Module Overview


Year 1 – Level 4 (QCF)


Semester One


How Music Works – Foundations for Learning (20 credits) – Across Years 1 and 2, the `How Music Works` modules give you a 360 degree scope of the 21st century music business and technology landscapes. This module explores the music industry from three different perspectives to map key aspects of the cultural significance of music, how it is made (music technology) and how it is capitalised. This helps introduce the embedded, essential core learning skills such as sourcing, checking and crediting information, then beginning to assess and present that information in written, verbal, visual and interactive ways.



Instrument and Technique (20 credits) – Introducing you to ways and means of understanding voice, music and technique with your instrument(s). Through a constructed curriculum we will teach you how to better contextualise the complexity of music in the 21st century. One to one tuition and in workshops will support the development of your expertise and confidence. You will learn how to present yourself as a musician and to become a more confident performer in a range of complex environments.



Collaborative Music – Styles: Folk and Indigenous Form (20 credits) – This module will focus on the origins of music and how musical styles have developed through cross cultural exchanges; key individuals and social factors as part of freedom of expression in times of oppression. You will compose and perform a piece of collaborative music utilising stylistic cultural influences gained from individual research supported by the tutor. Your piece will be accompanied by a short presentation demonstrating research findings and explaining the influences chosen in the composition of your music together with accompanying documentation.



Semester Two


How Music Works – Understanding the Business and its Vibe (20 credits) – You will further explore the music industry from different perspectives to extend an understanding of key aspects of the cultural significance of music, how it is made and how it is capitalised. Embedded within this process, you will develop essential core learning skills such as sourcing, assessing and fully referencing information, then presenting that information in critically balanced written, verbal, visual and interactive ways.


Instrument and Technique – Solo Performance (20 credits) – You will develop your instrumental technique and extend your knowledge of musical practice in a global context. You will refine how to present yourself as a musician and will become a more confident performer in a range of complex, professional and varied environments.



Collaborative Music – Roots and Routes (20 credits) – You will investigate the rich heritage of American music traditions spanning for example spirituals, bebop, teenage rebellion, and rhythmic spoken word cultures. You will be encouraged to develop and contextualise an understanding of the diverse history of African/American music. You will explore, from a musical perspective, the impact of the social history of the USA including for example slavery, prohibition, and the quest for civil rights and racial integration. You will take part in group composition and performance and develop appropriate stylistic musicality.



Year 2 – Level 5 (QCF)


Semester One


Culture and Society (20 credits) – An awareness of the relationship between culture and society is a valuable asset for any creative enterprise. This module will explore key concepts used in the study of music in relation to culture, as a part of culture, and as a culture in itself. Investigation of the historic developments and the impact of music on UK, USA and equally relevant cultures globally, will provide a basis for you to consider future possibilities.

As part of the module, you will explore a range of musical movements and investigate questions of meaning and context regarding the impact of music upon culture and society. You will explore aspects of key musical movements that have helped shape western culture and influenced societal and cultural change.



Instrument and Technique – Developing Repertoire (20 credits) – This module will build on developed instrumental and stylistic skills and competencies and support extension of a progressive and purposeful repertoire within a range of genres. You will develop a repertoire and demonstrate appropriate ability to approach your chosen pieces with stylistic flair.



Rock and Roll, World Music or Jazz (20 credits) – This module explores performance practice in musical styles, technique, technology and theory of popular music including rock and roll, world music and jazz. You will examine a range of performance context, rehearsal practice, musical structure, composition and repertoire. You will participate in solo and ensemble music making, observation and analysis of music performances, and engagement with relevant literature and musical research.


Semester Two


Setting Up a Music Business (20 credits) – This module helps equip you with the essential knowledge to start, maintain, and grow a business. You will develop key knowledge and skills to improve your career prospects in the music industry.

In this module you will explore how, as part of the music industry, knowledge and skills relevant to business can help you in developing a successful career. You will explore opportunities to develop income streams, as well as decision making techniques and financial aspects of business. You will gain experience using business planning techniques that can be applied to any business.



Instrument and Technique – Studio Performance (20 credits) – This module focuses on professional recording and production techniques, coupled with musicianship. It evaluates performance in, and of, the studio including the contemporary ‘virtual’ counterpart – the digital audio workstation (DAW) with its associated recording equipment. You will gain an understanding of the boundaries of performance and production. You will study the essence of performance in recordings from plain song and folk to hip hop and electronic dance music. You will negotiate and deliver a performance remix, rearrangement or cover reworking of an existing piece recorded to industry standard. In so doing you will explore the interrelationship of recording, technology and performance, producing material ready for promotion, self distribution or further production refinement.



Composition for Media (20 credits) – This module focuses on professional composition and delivery for media with supporting background, theory, technical deliverables and flow of work. You will learn and apply project planning and management skills to ensure a product is delivered according to briefing criteria as set during tutorial groups. You will be assigned to groups and negotiate a short film clip, then add or rework the audio, music and dialogue as relevant. We also allow the opportunity for live performance. You will compose, design the sound and dub the piece to current BBC stereo audio deliverable standards and/or other relevant professional standards. Broader context will be sought including comparison of other media such as games and other formats, including 5.1 surround sound. Appropriate academic and contemporary professional protocol will frame the work.



Year 3 – Level 6 (QCF)


In year 3 you have the freedom to launch your career in the music industry, working on your chosen projects whilst you have the support and guidance of The BCME. You will have a choice of essay based work (dissertation), practical project or a combination of both. Every student will receive a budget to help you plan the 1 to 1 support needed to take your projects to market.

Semester One


Independent Research Project (40 credits) – This module will develop a broad range of academic, practice–based and practice led research skills that will facilitate delivery of an extended independent piece of original work. You will negotiate suitable research objectives with your supervising tutor and may choose for example an area specific to the academic discipline of your course, or to pursue a cross–disciplinary area with a balance of advanced business, academic, production or performance elements. You will be encouraged to explore the leading edge of a current subject or discipline in line with your ultimate goals within the creative and cultural industry including social enterprise, 3rd sector & charity work.


Performance Practice (20 credits) – This module focuses on the application of professional recording and production techniques and the critical development of material for an effective portfolio. In this outward facing module you will evaluate performance in context of contemporary product. You will develop the key components of a modern interactive or online portfolio, which will form the framework for assessment. You will also explore the concept of portfolio per se, ‘portfolio career’ and the boundary of portfolio, promotion and project development. This will develop decision making tools which will facilitate self and peer evaluation.


Practice in the Professional Context (20 credits) – This module prepares you for professional collaborative work. You will collaborate with external professional musicians or with BCME peers in a project with an outward, professional presence or focus. This professionally based learning module will facilitate experiential learning with seminar peer support and individual tutor supervision. Critical reflection via social media and associated WordPress blog will inform the development process and form the assessment narrative. Assessment guidelines will support you throughout the process.

Semester Two


Creative Industry Startup Proposal (40 credits) – Focussing on professional business startup or launch as a freelancer, via a suitable small/medium enterprise or sole tradership vehicle. You will study essential business startup protocols, ethics, work practice, strategies and established professional peers’ profiles to produce a business plan and online portfolio/CV/brand viable within the music industry, including potential aspects of social enterprise, 3rd sector and charity work.


Showcase Performance (20 credits) – This module focuses on the ephemeral nature of live performance via a final public performance. You will work with tutor supervision, peer support and professional coaching to develop, deliver and audio-visually document a public performance or series.


The Critical Evaluation of Performance (20 credits) – The module develops your ability to perform not just with others in an ensemble or group, but as part of a broader team, genre or bill. You will perform as a member of a group in a multibilled concert and then: Critique your own performance and review another act on that bill. You will address a variety of frameworks for collaborative practice enabling you to assess a broad context of performance in your chosen area of the music industry


Students select from one of the 40 credit modules, the 20 credit modules are compulsory.


Important Course Codes

Institution code: W75

Course code: W315

Campus code: D

Institution code name: WOLVN

Short form of course: BMUScmp

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