You will be taught by practicing professionals on a high achieving course well-known for producing graduates in the popular music industry today.
The New Adelphi building provides you with state-of-the-art practice rooms and recording studios with the latest industry-standard equipment.
The emphasis on specialist portfolio work allows you time to fully explore your creative ideas and passions.
Building on our long-standing reputation for Popular Music and Recording, our course is well-known for producing artists such as members of the British art rock band Everything Everything, singer-songwriter Kristyna Miles and James Cook (lead singer) and Rick Boardman (keyboards), members of 3-piece Indie Electronica band Delphic.
You will study popular music as a discipline from a broad range of perspectives, developing technical and creative skills while placing an emphasis on academic and theoretical aspects. Our masterclass series involves leading professionals from the popular music industry – whether performers, composers or producers - designed to assist you in your professional development and career management.
Salford’s proximity to Manchester city centre means you will be able to take full advantage of the region’s world-renowned music scene as both an active participant and enquiring spectator. Our students regularly contribute to programmes, theatre productions, concerts and gigs as music performers and composers, and the course provides ample opportunity for you to engage with like-minded creative artists.
In addition to the traditional three year degree route, you have the option of pursuing additional training and academic tuition by undertaking our four year Foundation course, which prepares you for study at an undergraduate level.
The University of Salford has an international reputation for innovation and excellence in popular music education. This pioneering course explores popular music from a broad range of perspectives, developing technical and creative skills while placing an emphasis on academic and theoretical aspects. It delivers a broad-based curriculum during the first year with excellent opportunities for specialisation throughout years two and three. Our vibrant masterclass series is designed to enhance your career planning, involving internationally renowned guest speakers and visiting artists from the creative industries.
You will engage with popular music as an academic discipline, developing a detailed understanding of key popular music concepts, techniques and processes, as well as perfecting your practical ability in performance, composition, arranging, and the creative use of music technology.
In your first year, you’ll focus on instrumental creativity and proficiency through ensemble and one-to-one lessons with leading performance specialists. In addition to examining the concepts of style and genre in English language popular music, you’ll develop fundamental creative skills in arranging, applied composition and music technology.
In year two you’re given the opportunity to specialise within the musical fields of your interests and skill set. In the final year, you consolidate your learning, deepening your individual creativity in a personal body of portfolio work. You’ll also apply your enterprising skills on a major project designed to enhance your professional practice.
In addition to the traditional three year degree route, you have the option of pursuing additional training and academic tuition by undertaking our four year Foundation option. While the Foundation Year is listed as an option below, it is by no means a pre-requisite to the BA (Hons) Music: Popular Music & Recording course.
You will choose three of the following options:
You will study one core module:
You will choose two of the following options:
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.
|GCSE||English and Maths GCSE grade C|
|UCAS tariff points||104 - 120 points
FY: 72 points
|GCE A level||104 - 120 points including B in music. Appropriate subjects to include music, General studies not accepted|
|BTEC National Diploma||DMM to include music
|Scottish Highers||104 - 120 points. 72 points for Music: Popular Music and Recording with a Foundation Year. To include Music.|
|Irish Leaving Certificate||120 points. 72 points for Music: Popular Music and Recording with a Foundation Year. To include Music.|
|International Baccalaureate||30-31 points, to include 5 (Higher Level) in Music. 24 points for Music: Popular Music and Recording with a Foundation Year.|
|Access to HE||Pass level 3 QAA approved Access Diploma. To include Music.|
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.
International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.
You should be able to read notation and have a good understanding of chords, scales, rhythms and harmony.
All applicants are required to undertake a Theory test for the course.
We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have formal entry qualifications are required to sit a written assessment which is designed for this purpose. Support in preparing for the written assessment is available from the University. Please contact Beth Hewitt the Director of Admissions for further information.
Examination and coursework.
On graduation many students go on to develop careers as freelance composers, performers and producers, as well as music educators (teachers, advisors, lecturers) and arts administrators. We have many students that go on to study at Masters and Doctoral level.
Salford’s music courses are renowned for producing graduates who excel in their chosen professions.
Our graduates have forged successful careers as signed recording artists, professional performers, studio producers/engineers, live sound engineers and freelance composers/arrangers.
Many have become events organisers, promoters and entrepreneurs while others have developed successful careers in music education as teachers, lecturers, researchers, senior administrators and educational advisors.
The following profiles demonstrate the diverse range of successful careers our music graduates have embarked upon:
Two members of the band Everything Everything (lead singer/song-writer Jonathan Higgs and Bassist Jeremy Pritchard) are popular music graduates from the University of Salford. The band has released three albums to date – 2010's Man Alive, 2013's Arc and 2015's Get To Heaven – and has been widely critically acclaimed. Everything Everything won the Times Breakthrough award in 2009, and the Music Producers Guild Award for UK single of the year for ‘Kemosabe’ in 2014. Their work was shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize and has been nominated for two Ivor Novello Awards.
Recording artist and singer-songwriter Kristyna Myles graduated from Salford in 2005 and has since featured on albums by Chris de Burgh and Rick Guard. She has supported Mick Hucknall on a UK tour, and performed her own songs on television programmes such as Songs of Praise and Play it Again. In 2009 Krystina was nominated for Best Gospel Act at the MOBO Awards as part of the gospel collective DTWG.
Andrea Leonelli studied popular music and then a Masters in Composition at Salford and started out in the music industry as Archivist for Island Records at Universal Music working on research projects for Island’s 50th Anniversary, the remastered editions of U2 albums and the Bob Marley documentary. He then moved to the digital distribution department at UMGI as Digital Release Coordinator working with UMTV, Island Records and UMG Ireland.
In 2011 Andrea joined music gaming startup Bopler as Content Operations Manager. He now works as senior editor at music news site Rockol.com. In recognition of his innovative podcast dedicated to the latest trends in Digital Music (interviewing start-up CEOs, technology experts and journalists) Andrea has spoken at a number of international conferences including MIDEM, SXSW, Berlin Music Week, Social Media Week (in London and Hamburg), Future Music Forum, Great Escape, Liverpool Sound City and Future Music Camp.
Popular music graduate, Caroline Redman Lusher, is the Founder and Director of Rock Choir TM which has received widespread praise for its community ethos and extensive membership. Caroline’s entrepreneurial success has resulted in numerous television appearances on ITVs’ documentary The Choir That Rocks and BBC’s Breakfast, and she has been widely praised for her inclusive teaching methods.
Caroline has gained four gold and platinum certified sales awards from the British Phonographic Industry. In 2012 she received the prestigious Gold Badge Award for her "special contribution to Britain's music industry" from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) in association with the Performing Right Society (PRS). She has performed as a solo artist on the Together album by vocal group Blake and several albums by The Soldiers, including Coming Home, which reached double platinum status
We have direct links with professional institutions such as the BBC Philharmonic and HOME, and good working relationships with many music venues and festivals in the local area. The valuable knowledge and experience visiting speakers bring ensures you are kept informed of current changes and demands within the creative industries.
|Type of Study||Fee|
|Full-time||£9250 per year|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to Home/EU and International students.
Further information is available at:
The Music Directorate houses 6 fully equipped professional recording studios, plus a 7.1 surround mixing studio and a voice acting studio. We have created a creative and educational environment that aims to mirror contemporary professional studio practise. Our general philosophy is to facilitate the use of both analogue and digital recording platforms, software and hardware signal processing. All studios centre around a large format mixing desk which can feed computer and hard disk recording systems as well as 24 track analogue tape machines. All studios make use of professional quality outboard equipment and software plugins as well as comprehensive patch bays, giving students the opportunity to fully explore traditional signal routing, a skill vital to ones progression into professional practice.
Recording Studio equipment
Audient ASP 8024: Heritage Edition (24/36 Microphone Preamplifiers with 48/72 mixdown channels)
Avid S3 – control surface software controller
ATC SCM-150A Pro
Genelec 8030/8040 speakers for multi-channel/surround
Pro Tools HDX
RME M-32 - 32 channels of A/D – D/A conversion
RME MADIface USB – 64 channel MADI to USB laptop interface
Studer A820 – 24 track 2” reel-to-reel tape machine
Tascam MSR24 – 24 track 1” reel-to-reel tape machine
Tascam DA3000 – 2 channel digital recorder
Focusrite Rednet DANTE interfaces for sending digital audio to/from many other spaces in the building including the TV Studios and Theatre spaces.
Software & Plugins:
Pro Tools HDX, Logic X, Ableton Live, MAX MSP, Sibelius, Native Instruments Komplete, Sound Toys, Waves, Fab Filter, GRM Tools, Adobe CC Suite amongst others.
Neve 4081 – 8-channel microphone pre-amp
API 3124+ - 4-channel microphone/instrument pre-amp
Warm Audio Tonebeast TB12 – Microphone/instrument pre-amp
MOTU 828 – 2-channel microphone/instrument pre-amp, 8 line inputs
2x Empirical Labs Distressor EL8 – Compressor
2x DBX 1066 – 2-channel compressor
2x Warm Audio WA76 – 1176 style compressor
2x Warm Audio EQP WA – Pultec style valve EQ
Briscati M7 – Stereo Reverb
MOTU MIDI Express XT – 8-channel MIDI interface
Plus other equipment from SPL, Klark Teknik, Lexicon, TC Electronics, TL Audio, Drawmer and Alesis amongst many others.
Large professionally treated live rooms, with separation booths available in some studios. All studios feature wall mounted movable panels and large wheeled baffles to allow adjustment/control of room acoustics.
Studio 6 utilises the 100m/sq Band Room with double height ceilings for large ensemble recording.
Behringer P16-M Headphone Mixers – 16-channel modular digital headphone distribution system.
Amplification:Fender ’65 Twin Reverb
Orange Rockerverb Twin Channel Head and PPC212 Cabinet
Vox AC30 HW2X
Ampeg SVT-7 Pro Bass Amp and SVT-410 Cabinet
Markbass CMD 151P Bass Amp
Plus other amplifiers from Marshall, Laney, Peavey, Yamaha and Fender.
Microphones and Other Equipment
In addition to the equipment permanently installed in the recording studios, there are a variety of synthesizers, drum machines, instruments and effects units stored in the studios' facilities office that can be booked out for use in sessions. This office also houses our extensive microphone collection. We stock microphones from manufacturers such as Neumann, Brauner, Schoeps, Coles, AKG, Beyer Dynamic, Electrovoice and many more. Access to microphones is streamed as students begin to specialise in music technology.
All studios feature Yamaha grand or upright pianos, Fender guitars and basses, Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos and professional drum kits by DW, Gretsch, Ludwig and Yamaha.
Synthesizers & Drum Machines:
Dave Smith Instruments - Prophet 6
Dave Smith Instruments - Prophet 08
Moog - Sub 37
Roland - Juno 106
Access - Virus C
Korg - MS20
Korg - MS2000BR
Doepfer - A-100 Modular System
Arturia - Micro Brute
Elektron - Machinedrum SPS-1
Roland - TR8
Vermona - DRM1
Our suite of 24 iMacs is equipped with sequencing, scoring, editing, synthesis, signal processing and post-production software. The software in the computer suite is, on the whole, the same as that found in the recording studios, so that work can easily be transferred from one facility to another. Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton, Max MSP, Native Instruments Komplete and Sibelius, amongst many others, are standard across all the machines.
There are a variety of facilities available for location recording assignments, ranging from simple stereo microphone and SD/compact flash card recorder kits to 32 track professional recording systems. We stock location microphone kits that can also be borrowed for recording both large acoustic ensembles and venue based band performances.
Monday - Sunday: 9.00am – Midnight
The recording facilities always have at least one technical demonstrator on hand to deal with technical issues and provide students with advice.
Performance Rehearsal Facilities
The Music Directorate houses 27 bookable music practice rooms, all with “room in room” construction for maximum acoustic isolation. Opening hours are long – until 10.30 at night and open at the weekends. There are 11 ensemble rooms for amplified band rehearsals, each containing a vocal PA system, stage piano, drum kit and back-line amplifiers for guitars, bass and keyboards / electronics. Equipment includes: PA from QSC, Mackie and RCF. Drum Kits from DW, Yamaha and Mapex. Keyboards from Roland, Nord, Sequential and Waldorf. Bass amps from Ampeg, Mark Bass, Aguilar and Phil Jones. Guitar amps from Fender, Orange, AER, Vox and Mesa. There are 14 Music Tuition rooms with pianos, guitar amps and Bluetooth stereo playback, plus a specialist drum kit teaching room with Drum Workshop kits. All of the equipment is maintained by our team of music rehearsal technicians, who can also help students set up and maintain their instruments and equipment. Music students can also book out everything they need to put on their own gigs on campus or in the city: Vocal PA, drum kit, keys, backline etc.
We also encourage students to use their own equipment for rehearsals, so we have storage areas where students can leave their equipment (instruments, amps, cabs, keyboards, drums etc.) to avoid having to constantly carry it between lectures, seminars and their accommodation.
'The Band Room' is a large hall space with variable acoustics, suitable for rehearsing large acoustic ensembles like our Big Band, Brass Bands and Wind Band. It is also used for performance master classes, small concerts, sound reinforcement classes and as the huge live room for Studio 6 which overlooks it.
J931, W341 (with foundation year)
Start Dates: September
Three years full-time
Four years full-time with Foundation Year