Popular Music (Top-Up) - BA (Hons) [Top-up]

UCAS Code:
Full Time (1 year)
September 2018
South and City College Birmingham
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Clearing 2018


(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing.

Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

0121 331 6777

Our Clearing hotline opens at 6am on Thursday 16 August.

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The course prepares students for a career in the Popular Music Industry as professional artists and practitioners. In addition the course will enable students to progress to postgraduate study in a range of music disciplines including teaching.

What's covered in the course?

The BA (Hons) Popular Music (one year top-up) course is designed to build on practical, commercial and academic skills acquired at level 5.

You will cover Performance, Composition, Music Production and Live Sound.

Why Choose Us?

This course is delivered in the heart of Birmingham at South and City College’s superbly equipped Digbeth Centre.  With an exciting balance of academic and practical activities, delivered by current industry practitioners, this is an excellent opportunity to upskill and advance.  Students will enjoy high level resources including 400-seater auditorium, 5 recording studios, numerous rehearsal spaces and production facilities, in the vibrant environment of Birmingham’s creative quarter.

This course is not open to International students


Discover South and City College

Visit our South and City College's website for extra information about the Digbeth campus, where this course is based.

Visit the college website

Entry Requirements


(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing. Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

0121 331 6777

Our Clearing hotline opens at 6am on Thursday 16 August.

Call us now

Social media

Get an offer or ask a question by direct messaging us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Message us

Alternative options

If you do not have a HND, you may like to explore your options.

Applicants must satisfy the general admissions requirements of the programme, which are as follows:

240 credits achieved from a relevant level 5 Music qualification such as a HND or foundation degree, this should include a minimum of 60 credits at level 5 with a merit grade. In exceptional circumstances candidates with 240 credits at level 4 and 5 without a merit grade profile may be considered for admission if the applicant can demonstrate at interview or audition the ability to successfully fulfil the requirements for this level 6 programme.

Worried about results?

Worried about your results?
Explore your options with Clearing

If you're worried about your exam results, changed your mind about your course choices or haven't applied yet - Clearing is a great time to explore your options. We explain what Clearing is and how it works.

Advice about Clearing 2018

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) [Top-up] Sep 2018 FT 1 year £6,000 per year
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International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Places available to start in September 2018

If you'd like to start this course full-time this September, you can apply through Clearing.

0121 331 6777

Our Clearing hotline opens at 6am on Thursday 16 August.

Call us now

Social media

Get an offer or ask a question by direct messaging us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Message us

Want to start in September 2019?

You can apply via UCAS from 5 September 2018.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Course breakdown

Year one


This aims to enable students to undertake an in depth study independently and critically evaluate research evidence for a selected area of interest within a popular music socio-historical context. Students will demonstrate their ability to gather information using appropriate research techniques, develop ideas and construct arguments critically.

Creative Project

This module draws together all the disciplines (performance, composition, live sound, music technology) and underpinning knowledge pursued throughout the programme for students to undertake a project reflecting the creative, business and technical aspects of the music industry. It reflects the current focus on employability, and will provide students with a learning experience showcasing their practical skills and knowledge.

Advanced Techniques for Emerging Artists/Practitioners

This module aims to develop advanced creative techniques in a chosen discipline (e.g. performance, composition, live sound) applying them in a commercially appropriate creative product. Thus aiming to enhance students' individual artistic development through the use of advanced and contemporary techniques. The module allows students to develop technical skills and showcase them in a creatively contemporary setting.

Music as Art

The aim of this module to is to study, analyse and musically respond to music outside the norms of commercial music. It will develop skills in music criticism, contextual awareness of experimental and contemporary art music, and in associated practical and creative skills. The module encompasses academic music studies and interpretative insight, linking practically with specialist techniques and individual musical identity.

Music Business Realisation

The aim of this module to equip students with the business, enterprise and entrepreneurial skills required for successful freelance activity and self-employment within the commercial music industry.

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Employment Opportunities

Successful completion of the BA (Hons) in Popular Music can lead to postgraduate study in a range of music disciplines. Graduates may also pursue a career in the music industry as professional artists and practitioners. There are a range of opportunities to develop a career in community music, youth work and many music graduates continue their studies to develop a career in teaching or education.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+


This course is delivered at South and City College Birmingham's Digbeth Campus.

Find out more about Digbeth Campus