Versatility is an essential characteristic for musicians in the 21st century creative industry. On this course you will learn how to stand out as a performer, engage your audience and respond to other musicians at a high level. You will develop your musicianship skills, broaden your knowledge of, and expertise in a wide range of musical genres, and engage with the key musicological debates within popular music.
Why Study Popular Music Performance with us?
Our course provides a unique opportunity for you to excel in performance while developing a critical mind and becoming an intelligent musician.
Popular musicians learn in different ways so the course uses accelerated learning techniques to ensure that all students progress in areas of musicianship, making clear links between; performance, context, theory and professional practice. The Department is committed to this holistic method of study, helping you to understand the value in what you are learning as you become confident, creative musicians. As a Department, we also have excellent links with industry professionals and visiting professors.
|Typical Entry||112 UCAS points|
|GCE A Level||
112 UCAS points from GCE A Levels or equivalent.
BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM
BTEC Diploma: D*D*
Access to HE Diploma to include 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at Merit
OCR National Extended Diploma: Merit 2
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma - DMM
OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma - D*D*
Please note that we will accept a maximum of 8 UCAS points from GCE AS Levels and that the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) and A Level General Studies will be recognised in our offer. We will also consider a combination of A Levels and BTECs/OCRs.
ABRSM Grade 8 or equivalent on your instrument (or voice), and the ability to read music, would be preferred. Do not let this put you off applying; reading music is not essential and if you don't have grade 8 we will probably still offer you an audition.
(Applicants will usually be required to attend an audition.)
Candidates who do not meet the minimum entry requirements, or who have non-standard qualifications and/or relevant music experience, are encouraged to apply and will be considered if they can demonstrate appropriate ability through their audition.
Students from countries outside the UK are expected to have entry qualifications roughly equivalent to UK A Level for undergraduate study and British Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) for postgraduate study. To help you to interpret these equivalents, please click on your country of residence to see the corresponding entry qualifications, along with information about your local representatives, events, information and contacts.
We accept a wide range of qualifications and consider all applications individually on merit. We may also take into account appropriate work experience.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS Academic: Undergraduate: 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any band)
- Postgraduate: 6.5 (no less than 5.5 in any band)
This section aims to provide you with a course overview, as well as information on how you will be taught and assessed.
What will I learn?
Year 1 (Level 4) will give you a grasp of the fundamentals of studying popular music performance. You will be introduced to musicianship and performance, and begin to advance your knowledge of how to play as part of groups and individually for live performance. Alongside this, you will begin work on popular music studies, music theory, and explore the various ways that musicians use technology.
What will I learn?
In Year 2 (Level 5), you will investigate popular music and its various genres and contexts, learning about the development of popular music as well as the music industry.
You will further develop your individual and group performance skills, alongside songwriting and composition. You may also have the option to be involved in a month of rehearsing (without any other classes), culminating in live gigs.
What will I learn?
In Year 3 (Level 6), the focus is towards professional and graduate skills for potential employment, or further study. You will analyse the development of popular music performance, and further improve your instrumental/vocal technique. You may also be able to opt to write a dissertation and/or negotiate your own project area culminating in a major piece of performance work.
" As a popular music student you will benefit from the expertise of staff that are actively engaged in professional work in the industry. The Department of Performing Arts has some impressive facilities and there is an excellent music scene in Chester and nearby Manchester and Liverpool."
How will I be taught?
We use a number of teaching techniques, including lectures, small group work and practical classes, which will enable you to develop your skills as a musician and performer.
We have excellent rehearsal and performance spaces at Kingsway Campus, and the rooms are all equipped with professional gear.
You will have on average, approximately 13 hours per week of contact time in Year 1 (Level 4), approximately 12 hours per week in Year 2 (Level 5), and eight hours per week in Year 3 (Level 6). You will also be expected to dedicate a number of self-study hours to respond to the delivery and content of the course.
How will I be assessed?
You will submit a variety of work for summative assessment including; solo and group performances, presentations, aural tests, recordings, composition portfolios and written essays.
Regular formative and summative feedback will be provided in verbal and written form throughout the course during delivered learning sessions and one-to-one tutorials.
Work Based Learning
As part of your studies you may take our Work Based Learning module, where you will be fully supported in securing a work placement of at least 150 hours, which you may be able to use in trying out a future career. Alternatively, you may wish to undertake Experiential Learning, where you may have the option of organising, managing, promoting, rehearsing and performing on your own mini tour. Most students have the opportunity to undertake either one of these options as an integral part of their undergraduate course.
Study Abroad Opportunities
Studying abroad is a great way to broaden your horizons and enhance your academic experience. Depending on your course of study, we offer a number of exciting ways in which you can incorporate international study within your degree.
Fees and Funding
UK/EU Fees 2018
It is not currently possible to state what our exact fees will be for students starting an undergraduate degree in 2018.
Our full-time undergraduate tuition fees for UK and EU students entering University in 2017/18 are £9,250 a year, or £1,540 per module for part-time study. The University may increase these fees at the start of each subsequent year of your course in line with inflation at that time, as measured by increases in the Retail Price Index. These fee levels and increases are subject to any necessary government, and other regulatory, approvals.
The level of fees that students starting their studies in 2018 will pay is expected to be determined by outcomes of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). The TEF has been introduced by the Government to encourage universities to focus on the quality of the teaching that they offer and to help prospective students find clear information about where teaching quality is high, and where students have achieved the best outcomes.
The TEF outcomes are not currently known. The TEF process has been designed to help students applying for university places for 2018 and the outcomes will be announced at the end of May 2017 in time for prospective students for 2018 entry to apply from September 2017. Following the announcement of the TEF outcomes, fees for University of Chester students starting in 2018 will be published here.
Annual Tuition Fee
Full Fee Payment Award (per academic year)
International Foundation Programmes
Bachelor's degree including Foundation
Your course will involve additional costs not covered by your tuition fees. This may include books, printing, photocopying, educational stationery and related materials, specialist clothing, travel to placements, optional field trips and software. Compulsory field trips are covered by your tuition fees.
You will be expected to pay for travel to concerts and gigs that will be organised as part of course requirements.
If you are living away from home during your time at University, you will need to cover costs such as accommodation, food, travel and bills.
Bursaries are a form of financial help in addition to student loans and grants that do not have to be paid back. The bursaries we are offering for 2017 entrants are listed below.
Application Process for University Bursaries
There is no application process (except for the part-time bursary); but do remember to give consent to share your household income with the University of Chester when you apply for student funding.
We will automatically review your eligibility and notify you if you are eligible; normally by letter to your home address.
If you are not sure whether you have consented to share your information with the University, you can contact the Consent to Share Helpline on 0845 603 4016 and agree to share your information over the telephone. Please note that your parents or sponsor will also have to contact the helpline.
Please email email@example.com if you have specific questions.
Available to new full-time undergraduate students (paying a tuition fee of over £6,000) who have a means tested household income of £25,000 or less.
Cash payment and ‘in-kind’ beneﬁts of £500 per year of study.
Chester Bursary for Part-Time Students
Available to new part-time undergraduate students (paying a tuition fee of at least £7,000), enrolled for a minimum of 40 credits at the start of Level 4, and with a declared residual household income of £25,000 or less.
Bursary: up to £1,500
Cash payments made on a pro-rata basis depending on the number of credits studied each academic year.
Care Leavers Bursary
Available to new full-time Level 4 undergraduate home students under the age of 25, paying a tuition fee of over £6,000, who have evidence of their care leaver status.
Bursary: up to £7,000
Mixture of cash, 'in-kind’ beneﬁts and fee waiver.
Contact the Bursary Team at University.Bursary@chester.ac.uk for more information about the Care Leavers Bursary.
Young Adult Carers Bursary
Working in partnership with Young Carers organisations locally, this bursary is available for eligible young carers.
Bursary Package totalling: £4,500
Contact Martina Ferrari at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the Young Adult Carers Bursary.
Kingsway Campus, Chester
The Kingsway campus is located on the outskirts of the city centre, a 20-minute walk from Parkgate Road Campus. Across 6,920 square metres this specially developed creative arts campus offers a range of modern facilities and equipment to bring learning to life.
In addition to its courtyard performance space, popular social hub and two catering outlets, Kingsway provides nine IT labs, a virtual library, a 200-seat lecture theatre, and designated seminar spaces featuring iMacs, projectors and interactive whiteboards.
The Performing Arts Department has impressive facilities, including four large fully equipped rehearsal and performance studios. With professional-standard music rehearsal and recording facilities and an extensive range of high quality open access sound and lighting equipment you have everything you need to flourish as a performer.
As a student in the Department of Art and Design you will work in specialist studio space that reflects professional expectations. Highly skilled technical staff are on hand to support the use of traditional and contemporary facilities including art and photography studios, a metal casting foundry, sound and video editing suites, dark rooms, a reprographics room, lighting studio, and specially designed workshops for printmaking, textiles, digital art and sculpting.
Within the departments, skilled technical staff manage an extensive equipment loan provision where you can borrow a large range of cameras, lighting, audio recording kits and more.
The close-knit Kingsway campus provides a truly immersive learning experience where you are encouraged to openly showcase your creativity both inside and outside lectures.
Our Careers and Employability Service
The University has an award winning Careers and Employability service which provides a variety of employability-enhancing experiences; through the curriculum; through employer contact and through tailored group sessions and individual information, advice and guidance.
Careers and Employability aims to deliver a service which is inclusive, impartial, welcoming, informed and tailored to your personal goals and aspirations, to enable you to develop as an individual and contribute to the business and community in which you will live and work.
We are here to help you plan your future and to enhance your employability. We provide access to part-time jobs and work shadowing. We offer practical one-to-one help with career planning including help with CVs, applications and mock interviews. We deliver group sessions on career planning within each taught programme. We have extensive information on graduate jobs and postgraduate study.
Students and graduates of the University of Chester can use our services free of charge for up to three years after graduating. Graduates of other UK universities within three years of graduation are also welcome to use our services during vacations. A charging policy applies to other clients - please contact us for more details.
Through your course and our fantastic Careers and Employability opportunities, we aim to not only further your course knowledge, but equip you with a range of transferable skills valued by employers.
Previous students have gone on to:
- Drama Teacher
Should you decide to further your journey in Higher Education, we offer a broad choice of professional, internationally recognised qualifications. This can be a popular option for students interested in developing their knowledge within a specialist area, or gaining the necessary qualification to further their career.
Here are just some of the areas our students have gone on to:
From its beginnings as a Roman fortress 2,000 years ago, Chester has managed to retain its unique character whilst offering everything that you would expect from a modern city today, as it becomes "a must-see European destination".
The City of Chester is a vibrant mix of cafes, shops and ancient walls, rows and architectural and archaeological features. The City is home to all-year-round arts festivals, events, exhibitions and street entertainment, including the famous Chester Races, the Rowing Regatta and the internationally acclaimed Chester Zoo.
Open Days 2017
Visit us at an undergraduate Open Day and find out what it’s really like to study at the University of Chester.
Open Days 2017
Visit us at an Open Day and find out what it’s really like to study at the University of Chester.
- Saturday 14th October
- Saturday 28th October
- Saturday 21st October
- Saturday 21st October