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Popular Music - FdA

The Popular Music Foundation Degree course provides the training and skills necessary for a wide range of careers within the music industry.  You will develop understanding of the commercial music sector, study musical output and techniques, and improve your creativity, professionalism and practical musicianship to a level needed for music industry employment....

Studying with us in 2021/22 and 2022/23

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses.  Information about the arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year can be found here.  

 

Should the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continue in the 2022/23 academic year or subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Award FdA
  • Start date September 2022
  • School
  • Faculty

Overview

The Popular Music Foundation Degree course provides the training and skills necessary for a wide range of careers within the music industry. 

You will develop understanding of the commercial music sector, study musical output and techniques, and improve your creativity, professionalism and practical musicianship to a level needed for music industry employment. This Foundation Degree is focused on developing the practical and transferable skills required to make you industry-ready.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Awarded by Birmingham City University, this is a high level course with experienced staff and excellent resources. With 3 recording studios, 7 rehearsal rooms, 2 sequencing suites and a 600-capacity working venue on site, you will enjoy the exciting, creative opportunities and supportive environment.

Your principal study can be in performance, music technology, live sound or composition.  Additionally the course takes a holistic approach to musical study, with every student developing a broad range of skillsets required to become a successful music professional.  Assessments are varied and innovative, and often modelled on real industry practice.

You will study the theory, wider contexts and contemporary issues surrounding the modern day music industry and there will be regular visits from industry experts and artists. You will also develop the musical and creative skills required by a performer, composer or producer, learn how to work well in teams and demonstrate leadership, organisation and decision-making skills.

This programme will help you to develop a profile suitable for an artist looking for employment within the music industry and reflect on individual progress as an artist, learning how to improve along the way.

Why Choose Us?

  • South and City College Birmingham’s advanced facilities put you in a professional working environment from day one.
  • The college has Customer Service Excellence status, and is one of only a handful of training providers to achieve the government’s Training Quality Standard in three or more sector areas.
  • With a highly supportive and experienced staff team, excellent levels of contact time and quality resources, you will feel valued, encouraged and stimulated to do your best.
  • The industry focus of our training prepares you well for a career in music, or for a wealth of graduate opportunities.

Entry Requirements

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

Essential Requirements

48 UCAS tariff points.

This is a franchise course at South and City College and applicants are auditioned and interviewed by the college.

It is recognised that some learners may have significant relevant work experience or other professional qualifications and therefore may be admitted to the programme, through an auditions process.

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
GCSE
  • GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment

Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)

See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details

Scottish National 5

  • English Language at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
IELTS 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
A Level and Advanced VCE
  • DD / 48 UCAS points
  • Music A-Level preferred
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A/S Levels (as long in a different subject) A-Levels or Level 3 equivalents.
AS and AS VCE
  • Music at Level 3 preferred
  • Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 48 pts
Access to HE Diploma
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3.
  • Arts, Media and Music subjects preferred but other subjects also considered subject to passing audition stage
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
PPP
Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media) Pass
IBO Certificate in Higher Level
  • Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall
  • 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 Diploma will be accepted
Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers) Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 48 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects. This must include English Language taken at either Ordinary Level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level minimum grade H1/H7 (or A-D / A1-D3 up to and including 2016
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma PPP
Scottish Advanced Higher
  • Achieve a minimum of 48 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 DDD
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers).
T-Levels Pass overall (D or E on the core)
UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design Pass overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production & Technology Pass overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts Pass overall
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.

Further information

As part of the application you will also need to undergo an audition, qualification check and supply suitable references. Students with significant, relevant experience in place of formal qualifications may be accepted onto the course subject to a successful audition.

International applicants will be asked to demonstrate equivalents of the above qualification levels and an IELTS overall score of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: FdA

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: FdA

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 2 years
  • TBC

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. 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.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU 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
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Portfolio Guidance

You will be asked at interview to prepare two pieces for live performance and/or recorded tracks of music technology work.

Course in Depth

Year one

MAST (MIDI, Audio, Studio Techniques) 20 credits

Working Live 20 credits

Understanding Style 20 credits

Show Me The Money 20 credits

Technical Development 20 credits

Creative Portfolio 20 credits

Year two

Production Cycle 20 credits

Personal Development Portfolio 20 credits

Technical Development 2 20 credits

Final Showcase/Product 20 credits

Professional Music Practice 40 credits

How you will learn

You will learn through workshops, lectures, recording sessions, seminars and tutorials.

All students receive weekly one-to-one instrumental sessions, delivered by our highly qualified visiting instrumental specialists on vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards.

Much of your work will be geared towards the development of professional products, such as performances, tours, album production or radio shows. 

The course will help you to develop your own professional profile and explore your individual artistic identity. You’ll also collaborate with others and explore all aspects of the contemporary music industry.

Employability

Graduates from this degree course benefit from a wide range of career opportunities through professional graduate training programmes, and by demonstrating high-level employability through the academic, creative and transferable skills developed during the course.

In the music industry itself, SCCB graduates have progressed successfully to work with BBC Radio 1/1Xtra, BBC Introducing, Craig David, Sydney Opera House, X-factor, the Royal Variety Performance, Urban Audio, Blitz Games, music management and a range of ongoing corporate and independent music opportunities.

Graduate Opportunities

Graduate opportunities include studio engineer, live sound engineer, stage manager/tour staff, session musician, media music composer, independent freelance musician. Also you can progress to graduate placements/training in education, finance, public services etc. utilising the transferable and creative skills developed on the course.

OpportUNIty

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.

International Students

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 and Staff

Facilities

This course is delivered at South and City College Birmingham's Digbeth Campus. Take a look around some of the facilities by clicking the links below.

Studio South and City College

Studio

1 of 3 recording studios
 

Take a look around

The-Crossing South and City College

The Crossing

A specialist 600-capacity working commercial music venue

Take a look around

Mac-Suites South and City College

Mac Room

1 of 2 Mac programming suites

Take a look around

Rehearrsal-Room South and City College

Rehearsal Room

1 of 6 rehearsal rooms

Take a look around

Find out more about Digbeth Campus

Staff

  • Dr Simon Lesley PhD MMus BMus (Hons) FHEA: Graduate of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the University of Birmingham.
  • Nils Edstrom BA (Hons) PG Cert Ed: Three-time gold disc winner for million-selling records, producer of 100 professional albums and audio technician for TED and Channel 4.