Foundation Degree in Popular Music

Birmingham City University

Degree level: Undergraduate
Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

TEF Silver

Birmingham City University has opted into the TEF and received a Silver award.

Find out more about the TEF.

This two-year course provides the training and skills necessary for a wide range of careers within the music industry. You will develop understanding of the commercial music sector, study musical output and techniques, and improve your creativity, professionalism and practical musicianship to a level needed for music industry employment. This Foundation Degree is focused on developing the practical and transferable skills required to make you industry-ready. Awarded by Birmingham City University, this is a high level course with experienced staff and excellent resources. With 3 recording studios, 7 rehearsal rooms, 2 sequencing suites and a 600-capacity working venue on site, you will enjoy the exciting, creative opportunities and supportive environment. Your principal study can be in performance, music technology, live sound or composition. Additionally the course takes a holistic approach to musical study, with every student developing a broad range of skillsets required to become a successful music professional. Assessments are varied and innovative, and often modelled on real industry practice. You will learn through workshops, lectures, recording sessions, seminars and tutorials. You will study the theory, wider contexts and contemporary issues surrounding the modern day music industry and there will be regular visits from industry experts and artists. You will also develop the musical and creative skills required by a performer, composer or producer, learn how to work well in teams and demonstrate leadership, organisation and decision-making skills. This programme will help you to develop a profile suitable for an artist looking for employment within the music industry and reflect on individual progress as an artist, learning how to improve along the way. All students receive weekly one-to-one instrumental sessions, delivered by our highly qualified visiting instrumental specialists on vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards.

Course details


How to apply

Application deadlines

If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:

15 January

*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!

Application codes

You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.

Course codeW34F
Institution code B25
Campus nameSouth and City College Birmingham
Campus codeX

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

QualificationOfferFurther information
UCAS Tariff 48 points Please visit: http://www.bcu.ac.uk/student-info/offer-making-strategy for more information about contextual offers.
A level DD Music at Level 3. A maximum of three subjects are considered. Other 6-unit qualifications can be considered in lieu of one or two A-level subjects.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) PPP
Access to HE Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2. Music subject preferred, but will still consider other Access courses, subject to satisfactory audition process. GCSE English Language grade 4 (C) or above or equivalent qualifications must be achieved at enrolment stage.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) MP
Scottish Advanced Higher Achieve a minimum of 48 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers. Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve minimum of grades DDD.  Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers).
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall. For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) Group A English Group A - Grade 4 or above, OR English Group B - Grade 5 or above from the IB will be accepted. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma and who achieve the minimum of  10 points or above from two Higher Level Subjects will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates
Extended Project Must be in a music subject. Must be offered along with either A-levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas/ OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diplomas or a BTEC 12-unit National Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma combination with a total of 48 UCAS tariff points.
Leaving Certificate - Higher Level (Ireland) (first awarded in 2017) Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 48 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects. This must include English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum grade H5/D1).
Leaving Certificate - Ordinary Level (Ireland) (first awarded in 2017) See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
GCSE/National 4/National 5 Grade 4 GCSE English Language Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment. Equivalent qualifications can be considered in lieu of GCSE subjects as long as the required subject are covered. Considered subjects in lieu of GCSE English Language at grade C. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment: City and Guilds Level 2 Certificates in Adult Numeracy/ Adult Literacy - Pass Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2 - Pass English Key Skills level 2 - Pass Communication
HNC (BTEC) P Must be in a music related subject. May be considered for advanced entry.
HND (BTEC) P Must be in a music related subject. May be considered for advanced entry.
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma PPP
OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma MP

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £7500 Year 1
England £7500 Year 1
Northern Ireland £7500 Year 1
Scotland £7500 Year 1
Wales £7500 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Foundation Degree in Popular Music at Birmingham City University - UCAS