Music BA Honours | Middlesex University London
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Music BA Honours

Learn about the course below
October 2018
EU/International induction: September 2018
3 years full-time
Usually 5 years part-time
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£12,500 (INT) *
Course leader
Francois Evans

Our degree, taught by dedicated tutors and supported by outstanding facilities, provides you with the skills, knowledge and experience to thrive in the music industry and beyond.

Why study BA Music at Middlesex University?

You want to be a qualified, confident musician, able to hold your head high in the global, professional world of music making. You want to build experience as an informed performer, composer, music producer, music director or all of these, working in a specific field. Middlesex University is among the top six universities in the UK for graduate salaries.

You want to be as comfortable and adept in the recording studio, as conducting or performing with orchestral players from manuscript. You want to meet professionals and learn from them. You want to share their contacts and continuously refine your musical skills to bring yourself a unique and competitive edge. You want to learn to produce and mix music freely, without restrictions. You want to find out about the different ways in which the music world works, so as to establish ways to survive comfortably, whilst doing what you enjoy most.

The most successful practitioners are often those who have, for exactly the right reasons, decided to undergo a formal musical training, even if they feel they might be late starters. Tori Amos, Sheryl Crow, Michael Giacchino (composer for The Incredibles), Will Gregory (Goldfrapp), Elton John, Alicia Keys, Annie Lennox (Eurythmics), George Martin (The Beatles), Thomas Newman and Jocelyn Pook (film composers) were all classically trained. We want to help you to find yourself.

Course highlights

  • You will be based in The Grove, an £80 million state-of-the-art learning facility, where you will work with dedicated Music staff of national and international standing
  • A weekly Concerts and Colloquia series, inviting guest speakers to speak at the University
  • Unique opportunities to collaborate musically with undergraduate students working in the fields of dance, theatre, animation, film and computer graphics
  • Honorary Professor: Daniel Miller (Mute Records)
  • Regular chamber ensemble workshops, orchestral workshop and the university choir
  • The possibility of studying abroad for six months to one year
  • Cut-price (often free) access to London music events.

What will you study on the BA Music?

You will explore music technology, studio music production, sound art, live computer sound transformation and its languages (from experts). You will focus on music analysis to learn the means and meaning of music and concepts in music history and contemporary music studies will be discussed and investigated.  Harmony, counterpoint, instrumentation, orchestration and musicianship will be studied and you will learn to write and perform music convincingly from Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th-century musical periods.

What will yo​u gain?

As well as an in-depth knowledge of this subject, you will gain the understanding of key musical concepts such as original music composition, music performance, instrumental lessons. You will undertake singing in order to familiarise yourself with new repertoires and to help you with score reading.  You will learn how to share your skills with younger people and communities. During your third year, you have the opportunity to propose a topic of your own choosing to investigate and explore, along with the guidance of an allocated supervising tutor.


  • Year 1

    • Concepts in Music History (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module helps to ensure that you have a broad knowledge of the fascinating Western music repertoires from 1300 to 2000. It includes a focus on popular music 1920-2000.

    • Harmony and Musicianship (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module strengthens your knowledge of and facility with the construction and notation of tonal and 12-note harmony (the 'chemistry' of pitch) and counterpoint (the craft of combining melodies effectively). Musicianship skills are also developed to enable you to write down what you hear (in real life or from your imagination). 'Skeleton scores' are used to help you to discern musical lines from complex textures and so develop an 'X-ray ear'. The module is supported by short keyboard lessons for non-pianists. Scores are analysed to begin to see the different ways in which voices and instruments can work together to make music.

    • Music Technology and Production (30 credits) - Compulsory

      With practical work to test understanding, and run by experts, this module introduces you to the world of electronic music production. Aspects of how technology is used to make, change, develop and enhance sound through production and performance. The aim is to enable you to engage with most available music technologies so that you can feel comfortable with synthesis, sequencing, microphones, recording, acoustics, psychoacoustics, compression, mixing, equalisation and reverberation and editing, in the studio.

    • Performance and Composition Projects (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Through practical work, this module helps you to understand the complex relationship between original composition (in any style) and performance. There are lectures in instrumentation (learning about the families of instruments: woodwind, brass, percussion, other instruments and strings), orchestration, score presentation, form in music. Techniques for composing and directing different kinds of musical material are shared. Newly-composed and pre-existing materials are engaged with in collaborative surgeries. The module is backed up with instrumental lessons and/or composition tutorials.

  • Year 2

    • Musical Styles and Techniques (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Music can be dated according to its style, but what exactly is it about a music's style that ascribes it to particular periods and places? Skilled composers and performers today need to be very familiar with conveying musical styles convincingly, and able to jump confidently from one manner to another. A composer may need to write music persuasively for a media production set in 1764. A performer may need to adopt late Romantic performance styles for a computer game set in the 1930s. On this optional module you can work at composing and performing music in different styles, with guidance into understanding and using the techniques which were used at the time.

    • Music and Culture (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The relationship between music and culture can be obvious, but seemingly intangible when objectified. This module shares with you, a range of theoretical frameworks including cultural studies and gender theory, to free your understanding of the ways in which these domains have been constructed and to help you develop skills to analyse such forms.

    • Music Journalism (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The world of media today serves to guide audience perceptions. How does an artist work with the press? Run by an expert practitioner, this new, optional module shows you how to improve your interviewing skills; how to approach reviews, features, biographies, the web and how to produce promotional materials – this with a view to becoming a full-time music journalist, or to use these skills as part of a portfolio career. The fascinating history of music journalism is also covered.

    • Collaborative Performance and Composition 1 (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Here, you begin to put into further practice what you learned in Year 1. You will decide whether you are principally a composer, principally a performer or both, and be guided in the production of a substantial portfolio of composition and/or a recital of older and new music, to high standards and with recordings. Ensemble performance, rehearsal and direction is covered together with an optional introduction to conducting.

    • Interactive Technology and Sound Art (30 credits) - Optional

      If you would like to pursue an interest in music technology introduced in Year 1, then this optional module gives you free rein to do so. This module takes electronic and computer music further, with practical investigations into the technical and aesthetic interrelationships between electronics and acoustic (mechanical) musical instruments. Through creative projects, you will respond to current issues and technical challenges in this rapidly changing field.

    • Analysing Music and Media (30 credits) - Optional

      There are three (subjective) ways to understand music: as the composer/performer, as the audience or as the music 'itself' actually seems to be. You will be introduced to analytical techniques for 'dissecting' music, to bring new insights into its structure and functioning. These include Schenkerian, PC set, semiotic, structuralist and post-structuralist approaches. In this optional module, music is covered both in its own terms and in combination with other media.

  • Year 3

    • Music for Dance and Theatre (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Middlesex is a special place to study music in that while being a discrete subject, Music has close ties with dance and theatre Arts within the Performing Arts department. This gives you an advantage on this optional module, of developing your own, guided, collaborative composition and performance projects in dance choreography, theatre, operatic work or music theatre. You'll be guided by critical and contextual studies to share relevant theory and repertoire. Projects result in filmed work which can potentially be used as future, demonstration material to help to secure future work.

    • Independent Project (30 credits) - Compulsory

      If there is a topic you would like to study which has not been included in your programme or if you would like to pursue a subject which you have already engaged with in greater depth, then you can propose an 'independent' project in this optional module and will be allocated a tutor best placed to support you. Past independent projects have included conducting a show in London, organising a small music festival and developing online distribution strategies for music.

    • Collaborative Performance and Composition 2 (30 credits) - Optional

      Do you want to be an imitator or a pioneer? This optional module is the final stage in the strand of performance and composition modules from Year 1. While first year develops theoretical skills and second year helps to develop practice, Year 3 focuses on guiding you into developing your own, individual voice as a performer and/or composer. You will work at solo and chamber ensemble pieces. There are opportunities for orchestral performance. Performers work towards a major recital (which can be public). Composers develop a portfolio of scores, with recordings which they have directed. There is no limit on the style in which you can perform or compose, though you will be challenged to demonstrate that you can engage professionally with the best of the last half-century of music making.

    • Music for Film, Animation and Television (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Notated scores are optional in this discretionary module which covers the history, aesthetics and developing practice of music for screen. This enables you to produce directly from the studio, or to use recordings of acoustic ('real') instruments (for which scores are needed). There are speed-crewing sessions with animation and TV production students. From an experienced tutor, you'll be taught how to synchronise music to picture, to 1/25th of a second accuracy, and the effects of this on your audience! Student work is often presented at preview cinemas in central London, which can attract attention. Middlesex has its own industry standard television production studio.

    • Contemporary Music Studies (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Many extraordinary things happened to music in the West during the second half of the 20th and early 21st centuries. This module presents specialist studies of extraordinary, groundbreaking works, genres, repertoires, composer-thinkers and their related, musicological theories. Modernism, post-modernism, neo-modernism are all covered.

    • Community Arts and Music Education (30 credits) - Optional

      In university, you have a duty to be aware of your surrounding community and to take the initiative to improve it in positive ways. This new, optional module enables you to affect constructively the musical development of a community or individual. Facilitation techniques are explored to help you to develop sophisticated, creative, interpersonal skills. The module is designed to help to set you up to start working professionally in the sector or to undertake further study e.g. via PGCE or a community music Master's degree.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International

How can the BA Music support your career?

Careers in music continue to grow with the expansion of the web. Music is an excellent choice of study because it combines science, technology, history, social studies, business and media. Your degree is an investment and statistics show that Middlesex students are among the highest graduate earners in the UK.

Careers in music are exciting and diverse. You could find yourself working in digital and internet radio, distributed record labels, music industry organisations (guilds, societies), education, music festivals, music library services, merchandising, PR, recording studios, or royalty collection agencies as any of the following roles:

Artist ManagementBusiness Consultancy
ComposerConcert Performer
Event ManagementLegal (Music)
Music ArrangerMusic Distribution
Music Industry AccountancyMusic Journalism
Music Mastering and Post-ProductionMusic Production
Music Web DesignOrchestral Management
Session Fixers (Music Contractors)Session Musicians
Specialist Music Insurance Studio Design and Construction
Video Production

Based in The Grove you will have access to world-class facilities, including a concert hall, two performance halls, soundproofed practice rooms, pianos (including two Steinway grands), hybrid analogue-digital sound recording facilities, a recording studio, a mixing studio, music computer workstations and collaborative access to departments of dance, theatre, film, television, animation and computer games.

  • Joanne Yeoh

    Music BA graduate

    It was FABULOUS studying in London. This eventually became a stepping stone towards my future studies, providing me with the opportunity to attend and participate in music festivals - an experience one simply can't get in Malaysia.

    Studying at Middlesex University was definitely a door opener to opportunities in the UK. I loved the learning atmosphere, which was very different from back home in Malaysia. Students were given free time and space to explore their musical inclinations.

    When I returned to Malaysia, I was selected to participate in the prestigious Asian Youth Orchestra and travelled with the orchestra to Vietnam, Japan, Australia, Korea and Hong Kong. I was then lucky enough to perform alongside Hong Kong superstar Jacky Cheung in his Music Odyssey Tour 2002/03 which was a 40 concert tour around the world. The following year, I performed with Taiwanese heart-throb David Tao in his 2003 Soul Power Tour and in 2008 I was invited to play with another Hong Kong superstar, Alan Tam.

    I have received several awards since my time at Middlesex University. I was also selected to be included in Marquis Who's Who in the World 2012 edition and in the Malaysia Book of Records 2012. I am also a fully accredited examiner for the esteemed Trinity College Music London Examination board and I currently head the Music Department of Universiti Putra Malaysia.

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