The BA (Hons) Career Musician degree is designed for dedicated, self-motivated musicians and artists. It gives you the perfect blend of artistic freedom alongside practical strategies to forge your own career in music.
It’s flexible so you can study in a way that suits you. And you can build your own music projects into the course. It’s fully approved by one of the UK’s leading specialist universities for the creative industries, Falmouth University.
3-year full-time on-campus option starting September.
2-yr online accelerated option starting September and January.
The degree is built on three fundamental elements – your music, your career and your projects. It deals with what really matters in music and the industry. It will expand your options and push you to create original, high-quality music and performance.
This course has been specifically designed for:
Every musician has their own story to tell and their own path to follow. You might be a drummer who also wants to sing better. Or a songwriter wanting to improve your recording and mixing skills or maybe you just want to stay fully focussed on developing your voice or instrument. No problem. You’ll be able to access a wide range of content, resources and tuition to suit your individual needs.
We provide a supportive, safe environment for you to experiment and create. You'll also develop a personal career plan to support your ambitions.
You’ll spend around 8-10 hours each week on site in timetabled teaching and learning activities. You'll also get access to all your module content prior to your class lectures via WaterBear's dedicated Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
On-site teaching and learning activities can include:
This course is designed to develop careers in:
After graduating, you'll have a number of routes to further study available, including the MA Music Performance, Production and Business* course at WaterBear and other postgraduate specialist programmes.
* Subject to approval Spring 2022
Module title: Your Music
Making innovative music is the lifeblood of this course. This module is about creating and performing music that represents you as an individual. Music that tells your story and shows the world who you are. This is me today, and this is where I am going.
Weekly timetabled classes include Technical Development, Pre-Production, Live Performance, Audio Production Tools, Composition with Technology, Recording and Capture, The Art of Production, Songwriting, Songcraft and Music Project Management.
This module is assessed via the submission of a demo recording that showcases your best work, with supporting narrative to reflect on the process and result.
Module title: Your Music Industry
This module deals with the music industry, past and present. Exciting case studies of artists that have made an important contribution to music. How did they do it? And how can you employ these insights into your own music projects, right now?
There is one weekly timetabled class common to all pathways that deals with this subject. Assessment is a case study of contrasting business models within the music industry.
Module title: Your Musical Development
Building on from the Your Music module, this is all about expanding your skills and abilities. Pushing the boundaries of instrumental or vocal technique, producing experimental work, or writing a hit pop song. The direction you take your music is controlled by you.
Weekly timetabled classes include Technical Development, Pre-Production, Creative Live Performance, Audio Production Techniques, Technology in Music, The Art of the Remix, Live Sound, Creative Songwriting, Songcraft Development and Music Project Management.
This module is assessed via the submission of demo recordings that showcase your best contrasting work, with supporting narrative to reflect on the process and result.
Module title: Your Strategy
Creating your individual career plan, with careful design and thorough testing. You will develop knowledge of current music industry practice to create career plans that are a). realistic and b). achievable.
There is one weekly timetabled class common to all pathways that deals with this subject. Assessment is a report to identify a viable, personalised career model.
Module title: Who Are You?
Time to Stop and reflect. Who exactly are you? Competent musicians can play, sing and write well, but a real artist stands for so much more. Lots more in terms of music creation, production and performance in this module.
Weekly timetabled classes include Stylistic Development, Pre-Production, Professional Live Performance, The Art of Mixing and Mastering, Audio Lab, Sonic Art, The Art of Arrangement, Songcraft Development and Music Project Management.
This module is assessed via the submission of studio and live recordings, with supporting case study analysis to illustrate your key influences.
Module title: Making Things Happen
Now's the time for the rehearsal and practice to stop and for you to show the world what you're made of. Working as a team to put on shows and events. From live streams and solo shows to a fully-fledged national tour. It's all fair game.
There is one weekly timetabled class common to all pathways that deals with this subject. Assessment is via a live event that you will curate, as part of a team. The scale and scope of the event is up to you.
Module title: Innovation in Music
This module will push you to expand your music into new and ground-breaking environments. Different methods of recording, innovative playing and performance techniques, new ways of composing. You'll use this as inspiration to create a wide range of original and creative cover material.
Weekly timetabled classes include Pre-Production, Performance & Realisation, Innovation in Music Project Management, Innovation in Songwriting and Production. There will also be optional advanced technical development classes for those wanting to push their instrumental or vocal technique to the next level.
This module is assessed via the submission of studio or live recordings that showcase your innovation, with accompanying programme notes, innovation pitch and press release.
Module title: Innovation in Music Business
In this business-focussed module, you’ll bring all your creative faculties to the table to create innovative new business models for the future music industry.
There is one weekly timetabled class common to all pathways that deals with this subject. Assessment is via a business plan submission designed to illustrate an innovative and viable new business idea.
Module title: Research Project
A dissertation isn't just a long essay. It's so much more than that. Yes, you'll be honing your academic chops as you undertake formal research. But you'll also be preparing the ground for your ambitious final project (Destinations).
There is one weekly timetabled class common to all pathways associated with this module. The Dissertation assessment will take the form of a research project focussed on a specific area relevant to today’s music scene.
Module title: Journeys
Having thought about what to do for that final project, you'll now need to prepare for it. This is where that work will be done, and the process documented. You'll be getting plenty of mentoring and guidance too, so don't worry.
There are two weekly timetabled class common to all pathways associated with this module – Digital Presence and Project Management. There will also be optional advanced technical development classes for those wanting to push their instrumental or vocal technique to the next level alongside optional songwriting and production development classes.
Assessment in this module is via the submission of Preparation Portfolio, including proposals, timeline and rationale.
Module title: Destinations
The big one. The final project. The springboard into your creative future. You are encouraged to be practical and realistic, but also ambitious and to challenge yourself. There is no limit to where you can take this or what you can do. Anything is possible.
Weekly class time to support this module will take the form of regular group tutorials, to ensure progression. There will also be optional advanced technical development classes that continue for those wanting further time developing their instrumental or vocal technique alongside optional songwriting and production development classes.
Assessment in this module is via the submission of a Portfolio of work and project outcomes, contextual presentation of work and next steps career strategy.
Course structure and modules may change as part of our regular review processes. Any changes affecting students’ expected programme delivery are communicated in advance.
Initial applications for the BA (Hons) 3-yr on-site and 2-yr online options can be made via the Apply Now button below.
You can also apply directly via UCAS here.
UCAS Course codes are as follows:
Course code: W3A2
Institution code: F33
Campus name: WaterBear, Brighton
Campus code: W
We consider all applications on their own merit and potential. We'll invite you to a 1-1 session, either in person or by video conference. This is where you'll have the opportunity to find out all about WaterBear and talk about your music, achievements and career goals. For more information about the 1-1 session, click here.
The BA (Hons) 3-year full-time course is also available to international students if they are based in the UK with settled status (no restrictions on how long you can stay). Students living outside of the UK can apply to study the 2-year accelerated online version of the course.
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to achieve equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of equivalent approved tests too. Visit the English Language Requirements page of the Falmouth University website for more information.
In order to get the most out of the BA (Hons) Career Musician course, it is essential that you have regular access to the correct resources. Having your own equipment will provide maximum flexibility to support both your college and personal project work.
Applying for a course at WaterBear is simple, whether it’s a BA (Hons) or master’s. Click the link below to find out all about the application process or, if you’re ready now, just hit the Apply Now button and we’ll be right in touch.
At WaterBear, we’re proud to work with some of the industry’s most accomplished music professionals. Tutors and mentors who are all highly experienced at every level of the music industry. Check out their information below. As working professionals, the tutoring team may be subject to occasional change and availability may vary.
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