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b3 years full-time
££9,000 p.a.
Fees per anum UK
DUniversity of Wales Trinity Saint David
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Follow in the tradition of some of the UK’s greatest musicians and start your creative music career at an art school. We nurture students to develop their own voice and practice and then connect them to the ever expanding opportunities in the world.


Hear from current student Georgia Sherman

It’s a well-known secret that some of the greatest musicians studied music at arts school. Some of our best-known original thinkers and innovators have developed their musical creativity in an inspiring environment that allowed them to think differently.

At HCA we support you to do the same. We’ll support you to be musically curious, to break down barriers and amaze yourself with your own daring. In a collaborative environment of like-minded individuals, in a community that allows you to develop at your own pace due to small group tuition. We give you the opportunity to discover your authentic voice while studying a wealth of musical styles. Music at HCA will equip you with the skills and experience to allow you to enter the industry on a professional level: as a performer, songwriter, event producer, soundtrack designer, to name a few.

Your Creative Career

  • Artist/Songwriter
  • Musician
  • Music Producer
  • Music Therapist
  • Private Music Teacher
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Sound Designer
  • Sound Engineer
  • Sound Technician
  • Broadcasting/Film/Video
  • Special Effects Technician
  • Events Management

Students can also progress to further postgraduate studies.

More about the course

This Key Information document gives you a summary of the core characteristics of the BA (Hons) Popular Music degree at HCA.

Popular music at HCA is a vocational course designed for performers, songwriters and producers who wish to graduate with all the creative skills, knowledge and experience needed to have a successful career in the music industry. From mainstream to underground, this degree embraces music in its many forms – from rock, pop, folk, urban, jazz and to the experimental. Study on an industry-focused program in an inspiring art school environment.

This dynamic, innovative, industry-facing course is designed for students whose ambition is to work in the music industry. The course will prepare you to be a versatile, resilient portfolio musician with a host of transferable skills. You will learn through being involved in stimulating live briefs relevant to current 21st century music industry practices.  With an emphasis on the production of original work, you will learn how to collaborate with your fellow students in performance, songwriting and production, whilst acquiring a detailed knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the contemporary music business.

Our recording studio runs the latest Apple Mac Pro and Logic Pro Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). All machines feature Logic Pro as well as a multitude of software necessary for a career in the creative music technologies, while our team of technical demonstrators will assist you in the production of professional quality music and sound, web design, video editing and with a range of software for use with digital and printed media.

We support innovative and curious students who are willing to engage with ideas that will enhance their own creative vision and critical thinking. The course welcomes diversity, collaboration and experimentation.

  • You will be taught by a strong team of industry focused lecturers combined with regular masterclasses from professionals that are designed to educate, stimulate, and motivate.
  • Access to rehearsal rooms, acoustically designed and fully equipped. Whether it be high-end digital or retro analogue, you will be able to produce and create a diverse range of professional sound recordings.
  • Develop an expertise in a business relevant to your musical interest and discover opportunities for industry based internships and graduate placements.
  • Small class sizes provide highly personalised levels of supervision and support. This will enable you to develop your own specialist practice you need for working within this dynamic sector.
  • Opportunities to collaborate with other creatives in a dynamic arts school environment.

Herefordshire has a vibrant community of musicians, producers, recording studios, venues, music festivals and community music outlets that contribute to an exciting live scene. The course will enable you to connect with the rich music ecology within the city and the wider region.

  • Minimum age 18.
  • Successful audition and interview.
  • Academic achievement – we would normally expect applicants to have achieved 80 UCAS Tariff Points at entry but, whilst qualifications are important, our offers are not solely based on academic results. We may make offers based on other evidence of talent and suitability for the course.
  • 80 UCAS Points on the New UCAS Tariff system for 2017 equates to 200 UCAS points on the previous points system – for more details please see tariff explanation and advice on the UCAS website.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English – proof of IELTS overall score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all sections (reading, writing, listening & speaking) is required.
  • Applications from mature students with relevant experience will also be considered.
  • 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 offer further advice on HCA and the UWTSD awarding body requirements.

Find out more about our new, purpose-built student accommodation in the heart of the City. The accommodation is located next to Hereford Railway Station and is mid-way between the two teaching campuses (College Road & Folly Lane)

HCA is an independent arts school surrounded by people who are passionate about the arts, media and performance. Find out more about why you should choose HCA.

For more details about the course, click here

Alex Dennison

There’s a real flexibility in this course: you can balance being a practical musician with studying music theory and recording techniques and we also get private tuition on our instrument which is brilliant. It’s also great that the tutors are so well connected, they often bring in guest musicians.

Alex Dennison

Explore our videos


Introduction to the Popular Music degree at HCA


Why Choose HCA