Music degree – BA (Hons) – Bath Spa University

Music

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single or combined honours

Key facts

Award
BA (Hons) Music
School/s
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. Part time available.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: W300 or W305
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email admissions@bathspa.ac.uk with your specific details.

Discover who you are as a musician and develop the expertise you need to thrive in your future career.

  • Develop your own musical identity as part of a vibrant and immersive creative community.
  • Learn new practical, technical and transferable skills and use these to professionalise your practice.
  • Understand the contexts in which you work and engage with the creative industries.

What kind of music do you want to make? Our practical degree in Music places this question at the heart of everything you do, asking you to think about your identity as a musician and how you relate to the world around you. As part of our music community you'll undertake projects that challenge you to explore what it means to be a performer, composer, educator or writer within a contemporary context. We'll help you develop your skills as a musician, supporting you to extend and transform your practice through building on your interests and experiences while introducing you to new perspectives. Together we explore real-world contexts, deepening your understanding of cultural forces, the technology needed to make and share your work, and the practical professional skills needed to thrive within music and the cultural industries.

As a Bath Spa music student, you'll be part of Bath School of Music and Performing Arts. Based at the Michael Tippett Centre, you'll have access to a range of purpose-built facilities and collaborate with students from other courses across the University. We have weekly performances featuring students, staff and visitors in the Performance Forum, and host a weekly visiting composer through our Creative Sound Forum, giving you the opportunity to interact with professional musicians. You'll also be able to join a wide range of groups and ensembles from different musical traditions, giving you a space to try out your ideas and deepen your experience of practical music making. We work towards public presentation of your music, culminating in SparkFest each summer, part of Bath International Music Festival, as well as programming events and publishing creative practice online throughout the year.

Music at Bath Spa gives you a wide range of valuable experience that you can demonstrate to potential employers and take with you into your future career, while giving you the space to explore who you are as a unique musician.


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What you'll learn

Overview

Throughout this Music degree you’ll explore practical performance in areas such as classical music, jazz and contemporary styles, extend your creativity through composition, and investigate musical contexts from the medieval period through to the present day. You can also study areas including music psychology, community music, and ethnomusicology. Over the three years you’ll develop ways to apply what you learn to help your future career and understand current issues within the music industry.

We have a vibrant and active musical community, with an exciting range of ensembles open to all students. This includes choirs and instrumental ensembles of many genres, including our own Javanese gamelan, mbira, ukulele, folk, traditional, and experimental music groups.

Course structure

The course is structured around modules which focus on four strands: performing, creating, understanding and employing music, with each module having a lot of choice as to how you develop your skills and understanding in a way relevant to your aspirations. The first two years immerse you in new ideas and experiences, culminating in your final year independent study which gives you a space to explore your ideas in a large-scale project.

Year one
You’ll study performance, including regular one-to-one instrumental/vocal lessons, and learn exciting concepts and tools used in composition to create music in a wide range of styles and genres. You’ll study music technology in our industry-standard labs. Ethnomusicology combines lectures on music and culture with practical global music workshops, while musicology combines lectures and seminars on key current topics in music with research and study skills.

Year two
You’ll develop skills in teaching and in the area of music management and promotion through the professional module and have the option to undertake a placement in a musical organisation. You'll continue to develop your performance skills, explore at a greater depth the strategies for creating your own music, learn forward-thinking ways to analyse music and increasingly specialise in areas of particular strength and interest.

Year three
You’ll have the freedom to explore your own musical identity in a wide range of specialisms, depending on your career aspirations and goals, with a full spectrum of independent study options. You'll also choose from a wide range of supporting modules designed to prepare you for the professional world of music; practical research skills will enable you to challenge the status quo and apply composition skills to interdisciplinary environments.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed through coursework, including creative artefacts, written and spoken presentations, and through practical assessments such as recitals and public ensemble performances.

How will I be taught?

The Music course is taught through workshops, masterclasses, lectures, seminars, individual tutorials and instrumental/vocal lessons.

You’ll be taught by, and work alongside, a creative community of experts. Full-time staff are all practising performers, composers and researchers.

You’ll also be taught by visiting staff, many with international reputations.

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

  • Performing Music 1A (Musicianship)
  • Creating Music 1A (Tools)
  • Understanding Music 1A (Historical Contexts)
  • Performing Music 1B (Practices)
  • Creating Music 1B (Concepts)
  • Understanding Music 1B (Global Contexts)

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Performing Music 2A (Skills)
  • Creating Music 2A (Skills)
  • Understanding Music 2A (Analysing Music)
  • Performing Music 2B (Specialisms)
  • Creating Music 2B (Strategies)
  • Understanding Music 2B (Practical Research in Music)
  • Employing Music (Production 1)
  • Employing Music (Production 2)
  • Work placement
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Performing Music (Independent Project)
  • Creating Music (Independent Project)
  • Understanding Music (Independent Project)
  • Employing Music (Independent Project)
  • Performing Music 3A (Identity)
  • Creating Music 3A (Applications)
  • Understanding Music 3A (Rethinking Music)
  • Employing Music 3A (Community & Education)
  • Performing Music 3B (Professional)
  • Creating Music 3B (Interdisciplinarity)
  • Understanding Music 3B (Research as Product)
  • Employing Music 3B (Management & Industry)

Opportunities

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad for a term or longer in year two – we have links with university music departments and schools in Europe, particularly Germany, and the USA. We also welcome overseas students into the department on placement every year which further enriches your experience as a music student.

Performances

We give regular performances throughout the year on campus, in Bath and further afield. Each year we stage opera and musical theatre productions, as well as running events in the city and wider region. We have a wide selection of ensembles and facilitate forming your own groups as part of the performance strand of the course.

Creating music

We have a very active community of composers, improvisers, producers, songwriters and sound artists at Bath Spa and our open and exploratory approach to making work gives you the space to find your own voice. You can make work for and with other students, collaborate with practitioners in other disciplines such as dance, drama or film, and produce a final portfolio of work which will help take you to the next stage of your career as a creative practitioner.

Fieldwork

In years two and three, you'll have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork related to your creative and research projects, as well as running and participating in activities with community music groups. We also give performances in accessible venues off campus, including the Holburne Museum and the Museum of Bath at Work.

Work placements, industry links and internships

You can choose to take a Professional Placement Year in your second year to develop the personal and professional skills employers are looking for in a competitive job market. During the course you'll explore the constantly changing needs of the creative industries sector in particular, benefitting from masterclass sessions from leading international musicians, composers and performers, as well as experts from the music industry.

Recent placements have included the BBC Proms, Dorling Kindersley, Bath International Music Festival, Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne, Royal Opera House, BBC Music Magazine, and Real World Studios.

Careers

Graduates from BA (Hons) Music at Bath Spa go on to successful careers in a range of roles including those in education, special needs and community music, performance, composition, promotion, publishing and other aspects of the music business.

Student prizes

We offer three cash prizes in performance, composition and ensemble to students in their final year. The University also offers a range of scholarships, bursaries and awards.

2022/23 Academic Year

We’ve made some changes to how we deliver our courses in response to the ongoing COVID situation. This is to enable students to get the most out of their studies and university experience and to facilitate an engaging, participative and interactive learning environment, all while keeping our community safe.

We keep our programmes under constant review, and we’ll make sure to let applicants know if there are significant changes to your programme. You can find out more about how the University has adapted its approach on our COVID advice pages, where you’ll also find support and signposting to useful services.

Professional placement year

Overview

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.

Preparation

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.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Based at the Michael Tippett Centre, we have excellent facilities including:

  • A purpose-built concert hall with superb acoustics
  • 17 practice rooms, three with electronically variable acoustic
  • A wide range of medieval, renaissance and baroque instruments, and a large collection of percussion and orchestral instruments
  • A Javanese Gamelan
  • A high spec music technology laboratory
  • Five recording studios
  • Two band rehearsal rooms
  • Large, well-stocked Music Library and a wide range of online music resources.

Fees

Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.

UK students full time

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2024
Year 2 Published Jan 2025
Year 3 Published Jan 2026

UK students part time

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,625
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2024
Year 2 Published Jan 2025
Year 3 Published Jan 2026

International students full time

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £16,075
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2024
Year 2 Published Jan 2025
Year 3 Published Jan 2026

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 creativity and potential, whether you're a performer, composer or you'd like to apply your skills in areas such as education or in the community. You’ll have an energy and passion for music in all its styles and genres and in its uses in industry, education, communities and everyday life.

You'll need practical experience as a musician, however, we are looking to nurture talent and untap potential and our audition process allows you to show what you can offer. You'll be auditioned between December and March, where you'll be invited to:

  • Perform two contrasting items
  • Bring anything that you have produced so far as part of a portfolio – this might include compositions, arrangements, written work or footage of events or workshops that you are proud of.

More details will be provided on invitation.

Typical offers

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

  • A Level - grades BCC-CCC including a Grade C in Music, Music Technology or a related subject.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades from Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) to Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) in a related subject, or evidence of experience in Music or Music technology.
  • T Levels – grade Merit-Pass (C+) preferred in a relevant subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 27 points are required in addition to evidence of a high level of experience in music, composing, music technology or music performance.
  • 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) together with evidence of a high level of experience in music, composing, music technology or music performance.

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.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

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

We do not charge an audition fee.

For international students or students unable to come to Bath, we also accept an online Music portfolio in the form of video/PDF examples of your performance and work.

Course leader: Tom Worley
Email: t.worley@bathspa.ac.uk

Three year course
With placement year

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk