BA (Hons) Music (Popular) with Foundation Year

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Study BA (Hons) Music (Popular) with Foundation Year at Leeds College of Music

In 2005, we became the first UK conservatoire to deliver a specialist course in Popular Music, and we’re still pioneers. Our Foundation Year route gives you an extra year to focus on your musical development.

 

  • Starts:
  • Duration: 4 Years
  • UCAS Code: W3W2 - Apply through UCAS - Institution Code: L30
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Validated By: University of Hull

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Course Overview

Career-focus

If you haven’t already, you’ll start your music career whilst you’re studying, and be ready to take it to the next step after graduation. In addition to one-to-one tuition and band work, you’ll access masterclasses from professional performers, songwriters, producers, managers and promoters, supporting your artistic development as well as sharpening your creative voice.

Industry links

Strong links with the music industry mean that we are in constant contact with major labels such as, Universal, Polydor and Decca, as well as local labels like Hide and Seek and Leaf Label, and we regularly welcome them here for student showcases and discussions. Our industry relationships have also seen our students perform at Sound City, Live at Leeds, Eurosonic and on the BBC.

Artistic Identity

We champion original material, and encourage you to take creative risks. By the end of your popular music degree, you will be a specialist in your chosen discipline and will have established your individual artistic identity and voice as a musician, whilst possessing a breadth of understanding, knowledge and transferable skills that will support you throughout your future career.

Live music scene

Leeds has an incredible live music scene, and our students are performing in it every day of the week, from gigs at the legendary Brudenell Social Club and Belgrave Music Hall, to open mic nights at Oporto, Nation of Shopkeepers and a multitude of other venues. Our regular Friday night showcase, Crosswire, presents some of our best pop and production artists, and our students and alumni have taken the stage at major festivals, including Live at Leeds, Leeds Festival, Tramlines and SXSW.

Foundation Year

The Foundation Year gives you an extra year of access to our creative and collaborative environment, excellent facilities, expert staff and rich performance opportunities, building your confidence as a conservatoire musician.

Career destinations

Graduates from Popular degrees at Leeds College of Music have gone on to a wide variety of careers including Recording Artists, Award-winning Folk Artists, Session Musicians, and Producers. Find out more in our Alumni section.

What you will study 

The BA (Hons) Music (Popular) with Foundation Year modules focus on developing you as a professional musician through one-to-one instrumental tuition, band study, and creative projects. In addition, the contextual studies strand of study will develop your awareness of the environments within which you create music, and the professional studies strand will develop your core business skills.

Specialist Study Foundation

You will focus on fundamental performance skills and techniques, whilst developing your own individual musical voice.

Specialist Study Foundation - Module Specification

Specialist Group Study Foundation

You will develop your ability and knowledge in respect of popular music performance within the context of small ensembles. A range of styles and repertoire will be explored and you will be expected to spend some time acting as leader of your respective ensembles, as well as rehearsing under the direction of tutors and/or peers.

Specialist Group Study Foundation - Module Specification

Aural and Theory

You will gain a breadth of understanding in order to provide context for your specialism, and will be given the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to creative tasks. Aural topics include singing at sight, improvisation, aural identification and interpretation of melodic material, chord sequences and rhythms, identification and analysis of key stylistic traits and forms.

Aural and Theory - Module Specification

Musicianship Skills

You will study one of the topics listed below, based on identified areas for your development:

  • Theory
  • Composition
  • Technology
  • Keyboard Skills
  • Creative Performance Techniques

Musicianship Skills - Module Specification

Contextual Studies Foundation

You will develop musicology, composition, and creative skills through the examination and exploration of repertoire, key historical and cultural concepts and creative collaboration. Study is divided into three themes: general musicology, pathway-specific repertoire analysis & composition, and creative workshops.

Contextual Studies Foundation - Module Specification

Specialist Study 1

Through weekly one-to-one tuition and small group work you will learn and develop the fundamentals of instrumental/vocal performance, as well as developing existing skills in technique and musicianship and building your specialist performance skills.

Specialist Study 1 - Module Specification

Specialist Group Study 1

You will develop a strong foundation in band performance. Issues of style and repertoire will be discussed and taught, alongside a developing awareness of original material, rehearsal etiquette and good practice.

Specialist Group Study 1 - Module Specification

Creative Project

You will choose from the project menu and have the opportunity to collaborate with students and tutors from other pathways. Previous projects have included Advanced Rhythmic Concepts, Arranging with Loops, Collaborative Composition, Debating Music and Jazz Harmony in Pop Songwriting.

Creative Project - Module Specification

Contextual Studies 1

You will develop composition, musicology and aural skills through the examination of repertoire, styles, concepts and discourse to better understand the effect of these on society. You will investigate the parameters through which we consume and construct music, how we communicate their use, the social, commercial and contextual issues surrounding them, and the manner in which we can employ these parameters to the craft of composition.

Contextual Studies 1 - Module Specification

Professional Studies 1

Working in the Creative Industries

You will be introduced to the professional framework and mechanisms of the creative industries, focusing on developing your project management skills and understanding the legal and commercial issues likely to impact on your future employability. You will also develop your core digital and media skills.

Working in the Creative Industries - Module Specification

Specialist Study 2

Through continued one-to-one tuition, you will further develop your understanding of the techniques and skills of musical performance, demonstrating further technical command in their execution. You will realise and develop your emerging musical voice and perform with appropriate expression, creativity and presentation.

Specialist Study 2 - Module Specification

Specialist Group Study 2

You will be expected to take responsibility for your contribution to both the rehearsal process and performance in addition to demonstrating greater technical command of in regard to the range of skills appropriate for a Popular Music performer.

Specialist Group Study 2 - Module Specification

Contextual Studies 2

You will further enhance your composition, musicology and aural skills. Topics include music and politics, cultural and technological influences on popular composition, compositional appropriation, song editing, collaborative approaches and comparative analysis.

Contextual Studies 2 - Module Specification

You will also choose one of the below options to study:

Specialist Study 3

With more one-to-one tuition, you will continue to work on developing your own creative voice as an instrumentalist/vocalist, leading to the presentation of a stylistically informed public performance.

Specialist Study 3 - Module Specification

Final Project

This module is designed to offer students flexibility in their final year by providing opportunity to delve deeper into a specialism specific to their course and interests.

Final Project - Module Specification

These module specifications are for applicants choosing to start their course in the 2019/20 academic year. In compliance with University of Hull regulations, the conservatoire retains the right to make minor amendments and improvements to course, programme and module content year on year. This may result in minor changes to these specifications by September 2019.

Malaika Shaw

Alumni Profile

Malaika Shaw

Course Studied: BA (Hons) Music (Popular)

Year of Graduation: 2013

Combining Jazz, Soul and Pop, Malaika has accelerated her own exposure, seeking out opportunities for unsigned artists like the local Trinity Sessions to BBC Introducing, and fervently working to maintain good coverage as an artist.

Within her first year of performing she received airplay on BBC Radio, supported X-Factor Finalist Luke Friend and was hand-picked by Jamie Cullum to perform at The Montreal International Jazz Festival 2015.

Meet our alumni

Course Tutors

Kari Bleivik
Kari Nergaard BleivikProgramme Leader: Foundation Year

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Jazz), BA (Hons) Music (Popular)

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Jack Harbord
Dr Jack HarbordProgramme Leader: Popular

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Popular), BA (Hons) Music (Songwriting)

Read more
Anna UhuruCurriculum Manager: Popular

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Popular), BA (Hons) Music (Songwriting), MMus Creative Musician

Read more
Remy Martin
Dr Remy MartinCurriculum Manager: Popular

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Popular), BA (Hons) Music (Songwriting)

Read more
Adam Martin
Dr Adam MartinCurriculum Manager: Popular & Songwriting

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Popular), BA (Hons) Music (Songwriting), MMus Creative Musician

Read more
Caroline Boaden
Caroline BoadenSenior Lecturer: Popular Music

Courses taught: 1:1 drum tuition to Specialist Study students in Foundation Year (Popular), BA (Hons) Music (Popular)

Read more

Entry requirements, fees & applying

Course Facts

Course Type: Undergraduate, Single Honours
Duration: 4 years
Study Mode: Full Time
Start date: September 2020
Validated by: University of Hull

Course Key Information Document 2020/21

Entry Requirements

Academic entry requirements:

64 UCAS tariff points from level 3 studies or equivalent, which normally include A Level Music or a BTEC Extended Diploma in a Music-related subject.

A minimum of three GCSEs including English Language at Grade C / Grade 4 or above or equivalent international qualification, eg IELTS 6.0 (5.5 in each component).

Other entry requirements:

a. Performance standard (assessed at audition)

Applicants are expected to demonstrate at audition a playing/singing standard of Grade 6 (commensurate with ABRSM, London College of Music, Trinity College, Rock School (as appropriate for the pathway)).

b. Musical theory standard (assessed at audition)

Applicants’ understanding of applied music theory will be assessed at audition where they will be asked questions about the theoretical elements of the pieces they have played to ensure that they are suitable for the course and to identify those applicants who need to take a Theory module at Level 3.

Read full entry requirements.

Audition Information

UK applicants to Popular degrees at Leeds College of Music will need to complete an audition.

See audition information

Audition fees will no longer be charged for any Undergraduate course at Leeds College of Music. If you are from a household with an income of less than £25,000, and would like to apply for a refund of your travel costs, please download further information and an application form here.

How To Apply

Apply via: UCAS
UCAS Code: W3W2
UCAS Institution Code: L30
Application Deadline:The UCAS equal consideration (‘on time’) deadline is 15 January 2020. We may still accept applications for all of our courses after this date, although this may change at short notice as places fill up.

Read our step-by-step application guide

 

Tuition Fees

2019/20 Tuition Fees: £9,250 (Home/EU Students), TBC (International Students - subject to Board approval)

Leeds College of Music will charge the maximum permitted tuition fee, and these fees may increase with inflation in subsequent years.  However, tuition fee levels are currently under review by the Government and the outcome is not likely to be known until at least Spring 2019. We will provide further information as soon as possible.

Find out more

Scholarships & Bursaries

Leeds College of Music provides a range of additional Scholarships and Bursaries.

Find out more

International Applicants

If you are an international applicant, visit our dedicated International section of the website for information on:

  • How To Apply
  • Auditions
  • International Entry Requirements
  • Fees & Funding
Facilities

We have over 70 teaching rooms, practice rooms and bespoke ensemble rehearsal spaces, as well as a comprehensive library of instruments, mics and recording equipment, that are all available until 3am during term-time.

Find out more
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Performance Opportunities

Students on our Popular pathway play at our regular showcase, ‘Crosswire’, and perform at venues throughout the city, including the Brudenell Socal Club, Belgrave Music hall, Oporto and Nation of Shopkeepers. In addition, many of our students join the Contemporary Pop Choir and other extra-curricular ensembles that the college run.

Find out more
Open Days

Find out what it’s like to study at Leeds College of Music by coming along to one of our Open Days.

As well as talks and tours specific to the courses you're interested in, you can also chat to members of our Student Support Team about your application, support for students with disabilities, tuition fees and more.

Book your place

Don't miss some comedy with @thefatfunnyone just announced for February at Leeds College of Music. Follow… https://t.co/ao6KVSGyrL
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