Certificate of Higher Education Music

UCAS CODE: W320

INSTITUTION CODE: B39

View course on UCAS

A 1 year full-time course available at:


*Subject to approval

Get ready to discover one of the great music capitals of Europe, as you embark on a year-long musical journey of your very own.

Whether you’re a budding musician, songwriter, or music producer, dive into BIMM University’s Cert HE in Music and begin your own creative adventure in one of the most exciting capital cities in the world.  

At our BIMM Music Institute campus, you’ll be surrounded by a diverse array of artists and a rich musical history to inspire you. With all the major record labels present in the UK and German capitals, your path to success is just around the corner. 

What’s more, you will join forces with uber-talented students from a whole host of backgrounds and with a whole host of interests. This isn’t just about music; it’s about imagining the possibilities when different creative disciplines merge.

Bimm global live performance
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As you sharpen your musicianship, songwriting, or music production skills, you’ll build a bespoke portfolio. The ‘Studio Project’ module immerses you in real-world practices and fosters industry-leading collaborations. It’s hands-on learning at its finest.  

This Cert HE course can be your stepping stone towards a bachelor’s degree, meaning that your journey doesn’t have to end after a year; it can continue on to further heights. 

All are welcome at BIMM University, and everyone can thrive. Don’t worry if you don’t have formal qualifications as we welcome mature students with a passion for music and valuable experiences they wish to share.  

If you’re ready to create music, to make friends and memories, then join us in London or Berlin and let your creativity soar. Don’t miss this chance to earn a globally recognised qualification whilst at the same time living the artistic dream in a cultural hotspot. The world of music is calling.  

Course Specification

Mode of attendance: Full-time

Length of course: 1 year

Awarding institution: BIMM University

Campus delivery: London and Berlin

UCAS code: W320

Language of study: English

Credits: 60 ECTS/ 120 FHEQ (UK)

Final award: Dependent on pathway, one of the following;

  • CertHE Music (Popular Music Performance)
  • CertHE Music (Songwriting)
  • CertHE Music (all Music Production pathways)

Minimum Requirements

Successful completion of a BIMM admissions assessment.

Minimum of 2 A-levels at Grade E or above (32 UCAS points), OR BTEC Level 3 equivalent, and normally three GCSEs at a minimum grade C/4, including English Language.

IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 to be achieved in each band.

Course Fees

Please visit our Fees page for information on access to student loans. Please note, UK students eligible for loans are able to borrow the full course fee for BIMM Music Institute degrees.

Year 1

All students take the following core modules.

The Performance Skills module will take you through the process of effective live performance through individual preparation, live ensemble performance and reflective practice. Weekly instrument-specific prep classes will equip you with techniques for effective part-preparation, memorisation and rehearsal strategies.

The Live Performance Workshop component will provide you with the opportunity to further your skillset through full-band live performance. Here you will receive guided feedback and feedforward from lecturers and peers to help further your own reflective practice. This will be recorded in a weekly Reflective Journal. You will be encouraged to develop confidence on stage, and the necessary arrangement and communication skills for professional live performance.

Good instrumental/vocal technique is reliant on efficiency – this module will enable you to develop the core techniques to be able to express yourself in the way you want to. Looking at various styles and theory, along with the physics and physiology of playing, you’ll be taken through the fundamentals in a step-by-step manner in a progressive way, leading you to develop your creative vocabulary, so you can say what you want to say, musically.

Summary

Creating music with a digital audio workstation (DAW) allows musicians to have complete control over the creation and production of their music. A DAW provides a powerful set of tools for recording, editing, and mixing audio, as well as a vast library of virtual instruments and sound effects. This allows musicians to experiment with different sounds and styles, combine different elements of music, and create unique and original compositions. Additionally, a DAW enables musicians to collaborate with other artists remotely, share their work with a broader audience, and access a range of professional-grade plugins and production tools. Understanding music theory’s key conventions is also essential for musicians to develop their craft and create meaningful and impactful music. Music theory provides a framework for understanding the structure and function of different musical elements, such as melody, harmony, rhythm, and form. By learning the conventions of music theory, musicians can develop a deeper understanding of how to create effective and engaging compositions, and how to communicate their musical ideas to others.

Module Aims

In this module, you will have the opportunity to explore and utilise production skills when arranging and creating sound and instrument parts using a DAW. You will learn how to use the various tools and features of a DAW to create a recording. Through a combination of practical exercises and theoretical study, you will explore the principles of music production and arranging. By the end of the module, you will have started to develop the skills and knowledge needed to create high-quality recordings and compositions.

This module develops key skills to arrange and perform established songs within a different context.
Each week you will have a discipline-specific preparation class to analyse a pre-assigned song and explore alternative technique, tone, instrumentation, feel, tempo, re-harmonisation or live production options that inform your stage performance strategy.

You will come together with all instruments in a weekly performance workshop that will enable your ensemble to develop and rearrange the songs, according to the ideas in your group. Your ensemble will negotiate and workshop ideas into full arrangements while developing engaging, visual performances that enhance the musical decisions you make.

Applying the core techniques to develop your own voice on the instrument is a fundamental step to becoming a unique musician – the more diverse the influences, the more unique the musician. You will focus on exploring and analysing methods to expand vocabulary and develop open-ended creative methods.

You will create a short video demonstrating the creative application of techniques and theoretical concepts to a musical style of your choice. This will allow you to select the best attempts of each exercise for the final video, allowing you to add your own creative touches to the presentation. Compositions and recording techniques developed in Creative Technology can be used to support your video creation.

Summary

This module will focus on the development of general musicianship through the study of music theory. Music theory provides a strong foundation for contemporary musicians, allowing them to communicate, create, perform, analyse, and collaborate more effectively. While creativity and expression are central to contemporary music, an understanding of music theory empowers musicians to channel their creativity in a structured and informed manner.

Module Aims

In this module, you will create new musical ideas and pieces through study of music theory. The skills, knowledge, and concepts that you cover in class will be immediately applied in context, offering you the opportunity to develop a range of tools and approaches to composition and arrangement.

As you move through the module, the learning will be applied using Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) and you will receive guidance on how these software platforms can be used to construct and capture your creative ideas. You will produce and submit a ‘cohesive composition’, and by this we expect that you will be able to draw upon your developed understanding of musical elements effectively in a new and original composition.

Summary

Developing collaborative arranging skills as a songwriter can bring many benefits to your music. Firstly, it can enhance your creativity by exposing you to new ideas and perspectives. Collaborating with other musicians can bring in different musical influences and styles, resulting in a more diverse and unique sound for your music. Secondly, it can improve your musicianship as you work with other musicians who may possess different skills and techniques. This can help you expand your musical knowledge and improve your timing, rhythm, and harmony. Collaborating can also increase productivity, making the songwriting process more efficient and effective.

Module Aims

In this module, you will be taken through the process of arranging and rehearsing your composition to a standard suitable for a performance. Whether you are part of the performance or leading it as a writer/MD, you will be guided through the creative process utilising musicians to achieve your desired outcome for an original composition. This will be supported by the skills and knowledge developed in your semester one modules and will provide you with the tools to create and realise your vision for the composition.

You will receive feedback and guidance on the arranging process from your lecturers and peers and learn the dynamics required to manage creative Individuals to help achieve a common goal of a live performance. Additionally, this module will help you develop the following graduate attributes:

  • Creativity and connectivity
  • Self-awareness
  • Professionalism

The techniques module enables you to explore songwriting through a carefully constructed programme of practical creative tasks. The course is delivered by a teaching team of established, published contemporary songwriters. Career planning, research and freelance skills are embedded in the curriculum, and you will also benefit from opportunities to collaborate with production and performance students.

Further study will be the building blocks of songwriting: chord theory, melody, harmony, lyrics and rhythm. The module involves aural perception, giving you the opportunity to develop your musical ear and recognise intervals and chord sequences by listening.

The module will take a traditional view of songwriting as well as contemporary, by exploring how approaches have changed over time. There will be writing partnerships, giving you the ability to collaborate effectively. Chord theory, structure and writing intuitively will be the focus of the module, as well as an introduction to lyrical and poetic devices.

Summary

Music theory is the language and building blocks of all compositions and is a powerful creative tool that established composers and artists/songwriters use to convey their artistic vision. Gaining a foundational level of music theory can help songwriters become more versatile composers and can enhance their ability to collaborate and communicate effectively with musicians and industry professionals. It can enhance creativity by providing essential knowledge on how music is created, allowing for more interesting chord progressions, melodies, and song structures.. Additionally, music theory can make songwriting more efficient, as it allows songwriters to quickly identify what chords, harmony and melodies work to help convey the emotional intent of the song.

Module Aims

You will study music theory used in popular music. Many important aspects of the way music works will be studied, with a firm emphasis on making the content practical and appropriate in today’s creative environment for the composing, recording and performing musician. The module will cover important music theory concepts in a way that helps you to use fundamental theory in modern compositions and recordings.

In this module, you will explore performance in its many forms, drawing not only on classic and contemporary musical performances but also taking inspiration from the broader arts such as theatre and contemporary art to create your own artistic vision. You’ll go from simply playing your songs, to researching ideas for inspiration, to collaborating through improvisation and planning a unique ensemble performance either as a songwriter/performer or as a songwriter/ musical director. In either instance, it is necessary for you to contribute to the songwriting aspect of the composition performed for your assessment.

Throughout, you’ll be supported by a team of experienced lecturers in experimenting with fresh arrangements, stagecraft, and sound and visuals; all helping to bring your ideas to life while building your confidence and independence as a songwriter and/or artist.

Styles and Genres is concerned with the deconstruction of musical and non-musical elements that create successful popular songs. This module will analyse the historical, social and biographical contexts that may have had a bearing on specific musical genres and notable songwriters, as well as examining external influences on these styles.

The module will require you to employ critical listening and aural perception to analyse music and lyrics objectively in order to understand how songs may work on us subjectively. This module will also look to broaden your songwriting vocabulary via the creation of an original work/song, in addition to providing a platform for self-reflection on the skills and aptitudes necessary for lifelong learning in this field.

Summary

Developing skills in Digital Audio Workstation recording, arrangement and mixing techniques are essential for songwriters to create polished and professional-sounding compositions. Additionally, arrangement techniques are crucial for songwriters to give shape and structure to their musical ideas and to create a cohesive and compelling musical expression. By developing these skills, songwriters can effectively express their creative ideas and communicate a creative vision with greater precision.

Module Aims

This module will allow you to build your music theory, arrangement, and aural perception skills and use these to support a more in-depth study of mixing and arrangement techniques using a (DAW).

Summary

In this module, you will learn sequencing and arranging techniques to facilitate your development as a producer and composer. There will be a focus on the use of foundational music theory concepts which underpin the rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic aspects of composition.

The module positions arrangement as the main lens through which the selection and application of tools and techniques are viewed- where the study of song form and structure will guide your choices of DAW programming and sequencing approaches used for achieving a coherent arrangement.

Module Aims

  • Utilise midi protocols in a DAW
  • Apply fundamental sequencing techniques
  • Develop listening and arrangement skills using fundamental music theory to underpin creative choices

Summary

The module will introduce the theory and practice of sample-based music production through practical exploration and applied theory. You will learn a variety of audio editing, audio manipulation, and sampling techniques, as well as digital audio theory.

Module Aims

The module will encompass the fundamentals of sample-based production, such as sample types, sampling techniques, and audio editing methods. You will learn how to manipulate samples and incorporate them into your own arrangements, as well as how to generate unique sounds using various processing techniques which meet the standards of the modern music production industry.

This module will look at recording audio practically for the modern engineer. It will complement the theories studied in Audio Fundamentals. We will focus on modern engineering essentials and apply them to any setup from large format consoles to bedroom studios. We will focus on gain staging, use of analogue and digital equipment, Mic placement and techniques and running a recording session.

Summary

This module introduces composition techniques and music theory as they apply to contemporary music production as a key part of the modern producer’s toolkit. Through developing critical listening skills and researching practitioners, you will apply these ideas to your own creative work.

The module develops critical listening skills and encourages students to actively analyse and deconstruct different musical genres. Students will learn contemporary music theory by identifying compositional elements like harmonic progressions, melodic structures, and rhythmic patterns.

The module encourages students to research influential practitioners and their work. Students will learn about composition’s many possibilities by studying these artists’ methods. This practice-based research-driven approach allows students to expand their creative horizons and apply their newfound knowledge to their own production. They will also gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the art of composition itself.

The module empowers students to become confident and skilled self-produced artists by exploring influential practitioners’ work, expanding creative horizons, and applying new knowledge.

Module Aims

  • To facilitate the development of your competence and confidence in using music theory to support your composition
  • To build awareness of the impact of your compositional choices on the music you make

Summary

This module will provide you with an exploration of the theory and application of music synthesis. You will learn about the principles and techniques of sound synthesis, including the several types of synthesis methods and the use of synthesizers in contemporary music production.

Module Aims

The module will explore the fundamental concepts of synthesis, including subtractive synthesis, additive synthesis, wavetable synthesis, and frequency modulation synthesis. You will also learn about the several types of synthesisers, including analogue, digital, and software synthesizers, and their use in contemporary music production.

Summary

This module will introduce the art and techniques of mixing multiple sources of audio into a cohesive-sounding ‘mix.’ The skills developed in this module will allow you to mix multi-track electronic compositions, multi-mic’d live performances or soundtracks for visual media. You will identify areas of the original audio that require improvement, such as sonic quality, arrangement, or performance. You will utilise a variety of tools and techniques related to level balance, spatial image, and frequency balance, and will apply creative processing techniques as relevant to your chosen field of work.

Module Aims

During this module, you will develop your ability to mix multitracked recording projects. This module will also help you develop the following graduate attributes:

  • Employability
  • Self-Awareness
  • Resilience and Adaptability
  • Creativity, Collaboration and Connectedness

Full module description to be confirmed

Any questions?

For any questions regarding our courses or if you’d like more information on how to apply to BIMM Music Institute, please contact our Enquiries Team on 01273 840 346 or email [email protected].

 

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