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Why study this course

Course lecturers have experience in a wide range of music education and professional performing contexts

All students will have the opportunity to perform 3 times a year in Lincoln Cathedral

A bursary of £300 is being offered by BGU to BA (Hons) Music and Musicianship students in their third year who wish to study for a recognised music diploma or equivalent

Small group sizes

Course summary

If you don’t have, or don’t think you will attain, the normal tariff points for studying at BGU, this course will enable you to study for a degree without any UCAS points. The course is delivered over four years and includes a Foundation Year, which gives you a perfect introduction to what it means to be a university student and prepares you for effective undergraduate study. In your Foundation Year, you will study eight modules, all of which are designed to equip you with the necessary academic skills and knowledge to progress successfully in your chosen subject. You will also engage in a series of bespoke subject sessions delivered by experts, designed to introduce you to your chosen subject area.

Find out more about our Foundation Year programme.

This undergraduate programme offers each music student a course that develops musical knowledge, understanding, creativity and the rigorous musicianship skills needed to be an effective and employable musician in the twenty-first century. You will be encouraged to develop your musicianship in a practical and theoretical way, giving you an excellent preparation for a range of musical careers and a springboard to further study.

Please note - the intended start date for this course is September 2025

Key facts


BA (Hons)

UCAS code



4 years

Mode of study


Start date


Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code


Course details

About this course

Through a supportive learning environment, you will be encouraged to develop your musicianship in a holistic way in both practical and theoretical modules as well as applying your skills in the broader musical life of the university and within the community. This engagement with music-making, together with the security of a strengthening theoretical and analytical knowledge of music will equip you to take your place in a wide range of professional contexts. This course is an excellent preparation for a range of musical careers and as a springboard to further study.

What you will study

As a student on this course, you may study some or all of the modules listed below.

In this module you will explore and consider what it means to be a successful learner at university. You’ll explore the principles of effective learning and engage with a range of tools and techniques to practise and develop strategies for your own learning. These include for example, understanding your needs as a learner, effective time management and organisational skills.

You will learn about a range of resources and practise locating and using these resources to support effective learning. These resources will include, for example, textbooks, websites, academic journals, and popular press. In addition to these key techniques, the module covers academic conventions including referencing, citation and the risks of plagiarism.

This module will allow you to learn to utilise sources in a considered and critical way. You will begin to engage effectively with literature and other sources in a meaningful manner that promotes deep learning and enables knowledge and understanding of a topic. You will also begin to differentiate qualitative and quantitative data and consider their appropriate interpretation and use.

Critical thinking is an integral part of university study. While studying this module you will define critical thinking, its importance and how it can help you in your learning. A range of critical thinking models will be utilised to demonstrate how this works in action, allowing you to recognise critical thinking and identify barriers and challenges.

The skilled use of digital technologies is an important element in university study and is used to support both the obtaining and demonstration of knowledge. This module will develop your digital capabilities and confidence, encouraging you to develop techniques for the purposeful use of a range of digital tools to support learning. These include specific tools such as the Virtual Learning Environment and appropriate and effective uses of wider applications such as social media, email and the internet.

This module explores, compares and evaluates a range of communication types, giving you opportunities to combine written and spoken communication in a range of contexts and for a range of audiences. From a theoretical, sociological perspective you will explore different communication media and styles of discourse, for example, discussion, debate, enquiry and reporting.

Reflection is a powerful learning tool that enables you to consider your existing knowledge and also to plan for your future learning and professional development. The module content includes the principles of reflective learning and collaborative planning with reference to structured models.

Academic writing is an essential element of successful university study, so this module explores a range of techniques to help develop your own academic writing style. It will enable you to draw together your learning throughout the Foundation Year and reflect on the feedback you have received. You will structure a clear and effective piece of academic writing on a subject-linked topic in which you will apply standard academic conventions.

In this module you will examine the diverse roles played by musicians of today in contemporary societies; the ways in which music influences and is influenced by society and the opportunities for the music professional to encourage musical activities within communities and enhance wellbeing. You will be introduced to the diverse roles occupied by musicians and their collaborators in societies from the past to the present both globally and locally. You will be encouraged to engage with the musical lives of others while considering the contemporary opportunities afforded by a degree in the field of music.

This module introduces you to the study of musical language and history at undergraduate level. Through lectures, seminars and tutorials, the music of genres such as the Western Classical Tradition, Jazz, Popular Music and Non-Western musics will be analysed in technical and aesthetic terms and placed within their cultural and societal contexts. Cross-cultural and interdisciplinary factors which influence or are influenced by music will also be addressed, providing a broad knowledge base for subsequent modules.

This module introduces you to the varying ways in which notated and improvised music co-exists and interacts in many historical and contemporary musical genres and traditions.

This module considers the act of musical performance in both solo and ensemble from a practical and theoretical perspective. The study of the nature of performance, the role performance plays in communicating musical ideas and the acquisition of associated skills contribute strongly to the musician’s development in mind-body coordination, the physical skills in playing and singing and confidence in communication.

This module builds on the skills developed in the Performance Techniques module at Level 4. The appropriate and effective application of individual musicianship within ensemble contexts is central to this module. You will undertake to prepare a whole group vocal ensemble performance and plan and prepare a smaller-scale instrumental or vocal ensemble performance. Through practical whole-group performance workshops, you will continue to develop your personal aural skills, fluency in sight-singing and vocal ensemble singing technique whilst further enhancing your skills in co-ordination, vocal blend and rehearsal techniques with other musicians. Your progress will be monitored through formative feedback in sessions. Small instrumental/vocal ensembles will be devised in conjunction with tutors and mentored in the the whole-group performance workshops.

This module introduces you to how Music is incorporated into the wide world of Education. You will focus on the use of music to facilitate learning within educational, social and developmental settings from birth to GCSE and develop an understanding of how music is incorporated at each stage of development and the social and academic implications.

In this module you will research the diverse practical, aural and written approaches employed by musicians across the world, together with an exploration of the associated cultural and societal contexts. Cross-cultural influences will be assessed in both Western and Non-Western musical cultures. Ethnomusicology – its history, controversies, current concerns and perspectives will also be considered. A set of Taiko and Djembe drums and Steel Pans are used in practical music-making sessions.

This module develops the specific technical, stylistic and interpretative skills necessary for solo performance on your principal instrument or voice, together with the opportunity to formulate, reflect on and evaluate the process of planning, preparing and performing an Individual Recital programme. There is an increasing emphasis on the appropriate application of performance techniques informed by current musicological research.

This module provides you with an experience of the world of work in the form of a placement. It enables you to apply your developing knowledge and skills in a real-life context offering you a valuable experience to draw on when you present yourself to employers or apply for further study upon graduation. In consultation with your tutor, you will be required to undertake a placement of particular interest, for example in music in education, music in the church, music performance, or the music business e.g. events managing or publishing. Teaching and learning will be through lectures and supervision during the placement period. You will plan for, undertake and reflect on your experience in the work-related setting.

You will engage with both style and free composition, using a range of music media such as staff notation in music notation software, music production and other technology applications. The study of Composition will be enhanced and broadened to support the diverse experiences of classical, jazz, rock and contemporary musicians and community music. Engagement at Level 5 will ensure progressive knowledge, skills and creative practice at Level 6. Students will be offered a range of teaching and learning contexts in which to develop technical and creative skills. A variety of compositional styles and practices by musicians will be explored in taught sessions and on-going bite-sized tasks will give opportunities for you to practice supported by formative assessment from tutors. You will also undertake practical exercises in the development of creative, analytical and aural skills essential to the process of arranging music and composition. Use of computer assisted learning, hands-on experience in use of software for composing and arranging music will be taught in seminar groups.

This module introduces you to how music may be used for wellbeing, investigating current research on the impact of music as a forum for social interaction and in mental health. Knowledge and understanding is developed in this module with regard to employment settings where music could be used to promote wellbeing.

In this module, Keyboard skills will be developed through technical exercises including scales and arpeggios; sight-reading strategies; investigating the interpretation of a variety of notations (such as standard piano writing, chord symbols, lead sheets and vocal/conductor scores); chord voicing in various musical styles in semi-improvised accompaniments and using the keyboard to demonstrate musical features in teaching. The music-notation software and music theory/analysis skills introduced at Level 4 will be further developed in the study of specific notational and arrangement techniques for keyboard instruments. Teaching will be through a variety of learning contexts, such as one-to one tutorial support, lectures and practical group workshop sessions.

This module explores ways in which music and another activity, topic or genre in the arts and humanities can lead to an innovative collaboration. The choice of project will reflect the growing autonomy of students at Level 6 and may result in the creation of an original artwork, a piece of research or a strategy or concept. Collaborations may be with subjects including SENI, Drama, Theology, Sociology and Psychology, or in other work-based contexts. You, in consultation with the module tutor, will formulate a project outline. The progress of the project will be supervised by the module tutor but may, where appropriate, include requests for input from BGU academic staff in other subjects or external agencies. Teaching and learning will be through lectures and tutorials and the nature of the coursework submitted will reflect the choice of project.

The interface between the theoretical and analytical understanding of music and practical musicianship skills and the impact this has on the development of the individual student as a skilled musician is at the heart of this module. You will engage in a portfolio of short tasks which address topics such as exploring the functioning of harmony in varying musical contexts; the symbiosis of aural skills and analysis and musicianship skills as a tool for understanding the music of many cultures. Teaching and learning is through lectures, seminars and tutorials. You will be supported by formative assessment from tutors.

The musical performance as a well-prepared, imaginative, thought-provoking, challenging and entertaining event is at the heart of this module. The skills, knowledge and understanding of performance acquired in Levels 4 and 5 are harnessed and developed further allied with greater student autonomy in decision-making. You, in consultation with tutors and undertaking a variety of roles will undertake to plan and prepare a whole group vocal ensemble performance and plan and prepare a solo instrumental or vocal performance. You will develop further their critical aural skills, fluency in sight-singing and vocal ensemble singing technique, skills in co-ordination, vocal blend and rehearsal techniques with other musicians. A range of learning and teaching formats will be employed and students’ progress will be monitored through formative feedback in sessions.

This module provides an opportunity for you to build upon and apply the key intellectual, transferable and practical skills gained at Levels 4 and 5 to an appropriate independent study of your choice in the form of a dissertation and composition portfolio. The balance between these two elements, and the form of the portfolio will reflect the nature of the chosen study.

This module addresses contemporary issues in musicology through an assessment of the various strands of current musicological disciplines: how they have developed and their implications for the musician and of the present and future. Prior learning is extended further in this module which critically investigates topics such as Music and Gender, Canonicity, Reception and the history and development of Historically-Informed Performance Practice. Content will of necessity evolve according to changing trends in the study of music. Teaching and learning will be through lectures, seminars and tutorials.

This module aims to advance critical, professional and practical understanding and skills within the area of music pedagogy and the music curriculum. Challenging music related issues are observed and debated, with the development of emergent strategies and potential solutions from a music teachers’ perspective. You will develop a detailed and critical understanding of music teaching within the National Curriculum, focussing on teaching music from Key Stage 1 – 5.

Entry requirements

Application for this course is via UCAS, although there is no formal requirement for UCAS points to access the course (normally GCSE English or equivalent is desirable). As part of your application you will have the opportunity to speak with a member of BGU Admissions staff to resolve any questions or queries you may have.

Different degree subjects may have specific entry requirements to allow you to progress from the Foundation Year. Whilst not a condition of entry onto the Foundation Year, you will need to have met these by the time you complete the first year of this four year course.

An A Level/BTEC in Music is desirable but not a required entry qualification. It is desirable for students to have Grade 5 Theory of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) qualification or equivalent and a Grade 6 ABRSM Practical (or equivalent). Students may be required to attend an interview at the University and be asked to perform on their first-study instrument or voice and complete short written theory and harmony questions.

Further information

Click here for important information about this course including additional costs, resources and key policies.

The Foundation Year syllabus does not include any specific element of upskilling in English language and you are not entitled to apply for Accredited Prior Learning, AP(C)L into a Foundation Year.

How you will be taught

There is no one-size-fits-all method of teaching at BGU – we shape our methods to suit each subject and each group, combining the best aspects of traditional university teaching with innovative techniques to promote student participation and interactivity.

You will be taught in a variety of ways, from lectures, tutorials and seminars, to practical workshops, coursework and work-based placements. Small group seminars and workshops will provide you with an opportunity to review issues raised in lectures, and you will be expected to carry out independent study.

Placements are a key part of degree study within many courses at BGU. They provide an enriching learning experience for you to apply the skills and knowledge you will gain from your course and, in doing so, give valuable real-world experience to boost your career.

Academic staff


During the Foundation Year, you will have opportunities to experience a range of formative and summative assessments. These include short-form writing, annotated bibliographies, presentations, digital technologies, reflective journals, and academic essays. All modules involve early, small, and frequent informal and formal assessments so as to be supportive and build confidence, while ensuring development of the core academic skills required for successful study throughout your degree. Assessment strategies are balanced, diverse, and inclusive, ensuring that you will experience a range of assessments to support comprehensive preparation for undergraduate study. You will also have the opportunity for self-evaluation and personal reflection on your own learning progress and development of skills.

Assessments on this course will take a number of different forms including assessed musical performances in solo and ensemble contexts, prepared student presentations, portfolios of notated and recorded compositions and arrangements, essays, reflective reports along with formal written exams and ‘take-away’ timed exam papers.

Preparations for such assessments will be supported by regular formative assessment during taught sessions as an integral means of developing confidence, monitoring progress and establishing readiness for assessment.

Careers & Further study

This course will equip you with a range of valuable skills to take forward into your musical career. Possible future career pathways for Music and Musicianship graduates may include Classroom Teaching, Performance, Community Music, Music Therapy, Workshop Coordination, Conducting and Music Management. You will also develop skills essential to becoming a successful and employable music teacher, with the specific requirements of PGCE Secondary Music courses having been carefully integrated into this course.

What Our Students Say

Discover what life is like at Bishop Grosseteste University from our students.


Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.

We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

Free Sports and Fitness membership

Fees & Finance

A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.

Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.

Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. For 2023 entry, the application fee is £27, and you can make a maximum of 6 choices. For 2024 entry the application fee is £27.50.
For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.

It will come as no surprise that music and performing is at the core of this degree Use the player below to listen to pieces and performances put together by previous students on this course. The clips show the varied styles of music that can be experienced and performed through the course and descriptions of each are available below.

Better - An original piece composed and performed by Emily Spelman and Sam Lake. Both gained their degree and PGCE in Music from BGU.

Adiemus-Ensemble recording of Karl Jenkins’ Adiemus as part of a concert by the Music students in the University chapel at BGU.

Vienna - The performers you are hearing are Emily Spelman and Sam Lake. Both gained their degree and PGCE in Music from BGU.

As Long as I Have Music - A performance of the University Chapel choir singing in the Cathedrals Group of Universities Choir Festival

All I Have to do is Dream - Performance by graduate BGU Music students Emily Spelman and Sabina Marr. Emily is currently working as a Music teacher and Head of Year 7 and Sabina is a Music Therapist

Performance by Tom Hopkinson - Performance by graduate Music student Thomas D. Hopkinson who is now a professional opera singer.

I Was Glad - Performance by the Bishop Grosseteste University Choir at one of the 2019 Graduation Ceremonies in Lincoln Cathedral, conducted by Clare Gooing and the organ played by Jonathan Gooing, both members of the music staff at BGU

Related Music and Musicianship with Foundation Year news