VOCAL FOUNDATION DEGREE - Professional Musicanship Degree FD(Arts)Apply Now!
Vocal / Foundation Degree
The BIMM Foundation Degree in Vocal is a two year full time course which aims to equip musicians with the key practical, theoretical and business skills required for a career in the music industry, together with gaining relevant work experience. Validated by the University of Sussex, the BIMM Foundation Degree integrates vocational skills in musicianship and music performance with academic study and work-based learning, and successful completion of the course will lead to the University of Sussex award of a Foundation Degree in Arts (FdA).
The Foundation Degree has an excellent record of successful student employment in the music industry, and graduates have gone on to pursue careers in many areas of the professional music business including live performance, songwriting, studio work, PR and marketing, festival promotion, working for record companies, music publishing, composing music for films and television, music journalism and teaching. Further study options include applying for progression onto Year 3 of the BA (Hons) in Professional Musicianship at BIMM in order to gain a full honours degree.
On the BIMM Foundation Degree you will work towards achieving the following:
The development of professional-level performance skills for your instrumental discipline: guitar, bass, drums or vocals.
Experience of performing live as part of an ensemble.
The opportunity to gain work experience within the music industry.
Writing and arranging original compositions.
Experience of recording in professional recording studios.
Developing critical listening skills and knowledge of music theory.
A thorough understanding of the structure of the UK music industry and the history of popular music.
The acquisition of personal transferable skills such as teamwork, communication and presentation skills, academic research and study skills, and self-management.
In addition to lessons and workshops, course delivery is supported by BIMM’s comprehensive tutorial system that enables students to benefit from access to music industry professionals for expert help and advice. There are also many extra-curricular activities including rehearsing, recording, performing in public and visits from high level professional musicians and music industry personnel.
Applications should be made through UCAS at: www.ucas.com
UCAS CODE: W990
INSTITUTION CODE: B39
CAMPUS CODE: N
Music Business and Study Skills - This module is designed to give musicians a comprehensive understanding of the workings of the contemporary music industry. Subject areas include record companies, music publishing, artist management, the live performance industry, business planning and digital media. The study skills element equips students with the key academic skills necessary for HE study such as the ability to conduct effective research, write well structured essays and give research based presentations.
Technical Development - This performance-based module is designed to develop technical ability and enhance musical vocabulary on main instrumental disciplines (guitar, bass, vocals or drums). It also enables students to develop and implement a structured individual practice regime.
Performance Styles - This provides students with a thorough grounding in a wide variety of different popular music styles as well as giving valuable experience of recording in a professional studio environment. Students will gain a practical understanding of contemporary and historical playing styles, which is a key skill area for viable employment within the music industry.
Music Theory in Practice - A comprehensive study of music theory as it applies to popular music, including practical applications of theoretical concepts.
Aural and Notation Skills - This module aims to equip musicians with essential musical listening skills such as the ability to recognise pitch, rhythm and harmony. It also develops the skills necessary for reading and interpreting musical notation.
Pre-Production and Live Performance - This practical module is concerned with the preparation and performance of songs to professional standards, and students work together in groups to rehearse and perform a wide variety of material. Parts, arrangement, tonal characteristics, feel and other techniques are all broken down and analysed in detail, culminating in weekly performances in a professional live environment.
· Critical Insights in Popular Music - A comprehensive history of popular music from 1900 to 1970 which analyses the social and political conditions that influenced the development of different genres, as well as evaluating the contribution of key artists and recordings.
Applied Technical Development - This module further develops technical instrumental proficiency by equipping students with the skills necessary for employment as a working musician together with the discipline necessary to engage in lifelong learning and development.
Session Skills – A practical analysis and application of studio styles and techniques. Musicians will develop proficiency in studio performance skills such as efficient part construction and accurate delivery in a ‘deadline driven’ recording session environment. The course will also include studio production techniques and professional studio protocols.
Engaging with Industry - This aims to introduce students to the realities of life as a professional practitioner in the music industry within the context of self-employment and developing a portfolio career. Students are given the opportunity to integrate academic knowledge with vocational skills and competencies by undertaking work-based learning, giving real experience of employment within a chosen area of the music industry.
Creative Composition and Arrangement – A practical module which provides learners with the essential skills and knowledge required to compose and arrange original material. It gives a thorough grounding in songwriting and lyric writing techniques as well as covering aspects of arranging for a variety of instrumental combinations.
Transcription and Critical Listening - This module aims to provide learners with the skills to accurately transcribe music for a range of different band instruments as well as developing advanced critical listening abilities in order to evaluate the core musical characteristics of a wide range of popular music arrangements.
Live Performance Skills – A higher level performance module which develops students’ live performance techniques via the study, arrangement and delivery of a wide range of repertoire. Performances will mainly be undertaken in ensembles, although students will also have the option of presenting work individually or in duos.
The minimum requirement for entry is UCAS tariff of 80 points or above (2 A levels at Grade E, or equivalent vocational qualifications).
Applicants need to have performing ability equivalent to Trinity Grades 6-8.
Following application through the UCAS system, applicants will normally be interviewed and auditioned at BIMM Brighton and course offers will be made on the basis of the whole application process. In addition to performing ability and experience we also look for a strong professional work ethic and career focus.
Applications by experienced musicians without formal qualifications may also be considered through accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL).
The majority of students who graduate from the Foundation Degree progress on to Year 3 of the BA (Hons) Vocal degree course at BIMM.
The Foundation Degree also has a very high success rate of students who gain direct employment in the music industry and professional musical world, often as a result of undertaking work experience during the course together with accessing BIMM’s very substantial network of industry contacts.
As well as performing and recording careers, some areas of the music industry that BIMM FD students have recently been successfully employed in include:
- A&R: Atlantic Records; Warner Music UK
- Marketing: Warner Bros
- Product Management: Universal
- PR: Duff Press; Excess Press
- Radio production: Juice FM
- Recording: Brighton Electric Studios
- Label Management: Mike Stock Music
- Teaching: Secondary (PGCE); The Brit School; Brighton & Hove Music Service; Private tuition
Foundation Degree (Arts) in Professional Musicianship
- Mode of Attendance
- Start date
- Initial Validation May 2006: first cohort 2006/07. Revalidation April 2009: first cohorts 2009/10.
- Awarding Institution
- University of Sussex
- Teaching Institution
- Brighton Institute of Modern Music
- UCAS Code
- Language of Study
- Final Award
- Certificate in Higher Education (level 4 exit award) Foundation Degree (Arts)
- FHEQ Level
- 120 credits at level 4, 120 credits at level 5
- Reference Points
- QAA Benchmark for Foundation Degrees
FHEQ in full
QAA Code of Practice
QAA Guidance on Programme Specifications
QAA Music Subject Benchmark
UoS Partnership Procedures
- Minimum Period of Registration
- 2 years
- Maximum Period of Registration
- 7 years
- Admissions Criteria
- UCAS tariff of 80 points or above (2 A levels at Grade E, or equivalent national vocational qualification)
Musical aptitude (Trinity Grade 6-8 or equivalent)
Practical and performance experience
- Date of Course Specification:
- May 2011
- November 2011
What makes this Course distinctive?
The BIMM Foundation Degree in Professional Musicianship is a two-year full time course, which aims to equip musicians with the key practical, theoretical and business skills required for a career in the music industry, together with gaining relevant work experience. Validated by the University of Sussex, the BIMM Foundation Degree integrates vocational skills in musicianship and music performance with academic study and work-based learning.Download the Full Course Specification [57 KB]