Music Courses in the UK
Music Degrees in Performance and Business
BIMM is a music college that offers fully accredited, intensive music courses in Bristol for individuals who are committed to a career in music or the music industry. We offer a range of music degrees in performance and music business. All tutors at BIMM are highly skilled in their specialist area and remain actively engaged with the contemporary music industry.
BIMM Bristol opened in 2008 in the most artistic and vibrant region of Bristol. Live Performance classes are delivered in local programme venues and the college has multiple links with all of Bristol's main venues. Bristol was selected as the base for the second college because of the lively music and arts scene, availability of gigs, studios, record labels and artists. It is famous for its diverse music culture and BIMM is excited about playing a major part in its future.
In addition to our superb teaching spaces, with full PA and backline, we have put together a comprehensive collection of pro-vintage and modern equipment for all specialisms, with which the musicians at BIMM are encouraged to develop their own style and innovative approaches.
Teaching at BIMM is comprised of group learning sessions in specialist groups and in live performance workshops with other musicians. All students are also encouraged to book regular one-to-one tutorials to discuss their skills development and their long and short term career goals. This gives a unique opportunity for our students to be individually guided by the most experienced industry professionals in the country.
BIMM Bristol has collaborated with The Colston Hall in offering free rehearsal spaces for our students. These are offered on a first come first served basis.
Take a quick tour of BIMM Bristol
Bristol hosts various possibilities for accommodation including flats, shared houses, bedsits or part-board with a host family. Please be aware that accommodation is in high demand due to the fact that Bristol is a student city. Many Bristol letting agents that specialize in student accommodation advise booking early viewings between January and June as the standard student letting arrangement is a 12-month contract commencing July 1st of every year.
New agency accommodation lists come out in January. Take cheque books and/or debit cards to secure deposits and pay agency fees. Take ID as some agencies will give you a key to view a property if you have ID.
BIMM has a close relationship with the following student housing agents:
- King Square Studios
King Square Studios is a brand new development located in the very same square as BIMM Bristol – in fact, its next door! Offering fully furnished apartments with competitive rent rates, broadband internet, contents insurance and TV, the buildings will also house common areas, a games room, a home cinema and a gym.
For further information visit www.crm-students.com or call 0844 371 5612.
- iQ Letting Property Partnership – Bristol
iQ have developed student accommodation on Marlborough Street in Bristol – just a five minute walk from BIMM. They offer various types of accommodation, which are all inclusive of utility bills, contents insurance and broadband.
For further information on available property and prices please visit www.loveiq.co.uk or call 0117 927 7498.
- Studios 58
Studios 58 offer a range of contemporary studio apartments, just along the street from BIMM. Every studio comes with a modern built-in kitchen, en-suite bathroom, double bed, leather sofa and plenty of storage. All bills are included in the rent (capped rate) and for 2011/12 all studios will have 10mb broadband and IPTV – free of charge! With 99 apartments, a common room and communal courtyard, Studios 58 welcomes individuals or couples from all higher education institutions.
To book, arrange a viewing or find out more, please contact the accommodation office on 0117 924 4044, or visit www.mainstaystudent.co.uk/studios58
- The Mansion Group – Hotwells House
Hotwells House is in a great location on the Bristol waterfront with easy access to new harbour-side clubs, bars and restaurants. Newly refurbished to a very high specification and offering a range of standard and en suite rooms in shared cluster flats, you can chose to live with your friends, or you can pick from one of our exemplary studio flats. All flats have a large, communal lounge and contemporary open plan kitchen / lounge area with flat screen TV, making Hotwells House feel like a real home from home. The property has bike storage so you can make use of Bristol’s famous cycle routes; there is also secure car parking available.
Prices start from £98.00 per week for a standard room over a 48-week tenancy. Recommend friends who book before 31st August, you receive £100 per friend! Contact: 0117 927 7783 or visit our website and view the virtual tours of the rooms www.mansionstudent.co.uk
In addition, there are two other main student accommodation agents:
- Anthony James and Co
The Coach House, 38 Cotham Hill, Bristol, BS6 6LA
T: 01179 237 316 / www.antjam.com
You are advised to seek accommodation as early as possible. For more property listings and information please reference the following:
- Local printed media:
- Bristol Evening Post (Tuesdays / Fridays)
- The Mercury
- Venue Magazine
- Internet websites:
- Bristol youth hostel
Please note: Prices for the accommodation you find may not include bills.
In regards to letting agencies; you will be asked for an admin fee, rent in advance, a deposit and a guarantor. Students should not visit a property alone.
Music Open Days in the UK
BIMM Open Days
Throughout the year we hold a number of open days so you can get a sense of what life as a student at BIMM will be like.
On the open day you can:
- Watch live performances from BIMM bands
- See a presentation about BIMM courses and our philosophy on education
- View our facilities
- Meet course tutors
- Ask any questions you may have regarding studying at BIMM
If you would like to attend an open day we have them coming up on the following dates:
- 8th June - Saturday
- 13th July - Saturday
To book your place please fill in the form below, alternatively you can contact us on 08442 646666 or by email at email@example.com
By submitting this completed form you authorise BIMM to hold your details. This form was created with wufoo form builder, for more information on wufoo form security please click here. Alternatively you can contact us here. We may contact you with information that we think will be useful to you. We will not share this information with any third parties without your prior permission. BIMM complies by the rules and regulations set out by the Data Protection Act (1998)
Welcome to all International Music Students
Studying Music in the UK
Bristol is the UK’s fifth largest city, it is creative and welcoming and you will find everything you need within walking distance of BIMM. Music is at the heart of this vibrant cultural centre with artists such as Portishead, Massive Attack and Tricky putting the city on the musical map. Bristol boasts several internationally famous venues and also supports numerous smaller venues where up-and-coming UK talent come to play and make a name for themselves. Every night of the week you will find free gigs and events to enjoy – many of which feature BIMM students and alumni.
All of the degree level courses at BIMM Bristol are validated by the Bath Spa University.
How to apply to BIMM Bristol
If you would like to apply for a course at BIMM Bristol or just find out more information you can contact our Admissions team here or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can call them at 00441273 626666.
Our Admissions team can also give you help with completing your application form and personal application statement.
What Qualifications will you need?
All applicants need to be qualified to UK Level 3 equivalent with either 80 UCAS points for Musicians and Songwriters or 120 points for Music Business applicants. We also look for English Language skills to IELTS Score of 6.5 or above.
We will ask you to provide copies of your qualifications for verification.
If you are a musician we will require you to send 3 demos showcasing your performance ability in a range of styles and a video recording of you demonstrating your theoretical abilities.
If you have any questions about applying to BIMM don't hesitate to contact us.
One of the benefits of studying at BIMM is that we are able to offer a much more personal experience than you may find at some larger colleges. We have a fantastic support network that provides one-on-one support for those that require it, and we aim to provide each individual with a service that is right for them. This is where our Quality and Student Support team comes in.
This team will look after you from the moment you set foot in the door to graduation and beyond. Take a look at the areas below to see what the Quality and Student Support team can offer you!
The Quality and Student Support (QSS) team are responsible for handling all data relating to attendance. This includes setting up the registers at the start of term, recording absences and chasing up those with low levels of attendance.
There is a direct correlation between attendance and achievement; to put it simply, if you attend all of your lectures, you are more likely to excel on your chosen course. Here at BIMM we want you to achieve your maximum potential, so as a result of this we keep a keen eye on attendance levels.
We have a strong attendance policy and it is important that you contact your QSS Officer to notify us as soon as possible of any issues that may be preventing you from attending your course on a regular basis, whether they are personal, professional or financial. Then we will be able to take the steps needed to help you resolve the problems and get you back into classes.
If you are absent, please make sure you complete an Absence Form on your return to college, and attach any supporting evidence (e.g. a doctors note).
Parents and Attendance
We understand that parents will want to know how their child is progressing on their course at BIMM, and this can often relate to attendance.
BIMM are not able to discuss any personal details (such as attendance or exam results) with any parents if their child is over 18 years of age in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998).
For students under 18, we are able to discuss attendance, academic progress and any other concerns with named persons authorised by the student.
Here at BIMM we pride ourselves on being able to deliver a one-to-one support service for those that need it. One such area that we invest a lot of time in is Learning Support. It may be that you are already aware of a specific learning requirement that you have, or it could be that you have often struggled with certain learning areas and would like to investigate this further. Whatever your circumstances, the QSS team are on hand to support you.
Quick Scan / Study Scan
A fantastic asset to BIMM, Quick Scan is a 15 minute test that will identify your learning style, and can highlight whether there is any evidence of learning support requirements. This test is free and is available at BIMM West. If anything is highlighted during the Quick Scan that needs further investigation, you will then be able to take a Study Scan test. This is more in depth and will look at the specifics of any potential learning needs you may have. This test is a great help when deciding whether to invest in an Educational Psychologist’s Report (please see below). To book a Quick Scan test please contact your QSS Officer.
Additional Support Network
As well as our QSS team, BIMM also have links to a number of specialists in the Learning Support field in and around the Brighton area. Combining a wealth of experience with a personal one-to-one service, these contacts are vital in our ability to provide the highest level of support for our students.
BIMM is committed to ensuring that those with disabilities or learning difficulties are not disadvantaged when making an application to study with us. All reasonable adjustments will be made to provide access to our provision, including that of equipment and specialist support, where required.
You are encouraged to disclose any disability or learning difficulty you may have on your application form, so that we can offer the support that you need.
If you have any queries regarding this please get in touch with a member of the Student Support team on the BIMM number.
QSS – Quality and Student Support
DSA – Disabled Students’ Allowance – this is financial help from Student Finance England for people with disabilities, mental health conditions (e.g. depression or anxiety), or specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia or dyspraxia). The DSA provides support in a variety of ways, including funding for equipment that will help you complete your course and one-on-one tuition with a specialist.
EPR- Educational Psychologists Report – this is required for you to be eligible to receive DSA. You will have to pay for this test, but the cost does cover you for all of your further / higher education. For further information regarding how to go about getting an EPR please contact your QSS Officer.
Pastoral Support is very important to us at BIMM. We understand the range of different issues faced by our students on a day-to-day basis, which include:
- Financial issues
- Personal issues
- Emotional issues
- Psychological issues
Your QSS Officer can offer one-to-one tutorials which provide support, guidance and a friendly ear to those that require it. The team are all well-equipped to listen and provide non-judgemental support regarding all manner of issues.
However, there may be times when you require further support in which case your Student Support Officer can refer you to one of our College Counsellors who provide a completely confidential and free service. Some of the issues students might bring are: attendance difficulties, relationship problems/break-ups, loss, depression, identity, eating disorders, alcohol and drug problems, stress, panic attacks, obsessions or simply a place to reflect.
Counselling can be helpful in enabling you to work through issues that have become overwhelming, or when you feel stuck. It may help you discover your own resources to find a new understanding or solution.
At BIMM we also have strong relationships with specialist agencies such as the Youth Advice Centre (YAC), Connexions and the YMCA Housing Service. If at any point you feel you would benefit from any of these services please contact your QSS Officer.
Vaseema Hamilton - Principal
Vaseema manages all aspects of BIMM’s administration and curriculum delivery through our management team. She trained as a visual artist and ran her own studio for a number of years before moving into Arts education. Vaseema has taught at all levels, from Level 2 through to A Level, Foundation Studies and BA (Hons). As well as an extensive teaching and curriculum development background, Vaseema has over 15 years experience as a manager in Creative and Performing Arts education. Before joining BIMM she was Assistant Principal, Teaching and Learning, at City College, Brighton and Hove. This role gave her the opportunity to work closely with BIMM in setting up the college and with all of BIMM’s key strategic partners in Sussex. These include: University of Sussex, City College, Central Sussex College and the Learning and Skills Council. Vaseema is dedicated to ensuring that every aspect of the student creative and academic experience at BIMM is second to none and this year will be focusing on staff development for all BIMM’s tutors and on developing the tutorial programme.
Mark Clayden - College Manager Bristol
Mark is the founding member and bass player of Pitchshifter and supergroup This Is Menace. Over the past 19 years Mark has toured 25 countries at stadium level and released eleven albums across seven labels (including Geffen, MCA & Sanctuary). Pitchshifter are a mainstay in the UK music scene and have placed their music in TV, video games and Hollywood movies. Mark has toured with Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Deftones, Incubus & Lost Prophets. Mark is a regular columnist for Total Guitar Magazine. Academically Mark holds a Master Of Arts and Cert Ed qualifications. Mark delivers guest lectures in Music Business Studies and is available for tutorials.
Simon Strange - Education Manager
Simon has wide ranging experience of many areas of the music industry. He has played 100s of gigs all over Europe in a variety of styles from Latin to punk. He has also worked as house studio engineer in studios mainly in Glasgow and Paris before becoming a specialist in HiTech retail and studio installations. Simon has worked in music education for the last 10 years running music courses in local communities, schools and colleges. He comes to BIMM having been the Head of Music at City of Bath College. As Education Manager he will be available for tutorials and to help in the career development of all students.
Anna Marks - Cert He & Music Industry Management Course Leader
Anna has been a member of the core team at BIMM Bristol since it opened in 2008. She studied English Literature at the University of Sheffield where she performed with glam-shanty group The Barnacles, worked as in-house crew setting up for touring bands such as Interpol, Bloc Party, Idlewild, and Rufus Wainwright, and stage managed at the Fuzz Club as well as running a regular club night at the student union. She now sings and plays synth and drums in several music projects based in Bristol.
Jon Harper - WBL / Events & Guests & Music Industry Outreach Manager
Award winning and critically acclaimed musician, Jon Harper has over 12 years experience working extensively with both major and independent recording companies including Sub Pop, Warner Music and Sony/BMG. He has recorded over 70 published songs through Chrysalis Music Publishing, released 3 major label albums, achieved 6 UK top 40 singles and a number 5 in the UK album charts. As a Zildjian, Gretsch, Vic Firth and Roland endorsed artist Jon has worked with top producers including Dave McCracken (Ian Brown), Paul Corkett (The Cure) and Chris Hughes (Tears for Fears, Robert Plant). He has toured the world and supported artists such as The Cure, The Rolling Stones, Iggy Pop, Queens of the Stone Age, The Pretenders, N.E.R.D, Muse and Gnarls Barkley. TV credits include Top of the Pops, CD:UK, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, From The Basement with Nigel Godrich, The Culture Show, MTV, Channel 4 and The Carson Daly Show (NBC, NYC). At the end of 2007 Jon became the live drummer for the Brazilian pop band CSS (Cansei de Ser Sexy), he is a founder member of TCTC (The Cooper Temple Clause) from 2000 until 2007. He joined IAMX (Chris Corner - Sneaker Pimps) as the live drummer for a year of touring and recording during 2009/2010, and has also performed live with Imogen Heap.
Hannah Phipps - Quality and Student Support Manager
Hannah is the Quality and Student Support Manager fat BIMM Bristol. She graduated from the University of Bath in 2008 with a modern languages degree and spent the next couple of years performing with an alt-folk band before joining BIMM Bristol. As well as her day job Hannah is now working on a solo project Jemima Surrender, gigging around Bristol and recording an album, as well as playing bass for franco-anglo post punk band The Veees (Invada).
Becca Powis - Student Support Officer
Becca is the Student Support Officer at BIMM Bristol. With twelve years working in education, she is passionate about supporting students. She offers welfare, attendance and academic tutorials and runs Bristol’s Learning Support department for students who require extra support to achieve their full potential. She also assists with examinations and is the BIMM Choir Co-ordinator. Before coming to BIMM in 2010, Becca was first a Landscape Architect then an English language lecturer for several years before more recently assisting the running of two language schools in Bristol. Becca was a prominent member in choirs and music theatre throughout school, was the singer and drummer in the Bournemouth band Bungy Pillow Fish and had solo parts in Leeds University’s Music Theatre productions.
Dee Ashton - Quality and Student Support Assistant
Dee is part of the QSS team- looking after all the BIMM Bristol students in her role as Quality & Student Support Assistant. Dee studied GSCE music at school where she played the piano & sang, once singing a solo performance of ‘The Corrs – Runaway’ in front of her whole school. Dee was also a member of her school choir.
Adam Tucker - Facilities Manager
Adam was a founding member and bass player of the Veils. Signing first with Warners UK and later to the legendary Rough Trade Records, Adam has recorded at some of the UK's top studios from Abbey Road and RAK in London with guitar God Bernard Butler producing, to Parr Street Studios in Liverpool with Coldplay producer Ken Nelson. Adam has also toured the world extensively, gigging in 18 countries from the US to Japa, performing alongside bands such as the Cooper Temple Clause, Suede, Delays, Morrisey and Muse. Adam is around all the time, so you can chat to him about rehearsing, setting up a new band and bass playing.
Andy Sutor - Facilities Assistant
Andy Sutor is a facilities assistant at BIMM Bristol and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the building and equipment. Outside of BIMM Andy is a drummer and bass player, born and bred in Bristol. Over the last few years he has gained some enviable experience playing drums for Berlin based artist ‘Anika’ (Invada Records/Stones Throw) who is produced by Geoff Barrow of Portishead fame. With Anika, Andy has toured over 10 countries including an extensive tour of the United States playing alongside major acts such as Portishead, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, The Pop Group, Horrors, Battles and even Public Enemy. Closer to home Andy currently plays for local blues legend Eddie Martin and a couple of his own projects, Dynamo Hum and Adding Machine.
Ben Johnson - Facilities Assistant
Ben Johnson is a facilities assistant at BIMM Bristol mainly running our external venues for the live performance workshops and live shows. Ben is an exceptional guitar player; gigging around the Bristol scene for the past 10 years he has played for many local acts offering his skills for recording sessions and more recently for helping to produce artists. He has just started forming his own record label putting his knowledge of recording, engineering and producing to the test. Ben currently plays guitar for Bristol based band Dynamo Hum.
Georgia Gallimore - Receptionist and Admin Assistant
Georgia is the receptionist and admin assistant for BIMM Bristol. She recently graduated from De Montfort University, in Leicester, where she studied Arts Management for three years. She has always been passionate about music and enjoys going to gigs and open mic nights wherever possible! Georgia would also like to develop her Oboe skills and hopefully be able to play in front of one person one day!
One of the few boons of being a musician with a heavy touring schedule is that your sense of urban geography becomes very highly tuned. My own band enjoyed its moment in the sun on the back a few top 40 radio hits and, inevitably, touring became the backbone of my professional life. We toured a lot - all over the world in fact. So much so that we quickly became unofficial city guides. Most touring folk are the same. Pick a city, any city, and ask a professional musos and you’ll get a personal Rough Guide to the culture, clubs, venues and bars they’ve known and, ahem, imbibed in. With my own band that guide would also include such esoteric charms as local art galleries, quality sushi restaurants, toy shops selling wind up tin plate robots, launderettes, vinyl record stores, tea rooms and, thanks to a fish-obsessed bassist, aquariums, pet shops and zoos.
Bristol was always the great exception for my band. Somehow, despite frequent visits here, it remained a huge question mark in our musical gazetteer. All I could say about Britain’s 5th largest city was that it felt different from just about anywhere else. It was hilly, like most cities seemed to have a visible population of crusty types, was full of launderettes, had a zoo and a decent aquarium too. And that was it. Bristol was an enigma.
As someone who now works in the city my muso map is much improved. It takes time to understand what Bristol is all about. Ever changing, ever evolving, always surprising, the city reveals it considerable charms slowly. So here’s some basics: Bristol is big – a series of connected neighbourhoods, it’s arty, cliquey, fascinating, unknowable and geographically complicated. Oh, and you’ll get very fit here on account of the hills and winding streets. It’s a city of ships, pubs and secret alleyways (a bit like Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter films.) Founded on money made from cigarettes and slavery, it’s also a major international port that’s surrounded by farmland. Imagine a market town gone slightly feral; A city where rural meets urban meets foreign. In other words it’s character is ancient and unique.
One of Banksy’s earliest and most infamous murals depicts a huge fluffy, white bear, grinning benignly as it throws a Molotov cocktail at a line of baton wielding police. Proudly displayed on a brick wall next to a converted office block in the hip bohemian quarter of Stokes Croft it’s entitled ‘The Mild, Mild West’. This, more than any of his other images, gets to the heart of the Bristolian mythos. It may appear laid back but if you provoke it you’ll quickly feel the city’s ire. Stokes Croft is home to art workshops, performance spaces, galleries of street art, venues and a glorious selection of care-worn pubs that have live music whatever the season. In high summer it’s like being in downtown Havana, the restaurants and bars overflow onto the streets and music thumps from every door and window.
The Canteen, a hangout for trendoids and musos beneath the converted DSS offices of the Hamilton House arts commune, is the place to see and been seen. Bands, great food and a drink at the longest bar in the west of England draws students, young professionals and the hip arty crowd. This is just one of more than 400 live music venues in Bristol. Unlike most major cities there is no pay-to-play policy here. You’ll see local acts and big international bands on the same bill at the Colston Hall, The Fleece, the O2 or the Thekla – Bristol’s infamous floating venue down on the dockside. All this connects with Bristol’s deep-rooted love affair with popular music. The PRS collect airplay and TV royalties on behalf of UK recording artists. They have over 65,000 professional members including the most famous names in music past and present. In 2011 they polled their members and discovered that Bristol spawned more successful musicians per head of the population than anywhere else in Britain. That includes those supposed music hotspots of Manchester and London. It led to sensational headlines in the national press. Kudos, at last, for the magic crucible of UK popular music. To Gerard Langley, a life long Bristolian, walking encyclopedia of Bristol ‘s musical heritage and lead singer with the legendary Lit rockers The Blue Aeroplanes, commented: “It’s not like London and it doesn’t need London. Bristol is self-contained and self-determining. Bristol bands were amongst the first 100 bands at the Roxy back in the day and remain amongst the most influential. It’s a city of originals.”
The countercultural edge survives here in a very real way. Unlike other cities whose more interesting neighbourhoods have been turned into themed tourist attractions or heritage trails, music, art and literature are woven right into the fabric of the city. Whether it’s secret warehouse gigs in Easton, new, or underground clubs and VIP nights in the Gloucester road, left field art exhibitions or pop up graffiti shows, Bristol’s focus is on that most enigmatic of qualities - authenticity. If it isn’t the real thing then it’s just not cool. Genres and styles collide perfectly and imperfectly here. Dubstep, now king of the daytime radio schedules began here over 15 years ago. But whether it’s indie, rock, urban, grime, dubstep or trip hop, (the Bristolian geist made flesh by the The Wild Bunch, Massive Attack, Tricky, Roni Size at the Dugout during the 80s), the city juggles new forms with a polemical post-punk sensibility. There’s an underlying self-deprecating humour too. A sense that life is a cosmic joke and that the punch-line really isn’t worth hanging around for anyway. People smile here. It’s a laid back, easy going smile but a smile nevertheless.
Yes, the city isn’t brooding and urban and edgy in the way that Birmingham or Manchester are. It isn’t Gotham. You won’t find any huge municipal buildings silhouetted against a dark satanic skyline. It has villages and neighbourhoods. The Colston Hall in the centre of town, the Royal Festival Hall’s smaller western cousin, hosts bands, theatre and record fairs while the city itself puts on several major international festivals each year including Dot to Dot and Harbourside music festivals and the annual gay pride weekend. The Gloucester road, with its low rent pop up club nights, is the place to find each and every known genre of music. The St Pauls district holds an annual street festival and the now legendary Halloween Day of the zombies, which sees thousands mass in the city parks and march their bloody zombie army on the city centre.
Like most cities in Great Britain PLC there’s shopping. Cabot circus is where you’ll find the brands we love to hate to love. More offbeat shops and boutiques can be found on Park St, old Market and the St Nicholas market where record stalls and designer boutiques abound. Rise Records at the top of Park Street is a large independent store that rivals Rough Trade in terms of influence and stock. Two floors of new vinyl, CDs, books, DVDs and films along with the live bands playing upstairs on a Saturday.
Ultimately Bristol’s a city for people who don’t need to try too hard. Or, as Gerard Langley says, ‘Bristol neither cares nor doesn’t care.’ Aint that just perfect?