Music (Performance and Production)

The Music: Performance and Production programme has been designed to develop student's performance, technical, creative and professional skills necessary to thrive in the music industry.

Students develop their performance skills, through 1-to-1 instrumental tuition and ensemble practice. This highly practical and creative programme enables students to specialise in performance, composition, analysis, recording, production and event management.


Pathway Options

BA Music (Performance and Production)
UCAS Code: 165F
Apply via UCAS 

How to apply

All applications to study for a full-time undergraduate degree programme are made through UCAS - Swansea College of Art UWTSD is part of University of Wales Trinity Saint David

All our course come under the institution code T80

Visit the University's apply section to find out more.

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Course Length:
3-4 years Full-time
6-8 years Part-time

5 reasons to study this course

  1. 1-to1 instrumental tuition
  2. practice-based
  3. industry focused
  4. dedicated studios
  5. contemporary music studies

What you will learn

Course Overview

This programme is designed for students highly proficient in one or more musical instruments. It provides them to the opportunity to develop their performance and production skills further and most importantly how to build a career in the music industry.

The Music: Performance and Production programme has been designed to provide its graduates with the performance, technical, creative and professional skills relevant to those wishing to work in the music industries. This programme is highly practical and creative with a multi-skilled approach to include performance, composition, analysis, recording, production and event management. The project-based nature of the programme allows students to tailor the assignments to suit their interests within the broad subject area of music.

Students learn to incorporate contemporary popular music techniques as well as world music traditions into their own practices. Music Theory and listening skills are embedded throughout the programme. Students develop their artistic abilities throughout the programme. As the student progresses throughout the years they have more opportunities to tailor their assignments towards their own interests. In the third year, students undertake a major project, whereby they propose their own project and receive 1-to-1 supervision to support them throughout. Many students use this major project as an opportunity to launch their career. In the past, module students have founded record labels, organised concerts, produced albums and showreels. The project-based nature of the programme allows students to direct their own study and get support and tuition in their own musical interests.

Graduates of the programme will be equipped with the necessary technical skills (performance, composition, analysis, recording and production) and practical and theoretical skills (entrepreneurship, communication, presentation, conceptual-thinking and performance etiquette) to work in the music industry.


Level 4 Modules (year 1)

  • Performance Practice 1
  • Public Performance 1
  • Ways of Thinking
  • The Studio Engineer
  • The Studio Producer
  • Music Theory
  • Ways of Perceiving 
  • Popular Music

The level 4 module, Performance Practice 1develops students’ standard of instrumental and ensemble performance. Public Performance 1develops their music performance industry and event management knowledge as well as professionalism in performing publically.

The Studio Engineer and The Studio Producer modules equip students with the necessary skills for the studio recording and production of music.

Music Theory and Popular Music develop students technical understanding of music and also its socio-political context.

Contextual Studies modules: Ways of Thinking and Ways of Perceivingprovide students with the historical knowledge and theories to support their learning.

Level 5 Modules (year 2)

  • Performance Practice 2
  • Public Performance 2
  • Live and Studio Recording
  • Creative Research
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Research Practices
  • World Music
  • Composition & Arrangement

In Performance Practice 2 and Public Performance 2students continue to develop on their performance and project management skills.

The develop a deeper understanding of music production through the Live and Studio Recording module.

The further develop their music business knowledge with Entrepreneurship.

Students will take core contextual studies modules, Creative Research and Research Practices where they will undertake research for their dissertation proposal.

Students are introduced to World Music in level 5. In this module, students will learn about non-Western music traditions and create fusions with their own practices.

Students will also study Composition & Arrangement. This follows on from Music Theory in level 4. Students will enhance their composition skills and arrangements of existing works.

Level 6 Modules (year 3)

  • Major Project
  • Dissertation
  • Music Video Production

Optional Modules

  • Game Audio 3
  • Studio Composition 3
  • Networking & Self-Promotion
  • Music 3

At level 6 students get the opportunity to work independently on their Major Project. Throughout level 4 and 5 students will have worked in groups and independently. The Major Project allows students to initiate and develop their own project that they will sustain throughout the year, through Stage 1 and Stage 2. Students will receive seminar support on time management, project planning and presentation skills. They will primarily be taught through one-to-one tutorial supervision. This allows students the peer support and the specialised tuition on their individual project. At this level students also undertake a Dissertation and choose between one of the following optional modules: Networking and Self-Promotion, Game Audio 3, Studio Composition 3and Music 3. In the final semester, students study Music Video Production, this allows them the opportunity to develop portfolio material which can be used to gain employment in the music industry. 

Level 7 Modules (year 4 MArts only)

  • Advanced Production
  • Performance Recital
  • Creative Project
  • Contemporary Music Practices

At level 7 students have the opportunity to develop the most important themes of the programme to an advanced level. In Contemporary Music Practices, students will develop a deep appreciation for the contemporary practices in composition, performance and production. This module will also enhance their research skills, ensuring that they are very well equipped for working in the music industry. In Advanced Production, students will develop their production skills to a highly-advanced level. In Semester 1, students will also undertake a module called Performance Recital. Semester 2 is entirely dedicated to Creative Project. Having gained a deeper understanding of contemporary music practices and honed their skills as producers and performers, students undertake a project of their own design. This module is grounded in a self-directed study framework, which they are well prepared for throughout the programme and in particular in level 6.


Assessment is carried out through coursework, both written and practical. There are no exams on this course. Students are formatively assessed throughout a module, summative assessment takes place at the end of a module.
The course work is varied and often dependent on the project that the student has chosen to undertake. Assignments typically include the production of a piece of work, or a performance, supported by a written report. Presentations are often used to provide the student with an opportunity to discuss their work.
Students receive 1-to-1 instrumental tuition as well as ensemble tuition. 

Our Facilities, Graduates and Industry Links

Student and Swansea Life

Key Information

Course Tutor(s):
Entry Criteria

This programme is suitable for applicants who are highly proficient in one or more musical instruments, have a strong focus on the production of music and display a commitment to higher education by obtaining the necessary entry-level qualifications or by fulfilling the mature student criteria. Applicants will normally be expected to have studied BTEC Music or similar. All applicants are invited for an informal interview and audition and are expected to demonstrate an appropriate performance standard.

We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your portfolio of work.

Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points. We expect applicants to have a grade C or above in English Language (or Welsh) at GCSE level, together with passes in another four subjects. Plus we accept a range of Level 3 qualifications including:

  • Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus one GCE A-Level in a relevant academic subject
  • Three GCE A-Levels or equivalent
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject, with minimum grades of Merit
  • International Baccalaureate score of 32
  • Other relevant qualifications can be considered on an individual basis

Qualifications are important, however our offers are not solely based on academic results. If you don’t have the required UCAS points then please contact the courses admissions tutor or email as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.

See our Interview Guide for more information.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the BA Music: Performance and Production programme may pursue employment as a:

  • Session Musician
  • Music Entertainment Promoter/Manager
  • Live or Studio Engineer
  • Music Agency Executive
  • Sound Designer
  • Composer, Songwriter and Arranger
  • Musical Director
  • Music Education Practitioner
  • Music Therapist
  • Radio Broadcaster
  • Music Journalist
  • Researcher
  • Event Manager
  • Record Label Owner/Manager
Additional Costs

Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities.

However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining in optional study trips, and printing. 

Students are expected to bring their own personal art and design equipment with them when they commence the course.  We can advise on the correct equipment needed for your programme of studies and signpost appropriate suppliers if you wish to purchase essential items before or during your studies.  

A basic ‘art and design kit’ will cost approximately £100 but you may well already have much of the equipment required so check with us first.  Also, although we have extensive dedicated digital design studios (PC and MAC) for you to undertake your coursework you may wish to bring your own digital devices, again check with us first before making a purchase.

Related Courses
Student Quotes

"I graduated in July 2018. My success over the three years was the result of hard work, dedication and love for music. The support from the lecturers has been outstanding throughout this journey. The support I have received has been the backbone in my success, as I was always given the opportunity to express, experiment and explore with my creativity. By studying this course I discovered what I was talented at, and most importantly, I started a bold career in music that will help me continue this journey through 2019 and onwards. I now live and breathe music and I would highly recommend any aspiring musician to undertake this course to build their knowledge and career in music"
Kierran Tomkins, BA Music (Performance and Production) 2018 graduate.

"I loved doing the course because it not only allowed me to further myself in my instrument which was playing drums, it also open my eyes to other avenues that I wasn’t even aware of, let alone considering. 
Help and support from all the staff at the Uni along with hard work and dedication resulted in my qualifying with a 1st class honours degree. 
I would recommend this course and this University to anybody!" 
Megan Jenkins, BA Music (Performance and Production) graduate 2018.
Bursary/ Scholarship Information

Swansea College of Art at UWTSD offers two Academic awards:  

  • Swansea College of Art 1853 Scholarship
  • Cert HE Foundation Bursary

Information on these as well as University wide offers can be found here.

Study Abroad Opportunities

During your time with us, you will have the opportunity to study abroad with the Erasmus exchange programmes currently running with Universities in Norway, Barcelona and Sweden.

Study Abroad 
Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.

For more information please click here