Commercial Music

BA single honours Music: Commercial Music 2016/17

The Commercial Music programme is designed for creative students wishing to develop their performance and/or sound production skills to a high level. Students undertake a broad and comprehensive programme of studies with the opportunity to specialise in Performance or Sound Production. Weekly individual instrumental and vocal tuition is provided for all students taking Performance in Years 1, 2 and 3.

The programme focuses predominantly on popular music styles, with particular emphasis on the composition, performance and production of music for commercial application enabling each student to develop their individual creative and technical abilities, while furthering the creative interchange between performers and producers through the process of composition and arranging. The programme aims to motivate students to study the social significance of music as a cultural practice, and to gain an awareness and understanding of the breadth of activity encompassed within the music industry.

The programme is delivered within the specialist facilities of the Broadstairs Campus which currently include performance and practice facilities, recording studios and a computer music suite. In addition, students will have the opportunity to work with our in-house record label C3U Records ( and have visiting lectures from professionals working in the music industry.

Visit our YouTube page for an overview of various pathways we offer.

The programme begins with a broadly-based first year which introduces the main areas of study that are to be further developed in the second and third years, which include performance, sound production, popular music history, written and practical musicianship, songwriting and music business. In Years 2 and 3, students continue to specialise in Performance or Sound Production while selecting from a range of option modules focused on areas of commercial music such as songwriting, record label management, improvisation, live sound, online promotion, sound design and composition for media and film. In the third year all students also have the opportunity to undertake an independent study on an area of special interest.

Successful students will have gained a full range of theoretical, creative, social, technological and administrative skills and resources appropriate for employment in, for example, the music industry as performers and sound engineers/producers, composers, recording artists, and in education settings as well as for a wide variety of situations where creativity, confidence, discipline and flair are important.

Transferable skills gained on your course:

  • Powers of memory, physical dexterity and concentration - developed in practice and performance
  • Communication skills - developed through performing and engaging listeners
  • Teamwork - through working in bands or orchestras as a player, leader or manager
  • Self-management - physical and mental self-discipline achieved through regular practice
  • Performing under pressure - overcoming nervousness in order to perform well during exams, concerts and auditions
  • Planning - organising and working towards a project/performance
  • Commercial awareness - managing salary gained from performance or teaching

Download a fact sheet with more information about your career options with Music.


The 2015/16 and 2016/17 annual tuition fees for this course are:







Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

UK/EU full-time tuition fees for this course are set in line with the current maximum regulated tuition fee levels permitted by the UK Government.

Overseas full-time tuition fees for this course may be subject to an annual inflationary increase in every year where the course lasts more than one year. 

*Overseas fee scholarships may be available for eligible students. For further information please contact or the International Office:

**Full-time courses which have a Foundation Year 0 will have a 2015/16 and 2016/17 UK/EU tuition fee of £6,000 in Year 0.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students on courses are expected to meet. 

Read further information about the general additional costs which apply to courses at Canterbury Christ Church University.

A wide range of learning and teaching strategies is adopted in the proposal, as necessitated by the nature of the subject and the programme aims. Each level of study balances the theoretical and practical, reflecting the student’s own choice of emphasis on performance and sound production. Theoretical modules are taught through a combination of lectures and seminars.

Students specialising in Performance participate in large and small ensembles in the various processes of preparation, rehearsal and performance at all levels. Students specialising in Sound Production participate regularly in studio sessions in the various processes of recording, mixing and mastering at all levels. In a similar way, and as a means to ensure creative interchange between performance and sound producers, both Performance and Sound Production students participate in workshops and masterclasses.

The regular individual instrumental tuition to be offered within the Commercial Music programme is an invaluable part of music training and is central to the expectation of prospective performance students. A key feature of the programmes is the operation of the in-house record label, C3U Records. The operation of the label provides a focus for the commercial context of the programme while bringing together performers and sound producers to work in a cohesive way.

Methods of assessment include traditional unseen examination papers as well as practical performance examinations in the specialist modules. In addition to these performance examinations, students are also required to reflect critically on their practical activity, with Performance students also being subject to continuous assessment to motivate consistent engagement with the learning process.

Extensive use is made of coursework assessment right across the programmes. This includes both text-based coursework (e.g. essays, portfolios, performance critiques, production analyses), and musical scores. Practical skills are assessed both by a range of products, for example studio recordings, demo recordings of original compositions, arrangements, performances, and processes, to include, for example participation in rehearsals and performances, or contributions to workshops and seminars.

Fact file

UCAS code

  • W340


  • 3 years full-time

Entry requirements

  • A typical offer would be 240-280 UCAS Tariff points
    All applications will be considered on an individual basis according to qualifications, background and experience. Particular importance is placed upon instrumental/vocal ability, songwriting skills and/or sound production experience. More entry requirement details.



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You can still get your place at a great place

If you are thinking of applying for a place through Clearing, we are here to help you every step of the way.

Call our Clearing team: 01227 540980

Or complete the form below and someone will be in touch with you to discuss your options. If you haven't achieved the results you were expecting we also offer a Foundation Year in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities which leads to a degree course.

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Last edited: 29/07/2016 14:15:00