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Music Performance BA (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): P322
  • Start Date(s): September
  • Duration: Three years, full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: Confetti Nottingham
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


This course is for active and passionate musicians and is designed to cultivate your continuing pursuit of excellence in your musical expression. It is a programme designed as a means of developing all areas of your craft and relating them directly to the industry in which you will find yourself.

The focus is on study of skills, professional practice and techniques in writing, performing and recording the best of your output. Whilst developing these skills you will be provided with an active and current engagement with the industry via Confetti’s internal and external working network.

Sessions will take place within our exciting and stimulating rehearsal and recording spaces in the state of the art contemporary music hub - Metronome - where you will engage with other musicians, live technicians and audio engineers and producers with similar or complementary expertise on this and other courses.

This course is taught at Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies in Nottingham.

Key features

  • This course is designed to meet the demands of industry.
  • Course activities are both independently led and collaborative, directly mimicking working practices in the industry.
  • Core areas of study include; stage craft, music theory, composition and arrangement techniques, audio and MIDI sequencing, studio sound recording, editing, composing and performing with technology, musicology and event management.
  • Have access to Confetti’s annual Industry Week - previous guests include Professor Green and Casetteboy.
  • Undertake an industry-focused module in each year of the course.
  • Benefit from bespoke guest lectures and workshops delivered by visiting industry professionals.

What you’ll study

Our recording and mastering facilities will be a vital part of your craft in which you will be tutored in recording and mixing techniques as well as developing your critical ear.

A key feature of the course is an individualised approach to your studies, allowing you to develop technical mastery of your first instrument whilst also broadening your understanding of other subject areas and ways of thinking about music, performance and composition.

Composition and Arrangement (40 credit points)

This module aims to develop your understanding of composition and arrangement through the study of the theoretical and practical aspects of music. You will be given grounding in music theory, arranging techniques and composition, while developing hands-on skills in music production software. The latter will provide you with additional options or may form the backbone for the work you do within the areas of composing and arranging.

During this module you will study different approaches to composing. You will work both individually and collaboratively on projects that show a developing understanding of music genre and create a body of work that demonstrates your developing practice as a composer, arranger and producer.

Performance Techniques (40 credit points)

This module aims to develop your performance techniques, focusing on several key areas. You will develop technical competence in playing an instrument, through studying contemporary performance techniques, developing skills in sight reading, listening skills and improvisation. You will develop your skills as a performer in solo and group contexts, considering the communicative nature of musical performance, your relationship with the audience and exploring the performance environment.

The module also deals with the various technical demands of the performing musician, including instrument maintenance and the ‘tool kit’ required by a performing musician. You will carry out research to inform your developing practical skills, giving you an appreciation of contemporary theories and techniques.

Recording Studio Practice (20 credit points)

The role of the modern musician requires an understanding of the technological aspects of recording and producing music. Advancements in technology mean that more and more musicians are recording their own music and ‘self-producing’. In addition to this, the ability of musicians to effectively communicate thoughts and ideas about their work with sound engineers and producers can be an invaluable asset. Consequently, this module aims to develop your understanding of sound recording practices to aid you in your future career as a professional musician.

A large emphasis of the module is on practical recording techniques. You will also study the historical development of recording technology and its impact on musical styles, as well as the wider influence on society and culture.

The Music Industry (20 credit points)

This module aims to equip you with knowledge and understanding of how changes in the industry impact on consumer trends and working practices. In addition, the module focuses heavily on your development as an emerging professional.

Consequently, there is a strong emphasis on you completing work for client(s) as part of your study in the module. You will be required to carry out independent study into current industry trends, examining and evaluating how changes in technology have affected the creation and consumption of music and audio content.

You will also be introduced to the pressures of working for clients through the completion of a live client brief. The aim is for you to acquire practical experience of the skills and attributes needed for work and employment in industry.

Music, Technology & Performance (60 credit points)

This module aims to further develop your performance techniques, enhancing your technical skills whilst broadening your contextual understanding of musical performance. You will continue to develop a technical mastery in your first instrument through timetabled and self-directed rehearsal and performance schedules. Throughout this module you will demonstrate your ability to perform individually and collaboratively, continuing to develop and working on your technique in both settings in order to develop your stage craft and hone your skills as a performer.

As well as a focus on traditional musicianship and solo / ensemble performance, you will also be exploring the integration of different technologies in performance. You will research the historical and contemporary use of technology in performance, and use this research to inform the integration of technology into your own work. You will investigate pioneering individuals in the integration of technology in performance, and acquire the technical know-how required to implement these technologies.

Composing Music for Visual Media (20 credit points)

This module follows on from your first year studies in composition and arrangement, this time focusing on composition for visual media. This subject area brings with it distinct challenges for a music composer. A composer for visual media must be able to work collaboratively, taking direction from others in the development of their work. It is also important to understand the emotive impact music can have and how to write music that enhances the viewing experience. Therefore, you will explore the application of compositional tools for specific themes such as horror, romance, drama, sadness, suspense and comedy.

There is a strong emphasis on critical thinking and reflection in this module through the study of a wide range of commercial compositional work, together with an analysis of your own work in this context.

Contextual Studies in Music (20 credit points)

Music plays an integral part of everyday life across a diverse range of cultures and societies. In many ways, music provides the touchstones of human experience. Music can transcend language and cultural barriers. It can have an effect on individual and social identity, politics, fashion and technology. This module encourages you to examine the historical significance of music and its impact on global cultures and societies. You will also study the fundamental aspects of the psychology of music and its effect on the human brain in terms of emotive response to music and sound.

There is a strong emphasis on research throughout this module and you will be required to spend time carrying out independent research activities to widen your understanding of the subject area. There will also be practical aspects of the module with guest workshops and lectures from industry professionals.

Industry Practice (20 credit points)

During this module you will undertake appropriate self-directed projects, working collaboratively on creative work, allowing you to directly apply the knowledge and skills learnt throughout the programme in the context of the workplace. This module aims to develop your overall professionalism and provide you with the knowledge and resources to begin a career in the creative industries. The nature of creative industries is increasingly defined by freelance and self-employed models of work. Consequently, individuals seeking work in industry need to appreciate the pressures of working on multiple projects to strict deadlines and the subsequent demands this place on time and resources.

Similarly, an understanding of professional practice and the legal and economic imperatives in industry is important, as is effective communication, self-efficacy and autonomy.

This module aims to develop these skills and knowledge by challenging you to develop a range of self-directed projects.

Marketing & Branding for Music Industry Professionals (20 Credit Points)

This module aims to further develop your knowledge of branding and marketing within the music industry. You will also be exploring your own brand identity by demonstrating the skills to critically analyse pre-conceived concepts and components that constitute your own brand.

Additionally, the module focusses on the knowledge, understanding and skills required to create and contribute to the realisation of a Development Plan for your own brand over a specified time period. This will then culminate in a final presentation which fully showcases the work of the brand during the period of development.

Consequently, there is a strong emphasis on you completing substantial personal or ensemble activity in areas such as design and presentation of principal artefacts; live performance to audiences; demonstrations/presentations; creation of multi-media material; interviews and discussion groups; marketing and promotion of your own brand including appropriate social media strategies.

Performance & Product Development (60 Credit Points)

Music professionals require expert understanding of theoretical and practical aspects of performance and production for employment in the music industry. Throughout this module you will apply and extend your knowledge of composition and performance techniques in creating music products and staging live productions. You will be encouraged to develop important critical listening and observational skills when working in a variety of performance and recording situations.

The module will focus predominantly on practical performance and recording in the rehearsal and recording studio environments, alongside opportunities to apply your knowledge and skills in a range of performance situations. Towards the end of the module you will take part in events and performances designed to market, publicise and support the product you are releasing.

The overarching aim is to equip you with a range of practical skills that are grounded in a historical, cultural and theoretical context.

Creative Investigation (40 Credit Points)

This module builds on your previous experience and knowledge gained during Level 4 and 5. The module provides you with an opportunity to develop a research based portfolio of work, through self-initiated creative investigation.

The emphasis of this module is to create a dissertation based on your interests and personal study which is negotiated through consultations with tutors. It provides you with the opportunity to develop professional practical work while demonstrating sustained intellectual engagement with a specific form of creative investigation.

In this way the module gives you greater autonomy to define your career direction, produce industry level practical work and demonstrate your potential for professional practice.

The module will provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your ability to research, critically analyse, contextually formulate opinion and produce work on industry related topics.

As part of this investigation you will also enhance your abilities to communicate your findings with an audience and consolidate your skills in project management and self-directed work, both of which are vital for a career within the creative industries and wider world of work.

The module serves to acquaint you with the key skills and practices required to undertake and complete independent project research and to produce creative technological products in response.

How you’re taught

At Confetti our classrooms are unique. As part of their course, our students get the chance to go out into industry and Do It For Real at locations across the UK!

As part of a personal and artistic development programme teaching and learning centres around key environments. You will attend sessions in specialist facilities designed and built for purpose. Practical sessions will take place in rehearsal and recording studios designed by White Mark Ltd. These spaces are equipped with state of the art hardware and software giving you access to professional grade resources.

Lectures, workshops, seminars and tutorials will give you the opportunity to explore the core practical and theoretical principles of the module subject areas.

Weekly sessions providing input, consultation and discussion with tutors and your colleagues based around the core module components. Modules have been designed to bring a holistic approach to each year of study based on study, research and activity to allow development of artistry alongside academic practice.  You will be encouraged to develop a critical and inquisitive approach to your studies through research into areas of study that are of particular interest to you. The processes of composition, rehearsal and recording are a fundamental in preparation for performance. Rehearsal and recording studio sessions account for a significant portion of delivery. Reflective and engagement with feedback from audience and professionals is designed to give opportunity for growth through the responses you develop.

In order to build and maintain an active and professional network you will work on live briefs. This process also offers the opportunity to build resilience and professional standards within your work and artistic practice.


Outcomes will be assessed in a variety of ways in order to showcase your achievements and allow peer and professional comment. Practically you will undertake performances, presentations and deliver portfolios of work collected during rehearsals and events. Academic reports and essays will be submitted to assess your research and reflective practices.

You will receive a significant amount of informal Formative Feedback during the course. This feedback is provided to help you evaluate your progress as you work through problems. This type of feedback is typically provided within tutorials verbally, as part of seminars, lectures or workshops.

You will receive summative feedback at the end of each module and this provides you with an overarching review of your achievements set against the learning outcomes.

To progress through the course you must achieve 120 credit points each year. Your final degree mark will be based 100% on your final year work.

Industry Week

As a Music Performance student, you’ll also take part in Confetti’s Industry Week, where you’ll meet a range of professionals within your field of interest, as well as other areas of the creative industries. Previous guests include:

  • Michael Eavis
  • Professor Green
  • DJ Yoda
  • Mandy Parnell (Bjork, Aphex Twin, The White Stripes)
  • Jon Kelly (Paul McCartney, Kate Bush)
  • Goetz Botzenhardt (Bjork, Sugababes, Faithless, Dido, Pet Shop Boys)
  • George Shilling (Oasis, Primal Scream, James Brown)
  • Aziz Ibrahim (The Stone Roses)
  • Andy James
  • Eleanor Goodman (Metal Hammer Magazine)

Degree Show

In your final year you will exhibit your work as part of Confetti's Degree Show. This event includes all final year students across Confetti's courses and is a great platform for you to showcase your work to key influencers across the creative industries.

Careers and employability

Upon successful completion, you’ll have the option to progress to Confetti’s MA Creative Technologies or MSc Creative Technologies, apply for internships or job roles within industry

You will also study the wider context of their industry, investigating working practices, legal frameworks, business models and career opportunities. In addition, the course also aims to develop your cognition, autonomy and research skills, enabling you to continue in further academic study at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Work placement and internship opportunities

You will increasingly be faced with freelance and self-employed models of work upon graduation. Consequently, the course aims to equip you with appropriate skills for this type of workplace through ‘live’ client-led briefs with local and national industry partners, which will help you build a varied and distinctive portfolio of work throughout your studies.

Additionally, there is a strong emphasis on close interaction with industry in the form of lectures, workshops and seminars from industry professionals throughout the two years of study.

Campus and facilities

Whether you’re a songwriter, performer, producer or someone who wants to get into the live events industry, you’ll study and learn in the heart of a world-class venue – Metronome.

By day, it’s an incredible place to study music performance, live events and audio technology. By night, Metronome transforms into a live events venue, hosting sell-out music gigs, comedy nights, theatre productions, esports tournaments, spoken word – the list goes on!

For our students, we can offer unrivalled facilities which include:

  • 400 capacity live music venue
  • 14 rehearsal spaces
  • 10 recording studios
  • Mastering, surround sound and post-production studio
  • Critical listening seminar room
  • Live events production workspace
  • Vinyl cutting room

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from at least two A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSE – English and Maths Grade C / 4.

You will also have at least one of the following music qualifications:

  • A-Level in Music
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in Music (or similar, e.g. RSL Awards)
  • Music Theory Grade 5 (ABRSM, Rockschool, Trinity or equivalent)
  • If you don’t have one of the above music qualifications, we’ll ask you to submit examples of your work.

Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies (part of Nottingham Trent University) have applied for a student visa sponsor licence extension to be able to accept international students requiring a student visa on to their courses. Sign up to be the first to hear if this course opens to students requiring a student visa.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those international students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our International students page for information about fees, scholarships for international students, visas and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

How to apply

Application for this course is through the UCAS application form.

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Selection for this course takes place through UCAS application form.

Application deadline

This course starts in September and applications should be submitted by the UCAS deadline.

Applications received after this date will only be considered if places are still available, after all applications received by the deadline have been assessed.

Mature students

We welcome applications from mature students (over the age of 21) for this course. We will assess applicants of this nature on an individual basis.

If you are a mature student, you will still need to apply to us by UCAS form, but you don't necessarily need to meet our minimum entry requirements.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades,

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It's your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You've got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you're applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

This course is not suitable for tier 4 visa applicants.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.