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Music Technology - BSc (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

Want to be an established music technician? Study our BSc (Hons) Music Technology degree at Birmingham City University. This course is aimed at the technical music producer, and will train you to use technology to create, record and distribute music. We will provide you with industry connections, live projects and a wide, in-depth knowledge of the field....

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Computing and Digital Technology
  • Faculty Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment

This course is:

Available with Professional Placement year

Open to International Students

Overview

I'm a third year Music Technology student. When I was looking for Music Technology courses, Birmingham City University really stood out to me. I was keen on attending a Bachelor of Science and the course really focussed on the science aspects as well as maintaining the artistic elements of music and sound production. The support of the tutors has been fantastic. The professional standard and the facilities on campus are great due to their accessibility around the clock. The easy access to studios has been extremely helpful in completing my work and keeping on top of deadlines. At BCU, there's been a heavy focus on employability and what I could do with all aspects of my degree. The university has organised the industrial mentor forum, a space where students can communicate with alumni and people within the industry. The Acoustics Special Interest Group also consisted of more bespoke talks from people within the acoustics industry about different aspects of the work and how individual companies run. This is how I developed contact with an acoustic consultancy to complete my placement year. I act as an Acoustic Technician at Dragonfly Consulting. It went so well that I'm returning upon my graduation to continue working with them. The university has given me opportunities I don't think I would have received anywhere else.

I'm a second year computer science student studying at Birmingham City University. As a Computing student, there are plenty of computer labs available. There's entire rooms filled with Cisco networking equipment, as well as laptops that can be rented out to complete your work. Several of the facilities have now moved over to STEAMhouse, which is a £70 million build that is now the new home for Computing and Digital Technology students. One of the main things for me was getting employment at the end of my university degree. And Birmingham City University offers a wealth support for moving into the work environment. The course is a very important focus and a very industry focussed as well. I've been offered roles as a student demonstrator for Python programming. I found that the best way to show that you've understood something is to be able to teach somebody else.

I'm studying Computer Networks and Security. So far, I've really enjoyed my time at BCU. I felt really included within the student community. For the past two years, I've been involved in Innovation Fest. This is an annual event that showcases student work from the faculty. A lot of employers visit this festival, which allows us to widen our professional network. Throughout my time at BCU, I've had some time to

develop a relationship with the Careers+ team and go through tailoring my CV and my cover letters with them. Because of this, I have been presented with many opportunities which they have tailored to me and my needs. Through this, I was encouraged to apply for the women in tech competition.

So it was a one week program and I was working with the team from Cyferd. It's a software company,

and I successfully won and have taken up the placement year with them as a Junior Development Lead.

I look forward to coming back and applying the skills I've learnt throughout my placement and applied them within my studies.

Want to be an established music technician? Study our BSc (Hons) Music Technology degree at Birmingham City University. This course is aimed at the technical music producer, and will train you to use technology to create, record and distribute music. We will provide you with industry connections, live projects and a wide, in-depth knowledge of the field. 

You’ll leave with a valuable blend of creative ability and practical skills in music production, alongside solid business awareness and a strong understanding of technology. 

STEAMhouse building exterior

Introducing STEAMhouse

STEAMhouse is a centre for technology, innovation, creative thinking, prototyping and business development. Our brand new £70 million pound building is the new home for the School of Computing and Digital Technology.

Find out more

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Our BSc (Hons) Music Technology course was set up to meet the growing demand for people within the music and audio industries who are able to use technology to assist in the creation, performance and distribution of music.

We will train you to become the next generation of musically-informed engineers, with a strong understanding of underlying technical principles in order to make informed decisions about appropriate technologies.

You will analyse and critically evaluate live musical events and sound recordings, as well as music technology products, systems, processes and designs. You’ll also have the opportunity to study in our world-class facilities in our Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Exploring a wealth of creative ideas and techniques, we will encourage you to think innovatively and respond to the needs of industry. Employability is a key factor incorporated within the course, and we are dedicated to providing you with the skills and knowledge to jump right into a creative role.

Professional Placement Year

This course offers an optional professional placement year. This allows you to spend a whole year with an employer, following successful completion of your second year, and is a great way to find out more about your chosen career. Some students even return to the same employers after completing their studies.

If you choose to pursue a placement year, you will need to find a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. You will be able to draw on the University’s extensive network of local, regional, and national employers, and the support of our Careers teams. If you are able to secure a placement, you can request to be transferred to the placement version of the course.

Please note that fees are payable during your placement year, equivalent to 20% of the total full-time course fee for that year.

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • Athena Swan Bronze Award

"It's a wonderful job - quite honestly something I never thought I would be doing at this stage - and I get to work with some fantastic people, see plenty of movies, binge on Pro Tools and meet celebrities!"Jason Rosehill, audio/visual producer for a film PR company


“The pool of lecturers is great at Birmingham City University and the knowledge from their previous industry experience is fantastic. The studios are great quality and with all new facilities it’s a great time to join.’’ Ben Parker, Promotions Executive at EMI Production Music


“The course gave me the opportunity to really hone my skills in recording live orchestras and more classical musicians than I would otherwise have had the opportunity to do.” Alastair Jamieson, owner / producer at Park Studios JQ, Birmingham.

Mia Churchill

Mia has felt a sense of belonging since joining Birmingham City University from both her lecturers and new friends on the BSc (Hons) Music Technology course. After consistent self-doubt and ambivalence around her capability with her studies, Mia has proven to herself that she can achieve anything if she puts her mind to it. Moving from her small town, Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, to the big city of Birmingham, has allowed Mia to excel in her confidence.

Read in full

Why Choose Us?

  • Brand new facilities at STEAMhouse - This state-of-the-art building is the new home for the School of Computing and Digital Technology. Based at our expanding City Centre Campus, this unique centre gives you access to outstanding facilities and teaching spaces, as well as opportunities to collaborate with people and businesses across multiple sectors and work on real industry-based projects.
  • Excellent preparation for industry  - Learn skills for a range of technology-focused career paths in the highly dynamic music technology environment. Our students have gone on to work at Focusrite, Universal, BBC, Audient and The Music Group.   
  • Range of  opportunities - Our graduates have successfully entered the music and audio industry in production, sound design and audio through to technical development, acoustic consultancy and education.   
  • Unique position in UK higher education - The BSc (Hons) Music Technology degree holds a unique position, drawing on the dual strengths of a cutting-edge technology institution and a premier Conservatoire.
  • Undertake a Professional Placement Year - You can choose to take a one-year work placement between your second and final year, providing you with valuable work experience.
  • State-of-the-art campus and facilities  - You’ll be taught across our three City Centre Campuses that include; Millennium Point, which has recently had a £6.5 million investment in facilities; the £57 million Royal Birmingham Conservatoire; and £62 million Parkside Campus. Find out more about our campuses.
  • Be inspired - Read about how Kristian collaborated with music students in studios while studying.

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Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Essential

120 UCAS tariff points.

Please note: If you qualify for our BCU Accelerate scheme, you could receive an offer that is two grades below our normal entry requirements. Find out more about BCU Accelerate.

Level 2 qualifications
GCSE GCSE English Language or English Literature and GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) See level 3 entry requirements under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details.
Scottish National 5 English Language or English Literature and Maths at grade C or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) qualifications
A level and Advanced VCE
  • BBB / 120 UCAS points
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or level 3 equivalents.
  • At least one from Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing related subjects.

T Level 

  • 120 UCAS points - grade Merit or above

Accepted subjects:


  • Digital Production, Design and Development (Pearson)
  • Digital Support Services (NCFE)
  • Digital Business Services (NCFE)
  • Media, Broadcast and Production (NCFE)
  • All other T Level subjects are not accepted. 
Access to HE Diploma
  • 60 credits overall. Minimum of 45 credits at level 3. The remaining 15 credits can be taken either at level 2 or 3.
  • Must be from Technology, Science, or Computing related subjects.
  • A minimum of 12 credits achieved from any Technology Units awarded at Merit or Distinction.
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2002 – 2010)
  • DDM / 120 UCAS points
  • Must be in a Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing related subject
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate
    (2002 – 2010)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either this qualification or an accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be a Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing related subject
  • Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma (2016 to present)

  • Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)

  • 120 UCAS points

  • Either this qualification or an accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be a Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing related subject
  • Considered with two A Levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate
    (2016 – present)

  • Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)

  • BTEC Level 3 National Award
    (2002 - 2010)

  • 120 UCAS points

  • Considered with two A-levels or an equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

Scottish Higher

  • Achieve a minimum of 120 tariff points achieved in either five Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers. Where only Highers have been taken a minimum of grades BBBCC is required.
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve grades of CC in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers.
  • Must include one from Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing

Scottish Advanced Higher

  • Achieve a minimum of 120 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers. Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CCC.
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of CC in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers).
  • Must include one from Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)

  • 120 UCAS points

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component

  • 120 UCAS points

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall and pass one of the following subjects from Group 4 at Higher Level (Computer Science, Chemistry, Design Technology, Physics)

  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted

  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

T- Levels

Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)

  • Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 120 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects. This must include Maths and English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum grade H5/D1).
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications  
IELTS

6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.

2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
AND
English Group A - Grade 4 or above,
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Additional Requirements

As part of the application process you will be invited to attend an applicant visit day where you will undertake a short one-to-one interview with an academic member of staff. This is your chance to show us how passionate you are about the subject and it will help us make a decision on your application.

This will provide you with more information about the School and your course. In addition, it will give you a chance to meet and our staff and students to gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a student here.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £16,085 in 2024/25

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS, Nvivo and MATLAB to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free Adobe Creative Cloud licence

Students studying on this course can request a free licence to install the entire suite of applications on up to two personal devices.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

Some modules may suggest that you purchase a key textbook. All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. Many students choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Guidance for UK students

UK students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS

  1. Register with UCAS
  2. Login to UCAS and complete your details
  3. Select your course and write a personal statement
  4. Get a reference
  5. Pay your application fee and submit your application

Guidance for International students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

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.

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

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

Course in Depth

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Professional Placement Year (Optional)

In order to qualify for the award of BSc (Hons) Music Technology with Professional Placement Year a student must successfully complete the following module.

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Download course specification

Download now

Course Structure

The course combines practical, hands-on training with theoretical and academic understanding, giving you a holistic conception of music technology. The course caters for students who are looking to broaden their career prospects across a range of music technology-related industries. 

Attendance requirements

For more information on attendance requirements, course contact time and suggested self-study hours, download the course specification.

Athena Swan Bronze Award
Athena Swan Bronze Award

We have successfully secured the Athena SWAN Departmental Bronze Award recognising a commitment to gender equality.

The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research.

Employability

Enhancing Employability

Your experience at Birmingham City University will ensure you’ll graduate as a creative problem solver, with significant experience of professional industry-standard hardware, software and systems. You will leave with a global outlook, well-primed to engage with the technical and aesthetic issues that will challenge the music and audio industries in the globalised and technologically mediated world ahead.

The Module Industrial Mentors scheme supports the enhancement of graduate employability through on-going engagement with industry specialists throughout the course. This initiative is based on facilitating interactions between students and individuals working across the music technology and audio sector via module-based forums. This innovative approach allows you to explore specific subject areas with experienced professionals working in the field.

Graduate Profiles

Richard Siddall-Jones

Course : BSc (Hons) Music Technology
Senior Director, Global Digital Accounts at Warner Music Group
Richard found our course gave him a well-rounded understanding of the industry, providing him with further industry insight. Hear more about his experience and how he benefited from our facilities and staff’s knowledge. 

Placements

The Music Technology course offers you the chance to take a ‘sandwich’ year, in which you can undertake an industrial placement. This industrial placement year will help you to build relationships with employers and further your industry knowledge. This takes place after the second year of study and extends the course duration to four years.

There are a wide range of potential placements that you may pursue such as working in recording studios, record companies, in professional audio and theatres. There are also various opportunities to pick up valuable work experience in areas such as live sound.

As well as providing relevant workplace experience that is sought by many employers, a placement provides an invaluable opportunity for you to develop your practical expertise, earn money and try out a potential career path. Our placements team will support you throughout the placements process; in the past students have undertaken placements at reputable companies such as Dolby UK, Focusrite and the Music Group.

Full details can be found on the School placements page.

Here is a short video showing the kind of work placement experience you could enjoy as part of your Music Technology degree:

International

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Facilities & Staff

Our Facilities

As a student in the School of Computing and Digital Technology, you will have access to our labs, software, professional sound studios, computer games labs and industry-standard facilities to develop your practical skills in audio, video and multimedia application development, content creation and more.

We are currently undertaking a £400 million investment programme in our facilities, including a major expansion of our City Centre Campus. This includes our brand new £70 million development, STEAMhouse, which will be the new home to Computing and Digital Technology students. This state-of-the-art centre will give you access to outstanding facilities and equipment, as well as opportunities to collaborate with businesses across multiple sectors and work on real industry-based projects.

Our facilities in Millennium Point have undergone a £6.5million investment with a new maker area, engineering labs/equipment and IT equipment.

Thanks to our partnerships with Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, Juniper, SAS and LPI you will have access to the latest technology and facilities that reflect advanced professional practice. Our students also have access to software such as the Adobe Suite including Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.

Computing and Digital Technology facilities

Our staff

Dr Roy Priest

Associate Professor of Computing

Roy is Academic Lead in the Centre for Digital Media Technology and Director of Learning, Teaching and Employability within the School of Computing and Digital Technology. Prior to working in higher education, Roy was involved in various aspects of the music industry, as a professional musician and also working in artist management and legal and...

More about Roy

Dr Simon Hall

Head of Music Technology

Simon's musical interests are wide-ranging, which is reflected in his variety of work. He is an active composer, producer, recording engineer and bass trombone player as well as educator. He has worked across a range of genres in a range of capacities, with artists as diverse as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, Louis Andriessen and Heiner...

More about Simon

Dr Islah Ali-MacLachlan

Senior Lecturer

With a background working as a product designer in the hi-fi industry and as a working musician over many years, Izzy specialises in the areas of live sound and acoustics. He is an in-demand live engineer and production manager, working with a number of festivals and events each year. He was instrumental in setting up the student-led Live Sound...

More about Dr Islah

Dr Yonghao Wang

Senior Lecturer

Dr. Yonghao (Leo) Wang is an esteemed academic with over 20 years of experience in the fields of Networking and Cybersecurity, with a special focus on blockchain technology and decentralised communication systems.

More about Yonghao

Ian Williams

Professor of Visual Computing and Head of the Digital Media Technology Lab (DMT Lab)

Dr Williams is Professor of Visual Computing and Head of the Digital Media Technology Lab (DMT Lab). He leads the research strategy and vision for the DMT Lab which encompasses the four core domains of: Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer Graphics and Computer Vision, Sound and Music Analysis and Broadcast Systems.

More about Ian

Dr David Gibson

Associate Professor

In 1997 David joined BCU as a lecturer. He contributed to the Electronics programme and soon became Assistant Centre Manager and then Centre Manager for the Centre of Electronics and Software having been a Course Director for multiple courses. In 2009 he became Deputy Head of School for Computing, Telecommunications and Networks until 2015. His...

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Dr Jason Hockman

Associate Professor

Jason Hockman is Associate Professor of Audio Engineering at Birmingham City University. He is a member of the Digital Media Technology Laboratory (DMT Lab), in which he leads the Sound and Music (SoMA) Group for computational analysis of sound and music and digital audio processing.  

More about Jason

Ben Markland

Ben is widely known and much admired, not only for his playing, but for his writing and arranging. He gained an MA in Composition from Birmingham University before embarking on a freelance career. Ben is also active in education, regularly running composition and improvisation workshops. He lectures in music technology, though his fine bass playing...

More about Ben