2nd Year | (BA (Hons) Popular Music

During their second year on the BA (Hons) Popular Music degree, students select which modules they wish to study, alongside one core module (Popular Music in the 21st Century). This allows students to begin forming a specialist pathway, focusing on the areas of their choice (see below for breakdown of choices). Students benefit from a variety of extra opportunities including, guest lectures delivered by industry professionals and performance opportunities at renowned venues across London (e.g. Camden Assembly).

MUS2098 Popular Music in the 21st Century (compulsory)

This module appraises recent and current trends in popular music and identifies related concepts for students to explore and evaluate. The module’s relatively narrow time-frame enables detailed investigation of such concepts, which will necessarily be updated annually but will include discussion of new genres, economics, technology and cultural developments. As well as encouraging students to investigate musical practice in order to develop written work, this module encourages students to use theory to produce practical work.

Choose one module from the following:

MUS2058 Music Journalism 

This module explores the key principles of music journalism and develops practical skills in interviewing and writing reviews, features, biographies, website content and promotional material. Students will also explore the history of music journalism and its possible future. As well as considering a career in music journalism, either full-time or part of a portfolio career, the module will appeal to those who would like a greater understanding of working with the press from an artist’s perspective.

MUS2810 Music Entrepreneurship 

This module develops students knowledge of the music industries, with a specific focus on entrepreneurship. Such issues are particularly important to those intending to launch a company of their own, or to self-manage and/or self-release, but will also be relevant to those intending to work for an existing company – within the music industries or beyond. Students will work on a live case study of a music business, as well as planning their own music-related business, working both autonomously and in groups.

Choose one module from the following:

MUS2096 Musicianship and Performance 1

This module develops a practical understanding of musicianship and performance. Students will take both leading and supportive musical roles within an ensemble, and will also develop solo performance skills. Vocal and/or instrumental technique is developed, alongside a practical understanding of style, performance, aural skills and harmonic vocabulary.

MUS2097 Recording and Production 

This module develops expertise in music production theories and practices. Students will learn to understand clearly and use confidently advanced techniques and procedures in digital and analogue musical environments and adapt these to achieve desired creative results. Students will also explore the critical study of music production and establish a strong sense of its artistic and historical contexts, drawing from this knowledge to inform and enhance their own practice.

MUS2099 Songwriting 1

This module develops students skills in practical song composition and is informed by theoretical perspectives. Students will develop their critical faculties through aural analysis and practical skills exercises in a variety of styles and genres. Tasks involving various compositional processes (including working to specific briefs) will build technique and stylistic sensitivity, providing a firm foundation for the development of a more distinctive personal voice.

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