Music and Popular Music BA (Hons) Add to your prospectus

  • Offers study abroad opportunities Offers study abroad opportunities
  • Opportunity to study for a year in China Offers a Year in China

Key information

  • Course length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: W301
  • Year of entry: 2019
  • Typical offer: A-level : ABB / IB : 33, with no score less than 4 / BTEC : Applications considered

In addition to practical areas, this programme focuses on developing an understanding of the repertoires, cultures, and practices associated with both classical and popular music.

Some modules are practical, concerned with musical performance, composition and orchestration, song-writing or creative music technology, although none of these are compulsory. Others focus on music history topics or music analysis and theory. The remaining modules involve writing about music from a historical, critical, sociological, or philosophical viewpoint. Our studio and performance modules cater for both classical and popular musical styles.

Programme in detail

This degree offers you a great deal of flexibility and allows you to select from both our classical and popular music modules. Some modules are practical, concerned with musical performance, composition and orchestration, or creative music technology. Others entail musical notation in connection with music history, world music, AV or music analysis. The remaining modules generally involve writing about music from a historical, critical, sociological, or analytical viewpoint.


Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

78 Year One undergraduates in 2017

UK league tables

We created the Institute of Popular Music in 1988, becoming the first Department of Music in the UK to introduce dedicated, specialist popular music studies and research

Graduate prospects

88% of our graduates are employed or in further study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2015/16)

Research performance

Ranked 10th in the UK for 4* and 3* research in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 (THE 2014)

Why this subject?

Enhance your learning with technology and audio-visual media

We offer a distinctive provision in the study of music in audio-visual media, including film and videogame music. This can be practical, oriented towards composition and technology, with dedicated AV composition resources; or theoretical, focusing on the critical study and analysis of music in different types of AV media.

Take advantage of composition and song-writing opportunities

Traditional, electro-acoustic, and audio-visual composition, as well as popular composition/ song-writing, are all represented in the Department.

Develop your confidence through performance

Although not compulsory, if you wish to pursue performance then we offer tution, workshops and support to enhance your development as a performer. Among the many ensembles, there is a symphony orchestra, a university choir, and a chamber choir, while the University’s Music Society runs a wind orchestra, a brass band and a jazz band. We run a weekly professional lunchtime concert series, and our partnership with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra affords opportunities for participating in composition and performance workshops with professional players. We are also home to numerous pop and rock groups, covering many styles, and many of our students perform at local venues and open-mic nights. 

Benefit from studying in a well-established Department

The Institute of Popular Music (IPM) is a research centre within the Department of Music, and one of the very first places to offer university-level provision in popular music. Founded in 1988, it remains at the forefront of popular music studies internationally. With the establishment of our innovative new Interdisciplinary Centre for Composition and Technology (ICCat) we are a Department at the cutting edge of the 21st century, exploring new possibilities for technology-enhanced composition.

Learn from music analysis and psychology experts

We offer a critical approach that encourages you to develop your own unique ways of analysing music from a broad range of repertoires and invites you to explore many new possibilities for appreciating the sonic experience of music.

Benefit from access to excellent facilities and learning resources

The Department has expanded recently to provide additional studios, practice rooms and a large rehearsal space. Students enjoy excellent library facilities, which include books, online services and learning spaces.