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COURSE OVERVIEW

  • Explore the global nature of music-making in the 21st century
  • Study for a degree that offers you a unique balance of practical, creative and critical learning opportunities
  • Benefit from a strong emphasis on your professional development as an artist through songwriting, performance and production
  • Access world-class practical and academic learning resources, including our industry- standard recording studio complex and multimedia centre
  • Enjoy expert academic support in modules designed to enhance your portfolio and industry-focused employability
  • Produce and perform music as an active practitioner of both local and wider music industries and communities.
  • Top 10 in the UK for Music in The Guardian's Best Universities 2022

Do you wish to explore the music industry and commercial songwriting? Do you aspire to produce your own music and perform it live? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. Our dynamic Commercial Music programme has been specially designed to facilitate music-making with industry in mind.

At the University of Winchester we have world-class technological resources and inspiring staff who lead through academic and creative opportunities for you. You will spend a great deal of your time in our industry-standard music production facilities where the recording studios and multimedia centre provide world-class resources. These are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You are supported throughout by our core team of lecturing staff comprising highly skilled musicians, producers and academics, affording a challenging and industry-aligned experience for you.

This hands-on three-year degree course will enable you to take more control of the production process, from studio to stage. As a contemporary music maker you will embrace entrepreneurship and place creativity at the centre of your professional practice.

On our multi-disciplined programme you will explore engaging songwriting, modern live performance, and real-time business activity inside the music industry, including promotion, self-funded tours, and collaboration on songwriting and production projects with other artists.

Alongside these core stages, there is a strong emphasis on your professional development as an artist. This allows you to develop a keen sense of your transferable skills, as well as encouraging meaningful engagement with the music industry. Guest lectures, enrichment activities and volunteering are just some of the ways on offer to help you achieve a deeper understanding and experience of the music industry.

Careers

Having gained a unique balance of practical, creative and critical learning skills, graduates are well prepared to pursue successful careers in the music industry. They can find work in sound recording and music publishing industries, at record labels, in the entertainment business, or across the digital sector.

Pre-approved for a Masters

If you study a Bachelor Honours degrees with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Study abroad

For more information see our Study Abroad section.

Learning and teaching

Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market.                   

You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars, you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, your personal tutor and the wide range of services available to you within the University.

Independent learning

Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.

While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

Teaching, learning and assessment: 264 hours
Independent learning: 936 hours

Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

Teaching, learning and assessment: 228 hours
Independent learning: 972 hours

Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

Teaching, learning and assessment: 120 hours
Independent learning: 1080 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course.

Location

Taught elements of the course take place on campus in Winchester

Teaching hours

All class based teaching takes places between 9am – 6pm, Monday to Friday during term time. Wednesday afternoons are kept free from timetabled teaching for personal study time and for sports clubs and societies to train, meet and play matches. There may be some occasional learning opportunities (for example, an evening guest lecturer or performance) that take places outside of these hours for which you will be given forewarning.

Assessment

Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:

Year 1 (Level 4)*:

65% coursework
0% written exams
35% practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*:

66% coursework
0% written exams
34% practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*:

87% coursework
0% written exams
13% practical exams

*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.

Feedback

We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.

 

 

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

2021 Entry: 104-120 points

A GCSE A*-C or 9-4 pass in English Language is required.

International Baccalaureate: 104-120 points to include a minimum of 2 Higher level IB certificates at grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language: Year 1/Level 4: IELTS 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all four components.

Course Enquiries and applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message

International students

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at International@winchester.ac.uk or calling +44 (0)1962 827023

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Days.

Year 1 (Level 4)

Modules Credits

Recording Studio Practice 30

This module introduces and builds on various skills required to record, mix, and produce music. Practical workshops and lectures will provide you with a foundation in technological skills including:

  • Multi-track Recording and Mixing
  • Analogue and Digital Recording Principles
  • Using Digital Audio Workstations
  • Recording Studio Workflow
  • Using the recording studio safely and in compliance with Health and Safety regulations

Students will spend the first semester studying the practice of analogue recording and mixing techniques, developing a portfolio of short recordings that demonstrate a command of the recording studio and analogue domain. The second semester will focus on working inside the digital domain, developing skills and techniques in digital audio editing and multitrack mixing.

Performance 1 30

This module provides you with the opportunity to perform in a variety of settings and explore the creative nature of contemporary musical performance. Through practical workshops you will perform in a range of different styles and contexts and design productive rehearsal strategies. Lectures will explore the varied nature of musical performance in the 21st century and practice-led workshops will afford the opportunity to discuss the nature of performance in different contexts: live; recorded; acoustic; electronic; networked; and, interactive. You are encouraged to perform collaboratively, and form their own bands/ensembles, working towards a series of performances.   

Artist Development 1: Song Writing 15

This module gives students the opportunity to develop a small portfolio of songs, whilst exploring a diverse range of practical songwriting techniques. Students will explore different song writing traditions, commercial approaches and the songwriting industry. Students will be expected to develop songs weekly, sharing their output with their peers and will be assessed on a portfolio of different songs.

Culture, Industry and Context 15

In this module you will discuss the nature of the creative industries in which you are engaged and in individually present a polished presentation in response to an agreed brief. You must also submit an individual essay analysing a current and challenging topic assigned by the lecturer.

You will be introduced to practices used in the delivery of various media and concepts for understanding the benefits and disadvantages of different media platforms, including practical constraints of delivery. Through the use of contemporary case studies, you will analyse the production process and decision-making for a range of media texts. Theoretical understandings of media forms, such as issues of representation, copyright, adoption cycles, will be explored across different media. New and emerging media technologies will be examined.

Guerrilla Recording 15

This module focuses on recording and capturing sound outside of the high-end studio environment in diverse and challenging spaces. Lectures will cover the behavioural aspects of sound in different acoustical spaces and how microphone technique can be employed to get good results in adverse or limited circumstances.

Practical workshops will provide you with the means to work with ‘pure audio’ covering the basics of acquisition, ingest and editing of audio. You will have the opportunity to explore and experiment with different production workflows such as that of bedroom production DAWs or on location field recording whilst experimenting with different mono and stereo mic configurations and models.

Optional
  • Contemporary Conversations - 15 Credits
  • Digital Music - 15 Credits

Optional Credits

Recording Studio Practice 30

This module introduces and builds on various skills required to record, mix, and produce music. Practical workshops and lectures will provide you with a foundation in technological skills including:

  • Multi-track Recording and Mixing
  • Analogue and Digital Recording Principles
  • Using Digital Audio Workstations
  • Recording Studio Workflow
  • Using the recording studio safely and in compliance with Health and Safety regulations

Students will spend the first semester studying the practice of analogue recording and mixing techniques, developing a portfolio of short recordings that demonstrate a command of the recording studio and analogue domain. The second semester will focus on working inside the digital domain, developing skills and techniques in digital audio editing and multitrack mixing.

Performance 1 30

This module provides you with the opportunity to perform in a variety of settings and explore the creative nature of contemporary musical performance. Through practical workshops you will perform in a range of different styles and contexts and design productive rehearsal strategies. Lectures will explore the varied nature of musical performance in the 21st century and practice-led workshops will afford the opportunity to discuss the nature of performance in different contexts: live; recorded; acoustic; electronic; networked; and, interactive. You are encouraged to perform collaboratively, and form their own bands/ensembles, working towards a series of performances.   

Artist Development 1: Song Writing 15

This module gives students the opportunity to develop a small portfolio of songs, whilst exploring a diverse range of practical songwriting techniques. Students will explore different song writing traditions, commercial approaches and the songwriting industry. Students will be expected to develop songs weekly, sharing their output with their peers and will be assessed on a portfolio of different songs.

Culture, Industry and Context 15

In this module you will discuss the nature of the creative industries in which you are engaged and in individually present a polished presentation in response to an agreed brief. You must also submit an individual essay analysing a current and challenging topic assigned by the lecturer.

You will be introduced to practices used in the delivery of various media and concepts for understanding the benefits and disadvantages of different media platforms, including practical constraints of delivery. Through the use of contemporary case studies, you will analyse the production process and decision-making for a range of media texts. Theoretical understandings of media forms, such as issues of representation, copyright, adoption cycles, will be explored across different media. New and emerging media technologies will be examined.

Guerrilla Recording 15

This module focuses on recording and capturing sound outside of the high-end studio environment in diverse and challenging spaces. Lectures will cover the behavioural aspects of sound in different acoustical spaces and how microphone technique can be employed to get good results in adverse or limited circumstances.

Practical workshops will provide you with the means to work with ‘pure audio’ covering the basics of acquisition, ingest and editing of audio. You will have the opportunity to explore and experiment with different production workflows such as that of bedroom production DAWs or on location field recording whilst experimenting with different mono and stereo mic configurations and models.

Optional
  • Contemporary Conversations - 15 Credits
  • Digital Music - 15 Credits

Year 2 (Level 5)

Modules Credits

Creative Music Production 30

This module builds on Recording Studio Practice at level 4 and encourages the use of the recording studio as a creative environment, as well as a technical space. There is emphasis on advanced approaches to recording and using the recording studio to enhance musical phenomena. Practical workshops will provide students with advanced technological skills including multi-microphone arrays, use of space, advanced editing and mixing, and creative use of audio processing. Contextually you will explore the ‘art’ and ‘science’ of music production and explore how pioneering producers made creative and musical choices within the recording studio environment; as well as more unique approaches to recording and mixing including 5.1 surround sound for music.

Performance 2 30

This module builds on Performance 1 at level 4 and explores approaches to performances in a variety of settings and to critically explore contemporary performance practice. Lectures will explore the varied nature of musical performance in the 21st century and practice-led workshops will afford the opportunity to discuss the nature of performance in different contexts: live; recorded; acoustic; electronic; networked; and, interactive. You are encouraged to perform collaboratively, and form your own bands/ensembles, working towards a series of performances that include: live television and streaming broadcasts; and an extended live performance in a large venue.

Popular Music Culture 15

In this module students will explore the field of contemporary Popular Music Studies and are encouraged to develop and engage with these in relation to their own musical interests. Students will explore the cultural value of popular music, and its varying styles, as well socio-cultural contexts that have influenced, and been influenced by, popular music movements. A critical understanding of: physical and digital audiences; the contemporary musicological canon; music video; technology; popular culture; and, the music industries will inform discussion in both lectures and seminars.

Artist Development 2: Identity 15

This module enables further development of compositional voice whilst contextualizing work through musicological pathways. Students will explore different compositional approaches and performance techniques, determining how they have informed artistic identity. This may include, but not be limited to: the use of technology; contemporary production workflows; socio-political discourse; the transformative nature of the music industry; and commercial songwriting.

Optional Modules
  • Composing Song Lyrics - 15 Credits
  • Synthesis and Sequencing - 15 Credits
  • Interactive Sound & Music - 15 Credits
  • Culture: High and Low - 15 Credits

Optional Credits

Creative Music Production 30

This module builds on Recording Studio Practice at level 4 and encourages the use of the recording studio as a creative environment, as well as a technical space. There is emphasis on advanced approaches to recording and using the recording studio to enhance musical phenomena. Practical workshops will provide students with advanced technological skills including multi-microphone arrays, use of space, advanced editing and mixing, and creative use of audio processing. Contextually you will explore the ‘art’ and ‘science’ of music production and explore how pioneering producers made creative and musical choices within the recording studio environment; as well as more unique approaches to recording and mixing including 5.1 surround sound for music.

Performance 2 30

This module builds on Performance 1 at level 4 and explores approaches to performances in a variety of settings and to critically explore contemporary performance practice. Lectures will explore the varied nature of musical performance in the 21st century and practice-led workshops will afford the opportunity to discuss the nature of performance in different contexts: live; recorded; acoustic; electronic; networked; and, interactive. You are encouraged to perform collaboratively, and form your own bands/ensembles, working towards a series of performances that include: live television and streaming broadcasts; and an extended live performance in a large venue.

Popular Music Culture 15

In this module students will explore the field of contemporary Popular Music Studies and are encouraged to develop and engage with these in relation to their own musical interests. Students will explore the cultural value of popular music, and its varying styles, as well socio-cultural contexts that have influenced, and been influenced by, popular music movements. A critical understanding of: physical and digital audiences; the contemporary musicological canon; music video; technology; popular culture; and, the music industries will inform discussion in both lectures and seminars.

Artist Development 2: Identity 15

This module enables further development of compositional voice whilst contextualizing work through musicological pathways. Students will explore different compositional approaches and performance techniques, determining how they have informed artistic identity. This may include, but not be limited to: the use of technology; contemporary production workflows; socio-political discourse; the transformative nature of the music industry; and commercial songwriting.

Optional Modules
  • Composing Song Lyrics - 15 Credits
  • Synthesis and Sequencing - 15 Credits
  • Interactive Sound & Music - 15 Credits
  • Culture: High and Low - 15 Credits

Year 3 (Level 6)

Modules Credits

Final Major Music Production/Performance Project 60

You will produce a considerable piece of work, to a professional industry standard, such as an album of multitrack recordings, a portfolio of sound design, a performance (live/recorded) portfolio, or a project showcasing an area of audio/visual media production which interests you. Exact specifications of the project are decided by negotiation between the student and supervisor and approved via proposal.

Performance 3 15

This module builds on performance at level 5 and explores professional approaches to performances in a variety of settings and the performance industry. Practice-led workshops will afford the opportunity to develop performance as a product and the professionalism required to work in the live industry. You are encouraged to perform collaboratively, and form your own bands/ensembles, working towards two final performances that include: an extended industry audition and pitch; and a short live performance in an alternative venue focussing on the use of technology in performance.

Music in the Community 15

This module gives you the opportunity to work in a client led relationship to produce a project to an external brief while at the same time exposing you to the benefits of participating in community led or third sector ventures.  Working in groups, you are encouraged to engage with the ethos of a not for profit organisation and use your production skills to benefit the community at large.

Music Industry Practice 15

This module explores enterprise and entrepreneurship in the creative industries. You will each work on developing a robust and commercially viable business idea, which you will present as a formative pitch as if to a venture capitalist.  Your submitted portfolio must contain a fully formed business plan including market analysis, feasibility studies, cash flow forecasts and sensitivity analyses. Additional supplementary items in the portfolio will support the business plan through innovative marketing strategies.

Artist Development 3: Platform 15

This module provides the opportunity to develop a release strategy for an original music project of your choice. You will explore the theoretical underpinning of the industrial strategies of commercial music practices, focusing on the critical analysis of release and consumption methodologies. You will be asked to engage with external industry practitioners and critique current commercial practices.

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at www.winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions.
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Progression from one level of the programme to the next is subject to meeting the University’s academic regulations.

2022 Course Tuition Fees

 UK / Channel Islands /
Isle of Man / Republic of Ireland 

International

Year 1 £9,250 £14,100
Year 2 £9,250 £14,100
Year 3 £9,250 £14,100
Total £27,750 £42,300
Optional Sandwich Year* £1,385 £1,385
Total with Sandwich Year £29,135 £43,685

If you are a UK student starting your degree in September 2022, the first year will cost you £9,250**. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK students.

Remember, you don't have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year. If finance is a worry for you, we are here to help. Take a look at the range of support we have on offer. This is a great investment you are making in your future, so make sure you know what is on offer to support you.

UK Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,935.

International part-time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £117.50 and a 15 credit module is £1,763.

* Please note that not all courses offer an optional sandwich year. To find out whether this course offers a sandwich year, please contact the programme leader for further information.

**The University of Winchester will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year.

ADDITIONAL COSTS

As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:

Mandatory

Printing and Binding

The University is pleased to offer our students a free printing allowance of £20 each academic year. This will print around 500 A4 mono pages. If students wish to print more, printer credit can be topped up by the student. The University and Student Union are champions of sustainability and we ask all our students to consider the environmental impact before printing. Our Reprographics team also offer printing and binding services, including dissertation binding which may be required by your course with an indicative cost of £1.50-£3.

Optional

We recommend our students invest in a pair of studio quality closed back headphones. There are a number of good options available and your programme team will be happy to make recommendations. Indicative cost is £100.

We also recommend that our students invest in a portable hard drive or cloud storage subscription for backing up and storing their creative work. Indicative cost is £50-£200.

You will find all of our core reading texts in the library, as well as a vast number of electronic resources. However, you may want to buy select core textbooks for reference. These can be found at reasonable prices second hand.

The programme team aim to organise field trips both locally and internationally. These will not be mandatory and will incur additional costs.

SCHOLARSHIPS, BURSARIES AND AWARDS

We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.

Key course details

UCAS code
W371
Duration
3 years (full-time); 6 years (part-time)
Typical offer
104-120 points
Location
On campus, Winchester