Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Music: Performance

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




Three year

Next enrolment

September 2022


In a nutshell

Brass band, Wind band, Choir, Contemporary music, Big band or Function group. If you’re an instrumental or vocal musician looking for more traditional music education, then the Music: Performance degree is the right choice for you.

Developed out of Salford’s pioneering Band Musicianship programme, this course will give you the opportunity to study traditional music practices from a broad range of perspectives, developing technical and creative skills alongside academic study. Focused on providing the hands-on experience needed for a professional career in music, you’ll also perform regularly in the department’s acclaimed ensembles, contributing to a varied and extensive annual concert series.

What’s more, this classically orientated music degree is renowned for producing highly successful graduates in the fields of composition, conducting and performance, with alumni including Nigel Clarke, Joe Duddell, Paul Lovatt-Cooper, Ben Richeton and Glyn Williams.

You will:
  1. Learn from leading musicians as part of a course that is well-known for producing highly successful musicians who are active within industry
  2. Study in state-of-the-art rehearsal, recording and performance facilities
  3. Explore creative ideas in the context of cross-genre collaboration
  4. Develop key skill sets needed to graduate as a Bachelor of Music: Performance, ready to take the first step in your professional career


Want to find out more about studying our BA (Hons) Music: Performance course? You can sign-up to an Open Day or attend a campus tour. You can also follow our Music at Salford Instagram account #MusicatSalford

Our supportive course enquiries team can help you with any general questions you may have. You can also explore all of our Music courses.

In addition to the traditional three-year degree route, additional training and academic tuition is available to those who do not quite meet the entry requirements by undertaking our four-year foundation option.


students accepted

This is for you if...


You want to learn from practising musicians and develop your performance skills in industry-standard facilities.


You want to study the academic and theoretical aspects of classical musicianship.


You want to graduate from a degree programme that is renowned for producing graduates who excel in their chosen professions.

Course details

All about the course

This Music: Performance degree delivers a broad-based curriculum during the first year, with opportunities for specialisation and professional development throughout years two and three. Our informative Masterclass series is designed to enhance your career planning, involving internationally renowned guest speakers and visiting artists from the creative industries. 

In your first year, you’ll focus on instrumental proficiency and creativity through ensemble participation and one-to-one lessons with leading specialists. In addition to examining significant historical and cultural eras of music, you’ll develop fundamental creative skills in arranging, applied composition and music technology. 

In year two you are given the opportunity to specialise within the musical fields of your interest and skill set. In the final year, you consolidate your learning, deepening your individual creativity in a personal body of portfolio work. 

Gain a deeper understanding of what you'll explore within each module below.

Year one

Musicianship Skills

Students will engage with a range of different activities and taught sessions, designed to develop a broad range of performance skills. There will be a focus on Ensemble rehearsal and Individual preparation and performance. Contact time will be divided into the following areas of focus:

• Individual instrumental tuition

• Directed rehearsals in Ensembles

• Associated Musicianship Skills – Conducting

• Participation in performance workshops, masterclasses and concerts

Music and Society: Antiquity to Enlightenment

This module engenders a sense of history and an awareness of significant cultural epochs and the music associated with them. It relates performance styles, compositional techniques and musicological discourse to particular historical periods.

Fundamentals of Composition, Arranging and Technology

The core aim of this module is to provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary for composing and arranging music in a variety of styles. You will gain a working knowledge of the key aspects of instrumental voicing, score layout, formal design and the manipulation of texture. The module also provides an introduction to location recording techniques, appropriate sequencing software, musical acoustics and their relationship to music technology.

Performance Studies

Continuing on from Musicianship Skills in Semester one, this module consists of Individual Performance (weekly one-to-one instrumental tuition), Ensemble Musicianship, and an Associated Study (Conducting). Within the Ensemble component, you will have the opportunity to join Big Band, Brass Band, Wind Band, Choir or Function Group.

Music and Society: The Modern Era

This module explores the continual interaction between “art” music and “popular” music, demonstrating the relationship between musical techniques/practices, ideology and historical contingency. You will be introduced to a broad range of repertoire and explore the historical development of competing canons in relation to social class, available technologies and prestige.

Applied Composition and Technology

This module will provide you with a strong understanding of advanced diatonic harmony, melodic writing, and technical skills concerned with rhythm as applied to the broad field of composition. You will explore the creative uses of a range of microphones in relation to musical instruments and acoustic environments and be introduced to techniques of sound synthesis using a range of hardware and software-based synthesisers.

Year two

Music and Context: German Romanticism

This module places developments in musical form and musical language within the context of complex technological and sociological changes. You will explore the links between contextual, sociological, historical, biographical and analytic approaches by studying music of 19th century German speaking culture.

You can choose the optional modules

Advanced Musicianship Skills

This module consolidates and expands your performance development within the three assessed areas of Individual Performance (weekly one-to-one Instrumental lessons with your specialist tutor, based on an advanced syllabus), Ensemble Musicianship, and an Associated Study (Conducting). The Ensemble component allows you to join Big Band, Brass Band, Wind Band, Choir or Function Group.

Compositional Practice

During this module, you will examine theoretical issues and practical skills concerned with the manipulation and control of modal harmony and melody within composition. This will introduce you to the principles of contrapuntal composition as well as provide you with the opportunity to explore and experiment with harmonic and melodic processes.

Studio Composition

Studio Composition allows you to compose directly with studio-based technology, moving away from the need to represent compositional material through a traditional score. The technology investigated will have a direct influence on compositional output, and although human performances on traditional instruments can be integrated into the composition, there is an expectation that much of the work will be constructed within a Digital Audio Workstation. The module investigates synthesis deeply and requires students to demonstrate creative use of both hardware and software. The technology is investigated covering a broad range of defined genres, with the intention that students begin to develop a distinct individual compositional voice. 

Audio for Media

This module will encourage you to use your unique skillset as a musician to create soundtracks for film and audio drama productions. You will be introduced to sound design, foley, scoring for film and recording dialogue and sound effects in the studio environment. You will also apply and develop digital audio editing, synchronisation and mixing techniques to refine your final stereo soundtrack. 

Studio Recording and Production

This module is designed to give you a solid foundation in studio engineering and production practice. Particular attention will be given to microphone technique, signal flow and an investigation of strategies by which the needs of both engineer and performer(s) can be reconciled in the studio environment. Students will gain an understanding of historical developments in the field, exploring many musical genres. As aspiring producers, students will be guided through the process of developing a clear production aesthetic from the outset of a recording project. 

Music Journalism

This module provides an overview of journalistic methodologies as applied to the fields of music and the music industry. You will examine and construct a variety of forms of journalistic output as related to music as well as develop a critical understanding of the interrelationship between market, industry and culture.

Professional Development in the Creative Industries

Focusing on current economic structures and potential development, this module provides an in-depth examination of the UK creative economy. You will explore concepts of copyright, authorship and ownership and gain an understanding of the processes involved in successful personal development planning.

Creative Compositions and Arranging

This module encourages more specialised forms of composition and arrangement through the introduction of theoretical and analytical issues concerned with the articulation of form and structure, and an advanced study of harmony. It also explores the ways in which the colouristic, formal, harmonic, textural and rhythmic aspects of a given work may be reconsidered within the context of the creative arrangement.

Advanced Musicology

In this module students acquire and practice skills to develop an independent research project, applying contemporary theoretical approaches to a musical moment of their choice.

Advanced Performance Studies

This module prepares students for Elective Performance study at third year level. The Individual Performance aspect (weekly one-to-one tuition) requires students to undertake a formal exam based on their instrumental syllabus (pieces, scales and sight-reading). The ensemble aspect provides the opportunity to continue developing skills in Conducting as well as joining the Big Band, Brass Band, Wind Band, Choir or Function Group.

Advanced Studio Composition

This module is designed to build upon the techniques explored in the level 5 module Studio Composition (sequencing, synthesis and sampling / editing) and introduce students to composing for and within a 5.1 / 7.1 surround environment. There will be an exploration of electroacoustic compositional techniques around the themes of spectromorphology, abstract and abstracted synthesis, landscape and narrative and a historical analysis of how this practice relates to popular electronic music compositional practice. The module explores the concept of compositional interface, encouraging students to become deeply aware of how the technology they engage with shapes their compositional output.


Advanced Studio and Location Recording

This module is designed to develop existing skills in the studio environment (building on the L5 module Studio Recording and Production), working towards the completion of ambitious multitrack projects of a releasable quality. The module includes an investigation of mastering processes and places emphasis on the engineer / producer nurturing the best possible performances from the musicians involved. The module will also introduce the practice of recording live public performances, covering a wide range or acoustic and amplified ensembles, on location.


You will develop an understanding of the scope, methods and aims of Ethnomusicology with reference to the historical development of the subject, the analysis of music in culture and music as culture with special reference to enculturation and acculturation, the stature of the musician in society and cultural identity. You will develop performance skills and an understanding of a musical tradition from outside your own practical musical experience.

Year three

Project Scope (Musical Arts)

This module enables you to undertake a comprehensive project encompassing two areas of specialist study (choose from: Performance, Composition, Studio Recording & Production, Studio Composition, Audio for Media, Arranging, Dissertation, Collection of Writings, Collaborative Practice). It assists the realisation of creative work (practical and/or written), encourages the development of a personal style within the chosen fields of study, and hones your artistic and academic skills base.

Professional Practice (Musical Arts)

By broadening your work experience in areas requiring a leadership and/or team role, this module gives you the opportunity to further develop your own professional practices. You will gain experience in one of the following areas of professional practice: music events management, sound reinforcement, business enterprise, and community music in its broadest sense.

Negotiated Major Project (Musical Arts)

This module enables you to undertake a comprehensive project encompassing two areas of specialist study (choose from: Performance, Composition, Studio Recording & Production, Studio Composition, Audio for Media, Arranging, Dissertation, Collection of Writings, Collaborative Practice). It assists the realisation of creative work (practical and/or written), encourages the development of a personal style within the chosen fields of study, and hones your artistic and academic skills base.

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.

What Will I be Doing?


As part of your Music:Performance degree, you’ll be provided with a timetable that’ll include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests. Your classes will be based at our New Adelphi building.

Lectures are enhanced with audio/visual material. A lecture on a topic is usually followed up by a relevant seminar.

You’ll be encouraged to prepare materials in preparation for seminars, where you’ll contribute to discussions.

Masterclasses are given by visiting speakers and performers from relevant areas of the music industry.

Supervision will take place on both an individual and group basis.

Individual instrumental tuition is in place to develop your performance technique and musical vocabulary.

Ensemble tuition is designed to develop your performance technique and musical vocabulary in an ensemble setting.

Workshops will explore concepts and develop research techniques within a workshop environment, mixing class-based discussion and activities with library and archive work, providing you with the opportunity to develop creative ideas and to interact with leading scholars in the field.

Our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), ‘Blackboard’, supports every module within the course.


Assessments are an important part of your academic journey, giving you the chance to put the skills and knowledge you’ve learned into practice.

For this music university course, your assessments will include coursework assignments. These could be compositions; arrangements; recordings; media presentations; notated scores; essays; dissertations; projects; oral presentations; critical evaluations; and analyses. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

You’ll also be assessed through examinations and be supported throughout your academic journey by music professionals that’ll help you to develop new skills and give you greater confidence.


All our Music courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.

Each year - through the Create Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.

Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.


Our university music courses are based at our £55 million New Adelphi building, the home of Music on campus.  

Our full range of music facilities include:

Recording Studios - our six studios, all of which are large enough to accommodate both bands and chamber classical / brass ensembles. They also contain everything from analogue recording hardware and tape machines, extensive microphone collections, a large selection of drum machines and effect processing possibilities, and a diverse array of software platforms.

Voice Acting Studio our recording environment for radio drama or video game production. It is possible to achieve a range of capture, from foley recordings in the acoustically flexible ‘live’ room to extremely dry spoken word in the ‘dead’ room.

Computer Suite – passionate about learning music software from experienced technical demonstrators? Our twenty-six workstations (iMac; audio interface; controller keyboard; headphones) are equipped with licences for all of the software we teach. The current software provision comprises of Logic X; Pro Tools; Ableton; Max MSP; Sibelius; Soundtoys; GRM Tools and a huge selection of Universal Audio and Waves plug-ins. This software is also available across all studio spaces.

7.1 Mix - a teaching space designed for mixing in 7.1 and 5.1 surround. The space is used extensively in the teaching of our Advanced Studio Composition and Advanced Audio for Media modules.

Studio 9 – Composition Lab - this studio facility is equipped with an impressive range of hardware including many synthesizers such as DSI OB6, Korg MS20, Roland Juno 106, Moog Sub Phatty, Korg Volca FM, Vermona DRM Mk3 accessed through a full MIDI interface / patchbay. The space is acoustically treated and equipped for 5.1 mixdown. 

Rehearsal Facilities - our New Adelphi Building houses twenty-six rehearsal spaces designed to facilitate popular and classical ensemble rehearsals, individual practice, one-to-one instrumental tuition and ensemble teaching. The rooms are well specified with a wide range of carefully chosen and well-maintained equipment including drumkits from DW, Sonar, and Yamaha; Keyboards from Nord and Roland, guitar amplification from Mesa Boogie, Vox, Fender, Orange and Marshall and Bass amplification from Ampeg, Mark Bass and Aguillar.

One-to-one Tuition – we have individual spaces that have well-maintained Yamaha acoustic pianos, a selection of classic keyboards and Bluetooth amplification for playback. All performance spaces have natural light and have been acoustically treated (absorbent and reflective) to suit discipline.

Explore our Music facilities at the University of Salford


Our performance assessments, public concerts and masterclasses take place across a number of spaces on and off campus. We operate a high-quality modular PA system which is employed across:

Peel Hall - a three-hundred seat concert hall with excellent acoustics. The hall is used extensively by our large ensembles.

New Adelphi Theatre - the 350-seat theatre features flexible seating configurations to suit a range of events and performances. It is equipped with a range of intelligent and generic lighting, a highly adaptable EM Acoustics PA system, and a high-powered Christie projector.

Atmosphere - our student union bar and venue host a number of staff and student led performances throughout the year.

Explore our Music facilities at the University of Salford


Looking to learn more about the background of our Music tutors and technical demonstrators or put a face to a name?

Find out who'll work with you throughout your academic journey at the University of Salford.

Explore the Music faculty at the University of Salford

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


So, what are the options for a Bachelor of Music: Performance? This degree programme is among our most successful for producing musicians who excel in their chosen professions. Our recent graduates have established successful careers as professional performers, composers and arrangers. They’ve also pursued roles in related fields, such as organisers, researchers, promoters, administration, and music teachers.

Want to develop your musical skill even further? This course is also designed to equip you with the tools you need to manage the academic and technical demands of postgraduate study.


Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through our Postgraduate programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.

A taste of what you could become

A professional musician

A teacher

A composer

An arranger

A sound engineer

And more...

Career Links

Our music university degree programmes have direct links with professional institutions such as:

  • The Greater Manchester Music Hub
  • National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain
  • ‘Sounds from the Other City’ festival.

We also have good working relationships with many venues in the local area, including Band on the Wall.


What you need to know


To gain a place on this Music: Performance degree programme, you’ll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements when you apply.

Within your personal statement (up to 4000 characters), we’ll want to understand:

  • what motivates you and what current experiences do you have in music?
  • how have you been involved and what did you do?
  • what musicians and organisations inspire you?
  • why do you want to work in the music sector?
  • and why the University of Salford and this Musical Performance degree programme is the right choice for your future goals.

Once we have received your application, you will be invited to an interview and audition on campus. Although this is not a compulsory requirement, ideally you should be of grade 6 / 7 ABRSM standard with solid theoretical knowledge. Composition and arranging portfolios can be used in support of your application if you are looking to pursue a study beyond performance. Once you’ve made your application to study with us, we’ll contact you and let you know the next steps.


Want to find out more about our Music degrees? Sign-up for an Open Day or attend a campus tour. You can also follow our Music at Salford Instagram account #MusicatSalford

Our supportive course enquiries team can help you with any general questions you may have. You can also explore all of our Music courses.

Standard entry requirements


English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) is required. Maths at grade C/level 4 or above is preferred but not essential.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

GCE A level

104-120 points, applications can be considered without a Music A-Level

UCAS tariff points

104-120 points

BTEC National Diploma


Scottish Highers

104-120 points, applications can be considered without a Music qualification


Irish Leaving Certificate

104-120 points, applications can be considered without a Music qualification


English Language requirements - for International Students

For International students

If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5. We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course. Or if you have finished high school in your country but don’t have the qualifications to gain entry to this course, you can take our International Foundation Year as a pathway to this degree

International Baccalaureate

30-31 points, applications can be considered without a Music qualification


European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60%

Access to HE

Pass level 3 QAA approved Access Diploma with 104 – 120, applications can be considered without a Music qualification

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

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.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2021/22 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15,600per year
Full-time home 2022/23 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2022/23 £15900per year
Additional costs

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

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2022

UCAS information

Course ID W302

Institution S03