Our Church Music programmes (Foundation Degree, BA ‘top-up’, and Graduate Diploma) are a unique partnership between our university and another organisation with enormous experience in church music: the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM). These courses are intended to support and develop the work of church musicians, and a key aspect of them is that you remain at home, and use your own church or place of worship as the basis for your study.
The University and the RSCM work together to give you the education, training and support to ensure you succeed: throughout the year, the RSCM’s extensive network of practising church musicians support and mentor you in your musical ‘home base’, while the University provides tuition at Residential Study Schools, giving the specialist knowledge and understanding that underpins all our work in music for worship.
Those Study Schools are an unforgettable opportunity to meet people with a common interest. Each one focusses on one particular module whilst offering more widely-applicable sessions in various aspects of practical church musicianship. And Canterbury comes into its own; while we use the superb University facilities extensively, we also spend time in the Cathedral. We do not forget that you are practising musicians, and many study days have ended with a sung Compline in the Cathedral Crypt.
You will have access to our Virtual Learning Environment, our ‘E-Library’ (including the Grove Online Dictionary of Music), and the Naxos CD library online.
In each of the three years, a Project module offers you an opportunity to consolidate and develop your work in areas where you have particular interests and/or abilities by research (informed by practice where appropriate), while the Practical Church Musicianship modules allow you to develop your own specialist skills – whether as director, performer, or composer. Other modules are as follows:
At Level 4 (1st-year undergraduate level), Ministry and Worship 1 considers contemporary patterns of Christian worship and the concept of ministry. Music and Liturgy 1 examines the aspects and contexts of music in a religious context and beyond. Church Music Management introduces the core knowledge required and/or relevant for the effective organisation of music in church contexts.
At Level 5 (2nd-year undergraduate level), Ministry and Worship 2 considers the relationship between context and culture, applying this to contemporary debates. Music and Liturgy 2 considers the nature of the worshipping community, and the wider mission of church music is discussed as students think about church music’s role both in the life of the church outside worship and in the wider community.
At Level 6 (3rd-year undergraduate level), in Liturgical Musicianship, you gain the critical tools with which to evaluate repertoire for liturgical occasions.
The two-year Foundation Degree is intended to lead directly to the third-year, ‘top-up’ programme at Canterbury Christ Church to gain your BA degree. Whether or not you choose to do this, you will have gained the knowledge and expertise to develop your work in this richly rewarding field of music in Britain and abroad.
Our decision to offer the third-year, BA degree programme as a discrete, standalone Graduate Diploma is due partly to the impressive number of people who have expressed an interest in the Foundation Degree in Church Music but whose prior qualifications and (often considerable) experience mean that study at Levels 4 and 5 (the first two years of undergraduate study) is not really appropriate. Completion of this level of study would equip you for further, higher-level degree study (MA, MPhil, PhD), as well as providing you with the expertise and experience which would enable you to compete for employment alongside other graduates.
We are a Church of England Foundation with a specialism in Church Music: the Cathedral is just across the road from the Canterbury Campus; the Organist of the Cathedral, Dr David Flood, is a Fellow of the University and a visiting lecturer in the Department, and the Programme Director is a Lay Clerk in the Cathedral Choir. Many undergraduates are active in the Chapel Choir in local church music groups around the area – often going on to lead those groups when they have graduated.
The actual degree course has a very simple structure: three, four or five ‘modules’ per year, adding up to 120 ‘credits’ per year. They are shown below, with a brief summary of what’s in each module:
Ministry and Worship 1 [20 credits]
Music and Liturgy 1 [20 credits]
Church Music Management [20 credits]
Project 1 [20 credits]
Practical Church Musicianship 1 [40 credits]
Ministry and Worship 2 [20 credits]
Music and Liturgy 2 [20 credits]
Project 2 [40 credits]
Practical Church Musicianship 2 [40 credits]
Liturgical Musicianship [40 credits]
Specialist Project [40 credits]
Advanced Practical Church Musicianship [40 credits]
Each one of the study schools will be focused on one particular module and represent an unforgettable opportunity to meet new people with a common interest. It’s in these study schools that Canterbury will come into its own: whilst we’ll use the university facilities extensively (superb new library, housed in Augustine House, and brand-new rehearsal facilities, including seminar and ensemble rehearsal rooms, opening in 2012), we will also spend time in the Cathedral. We don’t forget that you are practising musicians, and many of the CCCU Study Days we have already run have ended with a sung Compline or Vespers in the Cathedral Crypt, along with an opportunity to watch an open rehearsal of the Cathedral Choir and attend the daily sung Evensong.
Canterbury Christ Church University has Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Paul Patterson – two of the world’s leading living composers – as visiting professors, and we have every intention of bringing our Church Music students into contact with them. It’s worth noting, too, that CCCU is the leading provider of training for the lay ministry in our part of the world, and we will capitalise on this enormous depth of expertise in the study schools.
Apart from the support from the RSCM’s extensive network of practising church musicians support and mentor you in their musical ‘home base’, and the University’s tuition at residential study schools, you will have access to our Virtual Learning Environment, our ‘E-Library’ (including the Grove Online Dictionary of Music), and the Naxos CD library online.
Whilst the practical component of many modules is important, most modules require an element of written work as part of the assessment strategy. This may take one of a number of forms, as follows:
For the rest of the academic year (October-June), university tutors are only a phone call or an email away, and much of the study will be done using the university’s online resources. Along with all our students, you will have access to our Virtual Learning Environment – ‘Blackboard’ – and all the learning materials will be there. Along with all other CCCU Music students, you will also have access to our ‘E-Library’, which will include the Grove Online Dictionary of Music, and the Naxos CD library online.
Have a quick tour around the Music Department, and be convinced that our Church Music programmes are a wonderful way to deepen your knowledge and understanding of your work in sacred music. We think these courses have a lot to offer – whether you’re an experienced musician already, or a youngster who would quite like the opportunity to work towards a degree whilst staying where you are right now.
Applications for a full-time place on the course should be made through UCAS. Applications for part-time places are not currently being accepted.
You will also need to complete a ‘Placement Agreement’ –select either PDF or Word copies – which ensures that your home church will support you in your studies. Please download the form and complete it, and return it to us, as requested on page 3.
For further course information please contact the Programme Director, Chris Price: email@example.com
Foundation Degree and BA 'top-up'/Graduate Diploma
2 years full-time
1 year full-time (BA/Graduate Diploma)
Foundation Degree: 120 UCAS points or relevant experience
BA: Successful study at Levels 4 and 5
Graduate Diploma: BA in a related field and/or relevant, appropriate and sufficiently specialised experience
UCAS - also see 'How to apply' below for Placement Proposal Forms
Coursework, group projects, presentations
£6,000 per year