FdA in Urban & Contemporary Music, full-time [Shockout Arts]

University of Bolton

Program Description

FdA in Urban & Contemporary Music, full-time [Shockout Arts]

University of Bolton

Urban & Contemporary Music - FdA full-time [Shockout Arts]

This course is a partnership between the University of Bolton and Shockout Arts, based in central Manchester, and is designed to give you the edge to succeed in the international music and performing arts market place.

The course reflects the needs of professional commercial organisations operating in this industry. The content of the course has been designed by current industry specialists who work for Time Warner, BMG and Sony and who have worked with such artists as Mary J Blige, Beverley Knight, Mariah Carey, Snow Patrol, J-Sean, Leona Lewis, Nathan, Dele, Craig David, George Michael, Randy Jackson and Roachford . The course designers also have experience in international music business practices working for the BBC, The Grammys, MOBO and all major music festivals from Glastonbury to Coachella.

The foundation degree focuses on developing your practical skills to a high level and you will undertake your studies in Shockout Arts’ high-standard industry-approved rehearsal studios and additionally at some of Manchester’s famous recording studios. Additionally, your studies of specialist subject areas will be underpinned by knowledge and understanding of the key concepts needed for an all-round appreciation of music in a professional context.

About the course

Shockout Arts has longstanding links with organisations and employers in the performing arts industry throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The programme is designed to address the current and future needs of such employers, and to enhance your lifelong career prospects as a professional commercial musician.

In addition, Shockout Arts’ highly experienced tutors are keen to make the time you spend with them as academically stimulating and rewarding as possible. The course includes a significant proportion of practical training and workshops where you will gain skills and knowledge in a range of techniques.

Shockout Arts’ staff enjoy well deserved reputations for being approachable and interested in their students’ progress. As a student on the FdA Urban and Contemporary Music programme you are assured individual support and guidance at every stage.

Special features

  • The programme includes an introduction to a range of contemporary music styles and techniques.
  • You will receive intensive tuition including 30 hours per week student contact time including workshops and rehearsal time.
  • Professional industry standard studios will be used to deliver aspects of the programme.
  • The range of teaching and learning methods includes visits, workshops, guest speakers and master classes, with a range of weekly rehearsal sessions using resources equal to industry standards.
  • The two year programme includes a period of work placement in the music and performing arts industry.
  • The programme has strong links to the music industry and you will be encouraged and mentored in developing links on a national and international basis.
  • The programme is delivered by academic staff who are professional industry practitioners, ensuring the programme content is relevant and up-to-date.
  • The focus of the assessments is varied and includes a range of practically assessed performances and presentations underpinned with academic work-based assessments, which are undertaken to professional industry standards.
  • There is a combination of theory and practice throughout the programme.
  • You will have the opportunity to start a business and be encouraged to run the business throughout the duration of the programme.

What you will learn

The practical elements of this course involve workshops and structured rehearsals. These are supported and underpinned by theory elements delivered through lectures, presentations, seminars and tutorials using the University of Bolton’s virtual learning environment, Moodle.

You will gain additional insights and knowledge by attending talks given by visiting speakers who are active industry professionals.

While this foundation degree is taught at Shockout Arts studios in Manchester, you will be officially enrolled as a student at the University of Bolton giving you full access to all of the University’s facilities. Many of these resources are available electronically so you can use them remotely. In particular, Moodle allows you to access learning materials and study aids via the internet so you can work on your studies from anywhere at any time.

What you will study

Level 1 – HE4

New Media and Social Enterprise; Practice and Rehearsal Skills; The Real Business of Music; Professional and Academic Skills; Harmony and Rhythm; Performance and Stagecraft.

Level 2 – HE5

Experiencing the Industry; Listening Skills and Musical Cultures; Creative Musicianship; Musicians, Regulation and the Law; Session Musicianship and Musical Direction; Research and Professional Musicianship.

Throughout your programme you will be encouraged to reflect on the development of your academic and professional skills and make recommendations for self-improvement. You will learn to appraise your own performance and set targets building towards the creation of your academic and professional Personal Development Plan (PDP).

Entry requirements

This course is open to UK and EU students. Applications from International students cannot usually be accepted because the study location for this course does not have a Tier 4 licence. Therefore, if you require sponsorship under Tier 4 (i.e. a Tier 4 international student visa to study in the UK) then unfortunately we will be unable to consider your application for this course.

120 UCAS points from at least one, but preferably two, A2-levels (or equivalent such as BTEC Certificate) including a music or performing arts related subject.

You should also have five GCSE passes at grade C or above (or equivalent) including English.

In addition you will be required to attend an audition as part of the application process. The quality of the audition is the primary basis on which applicants, with at least the minimum entry requirements, are selected. There is an audition charge of £30 per applicant for 2014 entry to the programme, payable directly to Shockout Arts at the audition.

To pass the audition you will be required to complete the following three activities to a satisfactory standard:

  1. Provide a performance of two contrasting pieces on a principal instrument (to equate to grade 5 or equivalent in performance abilities).

  2. Sit a music theory examination (which will be sent to you in advance of the audition day. The examination will equate to grade 5 or equivalent).

  3. Complete a free writing exercise focusing on music industry themes (which will be sent to you in advance of the audition day).

If English is not your first language you will also normally need IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent). If you do not have the required English level, you can study English with us from IELTS 4.0 (or equivalent).

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated March 31, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
2 years
Full time
9,000 GBP
Start date Aug. 2017
United Kingdom Manchester, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 2 years
Price 9,000 GBP
- Home/EU Fee; £11,250.00 - International Fee