BA (Hons) Popular Music

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Learn how to succeed in the music business, from performance to production, and explore the history and cultures of popular music with our BA (Hons) Popular Music degree.

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Meet your tutor: Chanan Hanspal

Guitarist, composer and Lecturer in Popular Music at ARU, Chanan Hanspal talks about what got him interested in music.

With our BA (Hons) Popular Music degree, you’ll get the chance to develop your musicianship and take it to the next level.

Immerse yourself in our student community, and collaborate on projects such as music videos, and film or computer game soundtracks.

There’s a focus on live performance throughout, with the chance to perform at festivals and in well-known music venues around Cambridge.

From notation and song-writing to the history and culture of popular music, you’ll gain an awareness of the different styles and techniques that can inform your own music.

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Fees and paying for university

Facilities and showcase

State-of-the-art facilities

All our music students have access to:

  • climate-controlled recording studios, running professional software including Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton Live and Sibelius
  • six practice rooms and two Mac suites
  • electronic and orchestral instruments, including a range of synthesisers
  • a recital hall with a Steinway Model D piano
  • a broad selection of digital and analogue as well as both solid state and valve outboard equipment – read more about our audio music technology equipment here.

You can also get training in all of our creative facilities – not just the ones for your course.

Develop your talent

Study at ARU and benefit from:

  • regular feedback on your performance skills and assessment on live performances
  • facilities to develop your music and experiment with different styles and techniques
  • our links with local networks such as Cambridge Arts Network and Cambridge Live
  • a diverse music scene in Cambridge ranging from classical to UK rap

Take a closer look

Our Creative Showcase shines a spotlight on what makes ARU creative and cultural – our spaces, places and people. Find out more about our community, the difference we make, the stories we tell, and the things that inspire us.

Meanwhile, Present is an exhibition that you curate for yourself. Explore the work of our graduating students in this eye-catching virtual degree show.


Not only will you develop your knowledge of music theory as part of your Music degree, you’ll also be equipped with all of the practical skills that you need for a career in the music industry. You will also get the chance to tailor the course to your future career through our optional modules.

We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.

Many of past students now enjoy successful careers in music – from performers and composers through to music teachers and art administrators.

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us, of course. You might decide to stay at ARU and study for a Masters, such as our renowned MA Music Therapy. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and get 20% off your fees.

Danny Kingsley

"It was difficult at first, as we had to find a balance between studying, and practising with the band. ARU was great though; letting us leave a little early to travel to gigs or taking days to be in the studio. "

Danny Kingsley

Danny is a graduate of ARU's BA (Hons) Popular Music degree.

Danny's story

Apply now for BA (Hons) Popular Music

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