticks) for submitting coursework (£10-20 for two)
    • £50 towards travel costs across three years

    2019/20 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 19/20 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,400 per 20 credit module
    Foundation: £6,600 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA rate)

    International

    2020/21 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 20/21 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    Full Time: £12,900
    International Foundation Fee: £12,900

    For information on the scholarships available to you as an international student, please see our International scholarships page.

    Additional Costs

    • 1TB portable hard drive (approximately £50)
    • a good pair of closed back headphones (approximately £60-100)
    • core texts for first year modules:Bennett et al. The Popular Music Studies Reader – £28.99
    • John Storey, Cultural Theory and Popular Culture:  An Introduction – £27.99
    • consumables for individual instruments (jack leads, capos, plectrums, drum skins, drum sticks, reeds, strings etc.)
    • USB Flash drives (data sticks) for submitting coursework (£10-20 for two)
    • £50 towards travel costs across three years

    2019/20 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 19/20 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    Full Time: £12,500
    International Foundation Fee: £9,800

  • Your teaching will take place at Waterside Campus, specifically our newly renovated Development Hub.

    In our recording studio, our mixing console is an Audient ASP8024 DLC with full patchbay. This truly analogue desk with an embedded computer control surface sounds fantastic and introduces you to recording as quickly as possible.

    Within six weeks we expect you to start using the recording studio to capture your music in a format that you can then use to promote yourself.

    The software we use includes ProTools HDX, Logic Pro X, Ableton Live 10. Check out the FAQs section for more information.

  • Tony Platt is the recording studio tutor at the University of Northampton.

    During his career, Tony has worked as a sound engineer and record producer for a diverse mix of artists, including AC/DC.

    Tony has been involved within music production since the early 1970s, predominantly within the world of rock. However, his personal discography is impressive working with musical idols such as Bob Marley within his early years, and the likes of Two Tone Club in more recent times.

    Tony is also the Managing Director of the prestigious Music Producers Guild Awards held in London as well as member of the steering group for the APRS/MPG education initiative JAMES (Joint Audio Media Education Support) whilst still undertaking lecturing at the University.

    His depth of knowledge and understanding within music production are vital for students to gain a key understanding of the industry and how to succeed in an extremely competitive environment.

    We are privileged to have Tony’s name associated with the university and are sure he will inspire a new generation of music students in the future.

    Find out more about Tony’s biography and discography.

Upcoming Opendays

Open Days give you the best experience and insight to courses, people and facilities that interest you. Make your choice easier and come meet us.

Careers and Employability


This course is an excellent foundation for careers in all parts of the music industry including: musician, performer, producer, songwriter, artist liaison and more.

Is this course for you?

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