Music Performance

BA Honours

Music Performance


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Key Course Information

Entry Year


Course length

3 year(s)

A-Level Requirements *



Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences


Professional Year Out





Arts, English and Languages

*Indicative Only. Please see the Course Entry Requirements section for details on subject specific or GCSE requirements.


The BA Music Performance is a new multidisciplinary programme delivered by dedicated staff with a wide ranging expertise covering music performance, improvisation, composition and audio engineering.  Students on the programme have access to the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) - a leading institute dedicated to creative practice in music and sonic arts. The programme is designed to appeal to performers from a wide range of musical backgrounds including classical, folk, traditional, pop, rock, jazz, singer/songwriter, electronic and experimental music traditions. Students gain extensive experience of performing in solo, ensemble and improvised settings in addition to developing skills for performing in the recording studio and the creative use of technology in performance practice.

Why Queen's?

  • SARC is one of the largest and best-equipped institutions in the UK working in the field of music and sound. Students on the BA Music Performance have access to state-of-the-art audio resources including a suite of practice rooms, ten sound studios and the world’s first Sonic Laboratory – a unique performance space capable of three-dimensional sound projection.
  • Performing Arts at Queen’s was ranked in the top 50 in the 2016 QS World University Rankings. 
  • The BA Music Performance programme benefits from strong partnerships with BBC, Ulster Orchestra, Opera NI, Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble, Cathedral Arts Festival, Moving on Music, Diatribe Records, DTS and Dolby.
  • Select student performances are released and promoted on the SARC record label.

Course Content (including module information)

Level 1 of the programmes consists of four compulsory modules encompassing both solo and ensemble performance, general musicianship and an historical introduction to music. All students receive weekly performance tuition and participate in weekly performance platforms - an open session for peer critique of solo and ensemble performances. Optional modules include composition, sound recording principles, sound design, audio mixing, and introduction to the arts.

At Level 2 students continue to develop solo, ensemble and improvised performance practice through individual tuition, group tuition and performance platforms. Student ensembles work in a recording studio setting to create recordings of newly conceived repertoire. Optional modules are available in areas such as song-writing, instrumental composition, sound design, sonic arts, audio production, instrument and installation design, music psychology, or introduction to arts management.

The primary focus at Level 3 is further refinement of solo performance practice culminating in a double weighted performance recital. All students are also asked to complete a project focussing on an aspect of professional practice in musical performance. Additional level 3 options include modules in designing musical interactions, composing for film and television, instrumental composition, sonic arts, and audio production.


For more advice regarding course content, please contact:

Name: Dr Franziska Schroeder

School: School of Arts, English and Languages

T: 028 9097 1024



Assessment & Feedback

Assessment: The ways in which students are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module.  Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.  Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations, which, in the case of the BA Music Performance, may take the form of a practical performance exam.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Module Outline Document for each module which is provided to all students at the beginning of each teaching semester.   

Feedback:  As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, industry professionals, module convenors, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers.  University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including: 

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when students make use of a lecturer’s “office hours” to help address a specific query.
  • Comments by placement employers or their written references.
  • Online or emailed comments.
  • General comments or ‘question and answer’ opportunities at the end of a lecture, workshop, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards students should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which students can review in their own time. 
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.


Once students have reviewed their feedback, they will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work. 

Learning and Teaching

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full professional potential.


On the BA Performance degree a range of learning experiences are provided which enable students to engage with subject experts and industry professionals, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners and professional musicians. More specifically, the programme lays a firm foundation for students who wish to pursue a career in music with a particular focus on music performance and digital technologies.  Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are: 


  • Practicals and Workshops: Students will have opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts. In addition to one-to-one lessons with specialist tutors and with input from various industry professionals, students will gain vital music performance experience. They will also perform in front of their classmates and, in the case of workshops, in front of leading professional instrumentalists and singers. Students on the BA Music Performance course will have plenty of opportunities during the year for public performance as well as recording opportunities.


  • Lectures: These will introduce basic information and ideas about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading.  Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain feedback, and receive advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).


  • E-Learning technologies: Information associated with lectures and assignments is communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Queen’s Online.  A range of e-learning experiences are embedded in the degree through, for example: recording, interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project-based work.


  • Seminars/tutorials: Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 20 students). These provide a vital opportunity for students to engage with academic staff and industry professionals with specialist knowledge.  Students are encouraged to ask questions and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. Students should expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups: being able to speak in public, and to defend one’s argument, is an important skill irrespective of a student’s future employment.


  • Self-directed study: This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private practice, reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback and performance research and performance preparation is carried out. The amount of self-directed study required varies from module to module, but typically amounts to 10 - 14 hours per week per practical module.


  • Professional practice: All students take a professional practice module in Level 3 during which they will deepen their particular performance style and focus with the aid of industry professionals and specialist tutors. Students will prepare to enter the music performance profession by developing production and online dissemination of AV media-based works and/or artistic documentation.


  • Work placements: Students may also opt for a Work Placement module in Level 3.  This is a further learning and employability enhancement opportunity.


  • Personal Tutor: Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during Level 1 and 2 who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development. 


  • Study Abroad: There are a number of opportunities for studying abroad, both in Europe (Erasmus) and the US.


Entry Requirements


Selection Criteria

In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.

Entrance Requirements

A-level: ABB plus successful audition.

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level): H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 plus successful audition.

All applicants: there are no specific subject requirements to study Music Performance. However, applicants being considered for entry are required to submit a video audition demonstrating a wide ranging ability of their musical performance style.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please click on Your Country in the International Students website.

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen's is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Business, Humanities and Social Science.

For students whose first language is not English

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

How To Apply

Applications for admission to full-time undergraduate courses at Queen’s should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at:

When to Apply

UCAS will start processing applications for entry in Autumn 2017 from 1 September 2016.

The normal closing date for the receipt of applications is 15 January 2017.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

Earlier applicants normally receive decisions more quickly, however, UCAS accepts that some applicants, especially those from outside the UK, may find this difficult. Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

Take care to enter the details of the institutions and courses clearly and correctly on the application. For Queen's, the institution code name is QBELF and the institution code is Q75. These should be entered in the Choices section of your UCAS application. A Campus Code is not required. For further information on applying to study at Queen’s, please click here.

Queen’s University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2017 Entry
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.

Career Prospects

Fees & Scholarships

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union. Higher education funding arrangements mean that students can study now and pay later.

Further details can be found on our fees and funding section.

Queen's works to ensure that all those who can benefit from a university education have the chance to do so, and a generous system of financial support is in place to help them. Each year Queen’s offer a range of scholarships and prize for new students. The most up to date listings are available here.

For international students, information on tuition fees, can be found here. Information on scholarships for international students, can be found here.

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