Nick Ryall

Course Leader, BA (Hons) Popular Music

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Cambridge School of Creative Industries

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Music

Research Supervision:Yes

A composer and songwriter in a variety of genres, with a wide range of teaching experience and musical interests.


Nick had been a secondary teacher before embarking on a musical career, studying composition with Gilbert Biberian and more serious study of guitar, flute and voice with a bit of keyboards, in addition to peripatetic teaching. Nick was one of the founder members of the new music ensemble ‘Cambridge Circus’ and played in a number of jazz ensembles. During this time Nick had a number of compositions performed including London and New York.

In the early nineties Nick was a member of the rock band ‘Mass’, touring the UK and Europe as well as releasing two singles, an album and an EP. John Peel sessions and underground radio airplay led to sessions working with members of Killing Joke, Sisters of Mercy and the Mission. Other projects followed on from there. Nick then returned to teaching and was Programme Manager for both a BTEC and HND in Popular Music at an FE college. Nick then joined the ARU Music department with which he has a long association.

Research interests

  • Composing and Songwriting
  • Improvisation
  • Left field/experimental songwriters and artists
  • Film music
  • Live electronics and software
  • Alternative instruments


  • Music in Context 2A (Popular Music)
  • Popular Music in Context 1A
  • Composing and Improvising 2A


  • MPhil, University of Birmingham
  • PGCE, University of Reading
  • BSc (Hons), University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne