BA Music (Popular Music)

Become part of a creative community of performers, composers, songwriters, producers, music psychologists, and writers.

Key information

Study mode


Course length

3 years

Typical offer

112 points

A Level grades: BBC

UCAS code


Choose an option

Start date

Course overview

Pursue your creative endeavours – whether that’s as a performer on stage or in the studio, a radio broadcast, a songwriter, a music technologist, or an events organiser promoting gigs in the region.

To thrive in today’s fast-moving music culture, you’ll need a wide range of musical and technical skills, and to be able to work confidently with others across a range of professional contexts.

Your practical work will culminate in a large-scale project that will be a stepping stone into your chosen career.

You'll study a range of technical skills to enable you to realise your best work. Core skills might include: project management, rehearsal techniques, music theory and lyric analysis, fluency with key pieces of music software, research skills, social media skills for promoting your work, and festival programming.

You'll receive robust training in the critical and contextual dimensions of the study of music, working with expert staff to explore, interrogate and challenge received wisdom about the value, status and significance of music in our society.

BA Music (Popular Music) is a variant of the BA Music programme. This means that you will share the same modules as other BA Music students, although when there is optionality in each module, your assessments, and specialist cluster groups, will focus on Popular Music.

Creativity lives and breathes at the University of Hull. Always has done, always will. It’s central to what universities do. But at Hull, we’re building something that goes far beyond our four walls. 

Learn more about your course in our subject sessions

On-demand session



Six reasons to study Popular Music at Hull

  1. Top 10 in the UK for overall student satisfaction*
  2. Collaborate with like-minded musicians
  3. Top class concert venue
  4. 5th in the UK for Satisfaction with Teaching †
  5. Extensive access to industry-standard studios
  6. Work with top names like RPO and Opera North

What you'll study

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120 credits.

First year modules

  • Core modules

    Creating Recorded Music

    Writer? Performer? Producer? Whatever your focus, you’ll work with fellow musicians to fully realise a musical recording. You’ll learn how to collaborate with others, each with different skills and roles, to create original music (including songwriting, instrumental works, electronic tracks and anything in-between) or to capture performance as a recorded artefact. You’ll finish the module with a portfolio-ready work.

    Creating Live Music

    Channel your creativity into a live music event to develop your technical and artistic skills whatever your musical interests. You’ll collaborate with music and music production students to create a unique and original live music event, alongside developing core skills in project management, repertoire development and artistic presentation.

    Core Music Techniques

    How does music work? How is it put together? Providing you with an essential proficiency in music theory and enabling you to realise your creative projects, you will develop your understanding of notation, harmony, melody, rhythm, alongside listening skills. You will form a portfolio for your final assessment from tasks across a variety of musical styles and techniques.

    Applied Music Skills

    Get an in-depth understanding of how music is put together, along with how and why harmonic provides such a powerful force in music’s structure. Based on a range of musical styles, you’ll be given the tools and techniques to analyse structural and harmonic perspectives, and develop crucial listening skills for practical musicianship.

    Music, Criticism and Culture

    Music can be profoundly significant for individuals in their daily lives, for politically-charged movements, and for entire cultures. This module will teach you different ways to ask such questions of music, and will help you to apply ideas derived from core literature to contemporary case studies.

    Music and its Histories

    This introduces you to narratives that characterise histories of music across different historical periods, technologies, and styles. You will explore these while also pursuing specialist studies relevant to your degree pathway. Through a range of different music, you will look at their histories and the assumptions behind the construction of such histories.

Second year modules

  • Core modules

    Individual Creative Project

    What would you like to create? This module gives you the time, space, and expert support that you need to bring your individual project to life. You’ll be supported through planning, executing, and completion – which may be a performance, composition, recording, songwriting EP, educational practical project, or piece of sound design.

    Collaborative Creative Project

    Creative project management will explore the key methods used in a broad range of creative industries to organise and manage complex projects.

    Specialist Music Skills

    We can study music in a multitude of ways. Designed to equip you with core music research skills and specialist techniques useful in a variety of applications, this module will help you to feel confident about gathering, handling and evaluating information. At the same time, you’ll hone your practical skills through focused study.

    Music and Its Objects

    Explore how music has been shaped by the objects we associate with it: instruments, technologies, sound recordings, and notations. You will develop a critical approach to thinking about these, helping you to deepen your understanding of the historical context and critical significance of your own music-making activities.

    Case Studies in Contemporary Practice

    Music is a diverse field that practitioners explore in many ways – such as performances, compositions, installations, community projects, music therapy, industry-related practices, and music psychology. This module interrogates the concepts, methods, philosophies, and motivations that underpin them. You will also benefit from sessions with leading practitioners as you prepare your own critique of a chosen case study.

  • Optional modules

    Professional Music Skills

    How should you prepare for your music career? You will explore roles, discover what professionals really do, and find out how to maximise your future employment opportunities in a vibrant and growing sector. It will give you an in-depth understanding of your chosen field, as well as set you up for your next steps as a professional.

    Music and Sound for Media

    This practical project-based module supports the development of specialised creative and technical skills involved in the production of sound and music for visual media. You can undertake a variety of projects, including films, games, music videos, interactive installations, and performances with visual projection. As projects are developed, general principles relating to the interaction of sight and sound will be explored, such as functionality, audio-visual correspondence and implementation.

Final year modules

  • Core modules

    Major Project (Music)

    What would you like to create? You will carry out a substantial piece of work in your chosen area. Whether that’s large-scale live performance, an original album, a critical dissertation, a portfolio of compositions, music for film or game, or a cutting-edge research project, we’ll give you the support, facilities and expertise you need, along with some key planning and management skills.

    Working in Music

    Gain essential insight into your future career, either by taking part in a placement or getting experience of working as a freelancer. Whether you’re going into performing on stage or in the studio, working in broadcast or live events, or going into teaching, we’ll enable you to start gaining professional experience of your chosen career.

    Questioning Music

    Imagine that what you’ve always thought was true about music actually wasn’t. What if there were questions about music that you hadn’t even thought could be asked? Challenging your assumptions about music and its value, which might lead you to think differently, the skills you learn will be highly transferable and prepare you for a range of career paths.

    The Future of the Arts

    What is the environmental cost of a single Spotify stream, an online gaming session, or of going to a gig, concert or to see a play? How much carbon does that YouTube movie trailer release? Our ability to engage with arts and culture has been made almost effortless, but at what environmental cost? By reflecting on your own creative practices, you’ll be equipped with the skills and understanding you’ll need to shape the arts practices of the future.

    Generating Insights into Music

    Music changes in the blink of an eye – what it is, how it is made, and how we listen to it. This module will enable you to pose probing questions to generate new insights into music. You’ll define your topic and explore this in detail before sharing your insights – giving you crucial skills and sharpening your abilities to articulate your ideas.

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

How you'll study

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours, time spent on placement and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

Rae Gyammie-11

Be part of the future of music at Hull

Watch video

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A level grades BBC

  • BTEC grades DMM

  • Points required 112

Work out your estimated 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 7 level. Musicians who can demonstrate performance at this level but who have not taken practical examinations are also encouraged to apply.

Alternative qualifications

  • IB Diploma: 28 points including 5 at HL Music
  • Pass Access to HE Diploma overall with a minimum of 112 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of 18 credits at Merit in Music

Worried you don’t quite meet our entry requirements?

We consider experience and qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations above.

But it’s not just about the grades – we’ll look at your whole application. We want to know what makes you tick, and about your previous experience, so make sure that you complete your personal statement.

If you have any questions, our admissions team will be happy to help.

If you require a 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. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

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.

Click and drag

Take a tour of the facilities

Our BA Music (Popular) students enjoy access to superb facilities including a top-class 400-seater concert venue in Middleton Hall.

Fees and funding


£9,250 per year*


£15,400 per year

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation - but capped to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

The fees shown are for 2023 entry. The fees for 2024 have not yet been confirmed and may increase.

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course and a maintenance loan of up to £9,978 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

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

Music Scholarships

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

    • 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)-
    • Alan Spedding Choral Scholarship (1 award - £150 per year)


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

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 

An affordable city for students

From bills, to meals, to pints – you’ll find that your money goes a lot further in Hull.

Your future prospects

  • Musician
  • Composer
  • Radio producer
  • Music promoter
  • Recording artist
  • Teacher

This degree will give you a head start in a competitive industry, as you graduate with a portfolio of material ready for your CV. 

A key skill you’ll gain is how to communicate professionally, confidently and effectively, both through your craft and face-to-face, giving you a useful advantage in the jobs market. You’ll also have access to our network of professional partners, providing opportunities for live projects, work experience, masterclasses and more.

Open Day at University of Hull

Ready to apply?

You can apply for this course through UCAS. As well as providing your academic qualifications, you’ll be able to showcase your skills, qualities and passion for the subject.

Not ready to apply?

Visit our Open Day

Book a place

This. Is. Hull.

A place where we stand up to kings, do deals with the world and take a wrecking ball to the slave trade. A place where culture stands out and the phone boxes are a different colour. A place where we're free-thinking, independent and proud of it.

* National Student Survey (NSS) 2022, HEIs only

† The Guardian University Rankings 2023