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BA (Hons) Career Musician

(3 years, on-site)

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For dedicated musicians and artists ready to commit to a life in music.

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.

Course duration: 3 years, full time
Course location: Delivered on campus in Brighton
Suitable for: Vocalists, songwriters, guitarists, drummers, bassists and audio producers
Course tuition fees: £9250 per year
UCAS: Course code W3A2, Institution code F33
Tuition fee loan available: Yes
Maintenance loan available: Yes
Scholarships available: Royal Blood Scholarship Award 
Bursaries available: All students can apply for innovation cash bursaries.
Course entry requirements: 104 UCAS points (guide only) or via accreditation of prior learning
Apply Now
Key Information
  • Course duration: 3 years, full time
  • Course location: Delivered on campus in Brighton
  • Suitable for: Vocalists, songwriters, guitarists, drummers, bassists and audio producers
  • Course tuition fees: £9250 per year
  • Tuition fee loan available: Yes
  • Maintenance loan available: Yes
  • Scholarships available: The Royal Blood Scholarship Award. Click here for details. 
  • Bursaries available: All students can apply for innovation cash bursaries. 
  • UCAS course application page is here:
  • Course entry requirements: 104 UCAS points (guide only) or via accreditation of prior learning
  • Ready to apply? Click here
Course Overview

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.

 

Who's it for?

This course has been specifically designed for:

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

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.

 

How you will learn

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

 

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 Performance, Production & Business* course at WaterBear and other postgraduate specialist programmes.

 

* Subject to approval Spring 2022

Modules and Assessment

Course modules

 

Level 4

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.

 

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 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.

 

Level 6

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.

How to Apply

Initial applications for the BA (Hons) 3-yr on-site and 2-yr online options can be made via the Apply Now button below.

Apply Now

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.

International Students

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.

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.

Resources

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.) (Purchase cost around £20)
  • Computer (desktop, laptop, tablet, etc.) (Purchase cost around £250-£400)
  • DAW software (Purchase cost around £50-£100)
  • USB memory stick (Purchase cost around £10
  • 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 (Purchase cost around £600-£800)
  • Reliable, high speed Internet connection
  • Professional DAW software (ProTools, Logic, Cubase, Ableton, etc.) (Purchase cost around £200-£450)
  • External hard drive (Purchase cost around £25-£50)
  • Dynamic microphone(s) (e.g. Shure SM57 / SM58) (Purchase cost around £80-£100)
  • Audio interface (e.g. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2) (Purchase cost around £100-£200)
  • Headphones (e.g. Sennheiser HD 200, Beyerdynamic DT770) (Purchase cost around £75-£150)

Applying for Courses

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.

Meet our Tutors and Mentors

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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Kieron Pepper

Director of Artist Development and Mentor

Performance and Songwriting
Read More

Aidan Hampson

Tutor and Mentor

Amba Tremain

Tutor and Mentor

Vocals
Read More

Joe Newman

Head of Electronic Music & Business

Electronic Music
Read More

Rasha Shaheen

Director of Education

Business and Innovation
Read More

George Donoghue

Head of Audio Production and Mentor

Audio Production
Read More

Hannah Boulton

Tutor and Mentor

Vocals and Songwriting
Read More

Jade Williams

Tutor and Mentor

Vocals
Read More

Pete Riley

Tutor

Tom Stevens

Senior Programme Manager (BA) and Tutor

Business and Innovation
Read More

Matt White

Tutor and Mentor

Guitar / Business and Innovation
Read More

Martin Tibbetts

Tutor and Mentor

Business and Innovation
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Georgia Train

Tutor and Mentor

Songwriting / Business and Innovation
Read More

Sam Bell

Tutor and Mentor

Guitar
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Adam Bushell

Co-Founder and CEO

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Bruce John Dickinson

Founder Director

Guitar
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Liam Colin Kearley

Tutor

Drums / Live Performance
Read More

Demelza Mather

Tutor

Toby Moore

Head of MA Entrepreneurship

Business and Innovation
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Georgie Palzeaird

Head of Student Experience

Radio Presenter and Journalist
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Ruth Daniel

Tutor and Mentor

Business and Innovation
Read More

Pat Heath

Tutor

Guitar
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Kat Ward

BA Programme Officer

Business and Innovation
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Lulu Minns

Mentor

Business and Innovation
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Dan Harvey

Mentor

Business and Innovation
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Stacey Haber

Mentor

Business and Innovation
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Steve Hillier

Tutor

Songwriting
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Kieran Daniel

Tutor

Jack Kingslake

Tutor

Electronic Music
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John Hart

Tutor and Mentor

Business and Innovation
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Rob Town

Tutor

Business and Innovation
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Mark Roberts

Tutor

Audio Production
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Abi D’Arcy

Tutor

Songwriting and Vocals
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Lisa McKeown

Tutor

Business and Innovation
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George Holliday

Tutor

Songwriting
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Megan Sayer

Tutor and Mentor

Vocals
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Claire Spooner

Tutor

Electronic Music
Read More

Sam Coveney

Tutor

Audio Production & Live Sound
Read More

Adam Goodlet

Tutor and Mentor

Audio Production
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Toby Lawrence

Mentor

Tim Belcher

Tutor

Electronic Music
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Stuart Brewer

Tutor and Mentor

Guitar and Electronic Music
Read More

Open Days

Our Open Days are relaxed and informal and provide you with the opportunity to find out everything you need to know about WaterBear. You’ll be able to ask questions, chat with staff and students and experience the unique college environment for yourself. Click the link below to find out more and book your place.
Register Now

General Enquiry

If you have a question about this course or any other aspect of life at WaterBear, just drop us a line. We’ll be happy to hear from you.

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MA Music Industry Enterprise

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Tel: +44 (0) 1273 726230
Email: [email protected]

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