BA (Hons) Music (Community Music) – Bath Spa University

Music (Community Music)

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

Key facts

BA (Hons) Music (Community Music)
Bath School of Music and Performing Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: W301 or W306
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A-level grades CCC, with grade in Music or a related subject.

View "typical offers" for more information.

Prepare yourself for a career as a community leader with our community music course.

Places still available through Clearing

Call our Admissions team now on +44 (0)1225 875 550

Find your place

  • Expand your career opportunities by training in this exciting and growing area of musical expertise.
  • Develop a deep understanding of community music theories, from non-formal learning to reflective practice.
  • Collaborate with professional music leaders during exciting placements on this practical course.

Due to Covid-19, we have made changes to teaching and learning for the 2020-21 academic year.

Please see the 2020 Undergraduate Programme Changes page for information about specific changes to this course.

Please note the changes are for the 2020-21 academic year only.

The 'Programme Document' beneath the main image on this course page shows you the programme specification as normally delivered.

Community Music is an exciting new pathway building on a number of years of successful musical engagement between our students, our music organisations and groups in the community.

You'll develop as a practising musician into a confident music leader through improvisation, creative workshops and placements.

The course explores the diverse sector of community music in non-formal settings including community singing, the justice system, early years, the disadvantaged and those with special educational needs. You'll develop a sense of where community music sits in relation to professional music leading, teaching and music therapy.

Open Days

Get a taste of university life – come to one of our Open Days.

Book your place

“Before this year I had not considered the social power of music, but this module has made it clear that it can be used as a tool for empowerment, communication and inspiration.”

Emma Davies, Music graduate

What you'll learn


You'll learn the skills you need to become a professional community music leader. You'll understand the importance of reflective practice, together with the ideologies of inclusive and accessible music making in a non-formal setting.

You'll study approaches from music psychology and music therapy that support community music practice, and design and create a community music project. You'll identify the aims and outcomes, understand the importance of partnerships, and learn to evaluate and budget accordingly.

You'll understand the community music "marketplace" in terms of the competitive process of obtaining funding for your projects.

Course structure

Year one
The first year provides a grounding in all aspects of music. One-to-one lessons in performance focus on instrumental/vocal technique, and you'll also benefit from workshops in rhythm and improvisation, jazz, classical theory and harmony classes, and aural analysis. You'll study composition - notation, arranging, free composition and music technology, and musicology - history, style and context. You'll also benefit from a study of the music of other cultures in our Global Music module.

Year two
The second year introduces you to the world of community music across a range of situations, age groups and abilities. You'll study Music Psychology, gaining an overview of recent research on the subject, and Performance - one-to-one lessons, solo and group performance workshops.

Optional modules include: Jazz Studies  (focusing on critical listening, transcription and arranging), Composition, and Music Research, where you'll focus on music in its cultural contexts and undertake fieldwork in the area of community practice. There's the option to take a work placement related to community music, enhancing your industry awareness and employability. You'll also be given the opportunity to study abroad in the first semester.

Year three
Next, you'll advance your skills working in a real community music environment through the Professional Music Leader module together with Music Psychology (applied and experimental) where you'll run an experimental project related to community music environments and/or music therapy. Independent Study will comprise a creative/practical research project or a dissertation in community music.

In Performance, you'll learn in advanced solo and group performance workshops, plus public performances. In Jazz Studies (optional) you'll investigate issues in jazz and jazz performance, as well as undertaking independent jazz research in your chosen area. In Composition (optional), you'll undertake project-based composition for ensembles. 

How will I be assessed?

Your practical assessment takes place through contribution to improvised creative workshops, leading to a performance. Written and practical assessments through placements in the field will form your coursework.

How will I be taught?

You'll be taught in collaborative lectures, seminars and workshop sessions guided by tutors and peers, and observed practical sessions in the field.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Performance 1
  • Composition 1 (Technology)
  • Musicology 1 (Historical Contexts)
  • Performance 2
  • Composition 2 (Instruments)
  • Musicology 2 (Global Contexts)

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Professional Musician
  • Performance 3
  • Composition 3 (Methods)
  • Musicology 3 (Specialist Study)
  • Jazz Studies 1
  • Stage Skills for Singers 1
  • Performance 4
  • Composition 4 (Collaboration)
  • Music Analysis
  • Music Psychology
  • Jazz Studies 2
  • Community Music Practice
  • Opera Project 1
  • Work placement
  • Song Production
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Independent Study 1
  • Independent Study 2
  • Performance 5
  • Composition 5 (Contexts)
  • Musicology 4 (Specialist Studies)
  • Stage Skills for Singers 2
  • Jazz Studies 3
  • Community Music - Professional Music Leader
  • Performance 6
  • Composition 6 (Event)
  • Jazz Studies 4
  • Opera Project 2
  • Music Psychology - applied and experimental
  • Composition for Media


Work placements, industry links and internships

Our students have worked with clients including Bath Festivals, Royal United Hospital Bath, BANES Music Hub, Wiltshire Rural Music School, Bath Philharmonia and many more regional organisations.


Many of our students have continued to build portfolio careers (including community music projects) together with performing and teaching careers. A number have successfully started their own projects in the region, attracting both local and national funding.

Professional placement year


This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for, and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.


Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

“Since graduating, I now teach the clarinet to children living in deprived areas of Bristol and support singing sessions for Alzheimer’s patients.”

Emma Davies, Music graduate

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Community Music is taught at Newton Park's Michael Tippett Centre, which has numerous ensemble rehearsal spaces, a concert hall and practice rooms. 

You'll have access to a range of excellent facilities, including: 


UK and EU students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

International students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,700
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for talented musicians of all ages who are passionate about music in the wider community and its value as a therapeutic tool. We value commitment to learning, so the ability to be open to challenges is an important trait that we look for in candidates.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A-level – grades CCC including grade C in Music or a related subject
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma in Music or related subject accepted at grade Merit, Merit, Merit (DMM) accepted
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum of 26 points required in addition to evidence of Music ability and/or other graded Music qualifications
  • Access to HE courses – typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher) accepted in addition to evidence of Music ability and/or other graded Music qualifications.

You should be at or working towards Grade 8 in Music Practical and Grade 5 in Music Theory. We'll consider applicants without these qualifications if they can demonstrate at audition that they have ability to this standard or are very close.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 – for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page. Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Interview and portfolio guidance

We interview all prospective students at interview days from December onwards. You’ll meet staff and see our facilities, as well as having the chance to discuss the course with students and staff.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Course leader: Tom Worley

Three year course

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