music

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

Music (Popular)

UndergraduateBA (Hons)

Year of entry:
UCAS code: W341

What you'll study

We have a wide range of optional modules allowing you to specialise in popular music through performance, composition, technology and/or musicology.

First year

* Modules are subject to availability

Core modules

  • Music, Criticism and Culture

    You will study musical aesthetics across diverse genres, developing your critical skills and your ability to construct written arguments. Topics range from authenticity in cover songs to the political arguments of Adorno, Scruton and Cage.

  • Music in Practice 1

    This module introduces you to a wide range of concepts in music theory. It covers different types of notation, harmony and counterpoint in order to equip you with the fundamental tools to understand and practise music throughout your degree programme, and beyond.

  • Music in Practice 2

    This module continues to teach you how to analyse music across a wide range of styles and genres. The focus on analysis will provide you with the tools to capture observations, and various means of expressing such observations, that will be instrumental in subsequent years of study.

  • Popular Music in Context

    You will explore popular music before 1980 from structural, sociological and historical viewpoints. Topics include blues, the French chanson, protest music and theories of harmony in rock songs.

  • Creative Music Skills 1

    You'll develop a comprehensive range of general music-based skills through interactive seminars and workshops that provide a foundation for further studies. Topics and approaches in performance, technology, songwriting, electronic composition and digital audio are explored in practical, creative ways.

Optional modules

  • Creative Music Skills 2

    This module provides you with a further comprehensive range of practical and theoretical music-based skills through lectures, seminars and workshops that provide a foundation for further studies. The range of topics and approaches on offer allow you to undertake a broader selection of modules at Levels 5 & 6, perhaps specialising in chosen pathways.

  • Free Elective

Second year

* Modules are subject to availability

Core modules

  • Rock and Popular Musicology

    In the first half of this module, you will explore current trends in popular musicology, including semiotics, gender, race, protest, poetics, the canon and theories of influence. In the second, you'll study some techniques of contemporary rock journalism.

Optional modules

  • Audio-Visual Composition

    Create original audio-visual films - exploring the manipulation and generation of visual media, including animation, and effects processing. Develop your compositional skills and experiment with direct audio-visual mapping as you acquire industry relevant skills and the potential to work on interesting mixed-media projects and showreels in your final year.

  • The Materials of Composition

    Develop your own compositional approach. This module introduces you to key techniques for manipulating pitch, rhythm and timbre via the study of melody, harmonies, consonance, dissonance, clusters, pulses, meters, rhythms, form, structure, and instrumental effects.

  • Electronic Composition

    This module focuses on the creation of live popular and experimental electronic and electroacoustic music and builds upon skills gained in the Creative Music Skills I/II, Electronic Composition strand. You'll be introduced to the advanced techniques involved in producing pieces in a stereo context.

  • Songwriting

    This practical module will hone your skills as a songwriter. You'll be expected to write one song per week to a given brief, and then produce an EP of original material. Peer critique is encouraged, and no genre is excluded.

  • Performance 1

    This module will enable you to develop skills in music performance on a chosen instrument/voice in popular, jazz or classical traditions. You can specialise in solo playing, small group playing (bands or chamber ensembles), accompaniment, conducting or directing.

  • Performance 2

    This module will enable you to develop skills in music performance on a chosen instrument/voice in popular, jazz or classical traditions. You can specialise in solo playing, small group playing (bands or chamber ensembles), accompaniment, conducting or directing.

  • Studio Techniques

    This practical module introduces you to the facilities within our Salmon Grove Studios. Through a series of workshops and demonstrations, you'll learn how to use industry-standard hardware and software in order to create high-quality multi-track recordings.

  • Game Audio

    Explore aspects of sound design for games and discover some of the creative, technical and aesthetic challenges faced by sound designers working in this field. Develop insights into commercial industry practice and acquire vocational skills as you work with interactive audio and game middleware.

  • Acoustics and Studio Design

    This module is divided into two parts: studio design and an understanding of acoustics. You'll study the theoretical and practical application of acoustic formuli, speech perception, the fundamentals of music, and research method and design. The first assignment involves the design of a studio, and the second is a presentation on an agreed topic.

  • Orchestration and Arranging

    You will explore techniques for arranging for orchestra and for jazz ensemble. You'll study topics such a score formatting, reharmonisation, texture, rhythm section writing, voicing, doubling, and explore these ideas in practical workshops.

  • Film Music

    You will learn to think about, analyse and discuss how music shapes films and television shows. You do not need to have any knowledge of music to study this module as it focuses on the interpretation and effects of music in cinematic and televisual contexts.

  • Jazz Studies

    In this module, you will study the history of jazz, from its beginnings to the present day, alongside exploring how the music works. You'll also explore a range of different approaches to studying jazz from a variety of different perspectives.

  • Studies in Musical Style from 1815

    This module investigates topics and issues in music from the late 18th century to well into the 20th century. You'll investigate music from Beethoven to Mahler and Sibelius, and you'll look at early modernism and developments in the musical avant garde up to the early 1960s.

  • Psychology of Music Performance

    This module will enable you to explore music performance from a psychological point of view. You'll investigate strategies for sight-reading, practising and memorising music, ways to cope with performance anxiety, techniques for solo and ensemble playing, ways to express music in sound and through the body as well as consider the nature-nurture debate and performers’ personalities.

  • Free Elective

Final year

* Modules are subject to availability

Optional modules

  • Composing for Film

    Discover the creative and technical challenges of commercial film scoring from a practical perspective as you explore a variety of film-scoring approaches, tools and industry conventions. Gain an understanding of the dramatic and narrative functionality of film music as you explore the story-telling power of music - with reference to historical context.

  • Composing for Spaces and Places

    You will focus on site-specific composition and the performance of such compositional works. You develop your compositional skills by introducing them to a number of creative interpretations of specific spaces and places, including open-form works, promenade performances, landscape composition, sound installation, and collaborative contexts such as dance or theatre.

  • Advanced Performance 1

    This module will enable you to develop skills in music performance on a chosen instrument/voice in popular, jazz or classical traditions. You can specialise in solo playing, small group playing (bands or chamber ensembles), accompaniment, conducting or directing.

  • Advanced Performance 2

    This module will enable you to develop skills in music performance on a chosen instrument/voice in popular, jazz or classical traditions. You can specialise in solo playing, small group playing (bands or chamber ensembles), accompaniment, conducting or directing.

  • Session Musician Performance

    Experience the range of professional scenarios encountered by session musicians, and so prepare yourself for a career in this area by adapting your existing performance skills specifically for use in the recording studio environment.

  • Live Sound

    You will get theoretical and hands-on instruction in using live sound equipment. At the end of the module, you'll have produced a technical rider for a show and completed a soundcheck for a band's performance.

  • Global Pop

    Encounter the music traditions of Africa, Brazil, Cuba and India through performance and composition, and explore the influence they exert on today's popular music around the world.

  • Music Industry Studies

    You will engage practically with a range of roles in the contemporary music industry, whilst learning about the theory and history that underpin this rapidly-evolving professional environment.

  • Music, Politics and Contemporary Thought

    You will be introduced to a range of critical, theoretical and analytical approaches in musicology. You'll cover topics including musical analysis, new and critical musicology, gender studies, music historiography, the sociology of music and music philosophy.

  • Shakespeare Music

    You will gain stylistic and historical insights into a variety of musical works in western cultures inspired by the plays of Shakespeare from the 17th to the 20th centuries. You'll develop an understanding of musical representations of literary sources by examining musical compositions which employ Shakespeare’s works as the basis for their compositional idea or content.

  • Special Study (Music)

    This module allows you to undertake an extended project with a specialist and dedicated supervisor through one-to-one tutorial teaching. Your project could take the form of a dissertation or it could be a creative project, such as an EP.

  • Psychology of Music and Emotion

    This module will enable you to gain an insight into recent research on the psychology of music and emotion, a fascinating and wide-ranging subject that has implications for many different careers in music.

  • Individual Project (Music) (T1)

    This module gives you the opportunity to study a topic of your own choosing, with expert supervision. The choice of topic is very wide - you may offer an empirical study, an extended piece of music criticism, a folio of compositions, or a mixed-media project.

  • Individual Project (Music) (T2)

    The same as Individual Project [T1], but in the second trimester, to allow you to tailor the programme to suit your other module choices. It is possible to take both options if you wish to offer two contrasting skills. 

“Music at Hull stood out from other universities, I liked that you can pick modules from the first year.”

Pippa Brazier Watch Video

More about this course

Our Music (Popular) programme allows you to explore songwriting, performance, studio production and critical musicology in a friendly, supportive environment. You’ll take a hands-on approach to music-making, learning in workshops, band rehearsals, seminars, and lectures. Hull is home to some of the finest music facilities in the country. You can enjoy 24-hour access to state-of-the-art industry standard recording studios as well as brand new rehearsal rooms and performance spaces, including the newly refurbished concert auditorium the Middleton Hall. These  facilities allow you to develop as a musician, working towards your third year modules where you can concentrate on an album or a live performance as the culmination of your studies.

You'll be guided by staff who are active performers, composers, producers and researchers. Our expertise underpins the wide range of modules available, allowing you to tailor the degree to your interests and career aspirations. In addition you will get to meet and work with a whole range of professional musicians and producers who visit the campus. There are also fantastic opportunities to get involved in a wealth of extracurricular activities. These include staff-led ensembles, such as Escola de Samba, as well as student-led bands, and a range of workshops, collaborative projects and productions.      

Teaching and Learning
Scheduled
Placement
Independent

First year

32%

68%

Second year

17%

83%

Final year

18%

82%

Assessment
Written
Practical
Coursework

First year

8%

15%

77%

Second year

8%

92%

Final year

13%

15%

72%

Our teaching staff

Our music studios and recording equipment rival the best in the industry, including one of the finest ambisonic studios in the UK. 

Watch video

Become the musician you want to be, whether it's pop, jazz, classical, musical theatre or film music, by tailoring your course to match your interests.

Thanks to a £9.5 million investment, our Middleton Hall is now a world-class cultural venue boasting a superb 400-seater concert hall.

Find out more

Strong links with professional organisations enable our students to engage with the likes of the BBC, Hull Truck and Opera North.

Entry requirements

2019 Tariff points: 120 points. Points can be from any qualifications on the UCAS tariff, but must include at least 80 points from

  • A levels
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • CACHE Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Scottish Highers
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma
  • or a combination of appropriate Level 3 qualifications 
  • Applicants should have an A level in Music or Music Technology at Grade C or above, or an equivalent Level 3 music qualification
  • Applicants’ instrumental or vocal performance skills should be at a minimum of Grade 6 level. Musicians who can demonstrate performance at this level but who have not taken practical examinations are also encouraged to apply.

UCAS has changed the way that qualifications earn points under the Tariff system. Please click here to work out your estimated points and to find out more about how the University of Hull considers qualifications.

Alternative qualifications 

  • IB Diploma: 30 points including 5 at HL Music
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass with 45 credits at merit

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations shown above. Please contact the University’s Admissions Service for individual guidance.

At a glance

For this course, you'll need...

120 UCAS points

Points can be made up of a variety of qualifications. Calculate your points here.

We welcome a range of qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not be listed.

Many of our courses offer a Foundation Year for applicants without the qualifications for direct entry on to the degree.

If you have any questions about our entry requirements or the tariff, please contact admissions or call 01482 466100.

International students

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

Fees and funding

  • Home/EU: £9,250 per year*
  • International: £14,000 per year

The University of Hull offers music scholarships on the following instruments:

  • Harp Scholarship (1 award of £1,000 per year)
  • Organ Scholarship (1 award available from September 2019 of £2,000 per year)
  • Robert Marchant String Scholarship (4 awards, restricted to violin, viola, cello and double bass players only - £250 per year)
  • Ouseley Choral Scholarship (1 award, restricted to male vocalists - £150 per year)

To find out more, see our terms and conditions, and download an application form

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation.

UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course, and UK students can take out a maintenance loan of up to £8,700 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of the website.

 

Future Prospects

Typical careers include working as music teachers, arts administrators, art project managers, performers, conductors, composers, music therapists, music publishers, journalists and lecturers.

Our career-based Students for Hire scheme offers opportunities to perform professionally. And many of our modules have been designed with employment and skills development in mind. We have also developed internships with organisations including Hull Truck Theatre and Opera North.

We help your search for employment with an excellent Careers Service. They offer a range of services to assist you in developing the skills that employers look for – including skills workshops, practice interviews and practice ability tests.