Undergraduate

Music (Songwriting)

Hull Music student, Alexander Duffell, sits smiling on an amp while holiding a guitar in a recording studio.
Hull Music student playing piano from sheet music in one of the University's recording studios.
Student band Rae Gyaamie perform on the BBC Music Introducing stage at Humber Street Sesh.
Hull Music student, James Curgenven, stands playing the saxophone.

Look around

From day one, you’ll be learning on the job. Performing and producing on major projects, both on your own and with other like-minded creatives.
Open up a range of careers: musician, composer, singer-songwriter, recording artist, promoter, producer, events manager, music therapist, teacher, journalist…
Get the chance to work at live events in and around Hull, and tap into our partnerships with the BBC, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Opera North.
You’ll graduate with essential skills for the music industry. Plus a professional portfolio of material for your CV, and a network of contacts.
Use industry-standard recording studios and performance spaces, including our flagship Duality Recording Studio and 3D sound (ambisonic) studio.
Hull Music student, Alexander Duffell, sits smiling on an amp while holiding a guitar in a recording studio.
Hull Music student playing piano from sheet music in one of the University's recording studios.
Student band Rae Gyaamie perform on the BBC Music Introducing stage at Humber Street Sesh.
Hull Music student, James Curgenven, stands playing the saxophone.
Larkin Music Recording Studio
Drama & Music - Music (Songwriting)

Code

Duration

Mode

Want to write music for a living? Join our thriving creative community of performers, composers, producers, music psychologists, and fellow songwriters.

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 professional contexts.

At Hull, you not only learn about music. You learn on the job, by making music. You work on major creative projects – both on your own and with like-minded creatives. Think live gigs, recordings, broadcasts, collaborations that span a range of genres, and more…

  • 96.7%

    of students in work or further study 15 months after graduating 1

  • 5th in the UK

    for Satisfaction with Teaching 2

  • Hit the right note

    in our state-of-the-art concert hall

  • Industry-standard

    studios and rehearsal rooms

  • Close links

    with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera North

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Course overview
Module options

About this course

BA Music (Songwriting) is a variant of the BA Music programme. So you’ll share the same modules as other BA Music students. But when it comes to options within modules, you’ll focus on songwriting.

You'll study a range of technical skills to enable you to realise your best work. Project management, music theory, and lyric analysis. Fluency with key pieces of music software. Research skills, social media skills, 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. Your practical work will culminate in a large-scale project that will be a stepping stone into your chosen career.

And you can tap into our partnerships with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) and Opera North. RPO hold masterclasses and offer career advice. As well as ensemble coaching, one-to-one tuition, and work experience.

Scheduled study hours and how you’re assessed

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.

How you'll be assessed depends on the course you study, and the modules you choose. You may be assessed through a mix of examinations, coursework, presentations and group projects.

Choose your modules

Each year, you’ll study modules worth a certain number of credits, and you need 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits – so you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more. In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120. Some modules are compulsory, some are optional, so you can build a course that’s right for you.

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.

Core20 credits

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.

Core20 credits

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.

Core20 credits

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.

Core20 credits

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.

Core20 credits

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.

Core20 credits
6 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.

Core20 credits

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.

Core20 credits

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.

Core20 credits

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.

Core20 credits

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.

Core20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits
7 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.

Core40 credits

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.

Core20 credits

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.

Core20 credits

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.

Core20 credits

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.

Core20 credits
5 Modules

Playlist

Dr Mark Slater

Course Overview 2 mins

The Future of Music

Course highlight 7 mins

Pippa Brazier

Student story 1 min

Humber Street Sesh

Course highlight 2 mins

Entry requirements

What do I need?

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.

Have questions? Our admissions team will be happy to help.

What do I need?

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.

See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by the University of Hull.

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 & funding

How much is it?

Additional costs you may have to pay

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme. 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:

  • Books (you can borrow books on your reading lists from the library, but you may buy your own)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (incl. travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (incl. travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want 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, food and more.

How do I pay for it?

How much is it?

Additional costs you may have to pay

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme. 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:

  • Books (you can borrow books on your reading lists from the library, but you may buy your own)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (incl. travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (incl. travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want 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, food and more.

How do I pay for it?

Take a look at our facilities

Middleton Hall

The centrepiece of our world-class cultural venue is a 400-seater concert hall. A versatile space which also offers rehearsal rooms, performance spaces and professional recording studios.

Duality Recording Studio

Use professional kit from Akai, AKG, Sennheiser, Neumann and Sound Devices. As well as software including Pro Tools, Sibelius, Adobe Creative Suite, Ableton Live and Reaper.

Ambisonic Studio

Our Ambisonic Studio is a 3D surround-sound studio with 4-8-4 array, additional Barefoot stereo monitoring and fully adjustable lift and desk for ideal monitoring position.

Rehearsal and performance spaces

Our industry-standard rehearsal spaces let you experiment to your heart’s content. And our students regularly perform in the University Chapel.

See more in our virtual tour

Look around

Look around

Look around

Look around

Middleton Hall Auditorium
Middleton Hall Studio recording desk
Larkin Ambisonic Music Studio
Middleton Hall Rehearsal Room
Hull Music student, Alex Dexter-Mills, sits working at a mixing desk in one of the University's recording studios.

Future prospects

You’ll graduate with essential skills for the music industry, plus, a professional portfolio of material for your CV. You’ll learn how to communicate confidently, both through your craft and face-to-face. You’ll also have access to our network of professional partners, providing opportunities for live projects, work experience, masterclasses, and more.

Some students set up record labels before they graduate. Others carve out their own careers in the industry. Our graduates go on to become musicians, composers, singer-songwriters, and recording artists. They also pursue careers as radio producers, music promoters, and events managers, as well as music therapists, teachers and journalists.

University of Hull Open Day

Your next steps

Not ready to apply?

Visit our next Open Day, and see all that Hull has to offer for yourself. Talk to our lecturers about your subject, find out what university is really like from our current students, and take a tour of our beautiful campus and amazing facilities.

  1. UK domicile full-time first degree leavers, Graduate Outcomes survey for the academic year 2019/20, published by HESA July 2022.
  2. The Guardian University Rankings 2023.

 

All modules presented on this course page are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

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