Applied Music BA (Hons)

UCAS code W301
Information line 0845 272 3600*

What is special about this course?

Do you want to study music in your home region, in any genre or style, and prepare yourself for the music industry of the future? If so, then this BA (Hons) Applied Music course has been designed for you.

Studying traditional, Celtic, pop, jazz, classical or rock, this course will give you the opportunity to explore the culture of the Highlands and Islands and focus your study towards the application of music in a variety of professional contexts. 

Addressing the modern needs of the professional musician, you will study with top individuals in their fields, and develop skills in business, finance, enterprise, networking and communication which will help you access opportunities nationally, in Europe and the USA.

We know you may have more questions so our Programme Leader Anna-Wendy Stevenson has recorded a video answering the questions we are most often asked about the course.

Special features

  • The course will develop your mobility and versatility as a musician with multi-venue delivery and residential sessions throughout the course.
  • You can help choose who your solo performance tutor will be, drawn from a list of top experts in the country, and you will also get credit for playing in ensembles in your community.
  • There will be various national and international performances and placements in music, education, community or health settings.
  • You will be able to study where you want: full-time or part-time, at home, on-line and through video-conferencing and Skype for most of the academic year.

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade ABB or above, OR
  • 2 A levels at grade B or above
  • Additional entry requirements, Grade 7 Associated Board or Trinity College or equivalent on first instrument (including grade 5 music theory or equivalent)
  • Consideration will also be given to candidates who can demonstrate a high level of ability in one or more of: composition and creative skills; and music technology, including computer-based music production
  • You will be required to attend an audition and interview to assess your technical ability

Access routes

HNC Music

Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules are:

  • Performance practice 1
  • Ensemble 1
  • Music in its widest context: social, cultural, historical
  • Creativity is more important than knowledge
  • Remote digital music collaboration

You will also choose one option module which may include:

  • Music in art and society
  • Music in the creative industries
  • Gaelic for learners 1A

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are:

  • Performance practice 2
  • The effective contributor
  • Music; power and commerce
  • Creative skills
  • Creation through technology

You will also choose one option module which may include:

  • Music in art and society
  • Sound and vision
  • Crimp my song
  • Music in the creative industries
  • Gaelic for learners 1A

Year 3 - BA

Core modules are:

  • Professional practice
  • Music in social and historical contexts
  • Music in educational and community contexts 1
  • Applied music research skills
  • Creative identity
  • Creative technology applications

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Core modules are:

  • Applied music: performance, creation or research
  • Applied music: critique and evaluation

You will also choose option modules which may include:

  • Education and community 2
  • Emerging technologies
  • Sustainable creative endeavour
  • Music and culture

How will I study my course?

  • You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • You will learn through a combination of video conference lectures and tutorials, online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), and face-to-face residential sessions with support from your tutors.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years


For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £215

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) and with a term-time address in Scotland, studying this course full-time, the following fees apply:

Year 1 CertHE £8,000 £9,000
Year 2 DipHE £8,000. £9,000
Year 3 Degree £8,000. £9,000
Year 4 Honours free* free*

**4th year free only for students studying full-time who have paid for the previous 3 years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,340 (2017-18) and £1,500 (2018-19).

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living whilst studying.

UK students without a term-time address in Scotland

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) without a term-time address in Scotland, i.e. studying from their home country, the following fees apply:

Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £5,775 £6,120
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £963 £1,020

This fee also applies to Scottish students who do not have a term-time address in Scotland.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant university partner college for more information. 

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your BA (Hons) Applied Music you might like to consider a career in the following areas;

  • Performing
  • Composing
  • Teaching
  • Music and health
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Community musician
  • Research and development

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress to the MA Music and the Environment or MMus Music

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

I perform full time with a band called ‘The Red Hot Chilli Pipers’ but wanted to broaden my knowledge of music. This course is perfect for my lifestyle as it allows me to combine studies while travelling and performing widely. Studying something you love in your own environment is a fantastic way of learning and not having to sit in a classroom day-to-day makes this university fun and exciting.

Dougie McCance, student, BA (Hons) Applied Music.

During my third year of the BA (Hons) Applied Music, I had the opportunity to spend one term at Cape Breton University in Canada. Cape Breton is an island off the east coast of Canada famous for its rich cultural heritage and it has strong ties to Scotland and especially the Highlands and Islands. During my stay on the other side of the pond, I was based in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and attended classes at the university. Even though the island was usually quieter over the winter (as people warned me as soon as I got there) I found the community very welcoming, and between weekly sessions, square dances, pipe band practices, and of course classes, homework and exams, I can only imagine what the busier time of year would be like. I had a few opportunities to get involved in community events further afield, for example in Halifax, but volunteering at a Youth Session at the Gaelic College stands out among them. I played for the step-dancing classes and helped out with some of the pipe classes, and as part of the evening entertainment for the kids I got to play for my first square-dance set, accompanied by Howie Macdonald, one of Cape Breton's most respected musicians, which was an absolute honour for me.

Being able to spend a term abroad was undoubtedly one of the most memorable and valuable experiences of my time as a student. I owe a lot to the work that has been put into this exchange, both at Cape Breton University and at my home university, the University of Highlands and Islands, and especially my programme leader Anna-Wendy Stevenson. I was also very fortunate to meet people in the community who took care of international students like myself, taking me to events around the island and making me feel welcome. I can only recommend doing an exchange like this, and I hope that the connection between the universities which has now been established, will last for a long time.

Christian Gamauf, BA (Hons) Applied Music, Lews Castle College UHI

Apply for Applied Music BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2018

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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