Foundation Year Zero
As a student on a Faculty of Arts and Humanities Foundation Year course you will undertake 4 core modules introducing you to study in the arts and humanities and university level skills.
A module introducing you to Life and Study at university, equipping you with the personal management skills you need to make the most of your time here.
- Understanding Arts and Humanities
A module introducing research methods and key skills, such as academic writing, referencing, presentations and critical reading.
A module introducing modernity and how it is identified and researched. You will choose your own individual example of modernism, whether it be an object, a work of art, an idea or a piece of literature.
A module designed to equip you with the skills relating to your chosen subject area, providing you with a seamless transition to level 4/year one.
In addition you will be offered two complementary modules, one to be studied in each semester. For this subject you will study:
- Music Production Fundamentals
You will be introduced to fundamental concepts of software sequencing and mixing and will learn basic skills in editing, arranging and processing audio content.
- Music and Performing Arts in Context
You will engage with the contextual issues around music and performing arts, including models of transmission and cultural influences from around the world.
Introduction to Performance (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to enable the development of skills in performance through the study of an instrument/voice. Alongside the development of instrumental skills students gain rehearsal and performance experience by participating in student ensembles under the direction of a tutor.
Performance for Stage (20 credits)
The Performance for Stage module continues to develop skills in performance through the study of a specialist instrument/voice. Alongside the development of instrumental skills students continue to gain rehearsal and performance experience by participating in student ensembles.
Audio Sequencing and Recording (20 credits)
This module is designed to provide students with a grounding in Apple’s LOGIC and the applications and techniques of MIDI and audio sequencing. The module will focus on commercial music recording and production methods and will relate specifically to the practical production of demo-format recordings.
Theory and Notation in Popular Music (20 credits)
This module aims to provide a thorough grounding in music theory, and to enable students to develop their ability to read, write, and aurally recognise relevant melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic elements of popular music. The module also aims to develop an understanding of how these theoretical elements are applied to the practice of popular music, for example, in songwriting/composition, improvisation, and analysis.
Commercial Music in Context (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of the historical and cultural context of a range of styles and genres of commercial music. These will be considered by tracing the development of constituent strands of music to the present day. In addition, recorded examples from each style will be considered analytically in order to identify their salient characteristics and their relationship to other styles. The module will focus on popular music since 1900 and will introduce a number of simple conceptual frameworks that will enable students to discuss popular music with more confidence and precision.
Songwriting, Composition and Arranging (20 credits)
This module develops techniques in songwriting, composition and arranging. The module fosters the acquisition of practical skills needed for the creative industries, whilst stimulating students towards the development of an individual style via a creative portfolio. In addition to informing students about the industry conventions of songwriting, composing and arranging, the module also will develop awareness of (for example) extended harmony; ensemble textures and idiomatic instrumental techniques.
Performance for Stage and Screen (20 credits)
Building on the level four performance modules this module further develops skills in performance through the continued study of a specialist instrument/voice. The module begins to develop an understanding of performance practice for both stage and screen contexts.
Solo Performance (20 credits)
Building on the skills acquired in previous performance modules this module further develops skills in performance through the study of a specialist instrument/voice. The module focuses on the development of students as soloists or featured instrumentalists, with a continued emphasis on developing an understanding of industry expectations of musical performance practice.
Music Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (20 credits)
This module aims to develop students understanding of the creative, technological and managerial elements of the music business as an industry, becoming aware of key areas of the sector and specific expectations related to employability and career development. It considers a wide range of music industry activities and career possibilities which may include focuses on music publishing, law & copyright, performance & recording management and the release, access and discovery of recorded music, for example.
Popular Music Analysis and Performance (20 credits)
The aim of the module is to build upon the knowledge gained at level one in Commercial Music in Context, Theory and Notation in Popular Music, and Performance modules, introducing students to more advanced forms of popular music analysis. Musical material will be analyzed in depth, with an emphasis on the musical texts, as well as their cultural and stylistic context. The module aims to develop students’ ability to identify and relate key musical characteristics, patterns, and traits in popular music works, and to apply this insight to the performance of relevant repertoire.
Performance in the Recording Studio (20 credits)
This module has a particular focus on studio performance technique. As with previous performance modules, the study of a specialist instrument or voice is the central core activity and students will develop necessary skills for competent studio performance within a recording session.
Advanced Solo Performance (20 credits)
The aim of the module is to further enable progression in the knowledge and skills gained within the Solo Performance and Performance in the Recording Studio modules. Students will further develop skills in live/solo performance, and the study of a specialist instrument or voice continues to be the central core activity. The focus on performance technique in a live context aims to develop the students understanding of professional practice and industry expectations of performance.
Likely Optional Modules
Media Music (20 credits)
The aim of the module is to give students an introduction to the skills, approaches and insights needed to produce music for various media. Students will develop the ability to compose music that enhances narrative and moving images and will learn to engage those stylistic conventions and techniques most commonly encountered in bespoke media music. Students will develop sequencing and arranging skills needed in the production of smaller-budget media music and will also be presented with opportunities to develop skills in sound design that may be used alongside or as an alternative to more traditional compositional techniques.
Commercial Songwriting (20 credits)
Commercial Songwriting aims to build on the work completed within Songwriting, Composition and Arranging through the study of more advanced and extended songwriting models, whilst encouraging the students to develop their own distinctive ‘voice’ within their creative work. The application of technology within the compositional process will be explored as a means to extend beyond traditional songwriting models. Students will develop arranging skills for a variety of ‘live’ and computer-based instruments and ensembles.
Performance Techniques 1: Approaches to Improvisation (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to enable students to develop skills in improvisation through the study and practical application of relevant musical languages and theoretical concepts. It engages students through a broad yet in-depth presentation of a variety of approaches to improvisation across a range of styles, and exposes students to increasingly complex harmonic progressions aiming to demonstrate how they might approach improvisations on such progressions, and improvise appropriately in the style. In addition they will be required to analyse improvisations and will transcribe and perform recorded solos, developing aural and notation skills.
Music and Culture (20 credits)
This module aims to introduce students to a broad range of music in its cultural contexts. The technical and critical understanding developed in this module is a firm foundation for any student pursuing in-depth study at level 6. The module also includes the development of transferable skills such as effective academic writing, reflective writing, participation in discussion, and group work.
Introduction to Applied Music Psychology (20 credits)
The module aims to introduce the students to a wide range of music psychology and music social psychology studies concerning how people make sense of music; how they develop specific musical skills such as improvisation and performance; and how they use music in their everyday lives. The students will explore different music psychology methodologies through a combination of theoretical and practical sessions on topics such as bodily and emotional responses to music, music and the brain, physical and psychological health in performing musicians, musical improvisation, musical identities, music and consumer behaviour and the effects of music on health and wellbeing of older people.
Independent Project A (20 credits)
This module will enable students to undertake the research necessary for an extensive creative or dissertation project in the Independent Project B module. The outcomes of this research activity can cover a broad area and may include, for instance, research towards a composition, dissertation or performance. The module aims to enable students to develop a detailed, critical understanding of their chosen area of study, and to research, refine and present information, techniques, views and opinions in an academic fashion. The work may be either creative with a practice-based focus or a dissertation.
Independent Project B (20 credits)
This module will enable students to continue to develop a creative project or dissertation based on research developed in the Independent Project A module or work that they would like to further develop from other level 6 semester one modules such as Individual Songwriting, Audio and Sound for Games, Instrumental and Vocal Teaching. The work undertaken in this module should represent a significant development in the student’s chosen area of study and the module also aims to fundamentally enhance students’ employability through their focus on creative industry/academic standards.
Film Music (20 credits)
The module aims to give students a sophisticated understanding of the process of writing music for film. A historical survey of the process will introduce students to the development of the language of film music, film scoring techniques and to broader cultural and critical issues. The module will cover a variety of composers working in the industry with a focus upon the detail of influential works.
Film Music Portfolio (20 credits)
Following on from Film Music, this module aims to give students a further understanding of the process of writing music for film aiming to further develop the understanding of the language of film music, film-scoring techniques and broader cultural and critical issues. Students will develop composition, production, and software techniques to a professional level, and apply these skills to the creation of music for film. Students will also be required to produce a show-reel of their work and online portfolio, ready to present to a potential client.
Performance Techniques 2: Repertoire and Styles (20 credits)
This module aims to enable students to become increasingly confident and flexible practitioners in a broad range of popular music performance styles. The module aims to consider a range of musical styles not previously covered in performance modules in the first and second years of study, and to develop skills further in the rehearsal and performance process. The module will provide a theoretical consideration of stylistic traits and appropriate performance techniques, as well as improvisational and compositional approaches within the selected styles.
Performance Techniques 3: Advanced Improvisation and Arranging Skills (20 credits)
The module aims to build upon the work done in Performance Techniques 1 and Performance Techniques 2 by developing aspects of improvisation and performance techniques to a high level. Much of the focus will be on jazz, taking the term ‘jazz’ to cover a wide-ranging repertoire of standard and contemporary works. The module engages students through a broad yet in-depth presentation of jazz to develop the above techniques. Students will perform, discuss and analyse a range of musical examples taken from the breadth of the genre and their knowledge of repertoire enhance through the study of advanced theoretical concepts.
Individual Songwriting (20 credits)
Individual Songwriting aims to provide students with the opportunity to extend and enhance a personal songwriting style whilst fostering an awareness of songwriting in a commercial context. In order to develop students’ practical, creative and technical skills in songwriting to a high level, the module builds upon the work done in Songwriting, Composition and Arranging at level 4 and Commercial Songwriting at level 5 by engaging students with more ambitious projects, such as the completion of an e.p. (extended play). The emphasis of the module is upon encouraging and facilitating creativity and individuality whilst aiming to achieve a professional and convincing level of competence in songwriting and arranging.
Music Business Futures (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to develop a clear and deep knowledge of the current music industry with a view to predicting and developing future trends being informed primarily by investigation and practice. The module will focus in detail on the many new and emerging technologies available for promotion, discovery, distribution and consumption of music via the Internet and mobile networks that are currently being explored within the industry. There will be a strong emphasis on current and developing trends and a focus on exploring newly emerging avenues of music access, delivery and discovery in the light of shifts from the ownership towards the subscription business model.
Instrumental and vocal teaching (20 credits)
This module aims to develop students’ ability to analyse and reflect on their own instrumental or vocal expertise, in order to transfer knowledge and skills in a flexible and communicative way, mainly in one-to-one or small group teaching situations. Students will study and evaluate models of teaching in their specialist fields, and investigating current research into traditional and contemporary modes of instrumental teaching.
Music for therapy and wellbeing (20 credits)
This module aims to develop students’ knowledge of the use of music for the enhancement of health, wellbeing and music education with 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. The module also aims to expand students’ understanding and awareness of central issues in relation to planning and leading music-making activities with older learners in palliative care and in the community through theory and in practice. Moreover, this module prepares musicians for further studies in music therapy.