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Music Foundation Year

Foundation Year

School - School of Arts & Media

Subject area - Music

UCAS Code: Music: Musical Arts Foundation Year: W300; Music: Creative Music Technology: WH74; Music: Popular Music and Recording: W341

Start Date(s): September


Year one of a four-year degree


UK - £9,250

In Brief:

  • This course will equip you with the knowledge as well as the creative and technical skills needed to succeed on an music degree programme.
  • You'll have the opportunity to work and study within New Adelphi and benefit from cutting-edge technical equipment and studio spaces

Course Summary

The Foundation Year of the four-year programme aims to provide understanding of the key subjects in music to meet the prerequisites for study on the associated degree programmes (see Course Details). The key areas of study will be effective communication and study skills combined with fundamental subjects in music.

This course will provide you with a strong foundation in music, allowing you to progress onto one of our BA (Hons) Music degree courses in a cognate discipline.

It is ideal if you want to develop your career along a music pathway but have a non-musical background, or you don’t meet the entry requirements for direct entry to an Honours degree.

This course is also attractive if you are returning to education or if you wish to change career direction.

Course Details

During the Music Foundation Year, you will study modules which will help you to increase your knowledge and understanding of basic music and other aspects of musical thinking. Other modules will help to develop your study skills such as note taking and structuring essays and reports. 

This programme prepares students to study on the following three-year university undergraduate programmes, meaning the duration of your degree is four years in total. See full course details of these degrees, including modules studied, using the links below.

On successful completion of the Foundation Year, students will be able to progress to:

Foundation Year    

Semester 1    

This module develops both your individual and ensemble instrumental ability. You will receive weekly one-to-one instrumental tuition from an internationally recognized specialist tutor, focusing on technique and its application across a broad range of repertoire. You will also join one of the many Ensembles        within the Directorate, including Popular Music Choir, Big Band, Brass Band, Brass Ensembles, Wind Band and Classical Choir.      
This module aims to provide the theoretical foundations for all further areas of study. You will learn to recognise and confidently use fundamental theoretical terms in your work, notate all perfect, major, minor, augmented, diminished intervals, and identify and notate a range of basic chords and progressions.        The assessment requires you to compose idiomatic music incorporating all these elements. You will also develop your Aural and Transcription skills with focused ear training tuition      
This module will equip you with the necessary analytical skills, IT skills and research techniques to complete written academic assignments. You will analyse a broad range of musical styles within the Popular, Jazz and Classical idioms. It will provide you with the appropriate reference framework from        which to critically evaluate examples of these styles, as well as the use of harmonic and analytical terminology within the discussion of music.      

Semester 2    

This module consolidates and expands the instrumental skills developed in semester one, with a continuation of the weekly one-to-one instrumental tuition with your internationally recognized specialist tutor. For your assessed Ensemble activity you will have the option to form your own Popular Music        group, or join Big Band, Brass Band, Brass Ensembles, Wind Band or Classical Choir.      
Building upon the theoretical knowledge gained in Semester 1, this module introduces more advanced concepts and techniques including extended chord progressions, notation and recognition of diatonic melodic lines, moving bass lines, and complex rhythmic patterns, and SATB scoring. You will also receive        further ear training within the Aural and Transcription tuition.      
This module introduces software based solutions for recording and composition. You will learn to notate musical ideas appropriately with respect to instrumentation and genre and to identify appropriate software pathway to communicate musical ideas effectively. You will work with notation, sequencing        and recording interfaces and interrogate the relationship between them.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
English Language and Maths at grade C or above
UCAS tariff points 72 UCAS tariff points from A-levels (or equivalent) to include a Music qualification.
Access to HE Pass

Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

EEA applicants based in the UK may be able to take an English language test at the University. 

Please contact for more details.

All suitable applicants will be required to take an interview.

English Language Requirements

This course is not suitable for international applicants.

Applicant profile

This course is ideal if you want to change to an music area but have a non-musical background, or if you don't meet the entry requirements for direct entry to an Honours degree. The course is also attractive if you are a mature person returning to education or if you wish to change career direction.

General Entry Academic Requirements

The General Entry Academic Requirements are as per the University’s Admissions and Retention Policy detail for Foundation Certificate/level 3 of CertHE/DipHE/Bachelor’s Degree/Integrated Master’s programmes.

Applicants normally must have the equivalent of grade C or above, GCSE Mathematics and GCSE English. However Applicants who do not have the equivalent of grade C or above, GCSE Mathematics and GCSE English will be considered on a case by case basis.  Applicants who do not have the qualification are required to state in their application how they intend to obtain the required GCSEs by the end of their Foundation Year

Programme Specific Academic Requirements

Applicants must have the required number of UCAS points (to be advised by the School).

All applicants will be required to submit a portfolio of work and attend an interview as part of the application process.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250

Please view the relevant degree programme under the 'Course Details' tab to view the fees for the remainder years of your course.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

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