Course Overview

Our BA (Hons) Popular Music course will enable you to engage with learning the broad range of skills required for a successful career in music. The degree has several elements which are designed to prepare you for the range of work opportunities you will experience as a professional musician. You will study, play and write music in a range of styles, developing your versatility and adaptability in musical situations, and you will work both collaboratively and independently in various music projects. Students have the added benefit to accessing one hour per week of individual instrumental tuition for the full academic year.

Herefordshire has a wonderful tradition of music festivals and community music development as well as a burgeoning live music scene. Coupled with that are a number of recording studios with an industry reputation and a growing population of city-based musicians, composers, producers, music managers and agent: in short, it is thriving! The HCA music degree taps into this industry to provide an excellent vocationally-based music education taught by music industry experts who are still actively engaged in their own professional work.


Some of the areas you will study and develop include:
  • Live performance
  • Technology and production skills
  • Songwriting and Composition
  • Teaching music
  • Music business and event management
  • Popular music studies
  • Music theory and arranging

You will have the opportunity to work on placement with local community music organisations, recording studios, and music festivals. Or, perhaps choose to set up your own initiatives and use your entrepreneurial skills. Either way, you will be fully supported by a team of experienced and well-qualified staff genuinely passionate about sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience with you.


What you will experience
  • Strong team of in-house and visiting industry-based lecturers.
  • Individual instrumental tuition on your principal study instrument.
  • Annual HCA Music Week with outstanding performers.
  • Excellent rehearsal spaces, studio facilities and production suites.
  • Creative modules using current technologies.
  • Enables you to become a self-activating musician, initiating and developing your own employment opportunities.

Progression & Careers

A very solid basis for working as a self-employed musician, or for progression onto postgraduate programmes in a number of areas. Students will also be prepared for potential careers in performance, songwriting, production, music business, education, events management and marketing, music journalism and various other related areas.

Entry Requirements

  • Minimum age 18.
  • Successful audition interview.
  • 80 UCAS Points New UCAS Tariff system for 2017 (equates to 200 UCAS points previous tariff) For more details on the new tariff system please visit
  • Mature Students with related experience.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English - proof of IELTS score 6.0 or equivalent on enrolment.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning Opportunities - The college welcomes applications from students with prior learning and/or previous experience.  Further details on eligibility can be found on page 15 of our Admissions Policy.  Alternatively, please contact us at and we can advise you on the college’s and the University Awarding body requirements

Critical Studies

These studies are entirely focused around the students’ course area, providing a solid grounding in subject history and in critical ways of thinking about creative practice. The Critical Studies programme enables students to set their own work in a wider context, and also helps them develop a better understanding of how creative work can be interpreted and assessed. Click here for more details.