Popular Music Performance - BMus (Hons) [Full Time]*

Level 6 - Honours Degree or BTEC Advanced Professionals or NVQ Level 6 or Equivalent

Subject Area Music

School Creative and Digital Technologies

Attendance Full-Time

UCAS Code  -


*This is a prospective new course and will run subject to its validation in 2018 

The music industry needs driven, creative and pro-active people that have a broad understanding of the multifaceted music, sound and performance industry. This exciting BMus has been designed in consultation with music industry experts with this in mind.

The Popular Music Performance BMus at Newcastle College will focus and enhance your creative and career aspirations, whether that be as a Live or Studio Performer, Session Musician, Educator, Composer or Songwriter, or indeed any combination of these as part of a Portfolio Career.
This programme puts you in the centre of a vibrant creative hub within the Performance Academy giving you the opportunity to work alongside, and in collaboration with Music Producers and Sound Engineers, Media and Film Producers and other Performing and Visual artists. So whether you want to record the next hit single or album, score for TV or film, or see yourself and a pit-band musician, there is scope to do this with the varied modules tailored to your industry aspirations. And working alongside our industry partners such as Gigs North East it will allow opportunities to work at the heart of the vibrant North East music scene.

By studying at Newcastle College’s Performance Academy you gain access to years of industry knowledge from our course team who are all actively working in the industry.

The professional standard facilities including:

• Two music venues
• Recording studios including Pro-Tool studios (West End Campus) running UAD Apollo, Solid Sate Logic and much more
• Extensive sequencing labs running Logic Pro and Ableton
• Ten rehearsal studios
• A dedicated music store with hi-tech equipment for performance and recording, all of which bookable for free as part of your course.

Industry Guest Speakers and Visiting Lecturers, for example (but not a complete list):

• John Waugh (The 1975)
• Aaron Spears (Usher, Alicia Keys)
• Bill Kelliher (Mastodon)
• Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden)
• Dave Weckl (Session Musician, Paul Simon, Madonna, Robert Plant)
• Thomas Lang (Session Musician, Robert Fripp, Glen Hughes, Kelly Clarkson)
• Lee Wrathe (Ibanez)
• Alex Hutchings (Roland, Boss, Steven Wilson)

This course runs on the following dates:

Start Date: 17/09/2018 at 09:00
Duration: 3 Years
Venue: Performance Academy, Rye Hill Campus

Work Guarantee

The Degree is written to provide exposure to as wider scope of industry relevant skills, situations and employers as possible.

There will be numerous opportunities for you to gain work experience within the industry. Our record label Push Puzzle Records is run by students for students and gives you the chance to be signed as one of their artists and release your music digitally on a worldwide platform. There are also other roles available on the label from sound engineering and production work to creative roles in graphic design, marketing, and videography.

Key partnerships with organisations such as Gigs North East will enable you to gain valuable experience within your chosen field/s. This is a unique opportunity within the subject area.

As you move through your degree, emphasis is placed on work preparation. You are encouraged and given support to target your future career goals and create portfolios which promote your skills within you chosen field.
As with all areas of the Creative and Digital industries, self-employment is a distinct possibility and so Entrepreneurial skills, where appropriate, are encouraged and developed.

Who the course is for

This course is ideally suited to anyone wishing to master and be at the top of their game as a performing musician and/or a music composer. It is also an ideal route for those musicians with careers aspiration in music education, whether it be in a private or formal

Qualification Gained

On successful completion you will be awarded a BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance.

How to Apply

Apply for September 2018

If you would like to study a degree at Newcastle College this September you can register your interest here. A member of the team will then be in touch with you to discuss your options.

If you are an international student please visit our international application section for further information about how to apply and entrance requirements. Additional start dates may be available please speak to our International Office on +44 191 226 6323 or email international@ncl-coll.ac.uk

Course Content

3 Year F/T Programme

Level 4 (Develop)
Module Title Credits
Music in Context 20
General Musicianship 20
Technical Studies 20
Ensemble Skills 20
Collective Performance 20
Recording Techniques 20

Level 5 (Master)
Module Title Credits
Creative Composition Portfolio 30
Professional Performance 20
Advanced Technical Studies 20
Music Industry 20
Advanced Creative Practice 20
Professional Development 10

Level 6 (Apply)
Module Title Credits
Major Recital 40
Specialist Project 30
Professional Artist Profile 30
Industry Practitioner Project 20

Learning Methods

You may be expected to complete original compositions, performances, portfolios of recordings, commissions and collaborations as well as participating in seminars, practical workshops, tutorials and lectures. These modes are used for many of the assessments which will encourage you to develop your professional music career.

Assessment Methods

You may be expected to complete original compositions, performances, commissions and collaborations as well as participating in seminars, practical workshops, tutorials and lectures. These modes are used for many of the assessments which will encourage you to develop your professional music career.

Progression Opportunities

PCGE qualification, Level 7 MMus/MA programmes or chosen employment.

Career Opportunities

Previous students have progressed into the commercial music industry as recording artists. Other career opportunities exist as a Recording Artist, Composer, Arranger, Musical Director, Session Musician, Music Teacher, Music Lecturer and Music Journalist.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 48 UCAS Tariff Points at A-level, BTEC QCF Subsidiary, 90 Credit, National or Extended Diploma.

Applicants are normally expected to have achieved grade C in GCSE Maths & English Language or the Level 2 equivalents.

Mature students (age 21) will be considered only on the basis of relevant industry experience.

Applicants for whom English Language is not their first language are expected to achieve a minimum IELTS Score of 5.5 or the nationally recognised equivalent.

Further Information

If you have a query about this course or would like advice on your study options, contact Student Services, based in Armstrong House at Rye Hill Campus. If you need information in another format (e.g. large print) or another language, please ask.

Student Services
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 8.30am - 4.30pm
Wednesday and Friday: 9.30am - 4.30pm

Monday - Friday: 8am - 4.30pm

Telephone Contact Centre
Monday - Thursday: 8.30am - 5pm
Friday: 8.30am - 4.30pm

You can also contact us via the following:

In person: Student Services, Armstrong House, Rye Hill Campus, Scotswood Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7SA.
By phone: (0191) 200 4000 By fax: (0191) 200 4517 By minicom: (0191) 272 3304
By e-mail: enquiries@ncl-coll.ac.uk
By post: Student Services, Newcastle College, FREEPOST NT920, Scotswood Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7SA (you do not need a stamp). 

Course Costs

You may find it helpful to provide your own lap-top computer and smart phone. If you are an instrumentalist specialising in performance it is expected that you will have access to your own instrument.

Additional Course Costs

Higher Education courses

If you are interested in a Foundation Degree, Honours Degree or Postgraduate course you will be pleased to know that Newcastle College has some of the most competitive HE tuition fees in the country. Many people are eligible to apply for a tuition fee loan from Student Finance England to cover fees. For friendly advice please call our Student Services team on 0191 200 4000 for more information.