BA (Hons) Popular Music (Top-Up)

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Study BA Hons Popular Music (Top-Up) at Leeds Conservatoire

In 2005, we became the first UK conservatoire to deliver a specialist course in Popular Music, and we’re still pioneers.

 

  • Starts:
  • Duration: 1 Years
  • UCAS Code: W305 - Apply through UCAS - Institution Code: L30
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Validated By: University of Hull

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Course Overview

Career-focus

If you haven’t already, you’ll start your music career whilst you’re studying, and be ready to take it to the next step after graduation. In addition to one-to-one tuition and band work, you’ll access masterclasses from professional performers, songwriters, producers, managers and promoters, supporting your artistic development as well as sharpening your creative voice.

Industry links

Strong links with the music industry mean that we are in constant contact with major labels such as Sony/ATV, Universal, Polydor and Decca, as well as local labels like Hide and Seek and Leaf Label, and we regularly welcome them here for student showcases and discussions. Our industry relationships have also seen our students perform at Sound City, Live at Leeds, Eurosonic and on the BBC.

Artistic Identity

We champion original material, and encourage you to take creative risks. By the end of your popular music degree, you will be a specialist in your chosen discipline and will have established your individual artistic identity and voice as a musician, whilst possessing a breadth of understanding, knowledge and transferable skills that will support you throughout your future career.

Live music scene

Leeds has an incredible live music scene, and our students are performing in it every day of the week, from support gigs at the legendary Brudenell Social Club and Belgrave Music Hall, to open mic nights at Oporto, Nation of Shopkeepers and a multitude of other venues. Our regular Friday night showcase, Crosswire, presents some of our best pop and production artists, and our students and alumni have taken the stage at major festivals, including Live at Leeds, Leeds Festival, Tramlines and SXSW.

Career destinations

Graduates from Popular degrees at Leeds Conservatoire have gone on to a wide variety of careers including Recording Artists, Award-winning Folk Artists, Session Musicians, and Producers. Find out more in our Alumni section.

What you will study 

The BA (Hons) Music (Popular) modules focus on developing you as a professional musician through one-to-one instrumental tuition, band study, and creative projects. In addition, the contextual studies strand of study will develop your awareness of the environments within which you create music, and the professional studies strand will develop your core business skills. See our module specifications page for detailed module specification documents.


 

Specialist Study 3

With one-to-one tuition, you will continue to work on developing your own creative voice as an instrumentalist/vocalist, leading to the presentation of a stylistically informed public performance.

Final Project

This module is designed to offer students flexibility in their final year by providing opportunity to delve deeper into a specialism specific to their course and interests.

Contextual Studies 3

You will study one of the below options: 

  • Computer-Based Composition
  • Software Environments for Performance & Sound Creation
  • Electroacoustic Composition
  • Composition and Production for Film and TV
  • Composed Theatre
  • Extended Improvisation
  • Intercultural Music
  • Emerging Music Models
Professional Studies 3

You will study one of the below options:

  • Live Music Management
  • Community Music Project
  • Music Journalism
  • Business Leadership & Ethics
  • Film Music: Aesthetics & Narrative Function

These module specifications are for applicants choosing to start their course in the 2020/21 academic year. In compliance with University of Hull regulations, the conservatoire retains the right to make minor amendments and improvements to course, programme and module content year on year. This may result in minor changes to these specifications by September 2020.

Malaika Shaw

Alumni Profile

Malaika Shaw

Course Studied: BA (Hons) Music (Popular)

Year of Graduation: 2013

Combining Jazz, Soul and Pop, Malaika has accelerated her own exposure, seeking out opportunities for unsigned artists like the local Trinity Sessions to BBC Introducing, and fervently working to maintain good coverage as an artist.

Within her first year of performing she received airplay on BBC Radio, supported X-Factor Finalist Luke Friend and was hand-picked by Jamie Cullum to perform at The Montreal International Jazz Festival 2015.

Meet our alumni

Course Tutors

Jack Harbord
Dr Jack HarbordProgramme Leader: Popular

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Popular), BA (Hons) Music (Songwriting)

Read more
Anna UhuruCurriculum Manager: Popular

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Popular), BA (Hons) Music (Songwriting), MA Music

Read more
Remy Martin
Dr Remy MartinCurriculum Manager: Popular

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Popular), BA (Hons) Music (Songwriting)

Read more
Adam Martin
Dr Adam MartinCurriculum Manager: Popular & Songwriting

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Popular), BA (Hons) Music (Songwriting), MA Music

Read more
Caroline Boaden
Caroline BoadenSenior Lecturer: Popular Music

Courses taught: 1:1 drum tuition to Specialist Study students in Foundation Year (Popular), BA (Hons) Music (Popular)

Read more

Entry requirements, fees & applying

Course Facts

Course Type: Undergraduate, Single Honours
Duration: 1 year
Study Mode: Full Time
Start date: September 2021
Validated by: University of Hull

Course Key Information Document 2020/21

Entry Requirements

Academic entry requirements:

Foundation Degree, HND or equivalent in a relevant subject.

At least 3 GCSEs Grade C or above including English Language IELTS for UKVI (Academic) with a score of 6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component) where the applicant's first language is not English.

Audition Information

UK applicants to certain courses at Leeds Conservatoire will need to audition, interview or submit a portfolio of work.

If you are offered the chance to audition we will send you details of how to submit your audition materials once we have received your application. Please note that owing to current social distancing guidelines, we are asking all applicants to submit audition materials online this year, rather than attend in-person events.

Find more information and course-specific  audition guides for UK applicants and International Applicants.

How To Apply

Apply via: UCAS
UCAS Code: W305
UCAS Institution Code: L30
Application Deadline: The UCAS equal consideration (‘on time’) deadline is 15 January 2021. We may still accept applications for all of our courses after this date, although this may change at short notice as places fill up.

Find out more

 

Fees & Funding
Internaitonal Applicants

If you are an international applicant, visit our dedicated International section of the website for information on:

  • How To Apply
  • Auditions
  • International Entry Requirements
  • Fees & Funding
Facilities

We have over 70 teaching rooms, practice rooms and bespoke ensemble rehearsal spaces, as well as a comprehensive library of instruments, mics and recording equipment, that are all available until late during term-time.

Find out more
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Performance Opportunities

Students on our Popular pathway play at our regular showcase, ‘Crosswire’, and perform at venues throughout the city, including the Brudenell Socal Club, Belgrave Music hall, Oporto and Nation of Shopkeepers. In addition, many of our students join the Contemporary Pop Choir and other extra-curricular ensembles that the college run.

Recently, students have performed at:

  • Sound City Festival (Liverpool)
  • Eurosonic Festival (Netherlands)
  • The Royal Festival Hall (London)
  • Crosswire (a regular night for Leeds College
    of Music Pop and Production students)
  • BBC One’s Pitch Battle (Winners) – made up of singers from our Contemporary Pop Choir
Find out more
Online Open Days

Find out what it’s like to study at Leeds Conservatoire by coming along to one of our Online Open Days.

As well as talks specific to the courses you're interested in, you can also chat to members of our Student Support Team about your application, support for students with disabilities, tuition fees and more.

Book your place
Missed Lucy's fabulous Instagram takeover yesterday? You can hear more about Music Business from a student perspect… https://t.co/uAyD7InFaA
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