Person at piano playing

Music BA(Hons)

Become a multiskilled, professional musician on this industry-facing degree.

Key details
Penryn Campus
Course duration
3 years / 4 years
Full-time / Professional Placement
UCAS code
W300/ PY04

Course overview

Whether you’re an aspiring performer, session musician, composer, music educator or sound artist, we’ll prepare you for a sustainable career in the modern music industry. Our expert tutors and guest lecturers will support you to hone your practice while experimenting with genres, styles and technologies.

Collaborating with other musicians, producers, sound engineers, stage techs and songwriters in professional facilities, you’ll have the opportunity to develop projects around ensembles, session bands and vocal groups as well as music for film, immersive experiences and experimental performance.

You will:

  • Learn to play in a range of musical styles and genres, in a variety of professional contexts 
  • Develop an experimental, critical and creative approach to making your work 
  • Play regularly in ensembles, including session bands, vocal groups, contemporary music groups and laptop orchestras 
  • Benefit from guest speaker artists and ensembles. Visitors have included Adrian Utley (Portishead), Graham Fitkin (composer), Kenny Werner (pianist), Ed O’Brien (Radiohead) and Kevos (ensemble) 
  • Have the chance to gain industry experience, from shadowing a professional composer or interning with a record label, to working with an orchestra 
  • Have the opportunity to investigate study options with our prestigious international exchange partners, such as CalArts (USA), Griffith University (Australia), LASALLE (Singapore) and Nagoya University (Japan)

Course details

BA(Hons) Music course video

On this Music degree, you'll have the opportunity to gain a BA(Hons) degree over three years or study Music BA(Hons) with a professional placement option.

This degree will provide you with a range of experiences and enable you to develop a unique musical identity, a diverse set of musical and academic skills, strong critical awareness, and a good understanding of the contemporary musical world.  

By the end of the Music course, you’ll have a varied portfolio of work and a keen sense of enterprise. You’ll be equipped to identify, create and respond to the many musical opportunities that exist in the professional world.

The first year of the Music degree is all about upskilling and getting immersed in AMATA (Academy of Music & Theatre Arts) and Falmouth. You’ll develop your core music making practice, learn key studio and audio skills, as well as begin to develop fundamental theoretical and contextual knowledge of contemporary music and sound practices.


Musicianship & Performance

This module aims to develop your skills in performance practices and musicianship. You will explore the biomechanical, physiological and psychological demands of musical performance while developing your listening skills, aural skills, creative interpretation and stylistic understanding of music.

Composition & Creativity

This module offers you a chance to try your hand at three contrasting creative scenarios, each supported by analysis of current and past examples. In doing so, you will develop your analytical, compositional and creative skills.

Expanding Musical Vocabularies

This module will introduce you to a range of musical terms, theories, techniques and notations before helping you to apply them in creative and practical scenarios.

Specialist Music Practice 1

In this module, you will increase your knowledge and skills in your area of specialist practice and develop co-creation, collaborative and communication skills through collective music making and studio practice sessions.

Music and Sound: Context and Cultures

You’ll examine key concepts and debates in music and sounds studies whilst thinking critically about the relationship between music, sound, and culture.


You'll learn to record, edit, mix and master audio in a recording studio environment using microphones, audio interfaces, mixing desks and digital audio workstations (DAWs).

Your second year is focused on specialising: gaining a range of music-making experiences and starting the development of your entrepreneurial and brand thinking as you explore the world of professional music making. You’ll identify, acquire and apply new skills as part of the optional modules, and you will have the opportunity to work with students from across the University on interdisciplinary projects.


The Creative Professional

In this module you will develop and expand on your skills and knowledge to become a creative professional musician. You will interrogate your musical skills, aligning these with specialist practices and their professional contexts.

The Business of Music & Sound

You’ll be introduced to intellectual property regulations and the subsequent risks of exploitation across the creative industries. You’ll learn the necessary business skills to work sustainably within the music and sound sectors with confidence.

Specialist Music Practice 2

Building upon the work undertaken in the Specialist Practice 1 module in your first year, you will continue to increase your knowledge and skills to further develop co-creation, collaborative and communication skills through collective music making and studio practice.

Music & Sound: Resonant Futures

In this module you will question and explore the relationship between music, sound, technology, context and culture in ways that seek to imagine and speculate on the future of music and sound.

Optional modules

Enterprise: Innovative Music Business Practice

Within the context of the ever-changing and shifting music business, this module enables you to approach your practice with agile, innovative, sustainable and ethical business skills and knowledge; from legal to financial, marketing to planning.

A/V Radical Artistry & New Media Aesthetics

This module unleashes the potential of multimodal creation, encouraging you to re-imagine your artistic identity by exploring the rapid acceleration and monumental shifts of the contemporary media landscape. You will explore the dynamic creativity of social media, vlogging, AI, TV, music videos, advertising, and graphic design.

Composing Music for Media

You’ll develop a critical understanding of music-image relationships and conduct practical work across a range of media. You’ll also enhance your composition and production skills through being shown industry-standard workflows and techniques.

Session Musicianship

In this module you will develop an understanding of the skills, techniques, communication methods and working practices of session musicians in a variety of genres and contexts.

Immersive & Interactive Audio

You’ll be introduced to a range of technologies, techniques and applications of immersive and interactive audio. The module is highly interdisciplinary and relevant to film sound, game audio, digital arts and experience design.

Advanced & Experimental Performance

This module aims to develop your abilities in the art of musical communication, flow, interpretation, expressivity, experimentation and versatility in performance. You’ll be introduced to improvisational and creative techniques to advance your practical skills and ideas.

Resounding: Situated Songwriting & Composition

This module encourages you to think about how your practice is entangled with various places—geographic, imaginary, speculative, utopian, abstract and psychological. It introduces you to new critical frameworks and artists who process complex issues like the Anthropocene, the internet, dark ecology and the climate crisis through their music. 

Voice and Listening: Life, People and Planet

The module will develop your vocal and listening skills alongside your creativity and in relation to an increased awareness of concepts in voice studies and relevant contemporary social, political and environmental themes.

You can choose to take an optional professional placement after your second year on a three-year programme. 

You’ll be responsible for finding your own placement, with support from the Employability team. 

Choosing this option will enhance your industry experience and skills while studying. 

How you’ll study during your professional placement 

You’ll spend time working in a professional context, as part of a business or organisation. This can be in one role, or up to three, and must be for a minimum of 24 weeks. 

You’ll develop in-demand workplace skills, deepen your insight into industry and grow your network of contacts, all of which could help you get ahead in your career after graduation. 

Throughout this year, you’ll develop a portfolio of work that includes critical self-reflection on what has been learned from the experience. You’ll be required to evidence your experiences, the skills you’ve learned and your professional growth. 

Your final year is geared towards solidifying your artistic and professional identity, knowledge, skills and networks in line with your chosen area of music specialism. You’ll develop your showcase portfolio, enhance your entrepreneurial practice skills and carry out career design work as you prepare to take your first steps into industry.


Music & Sound: Dissertation

In this module you will expand on your music and sound subject-based intellectual skills developed in your first and second years through an independently-driven written research project.

Professional Development

This module enables you to continue developing your specialist skills, contextual knowledge, experience and entrepreneurial mindset in preparation for the Showcase Portfolio module, careers and/or artistic practice beyond your degree.

Your Future

This module enables you to understand, develop, practice and analyse skills pertinent to your chosen career path in sustainable ways; both now and in the future. You will further develop legal, financial, marketing and digital skills that relate to specialist areas of the music sector and be able to critically analyse trends and future opportunities that relate to your career.

Showcase Portfolio

This module is the culmination of your practice during your Music degree and you will produce, showcase and evaluate a professionally and artistically competent and research informed portfolio of creative work.

The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.

Falmouth student singing into microphone and playing keyboard.
Popular Music - Tony Njoku
Tony Njoku, photo by Chris Trevena

How you’ll learn & be assessed

An inspiring combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials mix creative practice with critical thinking to help you to develop your sound, skills and artistic identity. 

Industry insights and expertise will come from our regular guest speakers and artists, like composer Graham Fitkin, Portishead’s Adrian Utley, conductor Marta Gardolińska, producer and guitarist Dan Weller (SikTh), and record label executive Darcus Beese.  

At Falmouth, we use a 'digitally enhanced learning & teaching' approach. Your experience will always be predominantly in-person, including seminars, tutorials and studio teaching, with some, more targeted elements, being online either live (synchronous) or pre-recorded (asynchronous). You can read more here.

Assessment is a combination of practical exams and coursework.

Modules vary in their assessment requirements, but all involve varying degrees of student choice, allowing you to design projects and tailor assessment tasks to benefit your development, and relate to your own aims and objectives. 

The course assessments are a combination of coursework and practical assessments tasks, including: 

  • Portfolios  
  • Studio Practice sessions 
  • Performances 
  • Journals 
  • Essays 
  • Dissertations 
  • Presentations 
  • Case Studies 
  • Reports 
  • Viva (oral examinations)  

You will receive feedback in a range of formats (e.g. written feedback sheets, feedback tutorials, feedback in live sessions) during each module.


AMATA’s amazing facilities include: 

  • 11 performance and rehearsal spaces 
  • A flexible theatre space for live performances  
  • Recording suites live production rooms 
  • Digital and analogue recording equipment  

AMATA Technical Stores house a wide range of equipment for students to book out and use, such as professional standard microphones, amplifiers, PA systems, audio interfaces, synthesizers, cameras and lights and portable recording equipment. 

AMATA is a working professional venue, with performances and events running throughout the year. 

Performance Facilities Image
Performance - AMATA

Performance Facilities

The Academy of Music and Theatre Arts (AMATA) is a purpose-built live venue housing an assembly of f...

Performance Facilities
Library facilities
Library facilities

Library Facilities

Offering extensive collections, our two libraries provide a wealth of digital resources, magazines, ...

Library Facilities
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Sports Centre - Outside
Sports Centre

Sports Centre

Our Sports Centre, on Penryn Campus, includes a spacious gym with up to 90 of the latest, new statio...

Sports Centre


You’ll learn from performers, composers, producers, sound artists and musicologists, working across a wide range of musical styles. Our associate staff members include instrumental tutors, composers and songwriters, industry contacts and technical support staff. 

Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every staff member who teaches on the course.

Dr Chris Best

Senior Lecturer

Dr Christopher Best has been senior lecturer and principal tutor in music composition at Falmouth Un...

Dr Chris Best

Dr D Ferrett

Associate Professor in Music, Sound and Culture

Dr D Ferrett is Associate Professor of Music, Sound and Culture and the Research Lead for the Academ...

Dr D Ferrett

Andrea Rushton

Lecturer in Music

Andrea Rushton is a lecturer in Music focusing particularly on voice studies and performance.  ...

Andrea Rushton
Sam Murray headshot

Sam Murray

Senior Lecturer in Music

Sam Murray is a guitarist, composer, music director and educator with over 25 years experience in th...

Sam Murray
Dr Antti Saario

Dr Antti Saario

Head of Music

Dr Antti Sakari Saario is an award-winning post-acousmatic composer, sound and audio practitioner, r...

Dr Antti Saario

Jim Aitchison

Instrumental Tutor, Music

Jim Aitchison is a composer and artist, working both in the realm of responding to visual artworks a...

Jim Aitchison
Dr D

Got a question about this course?

If you want to know more about the course structure, our application requirements or what our graduates have gone on to achieve, our friendly course team is here to help.

Chat to Dr D Ferrett

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Our Music graduates have worked as:

  • Performers
  • Composers
  • Session musicians
  • Music educators
  • Ensemble leaders

How to apply

Ready to join us? You can apply for September 2024 through UCAS. You'll need to reference the course and University code (F33).

Apply via UCAS

Course route UCAS code
Music BA(Hons) three year degree W300
Music BA(Hons) with professional placement PY04

We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you’ve specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.  

Course route Entry requirements
BA/BSc(Hons) three year degree 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points
BA/BSc(Hons) four year degree with professional placement 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points

Check the title of your course to see if it's a BA or BSc award. UCAS Tariff points will primarily be from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, T Levels, a BTEC/UAL Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma. 

Check how many points your qualifications are worth

For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent. 

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.  

If you need a student visa to study in the UK, you may need to take a recognised language test. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.

For starting your studies in 2024

UK applications: 31 January 2024 (for equal consideration)

Applications after the 31 January will be considered on a first-come, first-served as long as there are places available. Apply for this course now.

International fee payers

International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.

What we're looking for

We want someone who:

  • Has musical ability, experience and contextual knowledge.
  • Shows creativity and imagination.
  • Can write and speak clearly.
  • Engages with interview questions and discussion.
  • Can critically discuss their portfolio or other musical examples.
  • Shows ongoing engagement, motivation and creative potential.

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees for September 2024 entry

Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,950 per year Full-time EU/international
£1,850 per professional placement year Full-Time UK and EU/international

Tuition fees for September 2025 will be confirmed in summer 2024.

Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible. 

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs

Typical course costs

  • To engage in the digital learning activity, although you will be able to access IT suites on campus, you will benefit from a laptop to access the platforms and tools we use
  • The AMATA recording studios have Mac computers equipped with a range of the major DAWs for audio production work
  • Your own instrument and associated equipment if there is not an equivalent available in the practice studios
  • £10 - songwriters/artists' journal and pens
  • £60+ - Physical file storage 
  • £80+ - Monitoring headphones. You can loan these from our stores
  • £50-£100 Maintenance costs for personal study items and instruments (eg. laptop, headphones, software upgrades, strings, picks, replacement tubes for amplifiers, drumheads, earplugs) 
  • Public Programme season tickets (student rate) costs found: AMATA Live Pass

If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.

Ask a student

What better way to find out about life at Falmouth University than by asking our current students?

From course details and academic support, to the social scene and settling in, our students are ready and available to answer any questions you might have. Simply set up your account, send them a question and they'll get back to you within 24 hours.

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