3rd Year | BA (Hons) Popular Music

During their third year on the BA (Hons) Popular Music degree, students are given a choice of modules to study, alongside one core module (Popular Music Studies). This allows students to shape the content of their work programme, to focus on areas they wish to specialise in (see below for breakdown of choices). Students benefit from a variety of extra opportunities including, but not limited to: guest lectures delivered by industry professionals, field trips and performance opportunities at renowned venues across London (e.g. Camden Assembly).

MUS3098 Popular Music Studies

This module provides an advanced idea of popular music studies through a selective overview of theoretical approaches, including cultural theory, sociology, political economy and musicology. Key areas of popular music studies will be addressed, including production, mediation and reception. Theory will be used to explore popular music practice and popular music practice will be used to explore popular music theory.

Choose one module from the following:

MUS3064 Music for Fill, Animation and TV

This module cultivates to a sophisticated level an understanding of the history of film music, particularly of the West, and the aesthetic concerns which can be brought to bear in composing music for screen. It is also designed to test the ability to compose appropriate music for media productions with effectiveness and relative speed. Students will be introduced to contractual aspects of media music composition.

MUS3096 Musicianship and Performance 2

This module develops core practical skills to the point at which students can demonstrate excellence in both style and technique as performers of popular music. The module covers advanced aspects of musicianship, including transposition, chromaticism and extended harmony, chord substitution and appropriate modes. Students will attempt to develop an individual soloing voice, and to direct an ensemble.

MUS3099 Songwriting 2

This module enhances students existing command of songwriting craft and styles by facilitating the development of a more individual and professional approach to practical song composition. Students will be encouraged to establish and maintain a distinctive musical identity – a personal creative ‘voice’ – that will inform present and future songwriting. Students will be willing to experiment and to expand the boundaries of popular music.

MUS3097 Recording and Production 

This module gives students the opportunity to gain further knowledge, understanding, and expertise in recording and producing music by pursuing and realising a self-developed project. Subject to approval by the module leader, students will undertake work that constitutes an adequate technical and artistic challenge. Students are encouraged to find creative solutions to problems and achieve a highly personal and successful vision.

Choose one module from the following:

MUS3055 Independent Project

This module furthers knowledge, understanding and skills in a particular area of interest, whether arising from prior learning or enabling the pursuit of interests not other otherwise catered for in taught modules. Because of the diversity of Independent Projects, the specific aims will vary according to the nature of the project.

MUS3077 Community Music and Education

This module enables students to affect positively the musical development of a community or individual(s). This will be achieved through the planning and delivery of participatory musical activity within a specific community-based or pedagogical context. To this end, both practical facilitation techniques and theoretical literature will be explored.

MUS3810 Applied Music Business Studies

This module aims to provide an advanced knowledge of contractual and intellectual property issues relevant for a career in the music industries. Students will gain a sophisticated understanding of the use, development and consequences of legal practices in the recording, publishing and live music sectors. This knowledge will be applied in an entrepreneurial context as students develop their own music-related businesses.