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BA (Hons)Popular and Commercial Music

University of South Wales
United Kingdom, Cardiff / Pontypridd
Tuition fee £11,900 per year
More information

Expenses, accommodation, working etc. 


The degree embraces Popular and Commercial music in its many forms and related sub-genres, from electronica to folk, urban, rock and cutting-edge pop. Students will benefit from staff that are experienced, high profile professionals in their own right, many of whom have worked as producers, players, songwriters, and music industry experts.

With the emphasis on original work, you will learn how to develop skills and collaborate with your fellow students in performance, songwriting and production. Through a stimulating collection of progressive modules, students studying Popular and Commercial Music at USW are expected to be innovative, curious, and willing to engage with ideas that empower their own creative vision and critical thinking. The course welcomes diversity, collaboration and experimentation.

Whatever your musical interests, you will have the opportunity to develop ways of achieving a portfolio of skills that are relevant not only to the music industry, but also to employment opportunities within the wider creative industries.

Programme structure

Course content includes:

How Music Means: Why Music Matters: form and content in popular music.
Getting Plugged In: studio skills and musicianship.
Words and Music: research methods and academic writing. (A basic grounding in how to plan, prepare and write about music at BA level)
Music to Market: artist development and imagery.
Music to Stage: live performance workshops.
Your Music, Your Business: networking music and understanding the business.
The Modern Songwriter: songwriting practice and interpretation for contemporary music.
Contemporary Studio Practice: advanced skills and techniques for the modern music practitioner.
Songwriting in Context: adapting your skills to the market.
Contemporary Music Performance: advanced skills and techniques for the modern music performer.
Sound and Vision: creative realities of modern music and media.
The Professional Musician 1: the production artefact.
The Professional Musician 2: the music event.
The Professional Musician 3: the dissertation (a fully-researched dissertation to reflect your future in the music business or music education).
Creative Frameworks – a rock n’ roll revolution: taking your music out to the city.

Career opportunities

By the time you graduate, you will have the skills for a wide range of careers in the music, media and entertainment industries, including performance, composition, administration, promotion, multi-media production, and studio work. We have graduates working in the music industry as performers, composers, writers, promoters and administrators, teachers and musicians in the community, as well as those working in new media such as the computer games industry.

Apply now! Fall semester 2020/21
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Studies commence
Oct 1, 2020

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States