Popular Music BA (Hons)

UCAS code W310
UHI information line 0845 272 3600

What is special about this course?

Created by professional musicians, this honours degree will help you to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence required by employers, and for self-employment, in the music industry.

The BA (Hons) Popular Music degree at Perth College UHI is a highly rated and well-established music course that will equip you with the portfolio of skills and knowledge required for a successful career in today’s music industries. On successful completion you will be able to enter areas of employment such as performing, composing, song-writing, instrumental teaching, music production and enter academic teaching and research through future postgraduate study.

By learning from staff who are professional performers, composers and academics, you will be encouraged to thoroughly develop both your creative talents and your critical thinking in a positive, stimulating learning environment. You will benefit from excellent facilities, including music production workstations (Pro-Tools), band rehearsal rooms, a professional performance theatre and access to three acoustically designed Eastlake state-of-the-art recording studios.

Special features

  • You will experience real life scenarios of performance situations
  • Individual instrument study is part of the course
  • The focus of the course is on the music industry
  • You will have the opportunity to perform solo and with a band
  • You can study full time or part time to suit your personal circumstances

Entry requirements

  • Entry to year one, HNC, is 1 Scottish Higher at grade C or above OR
  • 1 A level at grade D or above OR
  • NC Music
  • You will also undertake an audition and interview
  • Your instrument or vocal ability should be equivalent to Associated Board grade 4/5. 
  • Successful applicants will be required to complete a PVG Disclosure Check and become PVG Scheme Members in order to undertake this course
  • Applicants with other relevant qualifications and experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Advanced entry to year two:

  • Direct entry to year two may be possible if you have completed the HNC Music, with 15 credits, and a B in the graded unit.

Year 1 - HNC

Year one is the HNC Music

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are:

  • Creative industries analysis
  • Creative project
  • First study 1
  • Applied music theory
  • Songwriting, composition and production

Option modules may include:

  • Audio for multimedia
  • Live audio production
  • Multitrack studio techniques
  • Second study 1
  • Recording technology for popular musicians
  • Digital music industries
  • Music industry touring

Year 3 - BA

Core modules are:

  • Themed research project
  • Entrepreneurship
  • First study 2
  • Ensemble performance

Option modules may include:

  • Songwriting: context and process
  • Screen composition
  • Teaching and learning practices
  • Second study 2
  • Multitrack mixdown techniques
  • Transmedia applications
  • Managing and leadership
  • Music publishing and law

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Core modules are:

  • Research paper
  • Creative honours project
  • Personal employability strategy

Option modules may include:

  • Final composition project
  • Community placement project
  • Sound design for fixed media
  • Digital business
  • Social media campaign management

You must also complete a dissertation.

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)

You will learn through a combination of face-to-face lectures and tutorials, practical work, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time: 8 years @ 20 hours per week, negotiable

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

Start date


How much will my course cost?

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:

Year Level Full-time Part-time
2016-17 2016-17
Year 1
HNC £1,285 £86 (per HN credit)
Year 2 DipHE £1,820 £215 (per 20 credit module)
Year 3 Degree £1,820 £215 (per 20 credit module)
Year 4 Honours £1,820 £215 (per 20 credit module)

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 Level Full-time Part-time
    2016-17 2016-17
Year 1
HNC £6,510 £434 (per HN credit)
Year 2 DipHE £8,000 £1,340 (per 20 credit module)
Year 3 Degree £8,000 £1,340 (per 20 credit module)
Year 4 Honours free** £1,340 (per 20 credit module)

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

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.


International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Year Level Full-time Part-time***
    2016-17 2016-17
Year 1
HNC £6,510 £434 (per HN credit)
Year 2 DipHE £10,000 £1,680 (per 20 credit module)
Year 3 Degree £10,000 £1,680 (per 20 credit module)
Year 4 Honours £10,000 £1,680 (per 20 credit module)

***There is no part-time study option for Tier 4 sponsored international students.

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time RUK and International undergraduate students for continuous and contiguous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.

What funding can I apply for?

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact Perth College UHI for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your BA (Hons) Popular Music, a variety of career paths will be open to you in the music and media industries.In the past, graduates have gone on to work in many areas of the music industry and education. Career destinations include:

  • Instrumental teaching practice
  • Performance, composition and production freelance opportunities in the creation of albums and television commercials, and video games scores.
  • International touring and recording.
  • West End theatre productions
  • Postgraduate study: and associated higher education teaching careers.
  • If you have the talent and determination and are prepared to develop this by study in an excellent learning environment then these possibilities are now open to you for a future career.

Can I progress into further study?

On successful completion of the BA (Hons) Popular Music you may progress to the MMus Music.

Is there more information available online?

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

Apply for Popular Music BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2017

International applicants should apply using the UHI International application form. Please download and print the form, complete and return using the address indicated. More information is available for international applicants at our international student page

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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