Course options

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Course summary

Musicians studying on this course benefit from a multi-faceted approach to popular music. Performance has a central role but a broad range of skills are developed in the following areas: music technology, music business, practical musicianship, analysis and contextual studies. Music technology also has a key role in ensuring that students can record and distribute their creative writing and performance work in the digital domain and in turn promote their individual musical identity. Music business is core to the programme so that graduates have the skills needed to work in the music industry and to purse their career interests on either a freelance of employed basis. A major project in the final stage of the programme provides an opportunity for in-depth study of particular personal interest. Flexibility is built in to allow for a variety of approaches that ranging from traditional academic research in written form, presentations or websites, to creative work resulting from practice-based research. Creativity and innovation are cornerstones of the flourishing creative and cultural economy. Employment led curriculum provides our students with the capacity to be adaptive and reflective practitioners. Our students demonstrate the breadth of creative talent and versatility possible within the creative arts, as seen in the outstanding performances at local venues such as the Mercury Theatre, Headgate Theatre, in the London West End, and the Brighton Fringe Festival. We work closely with local schools, Essex Music Services, Creative Colchester, Film Suffolk, and the Dance Network Association to enable students to engage with a broader arts network. Our facilities include a suite of Macs running Logic and Sibelius, with extensive East West sound libraries and two main recording studios. We have a concert hall and many bookable practice rooms for bands and orchestral ensembles.


The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Most modules count for 20 academic credits, with each credit taken equating to a total study time of around 10 hours, which includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity. Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. A total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits are needed for an honours degree as a whole. Overall grades for the course and degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6. Our teaching is informed by research, professional practice and industry engagement and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. Further information on the modules currently offered on this programme can be found on the University Centre Colchester website.

Assessment method

Assessment: The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally contains at least one piece of practice or ‘formative’ assessment for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark. Feedback: You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

How to apply

Application codes

Course code:
Institution code:
Campus name:
Colchester Site
Campus code:

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2

Entry requirements for advanced entry (i.e. into Year 2 and beyond)

Applicants will be required to provide evidence of achievement of 120 credits at level 4 which can be successfully mapped against year one content. Mapping will be subject to approval by University of East Anglia. Please contact UCC Academic Services on [email protected] for more information.

International applicants

Applicants applying from outside of the UK will need to provide evidence of their qualifications, English level and passport/visa documents. Colchester Institute requires applicants to have an English level of IELTS 6.0 (with Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking all being at least 5.5) for all of its courses.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Additional entry requirements



English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6Colchester Institute requires applicants to have an English level of IELTS 6.0 (with Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking all being at least 5.5) for all of its courses.

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students
Student satisfaction
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £8250 Year 1
International £8250 Year 1
England £8250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £8250 Year 1
Scotland £8250 Year 1
Wales £8250 Year 1
Channel Islands £8250 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students have access to a range of high quality studio facilities, Macs and music software, pianos, amps and practice rooms, however, students should purchase at least one external hard drive (approximately £40 for 1TB) to save and back up their coursework recordings and scores. Students are also expected to provide their main instrument and basic peripherals (sticks, cymbals, cables etc.) and any sheet music – however, there is an extensive music library for student usage. For certain performances there may be travel costs incurred e.g. to a London theatre and (if desired) overnight accommodation. There may be travel costs and entry costs for extra-curricular visits to concerts, gigs, performances and expos.
Popular Music: Performance and Production. at University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute - UCAS