BA single honours Music with Foundation Year 2018/19

Year of entry

Great news!

We now have planning permission to build a new £12m creative arts facility in Canterbury, equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our arts and humanities students. We expect our new creative arts building to open on the main campus in the academic year 2018/19.

Find out more about these specialist facilities in our video.


Clearing places available
A number of our degrees are also offered with an additional foundation year (Year 0). Whether you are a school-leaver or someone considering returning to study but don’t have the entry requirements for your chosen subject, a foundation year course may be just what you’re looking for.


A foundation year is the first year of a four year programme which:

  • provides an introduction not only to study at University but also to your chosen subject
  • offers you a highly supportive environment where you can develop the self-confidence, knowledge, skills and understanding for further study.

Following the Foundation Year in Music you will go on to explore areas including:

  • music education, health and wellbeing
  • music history and musicology
  • composition
  • theory and analysis

The Single Honours BA Music is designed for students who wish to study music in depth, without necessarily undertaking a significant amount of practical study in performance. The music course provides a flexible and thorough learning experience. It offers a broad range of module choices based on the contemporary discipline, staff expertise, and the job market for music-related careers, particularly those in education, health, community, composition, and academia. You will develop your knowledge, motivation and self-reliance through a programme of study which allows for increasing specialisation from your first to your third year. The wide range of transferable skills you will acquire will also prepare you for many non-musical careers that you may wish to pursue after graduation, for a PGCE, or for further study at Masters level.

"The modules allowed me to understand what actually happens to the brain when engaging in musical activities. It showed me what parts of the brain react and how the sounds that we heard created brain waves that we understand as pitch! I found it truly fascinating and would never have understood this if I had not chosen this subject."

Alice Foster Year 3, talking about some of the music and science/social science themed modules

As a BA Music student, you will develop a deep and broad knowledge of music and music study, while at the same time developing skills important for employability, and gaining valuable experience in the local community and from visiting and resident professionals.

Regular composition workshops and Masterclasses bring contemporary research and composition activity into your reach. You may also have the opportunity to have your compositions performed by professional musicians. Recent student compositions have been performed by Martin Outram, John Harle, and the Splinter Cell ensemble, as well as by our own Contemporary Music Ensemble.

Our team of musicology staff offers a broad range of expertise covering all historical eras from medieval and renaissance through to contemporary, modern music. They also offer a diverse range of methodological approaches to inform and inspire your study, composition and performance of music in all of its many sociological, historical, psychological, analytical, pedagogic, therapeutic and interpretative dimensions. A number of module options, such as those found on our music education and music and health pathways, also give you the opportunity to develop your skills off campus, working with local schools and charities, putting your learning into practice and gaining valuable experience for your CV.

Scholars of international and national renown are regular visitors to our Music Research Seminar series. These talks put you in contact with leading scholars in various fields of musical research. As an undergraduate student, you may even have the opportunity to participate in that research through our summer internship scheme, where some students work with staff as research assistants on a ten-week project. This is very valuable experience not only for the job market, but also for the development of research skills that you might otherwise only develop at postgraduate level.

The BA Music course is for students who do not wish to concentrate on performance, but you will still have the opportunity to apply for a Scholarship that provides one-to-one lessons with a specialist tutor to support your activities in one of our Directed Ensembles. The Chaplaincy also offers substantial scholarships for singers, organists and musical directors.

General Scholarships throughout your course are also available to support activities outside of your regular course, such as summer schools, attendance at conferences and training sessions, and other activities in support your career and professional development. Recently one student used the general Scholarship to pay for a short course in teaching world music at SOAS, to support her PGCE application. Other students have used the scholarship to support travel to conferences, concerts, masterclasses and consultation lessons outside Canterbury. Full details of our Music scholarships are available on our school website.

There is a wide range of Directed Ensembles available for all students to join. These typically include:

  • University Chorus
  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Chamber Choir
  • String Orchestra
  • Woodwind Ensemble
  • Early Music Ensemble
  • Contemporary Music Ensemble
  • Scratch Orchestra
  • Big Band
  • Broadway Choir

The Music Society provides support to anyone who wishes to start their own ensemble. It runs its own broad range of ensembles. Recent examples include:

  • Clarinet Choir
  • Flute Choir
  • Apollo Chamber Orchestra
  • Cantiamo Chamber Choir
  • Pit Band
  • Wind Orchestra

Top reasons to choose this course

  • A huge range of disciplines within music study are covered:
  • Teaching is often based on and drawing from contemporary research
  • Module options that explore the therapeutic power of music in the context of outreach activities in the community - mainstream schools, special schools, nursing homes, Age UK
  • Generous Instrumental, General and Chapel Scholarships
  • The encouragement and opportunity to develop your individual voice as a composer with support from tutors with international careers and visiting professionals

You will study music from a wide range of perspectives reflecting the essentially interdisciplinary nature of subject. The first year of the course addresses music in its broadest sense and introduces specific topics which you can then choose as topic areas, culminating in individualised project work in year three. These topic areas typically include: analysis, health and wellbeing, education, history and culture, composition, studio composition and sound art, and interdisciplinary study. Modules in these topic areas are supported by core modules in year two, which allow you to continue to develop your knowledge of music, its styles, ideas, content and context.

Dr Vanessa Hawes is the Subject Lead for Music (Canterbury) and is engaged in interdisciplinary research combining issues in music analysis with music psychology, music reading (education) and musicology. This has recently involved collaborating with psychologists and working on a project that tracks students’ eyes when they read music.

‘I have taught on the Music courses here for over four years and each year I am more and more proud of the high quality work the students produce and what they achieve in three years. It is a privilege to work in a close-knit Music Team who are all experts in their field’

Dr Vanessa Hawes, Subject Lead for Music

Year 1 has four core modules: Introduction to Music Studies; Theory, Style and Analysis; Music, Science and Technology; and Music in Society. You then choose two modules from Composition, Music Business Fundamentals, Audio Sequencing and Recording, and Devising. In Years 2 and 3 you develop knowledge and skills broadly and deeply in your chosen topic areas, supported by two core modules, Styles and Ideas, and Content and Context. Topic areas include: Composition, Sound Arts, Composition for Film and Media, Education, Health and Wellbeing, Musicology, Analysis, and Interdisciplinary Study. Modules in Year 3 involve project work, allowing you to pursue independent study.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

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Your academic work is supported throughout by your Personal Academic Tutor. He/she provides advice and guides you through a programme of personal tutoring, including goal setting, study skills, academic learning development and career and employability support. You may also benefit in your first year from sessions with our Academic Peer Mentors: Year 2 and 3 students who are employed to provide additional study support for new students. Further support is provided by the central Student Support, Career Development, and Academic Learning Development departments of the University.

If you choose one of our Music Education or Music, Health and Wellbeing modules, you’ll have the chance to work with children and older people in the community. For the last two years Music students have helped out with putting on a musical at a local Special School.

Please note: if you are thinking of combining music with another subject and want to study performance as part of your degree, you will need to have an ABRSM Grade 8 in your main instrument, and you will be able to choose the Performance modules from the BMus course. If you want to do Single Honours Music, including performance, you will choose the BMus course.

Foundation Year Zero

Students on all of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Foundation Year courses will undertake 80 credits of generic core modules introducing them to study in the arts and humanities and university level skills, namely:

  • Academic Writing and Study Skills
  • Personal and Career Development
  • Understanding Arts and Humanities
  • Being Human: an Introduction to the Humanities

In addition you will be offered two 20 credit optional modules, one to be studied in each semester. The full list of optional modules is as follows and you will be placed onto the modules which most effectively complement your degree pathway choice and, where applicable, your study interests:

  • Dangerous Ideas
  • Foundation English Language and Communication
  • Foundation English Literature
  • Foundation Media and Communications
  • Analysing British Cinema
  • Historical Foundations
  • America and the World (subject to validation)
  • Music and Performing Arts in Context
  • The Languages and Theory of Music

Core modules

Year 1

Introduction to Music Studies

The module introduces you to the way in which music is studied and the principal theories and philosophies of current music study. The broad academic field of music study is interrogated through an exploration of its major sub-disciplines: their roots, philosophies, methods and applications.

Theory, Style and Analysis

The module familiarises you with tonal music theory, formal analysis and the more general foundation of music analysis, in the context of historical style and genre. The principles of tonality are explored interactively: not only its rules and processes, but also the practical, historical, psychological and cultural reasons behind those rules and processes in specific contexts.

Music, Science and Technology

You will study a range of music’s scientific and technological contexts. Musical materials, tools and activities are examined through historical developments in science and technology. You will explore topics such as acoustics, the physiology of the ear, the ancient link between music and number, tuning and temperament, the influence of science on the development of music theory in the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, electronic music and instruments, and recording technologies in music and music study. You will develop critical and analytical skills through making connections between music and scientific thought and gain a deeper understanding of music’s reliance on technology and scientific foundations.

Music in Society

You will develop a critical understanding of the social and cultural contexts of music. Taking a broadly sociological perspective, you will examine practitioners, audiences and consumers of music through history and in a range of societies, and will investigate the social factors influencing the status of a given music at a given time and place. You will explore music-sociological issues through studying a number of specific topics such as commercialisation, links between music and social class, and ‘political’ uses of music. You will develop critical and analytical skills through making connections between music and society and gain a deeper understanding of music’s role in everyday life.

Year 2 and 3

In years 2 and 3 you develop knowledge and skills broadly and deeply in your chosen topic areas, supported by two core modules, Styles and Ideas, and Content and Context. Topic areas include: Composition, Sound Arts, Composition for Film and Media, Education, Health and Wellbeing, Musicology, Analysis, and Interdisciplinary Study. Modules in year 3 involve project work, allowing you to pursue independent study.

Styles and ideas

This module allows you to familiarise yourself with fundamental concepts and approaches to music history and repertoire. You study set works through a variety of analytical approaches, including cultural, structural, harmonic and philosophical.. These works come from a range of styles and genres, and typically include: music regarded as part of a stylistic ‘canon’ (the concept of which is challenged).. You will develop your aural analysis skills through close listening as well as your historical, critical, analytical and stylistic awareness.

Content and Context

This module aims to broaden and deepen your understanding of music, building on work in Styles and Ideas. You will examine specific musical works from a range of styles and genres, concentrating particularly on those works regarded as outside of any kind of ‘canon’ of musical works. You will study the musical works in depth, along with the cultures that produced them and some of their philosophical and psychological implications. The approach to music in this module will enable you to understand and use techniques and perspectives developed in the New Musicology era. You will further develop your aural analysis skills through close listening as well as your historical, critical, analytical and stylistic awareness.

Optional modules

Students will chose two 20 credit modules in three areas (see below), to equal 120 credits. All of these optional modules are offered each year, but in exceptional cases where very few students have chosen a module, it may not run and another choice will be offered instead.

Year 1

Projects in Composition

This module aims to provide you with a broad understanding of directions in musical thinking after 1950 and some related compositional techniques. It covers a number of stylistic approaches, typically including to harmony, form, notation and sound. There is in-depth focus on particular musical examples, within a wide range of repertoire composed after 1950. This allows you to develop a theoretical knowledge of composers and works, as well as contemporary ‘art music’ movements of Western Europe and the United States. You will engage directly with primary musical sources through listening, analysis, composition and performance exercises, and with theoretical issues related to the music through studying the writings of key composers and secondary analytical texts.

Music Industry Fundamentals

This module explores the background, structure and organisation of the music industry enabling you to reflect upon your own potential role within it. This includes the concepts of intellectual property and copyright, the development and production of recorded music and the marketing and distribution of finished product together with the requirements regarding performance and promotion. Also included is an examination of both the operation of major and independent record companies and DIY releases together with the marketing of music from both composers and performing artists. The module introduces you to the legal framework within which music is composed, performed, recorded and licensed through a consideration of copyright and publishing and of the industry bodies that exist to support, promote and protect the composition, performance and recorded rights owners.

Audio Sequencing and Recording

This module explores the applications and techniques of MIDI and audio sequencing with a focus on commercial music recording and production methods, such as the practical production of demo-format recordings required for Songwriting. Through in-class exercises and project work you will develop a practical ability in the use of sequencing software and the skills to produce stereo masters that combine MIDI and audio sources in an effective and creative way.

Practical Musicianship

This module builds on your experience of practical musicianship, developing skills essential for practical work in Years 2 and 3, but also skills important for music graduates (in performing, teaching, and composing, in particular). Skills covered typically include harmonisation, transposition, improvisation, playing by ear, score-reading, sight singing, and conducting. You will take part in a series of workshops in which musicianship skills are identified and developed, with an emphasis on learning through doing, and problem solving. You will develop practical skills through engaging with a wide range of musical materials and repertoire from different musical genres.

Devising (Interdisciplinary)

This module focuses on interdisciplinary working and the devising process. The investigation and development of ideas through exploration tasks is central to the work you will produce. You will study mainstream/traditional devising devices and compositional structures and be introduced to aspects of production and design. In interdisciplinary groups (which may include students from music, performing arts, dance and drama) you will create a devised performance piece from a given stimuli.

Year 2

Music and Culture

This module aims to introduce you to the fields of cultural and critical studies of music and ethnomusicology in their broadest definitions: the history, methods and subjects of a culture-centred approach to music, particularly music of the non-Western world, folk and popular musics. The module will allow you to understand the cultural, critical and ethnomusicological methods and philosophies to music from around the world.


This module aims to provide in-depth practical training in the process of musical analysis, particularly those approaches that fall outside of a tonal theory-based structural or theoretical understanding. The module allows you to explore specific methods, developments and contexts of musical analysis, such as performance analysis; approaches from music perception and cognition; Schenkerian analysis, and post-tonal analysis.

Music Education in Schools and the Community

This module aims to introduce you to the basic principles of teaching music in groups. You study the work of seminal educators, from Plato and Aristotle to Dalcroze, Orff, Kodaly and Suzuki as well as theories of effective teaching and learning. You explore different pedagogical methodologies through a combination of theoretical sessions on topics such as group dynamics, developmental theories, the purpose of music in the curriculum; practical sessions in class and practical workshops in schools and community settings. You will become familiar with recent research into approaches to group teaching and learning, in terms of both content and strategy, and will consider your own work in relation to formal methodologies. Musical materials that learners could use in group settings will be developed through your involvement in collaborative projects.

Music, Health and Wellbeing

The module aims to provide you with an introduction to music’s link with health and wellbeing through an examination of existing research literature and through practical experience. It develops your knowledge, awareness and understanding of the implications of demographic change issues concerned with active music-making with older people. Through practical experience you will achieve an appreciation of the potential of music, and in particular singing, as a tool in palliative care and in the care of older people. You will also develop an understanding of the role of community musicians in a wide variety of settings. Practical sessions will mean developing existing musical skills applicable in new contexts, together with observation and some practice of music in a variety of care and community settings including groups of older people in day care centres.

Techniques of Composition

The module aims to develop your practical and technical skills in contemporary composition. Focussing on contemporary chamber music, multimedia composition, experimental music, or jazz, you will explore the techniques offered by the module within your area of interest through group and individual tutorials. You will build on work completed in Year 1 ‘Projects in Composition’ through guided technical exercises and compositional projects. You will gain a firm basis of compositional technique that will equip you to approach creative projects with confidence and professionalism. The module also focuses on developing idiomatic writing for instruments, orchestration skills, a professional level of notational competence, rhythmic construction, pitch construction, harmony, texture, and form.

Creative Strategies for Composition

Building on ‘Techniques of Composition’, this module engages you in the creative process by which you start the compositional process with a concept and complete it through performance. You study a range of conceptual frameworks for music composition and develop these in your own work. The emphasis is on developing compositional individuality and sophistication, while securing a professional level of presentational and notational competence. Alongside individual and group tutorials, a series of supporting workshops and seminars will engage you in the study of a range of pieces of contemporary music that might usefully provide models for your work, and in the discussion of each other’s works in progress. Engagement with other disciplines and artists will be encouraged throughout the module.

Creative Sound Design

This module aims to provide a substantial practical overview of studio-based approaches to sound design and electronic composition. A broad and diverse approach will be taken, emphasising, for example, the influences of dance music and film sound, academia, the avant-garde and the commercial music industry on the shaping of the contemporary studio composer, and you will be encouraged to reflect on these influences within a creative portfolio of works.

Music in the Media 1

The aim of this module is to give you an introduction to the skills, approaches and insights needed to produce music for the media. You will develop the ability to compose music that enhances moving images and will learn to engage those stylistic conventions and techniques most commonly encountered in bespoke media music. You will develop those sequencing and arranging skills needed in the production of smaller-budget media music and will also be presented with opportunities to develop skills in sound design that may be used alongside or as an alternative to more traditional compositional skills.

Arts and Politics (Interdisciplinary)

Political dimensions of art, art’s ability to act as a catalyst for political change, and the use and abuse of arts by political movements have always been an urgent talking point of artistic and academic debates. This module examines the incorporation of political agendas into theatre, music, and dance. You will engage with a variety of key artistic practices and political concepts that have underpinned interactions between arts and politics. This module spans from the Middle Ages, throughout early modern period and Romanticism to the present and introduces key political concepts that underlie influential artistic practices. Specific works and artistic events relating to power, nation, and censorship will be explored. Topics may include (but are not limited to): the use of arts by courts, Church, and political regimes, key artists shaping and responding to national romanticism, national anthems, arts as a vehicle of revolution, and arts that offended moral standards.

Arts and the Individual (Interdisciplinary)

The module will introduce the broader notion of the ‘individual’ in the arts, and how this notion is manifest in a number of artistic movements beginning with nineteenth-century Romanticism. You will study a number of specific topics relating to the individual in the arts, which might include the idea of the suffering individual, key artists of the avant-garde, and the performer.

Year 3

Advanced Music Research

The module provides you, with the opportunity to develop your research skills to a very high level, in preparation for applying them to a musicological topic of your choice in the ‘Independent Project’ module. The module provides training in specialist and contemporary methods of musicological research, planning and presentation.

Independent Project

The module provides you with the opportunity to apply your research skills at the highest level to a musicological topic of your choosing. This builds on the training provided in the ‘Advanced Music Research’ module, and you will develop the project started in that module for your final dissertation. You also gain valuable transferable skills such as research skills, problem solving, clear expression, organising information, and coherent presentation of a large-scale written work. You are encouraged to take the lead in your own planning, research and writing, as well as gaining from regular meetings with your supervisor.

Advanced Analysis

Building on the Year 2 module, ‘Analysis’, this module deepens your understanding of analysis, focusing on a range of musical styles, and introduces you to historical and contemporary methodologies for analysis (such as pitch-class set theory analysis, Schenkerian analysis, semiotic analysis and the analysis of popular music) to develop an awareness of the utility of specific methods and of their philosophical, aesthetic, historical and scientific underpinnings. This module introduces advanced techniques in musical analysis through lectures and seminars. You will read and discuss key texts from the analytical literature and the application of the methods discussed to a range of music, developing a knowledge of analytical methodologies and approaches that can be applied to your future projects.

Analysis Project

Building on ‘Advanced Analysis’, in this module you will develop strategies to analyse your own choice of music. You will connect analysis with your activities in other musical disciplines, such as performance and composition. A significant aim of this module is the practical and critical application of theoretical information in an extended project. The module will allow you to present a detailed study of your chosen music and analytical methodology. You are encouraged to take the lead in your own planning, research and writing, as well as gaining from regular meetings with your supervisor.

One-to-one Instrumental and Vocal Teaching

The aims of the module are to develop your ability to analyse and reflect on your instrumental or vocal expertise in order to transfer knowledge and skills in a flexible and communicative way, mainly in one-to-one or small group teaching situations. You will study and evaluate models of teaching in specialist fields, and investigate current research into traditional and contemporary modes of instrumental teaching. You will observe and analyse the practices of professional teachers at work. Reflection on your own experience will be supported and encouraged, while communication skills will be developed through participation in practical workshops, as you learn to teach your own specialist instrument/voice. You will explore the nature of both performance and verbal behaviours employed by experts in instrumental teaching and learning.

Music in Vulnerable Populations for Therapy and Education

The module aims to develop your knowledge of the use of music for the enhancement of health, wellbeing and music education in vulnerable populations such as older people with dementia and Parkinson’s disease as well as children and young people with learning disabilities or behavioural problems. The module also aims to expand your understanding and awareness of central issues in relation to planning and leading music-making activities with older learners in palliative care and in the community through theory and in practice. You will have opportunities to sample community music projects as they would be delivered at a professional level, and to work increasingly independently, within groups and individually, in practical community projects and academically. Framed within the theoretical perspective of music in the development of wellbeing, the module will include experiential learning in community settings. With tutorial guidance, you will be expected to lead music sessions with groups of vulnerable people.

Music and Social Science Research

The module will enable you to undertake academic research in the area of music using the tools of the social sciences, such as music psychology, music and health, or music education. The module aims to enable you to develop a detailed, critical understanding of your chosen area of study, and to research, analyse and present information, techniques, views and opinions in an academic fashion. Seminars and workshops are provided, dealing with the requisite research skills, analytical skills and presentation skills that will be necessary to enable you to develop and complete a literature review on your selected topic. You will have regular individual tutorials with a specialist member of staff.

Music and Social Science Project

Building on the ‘Music and Social Science Research’ module, this module enables you to undertake a substantive project, which may involve the collection and analysis of data, based on research questions developed through a thorough examination of the appropriate literature; or a substantive survey of one area of music psychology, music and health or music education. You will produce a significant piece of work in the form of an experiment report or dissertation. You will be supported through individual tutorials by a specialist member of staff.

Advanced Techniques for Composition

This module aims to develop your practical and technical skills in contemporary composition with an emphasis on the application of these in professional settings. The module offers a focus on contemporary chamber music, multimedia composition, experimental music or jazz, and you will explore the techniques offered by the course within your area of interest through group and individual tutorials. This module builds upon the work done in Year 2 by engaging students with compositional projects for small forces. The emphasis is on expanding your knowledge of compositional technique which will equip you to approach creative projects with confidence and professionalism. In addition, the module focuses on developing extended writing for instruments, advanced orchestration skills and a professional level of notational competence. As well as discussing each other’s works in progress, you will study a range of pieces of contemporary music that might usefully provide models for your work.

Creative Project in Composition

Building upon the work done in Year 2, and in the Year 3 module, ‘Advanced Techniques of Composition’, in this module you are engaged in a creative process of composition that begins conceptually and ends in performance. You will study a range of conceptual frameworks for music composition and develop these in your own work. The emphasis is on developing compositional individuality and sophistication, while securing a professional level of presentational and notational competence. You will express your musical ideas clearly and in the context of contemporary musical repertoire both in your compositional and written work. You will produce works that explore a range of instrumental and/or vocal combinations or electronic means. You will prepare two works for visiting performers and ensembles. Each work will be supported by a workshop and presented in a final concert. Engagement with other disciplines and artists is encouraged throughout the module.

Sound Art A

This module includes a strong emphasis on emergent forms of sound design, and alternative approaches to composition will be explored. You will be introduced to a range of skills, such as formulating project proposals and creating documentation, whilst new developments in Sound Art are discussed through a variety of lectures and practical demonstrations. You will also be encouraged to collaborate with visual media artists, such as photographers or web designers, in the creation of a mixed-media work.

Sound Art B

This module is designed to build upon knowledge developed in Sound Art A. You will be introduced to technical and artistic skills necessary to produce a large-scale non-linear installation work. Installation art and interactivity will be discussed through a variety of lectures and practical demonstrations. You will also be encouraged to collaborate with visual media artists, such as photographers, web designers or film-makers, in the creation of a mixed-media work.

Studio Composition

This module aims to develop your ability to conceive and realise original compositions through creative use of the music production studio. You pursue individual areas of interest in technology-based music composition, devising creative ideas and the work of contemporary composers and producers in various genres is considered, with a particular emphasis on how methods of production (including studio process, collaboration, and relevant technologies) influence the creative output.

Film Music A

The module aims to give you an understanding of the process of writing music for film and you will be introduced to the development of the language of film music, film scoring techniques and to broader cultural and critical issues. The module covers a variety of composers working in the industry today with a focus upon the detail of influential works, and practical exercises extend further the creative and technical skills developed during level two of the course within modules such as Music in the Media.

Film Music B

Continuing from ‘Film Music A’, this module aims to develop your understanding of the language of film music, film-scoring techniques and the broader cultural and critical issues. You will develop composition, production, and software techniques and apply these skills to the creation of music for film. Practical exercises extend further the creative and technical skills developed during Film Music A and you will also be required to produce a show-reel of your work and supporting documentation, as if presenting to an agent or client.

Community Arts project (Interdisciplinary)

This module focuses on the application of skills, knowledge and understanding of interdisciplinary arts related to a community arts context. The module is centred on developing a performance for a community audience and related challenges, concerns, issues and practicalities of project development, management and completion. This module will prepare you for a community-focused interdisciplinary project. Relevant theory, research and documentation will be analysed and issues debated. You will work collaboratively and engage in planning, managing and delivering a project for a group in a community-based context. You will develop the idea and produce the performance project with a community-based audience in mind. As an interdisciplinary group, you will agree the outcomes of the project, be clear about role and responsibilities, undertake appropriate risk assessments with support from you University-based tutor and draw on your understanding of ethical considerations, child protection, consent and safe practice. You will also undertake relevant reading and research to support the project.

Multimedia Performance (Interdisiplinary)

This module is designed to explore the rapidly emerging and diversifying field of multimedia performance and interactive performance installation. Contemporary performance practice seeks to embrace new performative literacies and makes efforts to engage with current technologies in order to redefine the performance setting and the means by which performance is delivered. This module aims to guide you through this exciting and developing field of practice and expose you to the new theoretical concepts that underpin final performance/installation works. Multimedia performance embraces a new technology as means of extending both the self and place. Artists use the projected image to create alternative scenographies, social media systems to provide interactive environments with which to engage the audience, motion tracking devices to remediate movement and exist as virtual bodies. All of these techniques reflect developments in the use of technologies within our social environments and it is important that creatives attempt to analyse their use within performance practice. The module will introduce you to a range of current practitioners operating at the vanguard of multimedia performance; at the time of writing groups such as Blast Theory, Palindrome and Chunky Move are creating dramatic and immersive works, exploring therapy using multimedia techniques and presenting astonishing choreography using cutting edge technologies. You will have the opportunity to develop your own practice by experimenting with software designed specifically for the multimedia performance environment such as Mark Coniglio’s Isadora, together with Apple’s object orientated tool, Quartz Composer. You will explore innovative performance control systems that allow for real time scenic manipulation as well as being able to build immersive installation spaces using proximity and motion tracking technologies. Theorists such as Philip Auslander, Johannes Behringer, Susan Broadhurst and Steve Dixon will inform those concepts which underpin your work.

You may wish to pursue a career as a music teacher, or some other area of music education, choosing to do a PGCE after graduation. You could also work in areas related to health and wellbeing, music therapy (going on to Masters level training) community music, music journalism or criticism, composition, music technology, music scholarship, arts administration, or a combination of these specialisms. Many of our graduates go into academia, choosing to do a Masters in Music after graduation, and then a PhD. The transferable skills developed open up options for a broad range of non-music related careers.

Simon Nobbs did the Bachelor of Music degree (before the BA was established as a separate course). After graduating in 2007, he went to work at East Kent College as a Learning Support Practitioner. This eventually led to a job teaching music at the College, and having been the Programme Director for Music, he is now the Deputy Head of Creative Industries. About his time as a Music student at Canterbury Christ Church, Simon said:

"Overall the course nurtured an enduring passion for music, broadened my musical knowledge and prepared me for industry. On top of this I met my wife and best friends while studying."


The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £6,165 N/A
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £11,500

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fee of £9,250 relates to 2018/19 only. Please read the 2018/19 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2018/19 tuition fees and mid-course year on year fee increases.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Clothing / Kit

You may be part of a Directed Ensemble as part of your course, which will require you to wear formal concert clothing:

  • Men: black long-sleeved shirt and trousers
  • Ladies: black long-sleeved blouse and skirt of knee-length (or longer) plus black socks/tights and polished black shoes, not trainers.

The cost of these clothes will vary greatly, depending on what you already own, and where you want to get these clothes from.

With the exception of pianists, organists, percussionists [etc.], students studying music performance modules will be required to supply their own musical instrument and meet any associated maintenance or insurance costs themselves.

The cost will vary from instrument to instrument.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Composition of the course

A wide range of learning and teaching strategies is adopted in the course, as necessitated by the nature of the subject.

In Year 1, you are introduced to the different modes of teaching you will experience throughout your degree course. Lectures and interactive seminars ensure the development of your knowledge of musical repertoires, compositional technique, theory, academic expression, musicological issues, aural awareness and the frameworks of practice-based learning. Specific assessment-based technical training ensures you are developing your practical and academic skills in a way that will best equip you for communicating your subject knowledge.

The modules offered in Year 1 are designed not only to facilitate the smooth transition from school/college to Higher Education (in particular, Theory, Style and Analysis offers, in addition to group teaching, seminar sessions for students who arrive less familiar with theory or practical musical skills than other students), but also provide an introduction to modules offered in Years 2 and 3.

Composition in Years 2 and 3 both involve a significant element of individual tuition with specialist tutors, and all modules in Year 3 involve a significant amount of one-to-one and group tutorials, as you become increasingly independent in your study and pursuit of your individual interests. You are encouraged to work with your tutors to negotiate personalised approaches to study. Individual teaching is supported in seminars, workshops and performances throughout your whole course.

For each module you can expect approximately 4 hours per week of contact or directed learning time. With three modules running in each teaching block, you will be in classes, workshops, seminars and tutorials for approximately 12 hours per week. In addition to this, you will be expected to undertake your own learning, class preparation, reading, practice, and assignment work for approximately 150 hours per module.

Music students generally join a number of Directed and Society-run ensembles in all three years of the course, and rehearsals for these are typically around 1.5-2 hours per week per ensemble. You will need to take control of your time and balance your curricular and extra-curricular activities. Time management sessions are provided at the start of the year to enable you to do this, and you are also encouraged to reflect on your weekly schedule with your Personal Academic tutor and the Academic Peer Mentors.

Academic input

The BA Music course is delivered in the main by a close team of permanent Music Lecturers with a broad spread of specialisms (for example: music, health and education, composition, historical musicology, performance, ethnomusicology, analysis, aesthetics, popular music study) who also act as Personal Academic Tutors.

The Music Team are all very experienced scholars: Senior Lecturers, Readers and Professors. Teaching is also supported by a very strong team of sessional lecturers, all of whom have a PhD, are working towards a PhD, or are professional practitioners in their field, bringing contemporary expertise to specialist areas of the course.

More information can be found in the Staff Profiles through the Music and Performing Arts Webpages.

Aside from the generic modes of academic assessment, including written coursework and presentations, the BA Music course embraces a number of specialist modes, including podcasts, in-class assessment, composition, score-based work, and group and individual practical work. Some modules may include assessment by a portfolio of work, which might include any combination of the above tasks, coursework exercises set by the tutor, or different applications of musical skills including stylistic exercises, transcription, pastiche compositions, technical exercises, summaries, reviews and presentations.

We now have planning permission to build a new £12m creative arts facility in Canterbury, equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our arts and humanities students. This facility will open in the academic year 2018/19. 

Our main campus in Canterbury has city centre facilities on its doorstep and, of course, you will benefit from all the new arts building has to offer.

The course is taught at Canterbury Christ Church University’s Canterbury Campus in the heart of the historic city of Canterbury, less than 100 yards from the Cathedral. The University is 10 minutes from the train stations in Canterbury and Canterbury is 56 minutes by train from London St Pancras station.

Most taught content will take place in the Maxwell Davies building, which houses specialist music facilities including a performance space, practice rooms, Mac suites and music lecture theatres. Further teaching may take place in St Gregory’s Centre for Music, our dedicated concert hall, or Anselm Studio, our black box theatre space. 


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Need some help?

For advice on completing your application please contact the Admissions Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • W304 Music with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 4 years full-time


  • September 2018

Entry requirements

  • Candidates should have studied at level 3 and have attained 48 UCAS Tariff points, although those without formal qualifications will be considered.

    You do not need to have significant prior knowledge of Arts and Humanities related subjects but should be motivated to study the subject.



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Last edited: 11/09/2018 12:10:00