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Music BA

Placement Offered This course has a Placement Year option

Overview

Music at Brunel is ranked 9th in UK and 4th in London (The Guardian 2018).

We regularly host Facebook LIVE sessions to give you the chance to find out more about our courses and what studying at Brunel is like.  For a playback of our recent Music Facebook LIVE, click here

Brunel University London’s impact on the future wages of its graduates is among the best in the country compared to other universities, according to a new analysis of government data by The Economist (2017).

About the course

Music at Brunel: Informed by the past, grounded in the present, focused on the future

Are you a composer, a singer-songwriter, a producer, a performer, a DJ, a noise artist, an improviser, a curator or a music journalist? Then our brand new, bold and broad-based programme is for you. It’s a hybrid of core and bespoke activities catering to the new reality of a career in music. Our aim is to form a new generation of musical creators who are capable of navigating real-world projects and collaborations at the forefront of our changing world. At its heart is creativity, technology, collaboration, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Right from your very first week, we foster all the skills you’ll need for a career in music. Through an attractive range of engaging modules we place you, the creative musician, at the heart of our teaching, allowing you to develop independent and open-minded thinking. You can also combine your music-making with other disciplines such as theatre, creative writing, design, journalism and games.

We also offer a placement year, and with our unrivalled network of contacts across the music industry, this will provide you with that all-important link to the world of work.

We train our graduates to be highly-skilled, self-confident, inquisitive, robust and sought-after musicians who go on to a huge variety of careers in performance, recording, media, composition, arts management, teaching and music therapy. Our students love the teaching and ambience that our music team provide and have consistently rated Music at Brunel highly in the National Student Survey.

Aims

  • To equip students with a strong grounding in the craft of creativity (composition, production and performance) which reflects the diversity of musical styles and genre in todays world.
  • To develop students leadership and communication skills opening you up to a wide set of possibilities (teaching, conducting, directing, curating).
  • To foster a uniqueness and a strong sense of the students’ own musical distinctiveness.
  • To equip students with a bold and assured capability in the use of state-of-the-art music technology.
  • To foster a core sense of entrepreneurship and innovation across all aspects of their work.
  • To prepare students for real world situations through the creation of collaborative environments
  • To help students understand how all their skills are transferable within the range of potential jobs in the music industry.

Enquiries

Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)


Course Content

The degree course is modular. Modules are worth 20 or 40 credits and you must complete 120 credits for each year of your degree programme. All music students take the same modules in Year 1 (Performance I can be taken in a variety of ways and does not necessarily require a solo performance).

Year 1

Compulsory

  • Ensemble I: The Art of Performing
  • Materials of Music I: Inside the Language
  • Ways of Hearing I: Genres Through Time
  • Composing I: Capturing Ideas
  • Studio Production I: Introduction to the Art of Sound and Technology 
  • Professional Development I: Building a Collaborative Musical Project from A-Z

Level 2

Compulsory

  • Materials of Music II: Cultural Change and Evolution
  • Ways of Hearing II: The Theatre of Technology
  • Professional Development II: Communicating and Teaching

 Optional

  • Ensemble II: Leadership, Directing and Improvisation
  • Composing II: Craft and Development
  • Studio Production II: Advanced Techniques and Designing Your Own Tools
  • Arranging and Orchestrating: Colouring Techniques for Musicians
  • Interdisciplinary Project: Learning Collaboration

Level 3

Compulsory

  • Professional Independent Project

Optional

  • Ensemble III: Creating Performance
  • Materials of Music III: Advanced Technical Portfolio
  • Ways of Hearing III: Cultures and Subcultures
  • Composing III: Advanced Portfolio
  • Studio Production III: Taking Sonic Art To the Stage

Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.

Employability

All Music staff have extremely strong connections to music companies and associations in London, UK and in Europe. We also work closely with the professional Development Centre to offer students a clear and effective model for a gaining internships and placements.

Examples of placements undertaken in the last few years include:

  • Arts administration for The Royal Philharmonic Society
  • Workshop and music animateur assistance at the Music House for Children
  • Teaching assistance in local secondary school
  • Publicity and admin for the Vortex Jazz Club, London,
  • Stage management for Club Inegalés, London
  • Interns at Apple MAC, BBC Radio 3, EMI and Live Music Now

Careers

Our graduates are highly-skilled, self-confident, inquisitive, robust and thoroughly-employable musicians who go on to a huge variety of careers in performance, recording, media, composition, arts management, teaching and music therapy. All careers in music are portfolio careers and the experiences from this degree programme place the interconnectivity of skills and of collaboration at its centre. Some examples of recent graduates show the broad range of employment in the music industry: 

  • Chief Executive, Shoreditch Town Hall, London
  • Music Therapist, Music for Health Research Centre
  • Freelance Bassist, Sound editor for Hollywood movies
  • Teacher, Head of Music, London
  • Project Manager, Arts Council England
  • Performing/Recording artist
  • Librarian, Royal Opera House
  • Venue Management Assistant, 606 Jazz Club
  • Singer-Songwriter-recording artist
  • Systems Engineer for Apple, New York                                                                          

Many students also go on to further study particularly in music composition, music technology and teacher training.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Entry Criteria 2017/18

  • GCE A-level BCC
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in a related subject.
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in any subject, with an A-level at grade B.
  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in any subject, with A-levels grade BB.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 28 points overall.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related Access course with 45 credits at Level 3 with Merits in all units.

All candidates are required to complete an audition as part of the selection process. Subject to Audition/Interview performance applicants may be offered an unconditional place.

Applicants without formal Music qualifications will be considered on a case by case basis.

GCSE English grade C or grade 4 is required. GCSE Mathematics grade C or grade 4 is also normally required.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.


International and EU Entry Requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 55% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English. Find out more information about English course and test options.

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching

The dynamic mixture of teaching formats and assessment strategies is at the heart of the programme. These aim to engage students in learning which will foster individuality and distinctiveness and prepare them with both the solid grounding of core skills and craft, as well as introducing entrepreneurial and innovative models which enhance their professional development.

Formats include lectures, seminars, practical workshops, individual tutorials and ensemble sessions. As well as these, a new set of online resources including introductory lecture Vlogs and online self-assessment will provide you with clear structures in the key areas of music notation, music theory, repertoire, music software, music technology.

Assessment

Acknowledging the need for a broad range of assessment types, the range of modules engages with as many different formats as necessary. In addition to the more traditional lectures, seminars, and exams, these include: 

  • Online (BBL) small tests and self-assessments where skills and comprehension of concepts and theories provide instant marking and feedback for the tutors;
  • Active websites where a range of activity is logged and work is stored as an online portfolio;
  • Video recording of actual rehearsals, performances, teaching sessions for assessment and feedback;
  • Centralised sound library of studio and live recordings;
  • Masterclasses and workshops including conducting, directing, and project presentations
  • Reading and writing of scores
  • Computer music and sound design development analysis
  • Application development
  • Collaborative event assessments
  • Discussions in a flipped-classroom design

Special Features

  • Music at Brunel is ranked 9th in UK and 4th in London (The Guardian 2018).
  • With so many world-class musicians amongst our array of teaching talent we give students real insight into how to develop their relationship with music from a first love into a career.
  • There is a vibrant student performance culture on campus comprising several ensembles performing contemporary and classical music, improvisation, jazz, and live electronics.
  • You will be part of a highly dynamic music department with a strong profile in the Greater London area. The University hosts weekly recitals and concerts, and our new Arts@Artaud series showcases new performance work by students, staff and visiting artists in the newly refurbished surroundings of the Antonin Artaud building.
  • Facilities include a computer suite fully equipped for sound design and notation, studios for individual work, individual practice rooms and larger spaces for group rehearsals.

Fees for 2018/19 entry

UK/EU students: £9,250 full-time; £6,935 part-time; £1,000 placement year

International students: £14,800 full-time

Additional course related costs

See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants