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Music BA Honours

With access to London's thriving music industry and teaching from experts in their fields, this course will allow you to fully explore your passion for music
September 2024
3 years full-time
6 years part-time
£9,250 (UK)*
£16,600 (INT)*
Course leader
Dr Mike Dines

Why choose BA Music at Middlesex?

This course has been designed for you to channel your passion for music into a specialist degree that represents your skills and interests. You'll be able to graduate with any of the following titles: BA Music, BA Music (Performance/Composition), BA Music (Popular) or BA Music (Production).

What you will gain

As well as gaining a thorough knowledge of musical repertoires and practices, you'll also acquire skills in music composition, music performance and critical thinking.

During your third year, you'll have the opportunity to propose a topic of your own choosing to investigate and explore, supported by an allocated supervising tutor.

What you will learn

Our music teaching staff is made up of leading industry professionals from the UK and abroad. You'll be able to make links with the music world through regular visiting guest speakers and master classes from leading practitioners and music industry managers.

You’ll also have the opportunity to engage with visiting professors and artists including Daniel Miller (honorary Professor and founder of Mute Records), Martino Tirimo (visiting Professor of Piano), members of the London Firebird Orchestra and Grammy award-winning producer Alan Branch.

You'll also become part of our friendly, supportive and diverse music community at our Hendon campus in North London. You'll be able to collaborate with students on other creative courses and make the most of our state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, including an industry-standard recording and mixing studio, concert grand pianos, sound-insulated practice rooms, computer suites and access to a wide range of software such as Ableton, ProTools, Logic, Max MSP, Melodyne and access to hybrid analogue/digital recording studio and modular synths.

Learn more about the course and last year’s graduates on our Creative Graduates 2022 website.

3 great reasons to pick this course

  • Opportunity to specialise
    Our broad music degree offers various pathway structures, allowing you to specialise in an area of your choice
  • Expert teachers
    You'll be taught by core staff and visiting lecturers who are leading scholars and industry professionals
  • Specialist facilities
    Study in our wonderful arts building, The Grove, and make the most of our brand new £500,000 industry-standard recording studio and extensive Kit Hub

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About your course

You’ll explore performance, composition or songwriting, music technology, studio music production, music theory and specialise in genres such as classical and popular music.

You’ll be encouraged to think critically about music by studying key ideas and concepts, from the historical, political and economic to the technological and aesthetic. You'll learn harmony, instrumentation, orchestration and musicianship, and how to write and/or perform music convincingly in a range of styles.


  • Year 1 - Compulsory

    • Performance, Composition and Songwriting (30 credits)

      This module aims to enable you to explore creative practice in Music; in performance/improvisation and composition/songwriting, and to develop proficient skills and techniques in these areas.

      As the module progresses, you will select areas of creative practice as principal and secondary domains, to be reflected as major and minor components in the summative assessment.

      In this way, you will be able to build on your exploration and development of creative practice as a solid foundation for more specialist creative work at levels 5 and 6, as they begin to identify and refine pathways for potential future careers and employment.

    • Critical Thinking in Music (30 credits)

      This module aims to develop an ability to think critically about music, and to introduce key ideas, concepts, and approaches in considering and exploring a range of intersecting perspectives and contexts that shape and are shaped by music.

      These perspectives may include the social, the material, the historical, the political, the economic, the technological, and the aesthetic.

    • Music Technologies (30 credits)

      This module is designed to develop an understanding of, and technical facility with, current recording and production studio technologies for making, recording, and producing music using digital, electronic, and acoustic sound sources.

      Continuous reference to different production approaches enables you to work from your own interests, as they make and shape their recordings.

      The module provides essential skills for subsequent modules in recording, production, live-interactive sound, and synthesis.

    • Musicianship and Theory (30 credits)

      This module aims to establish competence in music theory, the use and understanding of music notation, knowledge of harmony, and the development of analytical insight and skills.

      This is aligned with the development of essential musicianship skills, including aural perception, melodic/harmonic transcription, sight-reading, and the practical realisation of notation conventions and symbols.

      The focus of learning is mostly practical work supported by the study of a range of musical repertoire.

  • Year 2 - Compulsory, choose one

    • Popular Music in the 21st Century (30 credits)

      This module aims to develop competence in music production theories and practices.

      You will learn to understand and confidently apply advanced techniques and procedures in digital and analogue recording and mixing environments and adapt these to achieve the desired creative results.

      You will also explore the critical study of music production and establish insight into its artistic and historical contexts, drawing from this knowledge to inform and enhance your own practice.

  • Year 2 - Optional, choose three

    • Songwriting, Composition and Arranging (30 credits)

      This module aims to develop songwriting/compositional skills by using theoretical perspectives to encourage informed creative responses to specific briefs.

      You will nurture the foundations of a personal distinctive voice through exploration of, and experimentation with, various writing techniques and approaches.

      You will write in a range of styles and genres, whilst exhibiting critical analysis and developing practical and technical skills through aural and practical exercises.

    • Style and Theory (30 credits)

      This module aims to provide a place for students to analyse and explore a range of stylistic approaches in Music and to develop proficient skills and techniques in these styles, through performance or composition/pastiche work.

    • Sound Art and Interactive Music (30 credits)

      This module is designed to develop expertise in theoretical and practical approaches to expressive sonic manipulation in studio, installation, live, interactive and virtual environments.

      You will learn to organise principles of synthesis, interactive sound, spatial audio, and visual programming, through the invention and development of sound worlds that can be applied to a range of listening situations.

      The module is contextualised via a diverse range of case studies.

    • The New Business of Music (30 credits)

      This module develops an understanding of the contemporary business of music.

      You will learn about the large and small companies that operate in this field, as well as how to self-manage a music career.

      In addition to developing a knowledge of working in music, you will gain a critical understanding of the issues that affect this sector.

    • Recording and Production (30 credits)

      This module aims to develop competence in music production theories and practices.

      You will learn to understand and confidently apply advanced techniques and procedures in digital and analogue recording and mixing environments and adapt these to achieve the desired creative results.

      You will also explore the critical study of music production and establish insight into its artistic and historical contexts, drawing from this knowledge to inform and enhance your own practice.

    • Performance and Musicianship (30 credits)

      This module aims to enable you to explore creative practice in Music in performance and musicianship, and to develop proficient skills and techniques in these areas.

      You will apply the theoretical knowledge and performance skills learned at Level 4 in a variety of performance contexts aligned to the further development of your musicianship skills.

      You will also begin to work more autonomously towards developing your own voice, partly through a critical analysis of repertoire, as they progress towards being able to work as performers in a professional sphere.

  • Year 3 - Optional, choose four

    • Advanced Composition and Songwriting (30 credits)

      This module aims to enhance a command of songwriting/compositional styles and techniques by facilitating the development of a more individual and professional approach to composition/songwriting.

      You are encouraged to explore, establish and maintain a distinctive music identity – a personal creative ‘voice’ – to inform your current and future practice.

      You should be willing to experiment and expand the boundaries of your chosen musical genre(s).

    • Music for Dance, Theatre and Live Shows (30 credits)

      This module is for those who, having acquired some fluency in composing, performing, and/or arranging/producing music, would like to explore the possibilities of developing their musical practice in collaboration with other live performance art forms and practices.

      Specific opportunities for meeting and collaborating with peer groups in other disciplines (such as dance) are provided, although you need not be limited to these and may also develop your own collaborative projects in (for instance) operatic work/music(al) theatre.

      The critical and contextual study will support practical work with relevant theory, repertoire, and case studies.

    • Music and Sound Design for Screen and Virtual Realities (30 credits)

      This module aims to develop the tools and competencies for making electronic and electroacoustic music for the screen and virtual realities.

      This will be aligned to an understanding of, and sensitivity to, historically informed aesthetics of screen music, to provide context for this work.

      The module also aims to incorporate appropriate training in contractual and negotiation issues to support in-house and freelance composer-producers.

    • Working in Music (30 credits)

      This module prepares you for successful engagement with the music industry. You will gain a working knowledge of contracts, copyright, funding applications, and policy documents, as well as a sophisticated understanding of theories relating to decision-making and success, which can be applied to music-based projects.

    • Music since the 1960s (30 credits)

      This module facilitates the specialist study of musical works, composers, and approaches since the 1960s through the lens of contemporary classical music.

      The relationship between music and its cultural, political, and philosophical contexts is examined through concepts such as the rise of postmodernism across the arts and its relationship with philosophy/political theory.

    • Popular Music Studies (30 credits)

      This module provides you with an advanced awareness of popular music studies through a range of critical approaches or critical perspectives including cultural theory, sociology, political economy, and musicology.

      You will understand how theory can be used to explore popular music practice, and how popular music practice can be developed by using popular music theory.

    • Production Project (30 credits)

      This module will develop your knowledge, understanding and expertise in recording and producing music by allowing you to produce a self-developed project. You will be supported to achieve a highly effective and original musical output.

    • Advanced Performance and Musicianship (30 credits)

      This module aims to enable you to demonstrate an advanced technical command of your instrument or voice, perform confidently in public, and utilise a range of specific advanced technical skills and tools appropriate to a chosen musical style and tradition.

      You will develop knowledge and skills in forming programmes/sets for performance, develop interpretative insight, and begin to consider and project your own individual voice/identity as a performer.

To find out more about this highly regarded course, please download the Music BA Honours specification (PDF).

We review our courses regularly to improve your experience and graduate prospects so modules may be subject to change.

  1. Teaching and learning
  2. Assessment and feedback

The Sheppard Library

Our library is open 24 hours a day during the term and includes:

  • Music scores, books, CDs and online portals to the latest music research
  • Over 1,000 study areas with rooms for group study and over 600 computer spaces
  • 350,000 books and e-books and more than 24,000 online journals

Free laptop loans, Wi-Fi and printing.

Based in The Grove, you will have access to world-class facilities:

  • Concert and recital rooms
  • 15 soundproofed practice rooms
  • 23 pianos (including a Steinway grand and a Bosendorfer grand)
  • Hybrid analogue-digital sound recording facilities
  • Recording and mixing studio
  • Digital media workshop with 15 workstations (Mac computer with specialist music software, two monitors and piano keyboard)

You will also have access to external venues and collaborative access to other creative areas of the University such as dance, theatre, film, television, animation and computer games.

Student support

We offer lots of support to help you while you're studying including financial advice, wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

Additional needs

We'll support you if you have additional needs such as sensory impairment or dyslexia. And if you want to find out whether Middlesex is the right place for you before you apply, get in touch with our Disability and Dyslexia team.


Our specialist teams will support your mental health. We have free individual counselling sessions, workshops, support groups and useful guides.

Work while you study

Our Middlesex Unitemps branch will help you find work that fits around uni and your other commitments. We have hundreds of student jobs on campus that pay the London Living Wage and above. Visit the Middlesex Unitemps page.

Financial support

You can apply for scholarships and bursaries and our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

We have also reduced the costs of studying with free laptop loans, free learning resources and discounts to save money on everyday things. Check out our guide to student life on a budget.

How can the BA Music support your career?

Music is an excellent choice of study because it combines science, technology, history, arts, social and cultural studies, business and media.

Graduate job roles

You could find yourself working in media, publishing, cultural organisations, education, festivals, libraries, merchandising, PR, recording studios or record labels, or art charities as any of the following roles:

Artist management

Audio production

Business consultancy


Concert performer

Event management

Legal (Music)

Music arranger

Music distribution

Music industry accountancy

Journalism (Music)

Music mastering and post-production

Web Design (Music)

Orchestral management

Session fixers (Music contractors)

Session musicians

Specialist music insurance

Studio design and construction

Video production


Teaching is also a popular choice and might be combined with any of the above to form a ‘portfolio’ career.

Graduate employers

Our graduates have gone on to such prestigious institutions as the Royal Hague Conservatoire, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, York University and King’s College, London. You could also go on to further (postgraduate) study.


Our employability service, MDXworks will launch you into the world of work from the beginning of your course, with placements, projects and networking opportunities through our 1000+ links with industry and big-name employers in London and globally.

Our dedicated lifetime career support, like our business start-up support programme and funding for entrepreneurs, has made us a top 10 university for producing CEOs – Novuana, 2023.

MDXcelerator Student Start-Up Support

Want to be your own boss? You'll have the chance to pitch your business to gain mentoring and grants of up to £15,000.

Global network

You’ll study with students from 122 countries who’ll hopefully become part of your global network. And after you graduate, we'll still support you through our alumni network to help you progress in your chosen career.

  1. UK entry
  2. International entry
  3. How to apply


The fees below are for the 2024/25 academic year:

UK students1

Full-time: £9,250

Part-time: £77 per taught credit

International students2

Full-time students: £16,600

Part-time students: £138 per taught credit

Additional costs

The following study tools are included in your fees:

  • Free access to resources, learning materials and software you need to succeed on your course
  • A suite of Macintosh computers loaded with Logic Pro digital audio workstations, Sibelius music notation software and other software for sound generation and processing
  • Access to a hybrid analogue-digital recording studio connected digitally with sound-proofed practice rooms and live recording spaces
  • Free access to the complete Naxos Music Library online
  • Free laptop loans for up to 24 hours
  • Free specialist software for your course
  • Free printing for academic paperwork
  • Free online training with LinkedIn Learning.

Scholarships and bursaries

To help make uni affordable, we do everything we can to support you including our:

  • MDX Excellence Scholarship offers grants of up to £2,000 per year for UK students
  • Regional or International Merit Awards which reward International students with up to £2,000 towards course fees
  • Our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

Find out more about undergraduate funding and all of our scholarships and bursaries.

Fees disclaimers

1. UK fees: The university reserves the right to increase undergraduate tuition fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions. The tuition fees for part-time UK study are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

2. International fees: Tuition fees are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

Any annual increase in tuition fees as provided for above will be notified to students at the earliest opportunity in advance of the academic year to which any applicable inflationary rise may apply.

Popular music student gallery

The well-attended Pop gigs, held multiple times per year in a variety of London venues, are an outlet for both solo and band artists to perform.

Popular music students perform at their end of year gig held in the Hope and Anchor, Islington.

A vocal pop group performs on stage in the Grove Concert Room at one of our popular ‘Grove Sessions’ open mic nights.

Performance / composition student gallery

 2019 graduate Euan Lloyd-Taylor performs the solo part in Emmanuel Séjourné’s Conterto for vibraphone and string orchestra.
The University Choir conducted by Jonathan Rathbone performs with members of our ensemble-in-residence the London Firebird Orchestra at our showcase concert in St Pancras Church, spring 2019.

A moment of light relief in a University Choir rehearsal

Jazz student gallery

Jazz students across all three years perform as part of a large Post-Bop ensemble led by Nikki Iles.

A trio of Middlesex University Jazz students performs as part of the 'MDX Jazz Presents' series at the Spice of Life Jazz Club in Soho.

A vocal jazz ensemble, led by MDX graduate Joy Ellis, performs a cappella arrangements of jazz standards.

Dr Brian Inglis
Director of Music Programmes

Dr Inglis makes and writes about music. He studied at City University London (PhD, MA) and the University of Durham (BA), and has previously taught at Trinity Laban and the Royal College of Music. Having been involved in a range of genres and projects, including 2000s artrock band Hicks Milligan-Prophecy, his music and arrangements have been heard at the Sonorities Festival (Belfast), Huddersfield Festival, Spitalfields Festival, Deal Festival, Guildford International Festival, Secret Garden Party, Greenbelt, Truck, Bestival and I Kärlekens Namn (Sweden) as well as on BBC Radios 1&3, BBC2, BBC Wales, Radio Cymru and Bayern 2 (Germany). His interests encompass composition, musicology and journalism, and his writing projects include pieces for Tempo and PRS for Music’s M magazine and for BBC performing ensembles/Proms.

Recent projects include a piano music album Living Stones (Sargasso); book chapters on classical music and copyright for The Classical Music Industry (Routledge) and on music and spirituality/John Tavener (Peter Lang); and an acclaimed edition (with Barry Smith) of Kaikhosru Sorabji’s letters to Peter Warlock (Routledge). He is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, a trustee and board member of alternative classical record label Nonclassical, and an organiser of the international research network Music, Spirituality and Wellbeing.

Read more about Dr Inglis

Dr Mike Dines
Programme leader

Mike Dines is a musician, writer, scholar and publisher. He gained his undergraduate degree in Music from the University of Chichester and gained an MA in Music focusing on aesthetics and musical analysis at the University of Sussex. He then moved to Salford University to complete his PhD on punk under Professor Sheila Whiteley. His thesis focused on the anarcho-punk scene of the 1980s, specifically on the work of Crass. He founded Itchy Monkey Press, a DIY punk publisher with the publication of the anarcho-punk novella the darkening light (2014), followed by Tales From the Punkside (2014), Some of Us Scream, Some of Us Shout (2016), and And All Around Was Darkness (2017).

As a scholar, Mike's research interests cover subcultures and the cultural context of popular music, recently co-editing The Punk Reader: Research Transmissions from the Local and the Global (Intellect, 2019), Punk Now!! Contemporary Perspectives on Punk (Intellect, 2020), Trans-Global Punk Scenes: The Punk Reader Vol. 2 (Intellect, 2020) and Punk Identities, Punk Utopias: Global Punk and Media (Intellect 2021). His current writing takes him in the direction of popular music and spirituality with the co-edited collection Exploring the Spiritual in Popular Music: Beatified Beats (Bloomsbury, 2021).

David Clements
Pathway Leader, Music Production

David Clements is a musician, producer, sound engineer and music programmer. As a producer, David has worked for some of the UK’s most prestigious dance record labels including Fabric, Low Pressings, Mute, Renaissance, Pacha, and many others. David has regularly featured in DJ magazine, Mixmag and other dance music journals. As a DJ he performed across the world, including at classic clubs such as Back 2 Basics – Leeds, Propaganda – Moscow, and radio spots on Kiss FM and Radio 1. David has done various sound engineering work in Leeds and London studios covering various projects including film and documentary platforms across a wide range of music styles from electronic music, jazz and pop to contemporary classical.

As well as teaching production, sound engineering and sound art at Middlesex, David’s particular specialisms are in performance audio tools such as Max/MSP, SuperCollider and PureData. He is currently researching algorithmic improvisation, using machine learning to produce original music. He is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Dr Fiorenzo Palermo
Senior Lecturer in Music

Dr Palermo studied sonic art with the composer, performer, instrument inventor and musicologist Hugh Davies. After obtaining an MA in sonic art researching on concrete and sound poetry, he was awarded a PhD on Davies’ work in 2015. He has presented his research internationally and at institutions such as the British Library and the V&A.

In 2012 he co-curated the Sho-Zyg exhibition at Goldsmiths College. His latest output details how a queer, critical organology could help understand better Davies’s invented instruments as well as serve to question received notions about musical instruments more broadly.

Dr Palermo is also interested in popular music studies and in particular in the articulation of queer identities in song. His current publication focuses on exploring the mechanisms and metaphor of the gay closet in the genres of pop/country, indie/rock, and dance/electronica. He presented this research at the twentieth conference of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) held in Canberra, Australia.

Jenna Doyle
Co-pathway leader, Popular Music

Jenna is a platinum-selling songwriter, lyricist and musician. Training in voice and piano, she has been writing and producing commercially-released works, under the pseudonym Jenna Donnelly, for over a decade. With US Billboard #1, Japanese Oricon #1 and Spanish iTunes #1 records under her belt, she has also diversified into music for primetime ITV television shows and critically acclaimed musicals.

Signed to Galactic Music and Peer Music as a member of production house Audiofreaks, Jenna is also one half of Donnelly & Maltby, with works published by Theatrical Rights Worldwide. She also recently contributed a chapter to Innovation in Music: Performance, Production, Technology and Business, published by Routledge.

Rob Townsend
Pathway Leader, Jazz

Saxophonist Rob Townsend has performed with many notable jazz artists such as Eddie Henderson, Sam Rivers, Django Bates, Mark Lockheart, Iain Ballamy and Tim Garland. He plays regularly with iconic acid-jazz organist James Taylor. As well as working with jazz artists, Rob is a member of legendary Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett's band, appearing on more than 10 CDs and DVDs. Rob has also performed with Rick Wakeman, Bill Bruford and played with Robbie Williams at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert.

As a composer, Rob works mostly in the commercial world. He has scored 8 computer games for companies such as Sony, Disney, Supermassive Games, DR Studios, Frontier Games and Blitz Games. Most recently, he wrote the music for F1 Racestars, a multi-platform worldwide release for Codemasters. Rob has written music for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and Discovery. In 2011 he wrote the music for Mechanical Musical Marvel which was nominated for BAFTA in the best childrens' animation category.

Sam Leak
Senior Lecturer in Music & Popular Pathway Co-leader

Sam Leak is a London-based Jazz pianist described by JazzFM's Helen Mayhew as 'one of the brightest stars in the Jazz piano galaxy, a heavenly improviser, and a brilliant prospect for the future.' His eponymous album 'Aquarium' was listed in MOJO Magazine as one of the 'Top Ten International Releases of the Year, 2011.' Jamie Cullum has described his cohort as ‘the heavyweights of the British Jazz scene’ and The New York City Jazz Record described his most recent album, 'Adrift,' as "magical ...constantly evolving and engaging." Sam is currently completing his doctoral thesis at the University of Cambridge, for which he has been researching whether adults can learn absolute pitch.

At Middlesex, Sam leads the first year 'Musicianship and Theory' module, and the second year 'Performance & Musicianship' and 'Style and Theory' modules. He also teaches on several other modules, covering topics such as: music psychology, music theory, musicianship, aural skills, performance, pastiche songwriting, academic writing, and Jazz.

Notable Jazz Performance Credits:

  • Quincy Jones' Q's: Ollie Howell quartet residency
  • Steinway 2 pianos festival: Sam Leak and Dan Tepfer; John Taylor and Richard Fairhurst
  • Ronnie Scott's International Piano Trio Festival: Sam Leak Trio
  • BBC Singers, conducted by Sofi Jeannin, with the Misha Mullov Abbado trio. Improvisations based on, and interspersed with, Poulenc's "Figure humaine" (broadcast on BBC Radio 3).
  • Dimitria festival, Thessaloniki - Jiannis Pavlidis Quintet featuring Greg Hutchinson

Notable Pop Performance Credits:

  • Derrick May & The Orchestra - Royal Festival Hall
  • Keavy & Edele (B*witched)
  • Anoushka Lucas
  • Lucinda Belle
  • Aubrey Logan (Postmodern Jukebox)

Academic output:

  • Haferkorn, J., Kavanagh, B., & Leak, S. (2021). Livestreaming Music in the UK: Report for Musicians.
  • Haferkorn, J., Kavanagh, B., & Leak, S. (2021). Livestreaming music in the UK: quantitative analysis.
  • Research on Absolute Pitch presented at the "Crick Music Symposium" (Francis Crick Institute) on 11/10/19


  • "Multi-faceted and smart as a pin ...of a very high order" MOJO  ★★★★
  • ★★★★ All About Jazz
  • ★★★★ Jazzwise Magazine
  • “the music is magical... constantly evolving and engaging...” The New York City Jazz Record
    *"The Royal Academy of Music's jazz programme has produced a remarkable crop of newcomers in recent times: notably the Mercury-nominated pianists Gwilym Simcock and Kit Downes. Now comes Sam Leak, an artist of comparable promise...Leak is a subtle storyteller who keeps the grooves and colours changing." John Fordham, The Guardian

Other credits:

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Associate of the Royal Academy of Music

Richard Osborne
Associate Professor of Music and Creative Industries

Richard is a music scholar and researcher. He has played in several bands, worked in music retail and music copyright, and published widely in the field of popular music studies. His academic qualifications span a BA in English Literature and History, an MA in Popular Culture and a PhD in Cultural Studies.

Richard’s research interests include the music industries and music technologies. His book Vinyl: A History of the Analogue Record was published by Ashgate in 2012. He co-edited Mute Records: Artists, Business, History, published by Bloomsbury in 2018. An edited collection, Music by Numbers: The Use and Abuse of Statistics in the Music Industries is in press; a monograph on sound recording copyright is forthcoming. He is engaged in a new research project examining creators’ earnings from streaming.

Richard is reviews editor of IASPM Journal, and his blog Pop Bothering Me looks at a wide range of popular music matters.

Dr Arthur Keegan-Bole
Pathway Leader, Performance/Composition

Dr Keegan-Bole is a composer who writes for instruments and voice, sometimes in combination with electronics. He studied at the University of Bristol and (as part of his PhD) undertook a residency at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York. His music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, performed across the UK and in the US and Canada, most notably at the New York Electroacoustic Music Festival 2017. He was a recipient of the 2020 Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists and is a London Symphony Orchestra Soundhub Associate Composer. His chamber opera ‘The Interrogation of Adam Pollo’ was premiered at Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival in 2012 and won a Director’s Choice Award from the Boston Metro Opera Company in 2014.

He is currently working on a large-scale project exploring settings of Thomas Hardy’s poetry across 100 years (1923 – 2023). This includes new music for string quartet, a song-cycle for guitar and voice and a suite of arrangements of previously unpublished 20th Century Hardy settings alongside canonic songs from this period. An album of this music is set for commercial release in 2024. He is also developing a dance piece based on Dorian Gray, a developmental suite was performed by the LSO in June 2022.

Visiting and part-time lecturers

You will benefit from the input of a wide range of part-time and visiting staff.


  • Dr Arthur Keegan-Bole teaches on modules in composition/songwriting, performance and music technology
  • Kate Ryder coaches performance, specialising in ensemble and contemporary music performance
  • Jonathan Rathbone directs the University Choir and also teaches harmony
  • Simon Limbrick teaches drums, percussion and steel pan
  • Mark Oldfield teaches classical and musical theatre singing, and directs our Singers’ Ensemble
  • Laura O’Gorman is our main classical piano teacher and staff accompanist
  • Alan Mills teaches stylistic composition

Teaching on this pathway is also contributed by:

Pop and Production

Mark Vallance is a part-time lecturer in Songwriting and Music Business Studies. Juggling his teaching with a busy career as a songwriter and music manager, he also has several hits to his name featuring artists including Tom Walker, Flynn and Zak Abel.


Part-time jazz lecturer Nikki Iles is an award-winning pianist and composer in the front rank of British jazz musicians. She has published with OUP, Faber Music and ABRSM and leads on harmony teaching as well as performance/improvisation.

  • 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.

  • Helen Rupp

    Music BA student

    One of the reasons I came at Middlesex University was because I wanted to collaborate with other people. Having a module where you can collaborate with theatre and dance students has been really important for me, and being around the other music courses has led to loads of collaborations. I don’t think I’d have done that if I went anywhere else, because here it’s all in one building. This year I got an amazing singer from the pop course to do a rock solo in the middle of my opera!

    There are topics that have come up that I wouldn’t have looked at before, that have really captured my attention. I got a placement with the English Touring Opera, before even thinking about writing opera or studying it, and now I might go into opera after I graduate. Before university I was just writing short piano pieces, and I would never have dreamed of writing something that could be called a string quartet or an opera. Now I’ve got two string quartets and an opera, and I’m writing a viola concerto for another student.

  • Oliver Pugh

    Music BA student

    A highlight of my time at Middlesex has to be performing as a soloist with the London Firebird Orchestra in the university’s Spring Concert. Being given the opportunity to work with a professional ensemble while still at university is something that many do not get the chance to do, and so for Middlesex to offer this really made a positive impact on my time here.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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