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 in what it means to be a university student, equipping you with the necessary skills and knowledge for effective undergraduate study. In addition, during your Foundation Year, you will study eight modules, all of which are designed to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to progress your studies in your chosen subjects.
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.
Mode of study
Bishop Grosseteste University
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 will you study
During the course of your foundation year, you’ll cover the following modules:
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 practice 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 practice 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 Enrivonment 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. As part of this module, you will have an opportunity to attend live delivery of an ongoing degree programme which will provide a taster of discipline-specific undergraduate study.
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 students 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.
This module introduces students 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 students to the varying ways in which notated and improvised music co-exists and interacts in many historical and contemporary musical genres and traditions. A range of teaching and learning contexts, such as one-to-one tutorial support, lectures and practical workshop sessions, will be employed. The use of computer assisted learning, hands-on experience in use of software for notating, arranging and composing music will be taught in seminar groups.
This module considers the act of musical performance in both solo and ensemble situations 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. Students will undertake to prepare a whole group vocal ensemble performance and plan and prepare a smaller-scale instrumental or vocal ensemble performance.
This module introduces students to how Music is incorporated into the wide world of Education. Students 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 students 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.
This module introduces students 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.
This module develops the specific technical, stylistic and interpretative skills necessary for solo performance on the student’s 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 students with an experience of the world of work in the form of a placement. It enables students to apply their developing knowledge and skills in a real-life context offering them a valuable experience to draw on when they present themselves to employers or apply for further study upon graduation. In consultation with their tutor, students will be able to choose 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.
Students 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. Engagement at Level 5 will ensure progressive knowledge, skills and creative practice at Level 6.
In this module, Keyboard skills will be developed through technical exercises including scales and arpeggios; sight-reading strategies; investigating the interpretion 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.
This module provides the opportunity to utilize the experience, strategies and skills acquired previously in the preparation and performance of a solo recital. This will consist of an imaginative and challenging repertoire choice which displays the technical, stylistic and interpretative skills necessary for a convincing solo performance on the student’s principal instrument or voice.
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.
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. Students will develop a detailed and critical understanding of music teaching within the National Curriculum, focussing on teaching music from Key Stage 1 – 5.
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. Students, 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.
This module addresses contemporary issues in musicology through an assessment of the multiplicity 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 of the ‘New Musicology’ such as Music and Gender, 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.
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. Students, 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 smaller-scale instrumental or vocal ensemble performance. They 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.
This module provides an opportunity for students to build upon and apply the key intellectual, transferable and practical skills gained at Levels 4 and 5 to an appropriate independent study of their 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.
Application for this course is via UCAS, although there is no formal requirement for UCAS points to access the course (normally GSCE 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.
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. International applicants are not eligible to apply for an undergraduate course with 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 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.
During the Foundation Year, you will have opportunities to experience a range of formative and summative assessments. These include short-form writing, annotated bibliography, presentations, micro-teach, use of digital technologies, reflective journal and academic essay. Assessment strategies are designed to be supportive, build confidence and also aim to ensure you will develop the core skills required for successful study throughout your degree. Assessment strategies are balanced, comprehensive, diverse and inclusive, ensuring that you will experience a range of assessments to support your preparation for undergraduate study. All modules involve early, small and frequent informal and formal assessments, to ensure that you gain confidence in your knowledge and abilities as you progress through the Foundation Year. You will also have the opportunity for self-evaluation and 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.
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.
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.
Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. The application fee is £12 for a single choice or £23 for more than one choice. 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.