Commercial Music Performance BMus Honours

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UCAS code: W310 | Institution code: W50 | Attendance mode: Full-time

Our 2016 undergraduate courses feature some exciting new changes based on student feedback, which include providing more opportunities for you to broaden your knowledge and skills while here. See full details about the changes to our undergraduate courses.

Start: 17 September 2016
Duration: 3 years
Location: North-West London
Campus: Harrow

All prices quoted are for the academic year 2016/17 only.

Home/EU: £9,000.00
Overseas: £12,250.00

If you are seeking to become part of the music industry, this course uses innovative teaching and tutoring methods and state-of-the-art facilities to equip you with the skills you need to succeed, whether your entry point is as a performer, songwriter, composer, musicologist, journalist, DJ, technologist or educator. It also equips you with the transferable and cognitive skills necessary for lifelong personal and professional development.

Assessment and teaching takes place across both practical and theoretical areas of popular music practice. The course supports the development of instrumental skills in both workshop and individual settings, and the development of group performance skills with composition and songwriting. Underpinning the degree is a considered and thought-provoking contemporary programme of contextual studies combining musicology, music business and music education.

Our strong music industry links allow us to provide guest lectures from leading practitioners, and maximise opportunities for you to begin your career in music prior to graduation.

As part of an arts-dedicated campus, you will have unique opportunities to collaborate with students from other academic disciplines including film, TV, radio, fashion and media, and to network with other Music Department courses while developing a strong portfolio of work and experiences to launch a career in music or continue on to postgraduate study.

Course content

Our music courses are based at our state-of-the-art Harrow Campus, one of the main media education campuses in Europe, where facilities include 12 professional recording studios, a new teaching recording studio, and an array of television, post-production, radio, film, video and multimedia facilities.

The course sets high standards for professional achievement and practice, preparing you for the challenge of the fast-moving and demanding commercial music sector by underpinning the development of your performance, composition, technology, arranging and songwriting skills with a considered contemporary programme combining musicology, music business and music education.

We aim to nurture your ability to adapt to creative opportunities that emerge in new music and/or media forms, or in response to new creative partnerships, and develop your capacity to participate in contemporary musical, business and cultural debates. We will also develop your awareness of the political, ethical and aesthetic implications of your work and the industry in general.

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, individual tutorials, and instrumental and vocal workshops; the wide range of assessment methods includes oral presentations, reports, essays, group projects, and presentations of creative work.

Subjects of study

The following subjects are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.

Year 1 (Credit Level 4)

Subjects of study include:

  • Artist Development
  • Commercial Music Performance – Contemporary Practice
  • Commercial Music Performance – Instrumental Musicianship
  • Commercial Music Performance Portfolio
  • Individual and Professional Development
  • Music in Context

Year 2 (Credit Level 5)

Subjects of study include:

  • Commercial Music Performance – Instrumental Musicianship
  • Commercial Music Performance – Producing Performance
  • Commercial Music Performance Portfolio
  • Individual and Professional Development
  • The Creative Industries and You
  • The Principles of Music Marketing

Year 3 (Credit Level 6)

Subjects of study include:

  • Commercial Music Performance – Final Major Project
  • Commercial Music Performance – Instrumental Musicianship
  • Dissertation
  • Individual and Professional Development
  • Short Dissertation and Extended Essay

Westminster electivesWestminster Elective modules icon

As part of your course you can take elective modules. Electives are an exciting opportunity to widen your experience at university and to gain skills and knowledge that will help make you more employable. Find out about Westminster electives.

Course team

Additional costs information

Download course fee information to check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately on this course.

Work experience

Students have a number of modules, a mix of core and elective across all years addressing the issues of gaining experience and exploiting opportunities in the industry. The majority of students on the course will work either as freelancers or form their own companies and work experience is an intrinsic part of being and becoming a musician.

All work based modules are geared towards portfolio development and students are encouraged to start networking from beginning of the course. All of the work based portfolio modules culminate with a 30 credit core module, Graduate Study. It is here that students will demonstrate their experience, aspirations and ability to work in the industry. Areas include Freelance Musician, Music for Media, Music Journalism, Songwriting and Music Business. Traditional performance aspects of the craft can also be studied. Music education is also covered and can be across the spectrum including setting up as a private practitioner, workshop leader and/or setting up their own company, curriculum development and Music Therapy. Students are assigned to a tutor who is a specialist in this area who will help to guide and develop the project with the student.

Students work experience opportunities have been with various companies including Music Tank, City Showcase, Apple, FMM, Somerset House, Decca, Union Square and others.

Commercial music performanceCommercial music performance


Graduate employment

Whilst this is a new course, our graduates already work in a number of areas within the industry, primarily as performers and/or as named artists. The following links will give better indication of the variety of performance destinations for our students and graduates.

Others go on to study on a variety of Post Graduate courses and destinations including Goldsmiths (MSC, MMus and PG Cert); Bath (MA Film Music and PG Cert) and University of Amsterdam (MA).  In addition to working as music entrepreneurs either freelance or as business owners, students also work for a variety of companies such as English Heritage, Stage Coach and Kids Company.

Success stories

  • Michael Kiwanuka, with the recent release of his debut album in the top 20 UK charts and being voted BBC Sound of 2012, is a good example of the quality of musicians who graduate from the course.
  • Junior Garr was nominated for a MOBO in 2011 for best Gospel Act and continues his work as a worship leader and performer/songwriter.
  • Christiana Kayode, as well as being a singer songwriter, is a backing vocalist for Plan B.
  • Rahel Dessalegne continues their fruitful collaborations with producer and DJ, Eric Lau.
  • Joanna Bedford is a team leader for the charity Kids Company.


Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.

We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.

During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.

In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.

For more details, visit the employability section on our site.

Career Development Centre

Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.

We can help you to:

  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
  • plan your career development
  • identify your career options
  • market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
  • develop your enterprise skills

We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

Work Placements

Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.

More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.

Career options in your subject area

Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.

You can also browse the career options available to you after you graduate on the Career Development Centre's Finding work in your subject area pages and on the Prospects website.

Study in the city

If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.

Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.


After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.

Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships

In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.

Personal tutoring

All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.

Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.

Language support

Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.

Personal advice and counselling

While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.

International Westminster

With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.

Study Abroad and Summer School programmes

Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.

If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.

Sport and recreation

The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.

Students' Union

University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.


Commercial Music Performance BMus Honours Degree Showreel 2014

Graduate Kaz Rodriguez features in Roland TD-1KV/TD-1K V-Drums promotional video:

Former student Michael Kiwanuka performs at Hackney Round Chapel

Imperium DnB - all band members are graduates except for the singer who is a current student


Upcoming undergraduate open days

08 October 2016Undergraduate open dayCavendish, Regent Street, Little Titchfield Street, Harrow, Marylebone
09 November 2016Undergraduate open dayCavendish, Regent Street, Little Titchfield Street, Harrow, Marylebone
View subject-specific open days

Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design

We are one of Europe's leading centres for higher education for the creative industries.

Find out more about the school

Music facilities

We offer fully equipped rehearsal rooms, state-of-the-art recording studios and a brand new live music venue.