Music BA(Hons)

Penryn Campus
3 years full-time
Direct line
01326 254350

Try your hand at new techniques and ideas, and develop your own unique approach to music making. If you're inspired by new and diverse music, from jazz to pop to classical, and want to embrace a spirit of innovation, this is the course for you.

BA(Hons) Music is built around five guiding principles. The course is practice based - you can choose to specialise in performance, composition, songwriting, production, sound art or musicology, or in a mixture of these disciplines. It's contemporary - we draw knowledge from the past, but focus on the musical world as it is today, both stylistically and in terms of the career opportunities. It's stylistically eclectic - we support students with a broad range of musical styles including popular, classical, jazz, folk, and electronica. It's experimental - we help you to establish a creative and innovative approach to music making, to form new and interesting collaborations with other artists, and to develop your own musical voice. Finally, it's skills focused - we help you develop a broad range of musicianship skills, particularly theory and notation, to ensure you are ready for a range of careers in the music industry.


  • One-to-one and small group instrumental lessons, or
  • Composition or studio production lessons
  • Play regularly in ensembles, including vocal group, laptop orchestra, and Taiko drumming
  • Regular guest speakers and artists, such as Graham Fitkin (Composer), Ed O'Brien (Radiohead) and Darcus Beese (Island Records)
  • Take advantage of Falmouth's annual jazz summer school, held in collaboration with Yamaha

How the course is taught 

We put creativity and artistic exploration at the heart of what we do, creating a supportive environment for you to research new ideas, cross stylistic borders and work collaboratively with a wide range of people.

You'll be in lectures and seminars studying a wide range of ideas and techniques. We'll also support you through tutorials as you work out how to apply that learning to your own music making.

How you'll spend your time 

YearTime spent in timetabled teaching and learning activityTime spent in guided independent studyTime spent on placements

How you'll be assessed 

Year   Assessment by written exams                                                        Assessment by practical exams                           Assessment by coursework     

What you'll do 

Year one 

In your first year, you'll consolidate and challenge the fundamentals of music-making, across performance, critical listening, composition, recording, theory and notation.

  • Composition studies: the elements of music
  • Performance studies: self and sound
  • Music in culture and critical theory
  • Contemporary techniques
  • Professional practice
  • Independent project
  • Ensembles and lunchtime Concerts

Year two

In year two, you'll choose from specialist modules such as Film Music, Music Education, Studio Composition or the Music Business. In other modules, we look at cutting-edge trends in today's music scene and think about career opportunities available to you.

  • Music at the cutting edge
  • Applied music
  • Options projects
  • Proposals for practice
  • Independent project
  • Ensembles and lunchtime concerts

The second year will also be the point in the degree where you can choose to study abroad with one of our partner institutions through the Study Abroad and Erasmus Exchange programmes.

Year three

Your third year begins with an off-campus project, designed to place your music in a professional context. Recent projects have included community music-making in Kenya, researching American Folk music in New York, and working as a film composer in Sri Lanka. Other possibilities include placements in the UK in schools, orchestras or record labels. When you're back, you'll work on self-devised projects, such as writing an album, putting on a major performance, or composing a score.

  • Practice in context
  • Dissertation
  • Professional practice project


The Academy of Music and Theatre Arts' incredible facilities include:

  • High-spec studios for acoustic and amplified music
  • Recording studios and practice rooms for bands and solos
  • Some of the best studio hardware, software and collection of microphones in any UK higher education institution


Our core staff team comprises performers, composers, producers, sound artists and musicologists, working across a wide range of musical styles. You will also have access to our large team of associate staff, including leading instrumental tutors, composers and songwriters, industry contacts and our team of technical support staff.


Assessment is a combination of practical exams and coursework.


Our graduates are freelance musicians, composers, business owners, teachers and community music leaders. They have worked with Elvis Costello, Madonna, Mark Ronson, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, amongst many others. Typical careers include:

  • Freelance performer, composer, producer or writer
  • Work as a session musician or ensemble work
  • Extended involvement with arts organisations or community music leader
  • Career in music journalism
  • Teaching or running workshops

Student mentor scheme 

Falmouth's student mentor scheme matches new starters with a second-year student, to help you settle in and find your feet.

Our mentors can be reached on the Music BA(Hons) Facebook group

They'll help with topics like living in Cornwall, what to expect at Falmouth, and the course itself.

Also worth a look are additional groups that offer assistance for disabled students, LGBTQ+ studentsmature studentsinternational students, and Cornish locals

You'll need to join the groups before you can post. If you don't have access to Facebook, please email your name and proposed course to