Music degree – BA (Hons) – Bath Spa University

Music

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single or combined honours

  • UCAS codes: Institution B20, Course W300 or W305 (with professional placement year)

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 skills you need to thrive in your future career.

  • Develop your skills through practical music-making: play, sing, compose, or collaborate every working day.
  • Learn how to make a difference in the world through your music: in communities, for wellbeing and in education settings.
  • Ready yourself for a viable and sustainable career in the wider music sector.

Please note: Applications for this course will open in September 2022 for entry in 2023. In the meantime, why not book an Open Day, so that you can meet us, find out more about this course, and get a taste of life at Bath Spa?


Music is central to everything you do. You like playing it, making it, listening to it, and thinking about it. It is who you are. 

The course draws on your passion for music and your inquisitiveness to open up ways that your interests and skills as a musician can be applied in different professional situations. In addition to developing your core skills as a creative musician, you'll explore how music can be used in education and community settings, for health and wellbeing, and as artistic practice, framed by experience of managing projects from an initial idea to its realisation.

The focus is on practical work, whether this involves devising music in an ensemble, putting on a public event, recording your own podcast series or developing a professional music service. We focus first and foremost on what you can do as a musician, guiding you to be entrepreneurial in all of the projects you undertake.

Throughout the course, you’ll gather evidence of what you can do as you build your career and talk to employers. You’ll also be given the creative space you need to make the kind of music you love.


Open Days

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

Book your place


What you'll learn

Overview

Starting with your own interests as a musician, the course develops your core skills and gives you ways to apply them in practical employment contexts including education, community music, health and wellbeing, and arts management. The course focuses on developing your artistic practice as well as helping you learn new skills in areas such as:

  • Performance, improvisation and ensemble musicianship
  • Composition, arrangement and music for media
  • Recording, documenting and music production
  • Blogging, podcasting and online media
  • Music teaching, workshop leading and social engagement
  • Event management, marketing and creative entrepreneurship

Develop key professional skills and an impressive CV of evidence and experience that appeals to employers, preparing you for the music industry as it exists today.

Course structure

Year one
Your first year focuses on developing and refining your core practical musicianship skills as a performer and/or composer. Through this practical work, you’ll learn about current music in relation to societal contexts, showing you the areas in which your practice can make a difference in people’s lives . Across the year, you’ll undertake a series of short projects that give you a chance to explore new aspects of music making and ways to share it with others, working in groups as well as on your own ideas.

Year two
Building on what you have learnt in the first year, we help you professionalise your work in relation to specific and applied industry contexts. You’ll collaborate with others and participate in external projects with our industry partners. As part of this work, you’ll be mentored to expand what you can do as a musician at a higher technical level and explore ways to work with people from other disciplines. You’ll also present your creative work in public events, including our annual University arts festival, Sparkfest.

Year three
In your final year, you’ll be supported in transitioning to work as an independent industry professional. You’ll design and deliver creative projects and events in areas including education, community music, health and wellbeing, and arts management. You’ll be able to focus on your individual career aspirations as a professional musician, and build the CV you need to get you there, supported by placement opportunities. We help you plan and manage projects, balancing creative and entrepreneurial decision-making, which lead to a large-scale final professional project in an area of your choice.

How will I be taught?

The core of the work you do is based around projects, working individually and collaboratively with others. You’ll work with our team of industry professionals, both within music and from other disciplines.

Teaching is practical and managed through a mix of workshops and rehearsals, seminars and lectures, alongside tutorial support. We provide regular sessions with visiting professionals which provide key industry insight.

How will I be assessed?

All of our assessments are based in practical and applied music-making. In addition to the creative work you make through performances and compositions, you’ll create outputs such as high quality audio-visual documentation, podcasts, websites, teaching materials, project proposals and public events.

As a result, taken together, your assessment projects will form a portfolio. This portfolio can be used to evidence your skills to employers, as part of a showreel, or CV.

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

The course is taught at our Newton Park campus, based in the Michael Tippett Centre, which houses a purpose-built concert hall, performance spaces, practice rooms, and recording studios.

Music students also have access to the campus’s wider arts facilities, including numerous electronic music studios, university theatre, and industry-spec TV studio.

Resources

  • A purpose-built concert hall with Steinway D grand piano
  • Seventeen practice rooms, three with electronically-variable acoustic
  • Five recording studios
  • Two multi-computer Mac labs with industry standard software including Sibelius, Logic Audio Pro, Ableton Live, ProTools, and Max/MSP
  • University Asset Store offering free access to industry-spec audio-visual equipment for use on and off-campus
  • A large collection of acoustic and electric instruments, including five grand pianos, orchestral percussion instruments, early music instruments and a full Javanese gamelan
  • A substantial music library of scores and recordings, and a wide range of online music resources.

Fees

Our UK undergraduate fees for 2023/24 entry are £9,250. International tuition fees aren't yet available. See current undergraduate tuition fees for international students for reference. For some courses, additional costs may apply. We'll update this page as soon as we have more detailed information.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

Our BA Music degree is for those who want to do things with their music. You’ll have an energy and passion for music, whatever its style or genre.

You’ll be interested in using music as a force for change; in industry, education, wider communities and everyday life.

We’re looking for creativity and potential over specific qualifications and grades; you will have an opportunity to show us your talent and skills through interviews and portfolios.

Typical offers

We don’t ask for Music or Music Technology as pre-requisite qualifications for this course but we do ask all applicants for evidence of their experience in music via an application portfolio (see below).

  • A Level - grades BBC-CCC
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades from Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) to Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) in a related subject. 
  • T Levels – grade Merit-Pass (C+) preferred in a relevant subject.  
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 27 points are required.
  • 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?

If you're a UK student you can start and track your application for 2023 entry on UCAS.

If you're an international or part-time applicant, you'll be able to apply directly with us from September.

The application deadline for this course is 25 January 2023 at 18.00 (UK time).

If you have any queries about your application, please email admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

You can also visit our how to apply pages for more guidance on applying.

Interview and portfolio guidance

Before your interview, we’ll ask you to prepare a portfolio of your work as a musician, reflecting your individual interests and strengths. The portfolio should give us a sense of who you are and what you want to explore during the course. After we receive your UCAS application, we’ll send you a short form to complete which will ask for links to evidence of your musical activity online. Evidence might include a performance on YouTube; a composition on Soundcloud; a score on Dropbox, or something else.

Further guidance on compiling your portfolio will be provided when we send you the form. In advance of this, we recommend that you gather any work you already have in a format that can be shared online (e.g. in a folder and/or playlist).

Interview and portfolio guidance for international students

Just like our domestic applicants, international students are asked to also submit an application portfolio (see above). Whilst we would really like to invite you to campus to enjoy an applicant day, we accept that this may not always be possible and instead interviews can be held online. Further information will be provided on application.

Three year course
With placement year

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk