Popular Music Performance and Songwriting

Coventry University

Degree level: Undergraduate

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Course summary

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A key aim of our course is to ensure that there is a strong ‘creative practice’ strand of performance and songwriting throughout all three years that relates closely to working in the music industry and this is supported by small group instrumental or vocal lessons as outlined through the ‘Personal Instrumental Learning Plan’. Musicianship skills underpin the practice; music theory for popular music is a significant component of the course at every level; and the course includes modules specifically aimed at building the entrepreneurial skill base and business awareness necessary to operate in the music industry. Critical reflection on your own professional development is included on each level of the practice-based modules, and this subsequently feeds into the development of your own personal web profile. Additionally, you will:

  • have specialist instrumental/voice classes.
  • create your own personal website during your first semester, thus beginning to build your online artist profile, and which you will populate and curate over the duration of the course.
  • engage in experiential learning on UK fieldtrips, which may include professional rehearsals and performances, recording studio tours, and visits to music production facilities.
  • engage in online partnerships/projects with music students at other (international) universities.
  • have the option to participate in international field trips (such as the U.S., Germany, Brazil, South Africa).
Travel costs for mandatory fieldtrips are covered by the University’s flying-start scheme. The cost of optional international fieldtrips are borne by the student. All fieldtrips are subject to availability, application and visa requirements. Our course recognises that a musician’s career can evolve over time and involve being a professional performing musician, recording artist, session musician, composer, classroom or instrumental teacher – sometimes all at once. You’ll be taught how to manage, organise and technically realise music projects and be encouraged to enter the local music scene with multiple opportunities to perform in the region’s venues. Music student ensembles have taken part in the Godiva Festival, Coventry Jazz Festival, Coventry Peace and Reconciliation Festival and performed their final projects at central Coventry music venues, such as The Albany, Ego Arts Venue, the Tin Music and Arts, and Belgrade Theatre. We enjoy local reputation for providing quality live music for all types of venues or genre-based musical events. We regularly hold concerts open to the public – the renowned Coventry University lunchtime concert series has featured internationally renowned musicians like finger-style guitarist Thomas Leeb, jazz pianist Andy Quin, and funk band Resolution 88. You also have the chance to deepen your musical understanding within other cultures by taking up the opportunity to spend a year studying abroad. Recent students have found studying in Cyprus, Finland, Spain and Canada to be a life changing experience. Based in a converted Odeon cinema in the heart of the city centre campus, staff are themselves acclaimed musicians and composers; awards include the International Contemporary Music contest Città di Udine and the BASCA Sonic Art Category. The team includes a high number of research active teaching staff with international profiles in performance, education, musicology, composition and music technology.

Course details


Your main study themes are:

  • Performance and songwriting: Your creative practice is at the heart of the course. Throughout you will have opportunities to develop, reflect on and apply your performance and songwriting skills in a range of working scenarios.
  • Musicianship skills and popular music theory: Through both individual work and band musicianship you will have the opportunity to develop your core musical and ensemble skills. Ultimately your depth of understanding in popular music theory and musical literacy may be key drivers in gaining suitable work opportunities in the music industry and, consequently, we see an important study theme is a working understanding of music theory.
  • Music technology and studio recording: You study and utilise creatively a range of technologies across the course.
  • Critical skills: Reflective practice, scholarship, and research are embedded in modules throughout the three years.
  • Music industry and the development of the musician as artist: Your studies will include looking at aspects of the music industry and its operation. Moreover, you will create your own personal website during your first semester, thus beginning to build your online artist profile, and which you will populate and curate over the duration of the course.
For more information about what you will study, please visit our website.

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students

There is no data available for this course. For further information visit the Discover Uni website.

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.

Please select a course option – you will then see the application code you need to use to apply for the course.

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

QualificationOfferFurther information
A level BBC
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) DMM
Access to HE Diploma The Access to HE Diploma. Plus GCSE English at grade 4 / C or above.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme 29 points
GCSE/National 4/National 5 5 GCSEs at grade 4 / C or above to include English.

The selection process is friendly, informal and designed to help us assess your suitability for the course, and whether it is the right course for you. You should demonstrate prior engagement in songwriting/music composition and performance and your musical skill level should, typically, be at an equivalent to Grade 6 (or above) ABRSM/RSL/LCM on an instrument or voice. Applicants who do not have Grade 6 should be able to demonstrate musical ability equivalent to Grade 6 (e.g. in songwriting/composition) at interview.

Additional entry requirements



Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1

Additional fee information

EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit from the European Union, this may change their student status and/or their tuition fee charges. Coventry University Group will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance at that time.
Popular Music Performance and Songwriting at Coventry University - UCAS