Music Performance, Production & Composition BA (Hons) Southend Campus

This programme will give you a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical and technical aspects of musical composition and performance, as well as studio recording and production techniques and related disciplines.

In the music industry there is a growing need for multi-skilled practitioners who are able to write, create and perform music, as well as record and produce performances.

The course is concerned with the music production, performance and composition process in various different contexts (for example, sound for film and live performance) and is reinforced by a rigorous academic strand that ensures practical skills are backed up with a critical ear and an understanding of the theories that underpin them.

Equipment and facilities:

Our specialist studio facilities are resourced with two recording studios, four rehearsal rooms with instruments and equipment and a specialist music technology computer room. The course uses a variety of software including Apple’s Logic suite of digital audio workstation software, Avid Sibelius and Pro Tools and numerous other supporting pieces of software.

Why should I do this course? 

This programme will give you a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical and technical aspects of musical composition and performance, as well as studio recording and production techniques and related disciplines.

What's covered? 

Year 1

  • music theory and fundamentals
  • music industry and law
  • music within culture & context
  • composition and arranging for production learners
  • studio management & production
  • sequencing practice
  • band musicianship

Year 2

  • dissertation preparation
  • business practice
  • creative industry practitioners
  • advanced ensemble studies
  • music and sound for TV and film
  • instrumental and group tuition
  • session musicianship
  • composition and theory

Year 3

  • dissertation
  • industry preparation
  • practical project
  • electroacoustic composition
  • new music composition
  • supporting performance
What can I do after this? 

Our graduates pursue a variety of careers, many within related industries. Recent graduates have gone into teaching music, technical support for musicians, running music workshops, composing music for corporate media products. Some have gone on to study further, including Masters Level.

Year 1: Provides the basic skills across the different programme areas to build a firm foundation in preparation for more specialist study in years two and three. A wide variety of subjects are covered, focusing on key practical skills and the basis of core academic inquiry in music. The practical topics include areas such as using a recording studio, musical performance and music sequencing, while the academic areas include music theory, cultural studies, and music law and ethics.

Areas of study: Music theory and fundamentals, music industry and law, music within culture and context, composition and arranging for production learners, studio managements and production, sequencing practice, band musicianship.

Year 2: The second year expands significantly on composition and performance whilst exploring critical lines of enquiry, and introducing you to new ways of thinking and to artists outside of your area of experience. There is a significant focus in the second year on moving you forward in your study and encouraging you to work in a more independent and self-directed way.

Areas of study: Include dissertation preparation, business practice, creative industry practitioners, advanced ensemble studies, music and sound for TV and film, instrumental and group tuition, session musicianship, composition and theory.

Year 3: The final year of the programme is the most challenging as it requires you to utilise the skills you learnt throughout the programme in an independent and self-directed way. In addition to the larger project-based units, the dissertation and practical project, both of which are double modules, there are some modules which deal with specialisation as well as supporting you to progress into the world of work.

Areas of study: Include dissertation, industry preparation, practical project, electroacoustic composition, new music composition, supporting performance.

Entry requirements 

For BA (Hons) you will need 160 UCAS points from one or more of the following:

  • at least two A-levels
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/Diploma/Subsidiary Diploma/Certificate [QCF]
  • BTEC National Award/Certificate/Diploma [NQF]
  • International Baccalaureate
  • AQA Baccalaureate
  • Progression Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma
  • you will also need English GCSE at grade C or above OR Level 2 equivalent (such as functional skills/learndirect)

Video requirements

Applicants to the BA (Hons) Music Production, Performance and Composition degree programme are required to provide a video of a performance(s) on their chosen (first) instrument. The requirements for the video are presented below:

  • the video must be uploaded to YouTube/Vimeo as a private track
  • viewing access must be granted to (as directed on application)
  • length should be four to eight minutes, and can include more than one piece of music (or playing styles)
  • the performer must be clearly visible
  • limbs relevant to the performer and performance must be shown (for example fingers should be clearly visible in a piano performance)
  • no editing of a single performance is allowed. If there are multiple performances at different times, these can be edited forming a collection of performances
Southend Campus (Luker Road)
Monday, September 12, 2016
Full time
3 years
Higher Education
Course code
W312 (BA)
Fees are per academic year for home and EU students
Southend Campus (Luker Road)
Luker Road

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My story Marc Baker
Graphic Design BA (Hons)

Marc Baker
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Hello my name is Marc Baker, I am 25 and this is my story.

I started at South Essex College in 2007 on a Level 2 Art & Design course which led to a Level 3 Diploma in Graphic Design. I knew that doing graphic design would allow me to develop and progress as a student, and was the natural choice to pursue my chosen career. I then did a BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Design.

I enjoyed my time at South Essex College and it was probably the best time of my life so far. I met some really great people and built and developed great relationships with my tutors whom I keep in touch with to this day. It was a fantastic time and I would recommend it to anyone else. I think the skills I developed at the College really helped me and benefitted what I wanted to do in the workplace. I always had the time that I needed with tutors, one-on-one and resources were always made available to me. Since I left the College an opportunity came up at Essex Web Creative. I am in charge as the creative graphic designer of the team. It was a great pleasure to come to this company because I can provide something that they need and produce fantastic work and beautiful art work. It is great to be able to help other businesses with their creative process.

I would always recommend South Essex College. It has a professional atmosphere,  but it is also a very friendly atmosphere which from my experience helps. At South Essex College you get the best of both worlds and when needed there is always a tutor to help you.

My story Danielle Martinali
Fashion Design BA (Hons)

Danielle Martinali

Danielle Martinali >

Fashion Design BA (Hons)

My name is Danielle Martinali and I live in Shoebury. I am 22, studying Fashion Design BA (Hons) at South Essex College and this is my story.

I began at South Essex College straight from school and have always studied fashion design. I chose the College because it is close to home. Being at South Essex College has taught me many skills to use in the future. From pattern cutting to draping to Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator, how to research and find the right fabrics for designs and how to design correctly, using a range of new different software (Gerber). I learnt how to use machinery correctly and how to sew to a high quality standard. These are things I will always have and remember for many years ahead.

Best of all is being able to have a one-to-one relationship with the staff. I built up good relationships and felt comfortable with them all. We now have a really strong bond. I hope we will always stay in contact and I don't think I could have got through the years without them and their support.

Hopefully I will graduate with a first class Honours degree. During my degree I did all things ‘fashion’ to get myself noticed and my graduate exhibition will be held at FreeRange in Brick Lane, London. I have successfully landed a job at a company called Australia Luxe Collective in London as an assistant designer having applied online through the Creative Arts. A week after I graduate I will start work on developing a new women’s outerwear clothing line to compliment the existing footwear ranges. I will be responsible for research, design and pattern cutting for first samples amongst other things (

Because I built up such good relationships with my tutors I now feel confident about my future and I think that doing further and higher education gets you in more doors and to enables you to proceed to a better life for yourself. I would recommend South Essex College because you get a lot of one-to-one tuition which isn’t available at most universities as they are overfilled. I am proud that I have managed to get myself into the industry and my ambition is to finally have my own brand designing outerwear.

At South Essex College I gained a lot of confidence and the ambition to push myself to be the best I can be.

Key facts

  • Music & Sound Technology
  • Undergraduate Qualification
  • BA (Hons) Music Performance, Production & Composition
  • - Media and Performing Arts

Awarded by

University Of Essex