BA (Hons)

Key Information


3 years


6 years

Typical Offer

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Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Subject to Revalidation



Academic Year

Course Overview

Music at Lincoln is a contemporary, industry-focused degree for musicians looking to develop their skills as performers, composers, and collaborators within a flexible curriculum that encompasses classical, rock, pop, and non-Western music.

This course connects practice with theory, tradition with innovation, and personal creativity with collaborative projects. As well as working with other musicians, students have the opportunity to work with dancers, actors, film­makers, animators, and computer game designers.

Practical skills are underpinned and enriched with an approach to studying music that positions practice alongside an understanding of musical histories, cultures, and genres, as well as developing the critical and reflective skills needed to articulate these connections.

The teaching team is made up of professional musicians and experienced researchers with expertise that encompasses numerous professions, disciplines, and media, such as musical theatre, composition, performance, orchestration, musical direction, and sound production.

Why Choose Lincoln

100% overall student satisfaction*

Opportunities to perform in a range of ensembles

Optional study abroad module

Gain industry experience with optional placements

Learn from staff who are professional musicians and researchers

Creative and collaborative arts community

*National Student Survey 2022

YouTube video for Why Choose Lincoln

How You Study

In the first year, topics include the development of key musical skills, the use of audio production technology, working with a score, the role of music in society, and the contemporary music industry. Individual instrumental and vocal tuition is also available to all students.

In the second and third years, students can tailor the degree to suit their individual interests. There are degree pathways that focus on performance or composition, as well as scope for students to explore a wide range of practical and academic skills. In their third year, students can complete either a written dissertation on a subject of their choosing or undertake a practical project, such as writing and recording an album or arranging and performing in a tour. Students can also curate an entire music festival in their final year, giving them the opportunity to present live work and develop key professional skills.

Students on this programme learn from academic staff who are often engaged in world-leading or internationally excellent research or professional practice. Contact time can be in workshops, ensemble rehearsals, discursive seminars or lectures and may vary from module to module and from academic year to year. Tutorial sessions and project supervision can take the form of one-to-one engagement or small group sessions. Practical work can take place in recording studios, performance spaces, rehearsal rooms and Mac workstations. Some courses offer the opportunity to take part in external visits and fieldwork.

It is still the case that students read for a degree and this means that in addition to scheduled contact hours, students are required to engage in independent study. This allows you to read around a subject and to prepare for lectures and seminars through wider reading, or to complete follow up tasks such as assignments or revision. As a general guide, the amount of independent study required by students at the University of Lincoln is that for every hour in class you are expected to spend at least two to three hours in independent study. Students studying music should also schedule additional time to practise on their instrument.

The teaching team is made up of professional musicians and researchers with expertise that encompass numerous professions, disciplines and mediums, including performance, composition, musicology, and teaching music. Teaching is enhanced by visiting practitioners, masterclasses, careers events, and alumni talks.


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

A History of Popular Music 2024-25MUS1001MLevel 42024-25This module charts and explores the history of popular music in the US and UK over the last one hundred years. It will introduce students to critical ways of understanding popular music through theoretical frameworks. Further consideration will be given to the cultural development of popular music and its associated industries from a variety of perspectives relating to identity (such as race, class, gender, ethnicity, and youth).CoreA Performer Prepares 2024-25MUS1002MLevel 42024-25A Performer Prepares develops students' performance skills from a range of practical, contextual and historical perspectives. At the heart of the module students will develop their individual instrumental or vocal skills with specialist teachers, preparing for a 15-minute recital at the end of the module. Students will also participate in at least one staff-led ensemble, with weekly rehearsals leading to performances across the year including one which will be assessed. Workshops underpin ongoing practical development that will see students working together in ad-hoc groups, performing to each other and receiving peer-to-peer feedback, and gaining practical training in areas of performance. Performance is critically, historically and socially situated through lecture/seminars that explore issues of performance practice through the study of musics from around the world, including western art music, traditional music and popular forms.CoreKnowing the Score 2024-25MUS1003MLevel 42024-25This module introduces key concepts in the theory of music and applies them practically in a range of notation, orchestration and transcription exercises. Students may come to the module with a range of prior knowledge of music theory: whatever their level, the flexible curriculum allows students to develop the areas that are important to them. The module covers musics from a range of genres and traditions, offering a wide range of approaches to the theory of music in practice.CoreMusic Industries 2024-25MUS1009MLevel 42024-25Over the course of a semester, the students will be introduced to the various industries within the world of music. Through a combination of lectures and workshops, the students will learn about industry areas such as publishing, recording, composing, performing, funding bodies, management, and booking agencies. This will be complemented by a series of workshops where students will create their own podcasts and learn how to plan, record, produce and edit a radio piece.CoreRecording and Producing Music 2024-25MUS1012MLevel 42024-25CoreCurating Music 2025-26MUS2008MLevel 52025-26This module brings together a scholarly understanding of music with practical, industry-focused skills. By the end of the module students will have written an essay on a subject of their choice and also had the opportunity to prepare a detailed proposal in response to a creative brief, to be pitched to a music industry panel.CoreMusic in Society 2025-26MUS2005MLevel 52025-26This research-based module continues the exploration of music's cultural development which began in the first year. Over the course of a term students are introduced to an eclectic range of case studies through which the teaching team demonstrate how situating music within its various production, material, and performance contexts enables a wider and more nuanced understanding of the role music plays within popular culture. Through the various analytical and critical approaches applied (musicological, ethnographic, socio-historical and dramaturgical) the module aims to further develop students' understanding of the different ways music can be studied, analysed, and understood.CoreMusic on Location 2025-26MUS2002MLevel 52025-26This module continues students' focus on their programme pathway of choice (Composition and Musical Direction or Performance and Musicianship). In supervised workshop-rehearsals students can plan and develop a collaborative group performance exercising the skills of their chosen pathway. Those on the Composition and Musical Direction pathway can take roles as composers, musical directors, vocal coaches and orchestrators of the material; those on the Performance and Musicianship pathway will take roles adapting material and performing the final show.CoreActing the Song 2025-26DRA2040MLevel 52025-26OptionalComposition 2025-26MUS2001MLevel 52025-26This module begins the focus on the Composition pathway of the programme. The module will enable students to develop skills in composing and arranging for a range of instruments in solo and small ensemble settings. In seminar sessions, students will explore the work of a range of composers from across cultures and periods, examining music from technical, stylistic, aesthetic and critical perspectives. They will develop their own techniques and approaches through analysis, practice and reflection. In Mac Lab sessions students will have the opportunity to work with industry-standard software and work closely with composition staff on their work, whilst in workshops students will explore practical activities, including opportunities to hear their pieces live.OptionalEnsemble & Enterprise 2025-26MUS2009MLevel 52025-26Students work in small groups to develop a concert programme and find a performance venue, before promoting their event, rehearsing and performing the final show. Inventive approaches to performance, including considerations of unusual venues and engaging marketing techniques, are central to the module.OptionalMusic Placements 2025-26MUS2014MLevel 52025-26Reflecting the common 'portfolio careers' of many working in music and the arts, this module gives students the opportunity to experience work in a variety of working environments across a range of relevant industries. This is a highly practical module in which students learn through doing, developing skills necessary for employment in the twenty-first-century working world. Three strands of learning are underpinned through practical experience in each: 1) working in an arts venue; 2) working in an industry of the student's choice; 3) working in and with the media. Parts (1) and (2) should each be around 20 hours of working time which can be conducted at any point during the academic year of the module. The first will be facilitated through the close relationships established between the Lincoln School of Creative Arts and a range of venues: students will work with staff to identify areas of interest and will be allocated work opportunities accordingly. Second, students will secure their own work experience opportunity – with guidance from staff – at an organisation of their choosing. Finally, media content creation skills will be gained through in-class training then carried out through audio or video interview to be conducted with colleagues in the student's chosen work placements (or at other appropriate parts of the industries), discussing their work. These interviews should be edited together to create a 3–5-minute piece comparing the industries in which the student worked.OptionalMusic Production and Enterprise 2025-26MUS2013MLevel 52025-26Students learn the practical and critical skills needed to self-produce a recording of their work as a singer-songwriter, performer or composer. Through learning about music enterprise, marketing, promotion and areas of music business, students will then begin to market and promote their music using appropriate platforms. Learning is split between practical recording/production sessions, and contextual/practical sessions on elements of music enterprise. In addition, students will carefully manage their independent learning to record and produce their work in a timely manner.OptionalMusic Theatre 2025-26MUS2012MLevel 52025-26Musical theatre is an interdisciplinary form. Those that perform it require a “triple threat” skill set (acting, singing, and dancing), and similarly those that produce it need to have an understanding of directing, choreography and composition/arrangement. In this module students will have the opportunity to develop and integrate their skills across these disciplines. While, there will be the option to incorporate both performance and production roles, students will be required to participate in and contribute to the development of material that encompasses acting, dancing, singing/music making. This work will take place in the context of a preparing a piece of Music Theatre (60-90 minutes in length) for public performance. The production itself may take various forms. For instance, it could be a production of an existing Musical, or it could be devised and developed by the group. Similarly, an existing libretto could be set to new Music or vice versa. These decisions will be made by the member of staff directing the production at the beginning of the module.OptionalPerformance 2025-26MUS2003MLevel 52025-26This module begins students' focus on the Performance programme pathway. The module aims to enable students to develop skills in collaborating within a small ensemble and working effectively within a rehearsal environment. In seminar sessions, students can explore the role of a performer and musician director from a range of perspectives (technical, stylistic, aesthetic and critical). Students will be introduced to existing work from practitioners in the area, and can develop their own techniques and approaches through analysis, practice and reflection.OptionalStudy Abroad 2025-26MUS2010MLevel 52025-26Study Abroad is an optional module which enables students to spend a semester studying abroad at one of the University’s approved partner institutions. Eligible students must have completed their first year of study to a satisfactory standard and successfully completed the application process for the study abroad scheme. During the semester spent abroad, students share classes with local students and study on a suite of locally-delivered taught modules which have been approved in advance by the University. Upon their return, as part of the assessment for this module, students are required to critically reflect upon their experience of living and studying in a different cultural environment and the skills acquired.OptionalTeaching Music 2025-26MUS2004MLevel 52025-26This module aims to develops students’ skills and experience in teaching music to individuals and small groups. Students can work together to explore teaching practices and methods for instrumental/vocal teaching, ensemble and aural training. In a series of workshops, students will give lessons in their first study instrument to another member of the cohort, who has no previous experience of that instrument. At the end of the process, students will be assigned to school-age class groups in order to teach a small ensemble elementary singing and music theory.OptionalThe Musical 2025-26DRA2027MLevel 52025-26OptionalMusic and... 2026-27MUS3010MLevel 62026-27CoreMusic Festival 2026-27MUS3005MLevel 62026-27In this module students will have the opportunity to produce promotional material for, and participate in a music and performance showcase / festival. Students can pitch their proposed promotional projects to the organisers and report on their development and implementation throughout the module. The promotional projects will require students to engage with a range of digital media as well as more traditional forms of promotion. In addition to promoting their own performance, students will have the opportunity to propose and contribute to other aspects of festival promotion. The performance itself may include or be adapted from musical material the student has composed for previous modules. However, it will also include new material or demonstrate significant development of existing material. Throughout the module students are required to maintain a digital record of the work completed which tracks the development of their ideas, the investigation of promotional methods used by musicians and the industry, as well as items of interest and inspiration.CoreYour Career 2026-27MUS3011MLevel 62026-27CoreArtist in Residence 2026-27MUS3012MLevel 62026-27OptionalDissertation (Music) Written 2026-27MUS3001MLevel 62026-27This module provides the opportunity for students to investigate and pursue a Music-based topic of their own choosing in more depth than is possible in a conventional essay. Students will be required to work on their own initiative and provide clear evidence of their ability to collect, select and evaluate relevant information, which can subsequently be presented in a clear and logical manner, in the form of a 7000 word dissertation.OptionalDissertation: Practice-led 2026-27MUS3008MLevel 62026-27This module gives students the opportunity to produce a substantial piece of practical work that can be in any area of their choosing, including a substantial performance or set of performances; a portfolio of compositions or substantial single work; an album or EP; music for a film; an audio installation. Students will be supported through a series of lectures and seminars alongside close work with an appropriate supervisor.OptionalMusic and Choreography 2026-27MUS3002MLevel 62026-27OptionalPsychology of Music 2026-27PSY3180MLevel 62026-27This is a module designed to help students to develop their knowledge of human interactions and responses to music. Students will consider the ways in which we engage with, listen to, perform, and learn about music. It will aim to provide a better understanding the role music plays in attachment, emotion regulation, social affiliation, the neurological overlap between music and language processing, and the development of humans as a species who enjoy music. Through explaining the research underlying the Psychology of Music we also aim to provide an understanding of how this field builds on and connects with other areas in psychology.Optional

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

How you are assessed

Much of the assessment on this course will be practical and will reflect the demands and expectations of the music industries. Depending on the chosen pathway, students may be asked to perform or to create and submit their music using various technologies. Students may be required to submit their practical work as a portfolio documenting their creative process and development.

Written assessments come in various forms and are designed to develop writing skills for academic work, but also to allow students to develop industry-specific writing skills. Students may therefore produce sleevenotes, funding applications, project reports, reflective journals, professional portfolios, websites, and writing in other relevant formats.

The weighting given to each assessment method may vary across each academic year. The University of Lincoln aims to ensure that staff return in-course assessments to students promptly.

Live Music and Events

As well as performing as part of your degree, it's vital to experience a range of music as a listener. The degree introduces you to a wide range of music in the classroom, but also provides opportunities to see live music and experience live events such as talks and conferences. In recent years students have experienced performances at Lincolnshire International Chamber Music Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, Lincoln Arts Centre, and many others.

In addition, music students organise, contribute to, and attend our Music Conference, with third-year students presenting practical or written dissertation projects. This event gives students the opportunity to be involved in the planning and delivery of an academic event where they can share their work in performance, composition, and music production, as well as through academic presentations.

Performance Opportunities

There are opportunities to perform in staff-led ensembles including choirs, orchestras, and bands in a variety of styles. You can join as many of these ensembles as you like at no extra cost. We organise regular performances on and off campus, with students having previously performed at the Lincoln Arts Centre, the Platform Stage in The Engine Shed, Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln Drill Hall, for Lincolnshire International Chamber Music Festival, and at Siren Radio.

A music student playing a violin


Our optional placements module in the second year allows students the opportunity to gain work experience in the industry, focusing on a role suited to their career aspirations and specialist expertise developed on the programme. The module encourages students to reach into the wider community to hone their skills for future employment. Students are responsible for travel, accommodation, and general living costs while on placement.

Study Abroad

In second year, students can choose to study abroad. This optional module enables students to spend a term studying abroad at one of the University’s approved partner institutions. Eligible students must have completed their first year of study to a satisfactory standard and successfully completed the application process for the study abroad scheme. Students are responsible for travel, accommodation, and general living costs while undertaking a period of study abroad.

I am able to look back and see the huge impact this course has had on me as both an academic and a musician. From developing my musical knowledge, to giving me the tools and life skills to excel in any future career path I choose, this course has played a huge role in my development as an individual.

What Can I Do with a Music Degree?

Through enterprise and career-focused teaching, you'll have the opportunity to engage with various parts of the music industries. Previous students have benefited from connections with Frequency Festival, Lincolnshire International Chamber Music Festival, the International Guitar Foundation, Lincoln Arts Centre, Lincoln Drill Hall, and range of local venues and organisations.

We aim to provide our graduates with the necessary skills and experience to pursue careers as freelance songwriters, musical directors, arrangers, orchestrators, composers, studio technicians, teachers, vocal coaches, producers, agents, event managers, and arts managers among many other roles.

Entry Requirements 2024-25

United Kingdom

104 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 2 A Levels.

International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma from a minimum of 2 Higher Level subjects.

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit or equivalent.

T Level: Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 104 UCAS Tariff points.

Applicants will also need at least three GCSEs at grade 4 or above, which must include English. Equivalent Level 2 qualifications may be considered.

The University accepts a wide range of qualifications as the basis for entry and do accept a combination of qualifications which may include A Levels, BTECs, EPQ etc.

We will also consider applicants with extensive and relevant work experience and will give special individual consideration to those who do not meet the standard entry qualifications.


Non UK Qualifications:

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.

EU and Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills courses.

For applicants who do not meet our standard entry requirements, our Arts Foundation Year can provide an alternative route of entry onto our full degree programmes:

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email

Contextual Offers

At Lincoln, we recognise that not everybody has had the same advice and support to help them get to higher education. Contextual offers are one of the ways we remove the barriers to higher education, ensuring that we have fair access for all students regardless of background and personal experiences. For more information, including eligibility criteria, visit our Offer Guide pages.


We invite applicants to an Audition Day, during which you'll be asked to perform a 3–5 minute piece that shows you at your best, talk about your musical interests and experiences, and share with us your reasons for wanting to study at Lincoln. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions, meet staff and students, and see our facilities.

Fees and Scholarships

Going to university is a life-changing step and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

For eligible undergraduate students going to university for the first time, scholarships and bursaries are available to help cover costs. To help support students from outside of the UK, we are also delighted to offer a number of international scholarships which range from £1,000 up to the value of 50% of tuition fees. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Course -Specific Additional Costs

There are no mandatory additional costs related to this course. However, we would however generally expect students to own and maintain the instrument they are studying. Though we do have pianos, guitars and drums that can be used or borrowed, other instruments may not be available.

Additional costs may apply for those participating in productions with the Lincoln Company.

Find out More by Visiting Us

The best way to find out what it is really like to live and learn at Lincoln is to visit us in person. We offer a range of opportunities across the year to help you to get a real feel for what it might be like to study here.

Book Your Place
Three students walking together on campus in the sunshine
The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.