BA (Hons) Career Musician

3-year (full-time on-campus) and 2-yr (online accelerated) options available.
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You are an independent, self-motivated musician who wants to thrive, not just survive.

Our BA (Hons) Career Musician degree is designed to give you the perfect blend of artistic freedom alongside practical strategies to forge your own career in music. On your own terms.

It’s flexible and comprehensive so you can study in a way that suits you. And you can build your own music projects into the course. It’s fully accredited and approved by one of the UK’s leading specialist universities for the creative industries, Falmouth University.

And for students studying on the 2-yr online course, you’ll also receive a £750 bursary to invest in new equipment, a Pro Tools subscription and a Slate All Access software bundle, so you can learn on your own gear.

3-year full-time on-campus option starting September.

2-yr online accelerated option starting September and January.

Course Video

Fees & Funding

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3-yr on-site course tuition fee is £9,250 for each year of the course
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2-yr online course tuition fee is £9,950 for each year of the course
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Full tuition fee loans available to UK residents
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Maintenance loans (3-yr option) also available
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International citizens resident in the UK may also be able to access loans

Entry Requirements

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104-120 UCAS Tariff Points (A-levels / BTEC / Cambridge Technical / etc.)
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All applications considered on individual merit and potential
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Equivalent international qualifications accepted
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English language proficiency (IELTS 6.0 or equivalent) if required

All the details...

You'll find all the information you need in the sections below.

The degree is built on three fundamental elements – your music, your career and your projects.  It deals with what really matters in the industry. It will expand your options and push you to create original, boundary-shifting music. And both the 3-yr and 2-yr accelerated options feature our hybrid, on-demand learning model.

Who's it for?

Every musician has their own story to tell and their own path to follow. At WaterBear, we treat you as an individual and you can study a wide range of subject areas. This course has been specifically designed for:

  • Vocalists
  • Guitarists
  • Drummers
  • Bassists
  • Songwriters and composers
  • Audio producers
  • Music managers
  • Tour and event managers
  • Technicians

All lectures and content are available online for everyone, so you can access a wide range of content across different subjects. You can design your own path through the degree and make it your own.

You're a drummer who also wants to sing better? Or a songwriter who needs to improve your recording and mixing skills? Or just want to stay fully focussed on your main interest? No problem. How and what you study is completely up to you.

All musicians at WaterBear will make, record, mix and master their music. We provide a supportive, safe environment to experiment and create. You'll also develop a personal career plan to support your ambitions.

How you will learn

3-yr full-time on-site option

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:

  • Lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops
  • One-to-one mentoring
  • Assignments, assessments and feedback sessions
  • Masterclasses
  • Live performances and gigs
  • Peer collaboration via 'Jam Cloud' (VLE)
  • Free rehearsal and recording time in professional studios
  • Networking and industry conference events

2-yr online accelerated option

You’ll get access to all of your course content via WaterBear’s dedicated Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You’ll also be able to participate in tutorials, discussions and meetings using video conferencing. 

Online teaching and learning activities can include:

  • Lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops
  • One-to-one mentoring
  • Assignments, assessments and feedback sessions
  • Masterclasses
  • Virtual performances and gigs
  • Performance and peer collaboration via ‘Jam Cloud’ (VLE)
  • Networking and industry conference events

You’ll also be invited to attend regular events, masterclasses and other activities happening at the WaterBear campus in Brighton, which is optional.

Career pathways

This course is designed to develop careers in:

  • Music performance and composition
  • Audio/visual production
  • Studio recording
  • Music production and engineering
  • Live sound engineering
  • Digital marketing and PR
  • Digital content creation
  • Tour, artist and events management
  • Artist, label and publishing services
  • Technical support
  • Music education

Further study

After graduating, you'll have a number of routes to further study available, including the MA Music Entrepreneur course at WaterBear and other postgraduate specialist programmes.

Course modules

Level 4

Module title: Your Music

Creating original work or interpreting cover versions that represent you as an individual. Making music that tells your story as an artist. This is me today, and this is where I am going.

Module title: Your Music Industry

The music industry, past and present. Exciting case studies of artists that have made an important contribution to music. How did they do it? How can you employ these insights into your own music projects, right now?

Module title: Your Musical Development

Expanding your skills and abilities. Pushing the boundaries of instrumental or vocal technique, producing lo-fi experimental work, or writing a hit pop song. The direction you take your music is controlled by you.

Module title: Your Strategy

Creating your individual career plan, with careful design and thorough testing. Here we develop knowledge of current music industry practice to create career plans that are a). realistic and b). achievable.

Level 5

Module title: Who Are You?

Time to Stop and reflect. Who exactly are you? Competent musicians can play, sing and write well, but an artist stands for so much more. Loads of music creation, production, performance and soul searching will help you become the best possible version of you.

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, to solo acoustic shows, to a fully-fledged national tour. It's all fair game.

Module title: Innovation in Music

Expanding your music into new and ground-breaking environments. Different methods of recording. Innovative playing techniques. New ways of writing songs or performing. You'll use this as inspiration to create a wide range of original or creative covers.

Module title: Innovation in Music Business

Just because it's about the ‘music business', doesn't mean this module is dry. No way. You'll bring all your creative faculties to the table to create innovative new business models for the future music industry.

Level 6

Module title: Dissertation

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). This is where you do the prep.

Module title: Journeys

Having thought about what to do for that final project, you'll now need to prepare for it. A lot. This is where we will do that work together, and document the process. You'll be getting plenty of mentoring and guidance too, so don't worry.

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.

Initial applications for the BA (Hons) 3-yr on-site and 2-yr online options can be made via the ‘Apply Now’ button at the top of the page, or by emailing enquiries@wbear.io.

We consider all applications on their own merit and potential. We'll invite you to a 1-1 consultation, 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. Find out more about the 1-1 Consultation process here.

Students interested in studying the 3-yr on-site course can also apply directly via UCAS here.

UCAS Course codes are as follows;

Application codes

Course code: W3A2
Institution code: F33
Campus name: WaterBear, Brighton
Campus code: W

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 via the ‘Apply Now’ button at the top of the page, or by contacting enquiries@wbear.io.

Language requirements

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.

Essential basics:

  • Your instrument (instrumentalists)
  • Expendables (strings, sticks, picks, leads, etc.)
  • Note-taking materials (pens, notepad, manuscript paper, etc.)
  • Computer (desktop, laptop, tablet, etc.)
  • DAW software
  • USB memory stick
  • Reliable Internet connection

We recommend:

  • Computer (laptop / desktop) capable of running DAW, audio interface, plug-ins and A/V processing software (recommended 8-16GB RAM, 7,200 RPM Hard Drive, 8MB buffer, 1TB hard drive)
  • Reliable, high speed Internet connection
  • Professional DAW software (ProTools, Logic, Cubase, Ableton, etc.)
  • External hard drive
  • Dynamic microphone(s) (e.g. Shure SM57 / SM58)
  • Audio interface (e.g. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2)
  • Headphones (e.g. Sennheiser HD 200, Beyerdynamic DT770)

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