BA single honours Music, BA 2019/20

Year of entry

Year of entry 2019-20 We are currently refreshing our BA Music course. The refreshed course will build on the best practice developed during our extensive experience in delivering music degree programmes. More information on the changes to the course content will be available from spring 2019. In the meanwhile, please contact with any questions and a team member will be happy to get back to you.

90% of our Music students were satisfied with the academic support on their course.

National Student Survey, 2018

The course combines the study of music with the opportunity to join ensembles and play in regular performances, attend workshops and masterclasses by visiting renowned composers, performers, musicologists and specialists in music education and wellbeing.

You will learn how to think critically about music— what it is, how it is composed, how it is performed, how it is studied, and how it is used to improve people’s lives. You will develop skills in, and explore areas such as:

  • music history and musicology
  • composition
  • theory and analysis.
  • music education, health and wellbeing

The Single Honours BA Music is designed for students who wish to study music in depth, without necessarily undertaking a significant amount of practical study in performance. The music course provides a flexible and thorough learning experience. It offers a broad range of module choices based on the contemporary discipline, staff expertise, and the job market for music-related careers, particularly those in education, health, community, composition, and academia. You will develop your knowledge, motivation and self-reliance through a programme of study which allows for increasing specialisation from your first to your third year. The wide range of transferable skills you will acquire will also prepare you for many non-musical careers that you may wish to pursue after graduation, for a PGCE, or for further study at Masters level.

"The modules allowed me to understand what actually happens to the brain when engaging in musical activities. It showed me what parts of the brain react and how the sounds that we heard created brain waves that we understand as pitch! I found it truly fascinating and would never have understood this if I had not chosen this subject."

Alice Foster Year 3, talking about some of the music and science/social science themed modules

As a BA Music student, you will develop a deep and broad knowledge of music and music study, while at the same time developing skills important for employability, and gaining valuable experience in the local community and from visiting and resident professionals.

"The CCCU music department is full of fantastically supportive staff who want to give each student as many opportunities as possible. Since graduating, I have spoken to music graduates from other universities and I realised just how lucky I was to have participated in music therapy sessions; which is quite rare for undergraduate degrees. I feel my time at CCCU has prepared me to go into any situation with a logical mindset and a willing attitude."

Sarah Gilbert

Regular composition workshops and Masterclasses bring contemporary research and composition activity into your reach. You may also have the opportunity to have your compositions performed by professional musicians. Recent student compositions have been performed by Martin Outram, John Harle, and the Splinter Cell ensemble, as well as by our own Contemporary Music Ensemble.

Our team of musicology staff offers a broad range of expertise covering all historical eras from medieval and renaissance through to contemporary, modern music. They also offer a diverse range of methodological approaches to inform and inspire your study, composition and performance of music in all of its many sociological, historical, psychological, analytical, pedagogic, therapeutic and interpretative dimensions. A number of module options, such as those found on our music education and music and health pathways, also give you the opportunity to develop your skills off campus, working with local schools and charities, putting your learning into practice and gaining valuable experience for your CV.

You can apply for instrumental scholarships to enhance your performance skills.

Scholars of international and national renown are regular visitors to our Music Research Seminar series. These talks put you in contact with leading scholars in various fields of musical research. As an undergraduate student, you may even have the opportunity to participate in that research through our summer internship scheme, where some students work with staff as research assistants on a ten-week project. This is very valuable experience not only for the job market, but also for the development of research skills that you might otherwise only develop at postgraduate level.

The BA Music course is for students who do not wish to concentrate on performance, but you will still have the opportunity to apply for a Scholarship that provides one-to-one lessons with a specialist tutor to support your activities in one of our Directed Ensembles. The Chaplaincy also offers substantial scholarships for singers, organists and musical directors.

General Scholarships throughout your course are also available to support activities outside of your regular course, such as summer schools, attendance at conferences and training sessions, and other activities in support your career and professional development. Recently one student used the general Scholarship to pay for a short course in teaching world music at SOAS, to support her PGCE application. Other students have used the scholarship to support travel to conferences, concerts, masterclasses and consultation lessons outside Canterbury. Full details of our Music scholarships are available on our school website.

There is a wide range of Directed Ensembles available for all students to join. These typically include:

  • University Chorus
  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Chamber Choir
  • String Orchestra
  • Woodwind Ensemble
  • Early Music Ensemble
  • Contemporary Music Ensemble
  • Scratch Orchestra
  • Big Band
  • Broadway Choir

The Music Society provides support to anyone who wishes to start their own ensemble. It runs its own broad range of ensembles. Recent examples include:

  • Clarinet Choir
  • Flute Choir
  • Apollo Chamber Orchestra
  • Cantiamo Chamber Choir
  • Pit Band
  • Wind Orchestra

Top reasons to choose this course

  • A huge range of disciplines within music study are covered
  • Teaching is often based on and drawing from contemporary research
  • Module options that explore the therapeutic power of music in the context of outreach activities in the community
  • Study in an inspiring atmosphere of creative practice and research, and at a World Heritage Site

For composers

  • Tuition by established professional composers coupled with the opportunity to have your work workshopped and performed by visiting professional performers, and regular workshops and tutorials with visiting professional composers

You will study music from a wide range of perspectives reflecting the essentially interdisciplinary nature of music study. The first year of the course addresses music in its broadest sense and introduces specific topics which you can then choose as topic areas, culminating in individualised project work in year three. These topic areas typically include: analysis, health and wellbeing, education, history and culture, composition, studio composition and sound art, and interdisciplinary study. Modules in these areas are supported by core modules in year two, which allow you to continue to develop your knowledge of music, its styles, ideas, content and context.

Dr Vanessa Hawes is the Subject Lead for Music (Canterbury) and is engaged in interdisciplinary research combining issues in music analysis with music psychology, music reading (education) and musicology. This has recently involved collaborating with psychologists and working on a project that tracks students’ eyes when they read music.

‘I have taught on the Music courses here for over four years and each year I am more and more proud of the high quality work the students produce and what they achieve in three years. It is a privilege to work in a close-knit Music Team who are all experts in their field’

Dr Vanessa Hawes, Subject Lead for Music

You will undertake Work Related Experience across many areas of your course. This may include responding to industry briefs, workshopping your music with professional players, facilitating music in community settings, and giving public presentations of music for events.

Please note: if you want to do Single Honours Music without taking performance, you will choose the BA Music course.

Our specialist modules in aspects of music education and music and health offer you the opportunity to get to know aspects of music careers outside of the concert hall and to put your learning into practice.

Core Modules

Year 1

Introduction to Music Studies (20 Credits)

The module introduces you to the way in which music is studied and the principal theories and philosophies of current music study. The broad academic field of music study is interrogated through an exploration of its major sub­disciplines.

Theory, Style and Analysis (20 Credits)

The module familiarises you with tonal music theory, formal analysis and the more general foundation of music analysis, in the context of historical style and genre. The principles of tonality are explored interactively.

Music, Science and Technology (20 Credits)

You will study a range of music’s scientific and technological contexts. You will develop critical and analytical skills through making connections between music and scientific thought and gain a deeper understanding of music’s reliance on technology and scientific foundations.

Music in Society (20 Credits)

You will develop a critical understanding of the social and cultural contexts of music. You will explore music­sociological issues through studying a number of specific topics such as commercialisation, links between music and social class, and ‘political’ uses of music. You will develop critical and analytical skills through making connections between music and society and gain a deeper understanding of music’s role in everyday life.

Projects in Composition (20 Credits)

This module aims to provide you with a broad understanding of directions in musical thinking after 1950 and some related compositional techniques. It covers a number of stylistic approaches, typically including to harmony, form, notation and sound.

Year 2

Styles and Ideas (20 Credits)

This module examines indicative works across a range of musical and historical periods, and from a range of places, in order to familiarise you with fundamental concepts and approaches to music history and repertoire.

Creative Industry Skills (20 Credits)

The aim of the module is to equip you with a range of practical, creative skills in music that are related to, and appropriate for, a range of professional settings.

Music and Culture (20 Credits)

This module aims to introduce you to the fields of cultural and critical studies of music and ethnomusicology in their broadest definitions: the history, methods and subjects of a culture­centred approach to music, particularly music of the non­Western world, folk and popular musics.

Analysis (20 Credits)

This module aims to provide in­depth practical training in the process of musical analysis.  The module allows you to explore specific methods, developments and contexts of musical analysis, such as performance analysis; approaches from music perception and cognition; Schenkerian analysis, and post­tonal analysis.

Year 3

Musicology Skills (20 Credits)

This module aims to deepen the students’ understanding of musicology, focusing on a range of musical styles, and to introduce students to historical and contemporary methodologies for the study of music.

Musicology Project (20 Credits)

You will develop strategies to study and explore your own choice of music. You will connect activities in different disciplines, such as performance and composition. A significant aim of this module is the practical and critical application of theoretical information in an extended project.

Please note, we continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. We will inform applicants of any changes to the course structure before enrolment.

Likely optional modules

Year 1

Music Industry Fundamentals (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to enable you to gain a broad understanding of the background, structure and organisation of the music industry and to give you a foundation for determining your own potential role within it. This includes the concepts of intellectual property and copyright, the development and production of recorded music and the marketing and distribution of finished product together with the requirements regarding performance and promotion. Also included is an examination of both the operation of major and independent record companies and DIY releases together with the marketing of music from both composers and performing artists.

Audio Sequencing and Recording (20 credits)

This module is designed to provide you with a grounding in the applications and techniques of MIDI and audio sequencing. The module will focus on commercial music recording and production methods and will relate, for example, to the practical production of demo-format recordings required for Songwriting.

Year 2

Principal Study Preparation (in Composition) (20 Credits)

The module aims to develop your practical and technical skills composition. You will encounter new and more advanced techniques relevant to their specialism.

Principal Study Presentation (in Composition) (20 Credits)

The module aims to deepen and develop your understanding and employment of executant and creative skills in composition.

Music Education in Schools and the Community (20 Credits)

This module aims to introduce you to the basic principles of teaching music in groups. You explore different pedagogical methodologies and familiar with recent research into approaches to group teaching and learning, in terms of both content and strategy, and will consider your own work in relation to formal methodologies.

Music, Health and Wellbeing (20 Credits)

The module aims to provide you with an introduction to music’s link with health and wellbeing. It develops your knowledge, awareness and understanding of the implications of demographic change issues concerned with active music­making with older people.

Creative Sound Design (20 Credits)

This module aims to provide a substantial practical overview of studio­ based approaches to sound design and electronic composition. A broad and diverse approach will be taken, emphasising, for example, the influences of dance music and film sound, academia, the avant­ garde and the commercial music industry on the shaping of the contemporary studio composer.

Music in the Media 1 (20 Credits)

The aim of this module is to give you an introduction to the skills, approaches and insights needed to produce music for the media. You will develop the ability to compose music that enhances moving images and will learn to engage those stylistic conventions and techniques most commonly encountered in bespoke media music.

Arts and Politics (Interdisciplinary) (20 Credits)

You will examine the incorporation of political agendas into theatre, music, and dance.

Arts and the Individual (Interdisciplinary)

You will consider key influences from individual artists and practitioners across the arts.

Global Experience in Music (20 Credits)

In the increasingly global environment in which we evolve, regardless of our chosen professional pathways, gaining international experience and acquiring intercultural competences are pre-conditions to become globally-aware citizens and globally-agile music professionals. The Global Experience in Music module gives students opportunities to acquire international experience and reap the academic performance and employability benefits such experiences foster.

Year 3

Professional Study Preparation (in Composition) (20 Credits)

The module aims to equip students with advanced technical skills appropriate for professional-level engagement with composition.

Professional Study Presentation (in Composition) (20 Credits)

Students may choose this module if they wish to specialise in performance and composition.

Professional Creative Industry Skills (20 Credits)

The aim of the module is to develop students’ practical skills in music, relating them to a range of professional settings and standards.

Creative Industry Project (20 Credits)

This module aims to offer students the opportunity to develop a project in a creative skill, with reference to the professional settings and standards in which they will work after they graduate.

Advanced Music Research (20 Credits)

The module provides you, with the opportunity to develop your research skills to a very high level, in preparation for applying them to a musicological topic of your choice in the ‘Independent Project’ module.

Independent Project (20 Credits)

The module allows you to develop your final dissertation. You are encouraged to take the lead in your own planning, research and writing, as well as gaining from regular meetings with your supervisor.

One­to­one Instrumental and Vocal Teaching (20 Credits)

You will develop your ability to analyse and reflect on your instrumental or vocal expertise in order to transfer knowledge and skills in a flexible and communicative way, mainly in one­to­one or small group teaching situations. You will study and evaluate models of teaching in specialist fields, and investigate current research into traditional and contemporary modes of instrumental teaching.

Music in Vulnerable Populations for Therapy and Education (20 Credits)

The module develops your knowledge of the use of music for the enhancement of health, wellbeing and music education in vulnerable populations such as older people with dementia and Parkinson’s disease as well as children and young people with learning disabilities or behavioural problems.

Musicology Skills (20 Credits)

This module aims to deepen the students’ understanding of musicology, focusing on a range of musical styles, and to introduce students to historical and contemporary methodologies for the study of music.

Musicology Project (20 Credits)

In this module students will develop strategies to study and explore their own choice of music. They will connect activities in different disciplines, such as performance and composition. A significant aim of this module is the practical and critical application of theoretical information in an extended project.

Sound Art A (20 Credits)

This module includes a strong emphasis on emergent forms of sound design, and alternative approaches to composition will be explored. You will be introduced to a range of skills, such as formulating project proposals and creating documentation. You will also be encouraged to collaborate with visual media artists, such as photographers or web designers, in the creation of a mixed­media work.

Sound Art B (20 Credits)

You will be introduced to technical and artistic skills necessary to produce a large­scale non­linear installation work. Installation art and interactivity will be discussed through a variety of lectures and practical demonstrations. You will also be encouraged to collaborate with visual media artists, such as photographers, web designers or film­makers, in the creation of a mixed­media work.

Film Music A (20 Credits)

The module aims to give you an understanding of the process of writing music for film and you will be introduced to the development of the language of film music, film scoring techniques and to broader cultural and critical issues.

Film Music B (20 Credits)

>Continuing from ‘Film Music A’, this module aims to develop your understanding of the language of film music, film­scoring techniques and the broader cultural and critical issues. You will develop composition, production, and software techniques and apply these skills to the creation of music for film.

Interdisciplinary module: Community Arts Project (20 credits)

You will work as interdisciplinary teams and create a community based arts project, sharing and applying skills, knowledge and understanding of arts to the context and the practicalities of project development, management and delivering a project.

Interdisciplinary module: Multimedia Performance (20 credits)

This module is designed to explore the rapidly emerging and diversifying field of multimedia performance and interactive performance installation. Multimedia performance embraces a new technology as means of extending both the self and place.

95% of our most recent Music students were in jobs or further study 6 months after finishing their course.

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, 2016/17

You may wish to pursue a career in musical performance, composition, instrumental teaching, or a combination of these and other musical activities in a portfolio career. You may wish to work as a music teacher, or some other area of music education, choosing to do a PGCE after graduation. You could also work in areas related to health and wellbeing, music therapy (going on to Masters level training) community music, music journalism or criticism, composition, music technology, music scholarship, arts administration, or a combination of these specialisms. Many of our graduates go into academia, choosing to do a Masters in Music after graduation, and then a PhD. The transferable skills developed open up options for a broad range of non­music related careers.

A selection of graduate stories, detailing the kinds of careers our students go into, can be found here

Simon Nobbs did the Bachelor of Music degree (before the BA was established as a separate course). After graduating in 2007, he went to work at East Kent College as a Learning Support Practitioner. This eventually led to a job teaching music at the College, and having been the Programme Director for Music, he is now the Deputy Head of Creative Industries. About his time as a Music student at Canterbury Christ Church, Simon said:

"Overall the course nurtured an enduring passion for music, broadened my musical knowledge and prepared me for industry. On top of this I met my wife and best friends while studying."


The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £6,575 £8,500
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £11,900
Part-time £4,625 N/A

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

* The tuition fee of £9,250 relates to 2019/20 only. Please read the 2019/20 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2019/20 tuition fees and mid-course year on year fee increases.

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 are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Clothing / Kit

If you want to perform in ensembles you will need to bring and maintain your instrument. With the exception of pianists and organists, all students are expected to supply their own musical instrument and meet any associated maintenance or insurance costs themselves. (There are some specialist instruments that can be loaned to students for specific projects; this relates to your principal and any second study instruments). The cost will vary from instrument to instrument.

You may be part of a Directed Ensemble and take part in its concerts. For formal classical music concerts you will be required to wear concert dress. For men, this is a black long­sleeved shirt and trousers and for ladies a black long­sleeved blouse and a skirt of knee­length (or longer) with black socks/tights or trousers. Everyone needs plus black shoes (not trainers). The cost of these clothes will vary greatly, depending on what you already own, and where you want to get these clothes from.

Although the library holds many resources, you will also need to purchase some learning materials for your course such as sheet music, manuscript paper, and music theory work books. Whether or not you need to purchase these things will depend on your module choices.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.


You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical workshops and individual instrumental lessons. You will typically have around 12 contact hours per week in lectures, seminars, and workshops. In addition, you will meet with your academic personal tutor and may attend ensemble rehearsals. Your actual contact hours depend on the option modules you select but a typical BA Music student will therefore attend around 14 contact hours per week.

You will have access to specialist facilities and equipment for Music and Performing Arts throughout your course including practice and rehearsal spaces, instruments, studio spaces, performance spaces, and specialist software.

In year 2, you will have the option to undertake a trip abroad as part of the ‘Global Experiences’ module. Throughout your programme you will also have the option to undertake Work Related Experiences including responding to briefs, putting your learning into practice in community settings, and learning from professionals in composition masterclasses and workshops. All programmes are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2020.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will continue learning through self-study.  Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, practising, and preparing for coursework assignments/examinations, workshops and seminars. Your module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class.

In the ‘Musicology Project’ module in year 3, you will undertake independent research. You will work under the supervision of a member of the course team. You will meet with your supervisor regularly.

Your overall workload typically consists of 14 contact hours. You will undertake 20 hours independent learning and assessment activity. In addition, there will be concerts and other, extra-curricular, music activities to attend that will support and enhance your learning.

For each 20-credit module, your study time is about 10 hours a week, and you will take 3 20-credit modules each semester.

Academic input

Our music team comprises highly qualified academics who are also all practising musicians and experts in their field. They have a range of expertise and experience, including as performers, composers, and music researchers.

All our team members hold qualifications. They are research-active and active musicians, and have experience in delivering research-led teaching. All of our BMus programme staff are at the level of Senior Lecturer or above. You can find out more about the current teaching on our

Our Staff’ page that holds information about all staff in music and performing arts.

Sometimes you may be taught be other specialist staff. These include instrumental teachers, ensemble directors, practitioners of specific areas such as Alexander Technique or Music Therapy, visiting professors such as the composer Paul Patterson or the performer Martin Outram, or visiting lecturers with specialisms in areas of the curriculum. It is possible that members of the teaching team may change.

BA Music students are assessed by a wide range of assessment tasks. The nature of modules dictates their distinctive assessment procedures: for example, composition is assessed through compositions, technical exercises, and supporting written work. Aside from the generic modes of academic assessment, including written coursework and presentations, the BA Music course embraces a number of specialist modes, including podcasts, in­class assessment, score­based work, and group and individual practical work. Some modules may include assessment by a portfolio of work, which might include any combination of the above tasks, coursework exercises set by the tutor, or different applications of musical skills including stylistic exercises, transcription, pastiche compositions, technical exercises, summaries, reviews and presentations. In your third year you can choose to specialise in performance, composition, or both, and can also choose to write a dissertation. In every module, opportunities for tutorial support and formative feedback are available prior to the submission of assessments.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

There are no formal exams in any of the BA Music modules. Some modules include assessment by a presentation, in-class concert or in-class task. The split between these types of assessments and other types of coursework is dependent on the student’s module choices. 


You will receive feedback on all formative and summative assessments. Feedback is received in seminar discussions of your work-in-progress, tutorials, and formative submissions of your work-in-progress, depending on the types of modules you are studying. Formative feedback is intended to help you improve your work, whilst final feedback will also contain information to help you to improve your future assignments.

We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of submitting your assessments.

Our new £12m creative arts facility in Canterbury is scheduled to open in the academic year 2018/19. This building will be equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our arts and humanities students.

The BMus programme is taught at Canterbury Christ Church University’s Canterbury Campus in the heart of the historic city of Canterbury, less than 100 yards from the Cathedral. The University is 10 minutes from the train stations in Canterbury and Canterbury is 56 minutes by train from London St Pancras station.

Most taught content will take place in the Maxwell Davies building which houses specialist music facilities including a performance space, practice rooms, Mac suites and music lecture theatres. Further teaching may take place in St Gregory’s Centre for Music, our dedicated concert hall, or Anselm Studio, our black box theatre space. You will also benefit from the new facilities in the arts building which will support music and performances.

Our main campus in Canterbury has the city centre facilities on its doorstep and, of course, you will benefit from all the new arts building has to offer.

Please note: if you are thinking of combining music with another subject and want to study performance as part of your degree, you will need to have an ABRSM Grade 8 or equivalent in your main instrument (or are working towards this at the time of application), and you will be able to choose the Performance modules from the BMus course. If you want to do Single Honours Music, including performance, you will choose the BMus course.

Our Visiting Professor in Composition, Paul Patterson, regularly works with our students. Industry professionals regularly visit our programme to deliver workshops and masterclasses. In 2017 these have included Dan Watts (Film and TV Composer), Kelly Lovelady (Orchestral Conductor and Director) and David Taylor (Founder and Director of Yorkshire Young Sinfonia).


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000 (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • W303 Music BA

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time

    6 years part-time


  • September 2019

Entry requirements



More about

Last edited 11/06/2019 16:11:00

Save, Print or Share this page

Connect with us

Last edited: 11/06/2019 16:11:00