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Music, Performance and Production - BA (Hons)

UCAS code W306

2019

Studying Music, Performance and Production at our Centre for Music and Audio Technology will give you the knowledge, skills and confidence to launch your career in the music industry.

Overview

On this exciting new programme, you develop your creative skills in performance, composition and music production. You learn how to write and perform music in a range of styles using industry-standard technology. Your critical skills are enhanced through the study of musical conventions and how these are used in contemporary and commercial forms of music. You also benefit from one to one tuition in Stages 1 and 2, with an additional opportunity in Stage 3, dependent on performance.

Our degree programmes

Our three innovative undergraduate music programmes specifically meet the needs of those pursuing careers in the music industry. They combine rigorous academic study, technical instruction, creative outputs and professional opportunities. 

In addition to this programme, we offer:

Study abroad

We have partnerships with universities around the world, offering you the chance to study abroad for a term or for a year. Rising to the challenge of living in another country and immersing yourself in a different culture is a rewarding experience and demonstrates to potential employers that you are independent and flexible in your outlook. 

Year in industry

It is also possible to undertake a year’s placement in industry either at home or abroad, gaining experience working in a professional environment. We offer support and advice to help you find a placement either in the music industry or other sectors such as charities and arts organisations.

Study resources

We are based on an inspirational waterfront environment in the Historic Dockyard Chatham, part of our Medway campus. We have excellent, industry-standard facilities and our studios are installed with state-of-the-art technology from leading manufacturers. 

Our flagship studio integrates a new Neve Genesys Black G48 mixing console with our existing Genelec 5.1 surround system, and has a large live room and vocal booth. 

We also have a number of other studios including an Avid HD studio with SSL Matrix mixing console, a Genelec multi-speaker studio, Foley recording studio and other well-equipped post-production suites and iMac workstation rooms.

In addition, our Music and Audio Arts Sound Theatre is one of the best in the UK. 

Students can perform music in a variety of specialist spaces at the Medway campus and can also use the fantastic performance spaces at our Canterbury campus. 

Independent rankings

For research quality, Music at Kent scored 3.20 out of 4.00 in The Complete University Guide 2019.

Of Music students who graduated from Kent in 2017 and completed a national survey, over 94% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Teaching Excellence Framework

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

TEF Gold logo

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

The module will focus upon the development of stagecraft skills (practical and artistic), supported by an understanding of psychological strategies which can streamline practice sessions and optimise performance. Students will study the key elements of professionalism in performance, including artistic communication/audience relationship; pace, choreography & stage management; control of technology; adjustment to context/venues. Skills and understanding are promoted through individual instrumental lessons and through performance workshops which provide a weekly forum for discussion and feedback. Students will work towards a 5-6 minute final performance assessment and submit a written review that critiques stagecraft issues (practical and artistic) in relation to 2 professional performances they have attended as audience members.

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15

In this module students will be guided to create, produce and perform an original, collaborative musical work which will be presented in the summer term. Group projects between three to five students will be considered. Each student will negotiate their role within the group, aided by a supervising tutor, and students will be required to document their working processes throughout the project. Initial workshops will discuss collaborative methods and provide an analysis of case studies. Later workshops will be used to try out and test ideas, with feedback from both the lecturer and other student groups.

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15

The module explores the current creative industries, particularly focusing on music industry characteristics and structures, music organisations and relevant arts groups. Students will be guided to appreciate a broad range of career opportunities in these areas and they will develop an understanding of the skills and specialisms required for specific areas. This will provide a clear context for their further studies on their chosen degree programme. Students will also develop their critical awareness by examining recent historical trends in music and the creative industries.

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15

This module will provide a broad introduction to important aspects of music history and culture from the twentieth century to the present day. Different approaches to musical language will be considered (tonality/modality, rhythm and timbre in a range of mainstream and experimental styles). The advent of sound recording and the increasing importance of technology in music will also be examined. These key ideas will be connected to research specialisms within the Centre for Music and Audio Technology, encouraging students to appreciate the potential for further study in each of these areas.

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15

The module will focus upon the development of performance skills, an understanding of approaches to effective regular practice and professional presentational considerations. Skills and understanding are promoted through individual instrumental / vocal lessons and weekly performance workshops. Students will develop their musicianship by listening to others and by performing themselves regularly, both as soloists and as part of a group. Some workshops will have a stylistic focus which will provide guidance on idiomatic performance conventions, enabling students to develop the broad skillset needed to tackle the demands of the current professional music industry. Students will work towards an assessed 5-6 minute final public performance, plus a written performance plan/critical reflection.

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15

On this module, students will be introduced to the digital audio workstation and key pieces of software in order to create original pieces of music. Fundamental technical skills in recording, editing, transforming and mixing sound will be developed. Examples from a range of contemporary styles will be examined and their musical characteristics will be analysed in order to provide compositional models for creative work.

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15

The module will explore critical listening and sound within the wider framework of the environment as a whole, helping students to develop a comprehensive understanding of sound relationships, sensitise their hearing and enhance their expert listening skills. Students will learn to recognise structural elements of sound, they will learn new concepts and be introduced into novel areas of sound-making. The module will culminate in the production of a substantial piece of creative work and a detailed evaluation that links theory and contextual issues with practice, strengthening students' critical listening and sound-making skills.

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15

Students are provided with an introduction to some fundamental principles of music composition, such as rhythm, time, line, texture and form. They are guided to consider how these elements work in key pieces by recent composers in a variety of styles. Practical sessions and group work will provide opportunities for students to explore their own musical ideas, leading to a greater understanding of the relationship between music composition and performance.

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15

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

Students will be required to devise a short, original composition for a live performer with technology. A series of lectures will introduce students to various compositional models, contemporary compositional theories will be explored in relation to key works and scholarly texts and workshops will develop the students' technical skills. Work-in-progress will be performed during the module, and students will be encouraged to engage in peer evaluation and criticism. A final performance of all works will take place towards the end of the module.

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15

This module develops your facility and versatility as a performer in the context of small ensembles, band workshops and performances. It provides an opportunity to develop and nurture a comfortable working relationship with peers over an extended period. The focus is on building a solid understanding of key aspects of ensemble performance, including the importance of shaping passages as a group, communicating throughout a performance, maintaining a coherent approach to dynamics and tempo changes. You will consider how to recognise and appreciate the approach of other musicians, absorbing details and articulation that will differ from one performance to the next. You will also be introduced to practical techniques that will streamline your preparation and maximise use of rehearsal time. The practice and rehearsal diary functions as a reflective tool where students evaluate and further explore techniques introduced in the primarily practice-focused group sessions.

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15

This module focuses on specific skills and techniques essential for performers working as sessions musicians across a varied range of genres, as informed by contemporary music industry practice. The emphasis is on the development of a 'toolbox' of competencies relevant to different professional scenarios. These include the ability to sight-read chord charts and fully notated band parts, pre-prepare material at short notice, spontaneous musical contribution to previously unheard tracks, improvisation, click track accuracy and creativity under pressure.  Students will be presented with multiple assessed practical tasks, designed to facilitate engagement in a process of collaboration with other musicians, developing performance skills specific to recording studio and/or live performing environments.

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15

In this module, students will be exposed to a variety of song-writing techniques and will develop and nurture the wide-ranging skill set necessary to succeed in the current music industry. Students will learn to carry out basic harmonic analyses of existing songs and apply theoretical approaches to produce original work, investigate different ways to structure songs, explore creative methods to write and develop lyrics, and learn how to enhance basic song templates with melodic accompaniments (e.g. strings, brass etc).

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15

A highly practical module which will introduce you to the complex formal conventions surrounding professional score presentation, instrumentation and orchestration, harmonising and reharmonising melodies, creating introductions, basslines or countermelodies, layering and textures. You have the opportunity to work across a wide range of styles and will also explore timbre in the context of original arrangements. Following a series of given briefs, you will work towards the production of a portfolio which will contain orchestration, arrangement and harmonisation assignments.

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15
Optional modules may include Credits

This module will explore a variety of approaches to improvisation including Western idiomatic conventions, music(s) from other cultures, part-composed/part-improvised material, and contemporary and 'free' methodologies. Throughout the weekly workshops, students will improvise in an array of settings and will experiment with different exercises, both as soloists and as part of an ensemble. Students will perform with and/or direct groups of improvisatory musicians throughout, and will be presented with various assessed practical tasks, designed to develop the wide range of skills necessary to perform and improvise in the twenty-first century.

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15

The module explores advanced audio design techniques and critical listening skills demonstrated and applied in specific music contexts. Students will develop the ability to discern and analyse sound characteristics, record and sculpt sonic events to create original sound design, and produce advanced creative work that explores the rich potential offered by sound processing and arranging techniques. Students will look into works of significant composers in the field, and will be taught through a series of interactive seminars, studying both the aesthetics and the technology of audio-based composition and sound design.

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15

Spatial sound is a powerful tool for immersion and is fast becoming a must-have knowledge for many different media and technologies including cinema, theatre, sound installations, exhibitions, live performance and game sound. This module will explore spatial sound, multi-loudspeaker and surround sound formats, including an outline of the developments of spatial sound music and the work of significant composers in this field. Students will study both the aesthetics and technology of multichannel music, including live diffusion techniques, large sound distribution systems and multichannel sound installations. Students will be led to produce creative work that explores the rich potential offered by sound spatialisation techniques, which will culminate in a live performance with the Music and Audio Arts Sound Theatre (MAAST) system.

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15

The module investigates music for media in both theory and practice. The focus will be on music used in moving image media, including an exploration of musical languages and compositional techniques commonly deployed in relation to moving images. Students also study film music history, gaining insight into critical approaches that have informed the practice.

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15

The module takes a holistic approach to the theory and practice of community music. Students engage with the creation and facilitation of music-based experiences for groups and individuals in a variety of settings within the local community. The core aim is to provide a foundational training for budding or potential educators, therapists, facilitators and researchers. A variety of topics form the subject matter of the course, which is interdisciplinary in scope. The curriculum includes an introduction to the history, development and literature of music and community studies using selected key publications in community music, ethnomusicology, music education, and music, health and wellbeing/therapeutic music studies. Given the high number of publications in these fields the core texts will be chosen for their ability to provide (i) connections and synthesis and/or (ii) disciplinary distinction, especially when highlighting methodological differences. As noted the aim is to provide a relatively unified and holistic introduction to community music in theory and practice.

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15

This module provides a scholarly perspective on the development of twentieth-century and recent musical genres. Different musical styles will be compared and analysed, and their wider contexts will be considered. The cultural, social and commercial development of genres will also be examined.

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15

Year in industry

You can extend your studies from three to four years by taking the Year in Industry option (this option is not available if you are studying on a part-time basis). This provides the opportunity to gain relevant workplace experience as part of your programme of study.  You can also increase your contacts and network so that you can hit the ground running when you graduate.

The Year in Industry is taken in addition to your standard undergraduate programme and normally falls between your second and final year. You typically work on a placement for the full calendar year, and salary and holiday entitlements vary according to the employer. The year is assessed on a pass/fail basis through employer feedback and a written report that you submit. Students also have the option to take a Term in Industry.

Year abroad

Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally.  You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.

All students within the Faculty of Humanities can apply to spend a Term or Year Abroad as part of their degree at one of our partner universities in North America, Asia or Europe. You are expected to adhere to any progression requirements in Stage 1 and Stage 2 to proceed to the Term or Year Abroad.

The Term or Year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification. Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme. To find out more, please see Go Abroad.

Stage 3

These modules are not yet available to view online. For full details please contact the Centre at cmat@kent.ac.uk

Compulsory modules currently include:

CMAT607 - Employment in the Music Industry
CMAT605 - Critical Perspectives on Music in Society
CMAT609 - Independent Music Project

Optional modules may include:

CMAT602 - Advanced Performance, Stagecraft and Psychology
CMAT619 - Spatial Sound Design, Composition and Performance
CMAT606 - Dissertation
CMAT601 - Advanced Individual and Group Performance
CMAT613 - Music, Arts and Health
CMAT604 - Collaborative Project

Teaching and assessment

Our staff bring with them a broad range of experience, from our expert academic staff to our highly qualified technicians and practising professionals. Together they support, develop, challenge and inspire you throughout your studies.

We use a variety of teaching methods including practical and technical workshops, performance platforms, seminars, lectures and group projects.

Contact Hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Careers

Career opportunities for music graduates include many aspects of the creative industries, such as:

  • music recording and production
  • audio software development
  • sound for film
  • music performance
  • music management
  • composition and songwriting 
  • research and academia. 

It is also possible to pursue careers in areas including: 

  • video games 
  • live sound for theatres and festivals
  • audio installations for museums 
  • sonic arts and computer music.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

BBC including Music or Music Technology at B

GCSE

Grade C or 4

Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

DMM (in a music subject, or alongside an A-level in Music or Music Technology at B). Alternatively, any BTEC can be considered alongside an A-level in Music or Music Technology at B.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 14 points at Higher Level, including Music HL 5 or SL 6.

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £19000
Part-time £4625 £9500

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

For 2019/20 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,385

Fees for Year Abroad

UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2019/20 academic year pay £1,385 for that year. 

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either mathematics or a modern foreign language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Full-time

Part-time

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.