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.
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.
We understand that, to be a great musician, you need to explore and experiment.
As a student in Cambridge, you’ll be able to make the most of the city’s diverse music scene, and benefit from our links to local networks such as Cambridge Arts Network and Cambridge Live. From classical music to UK rap, or even film and computer game soundtracks, you’ll be surrounded by collaborative opportunities to explore and expand your style.
On campus, you can use our specialist facilities to develop your music and experiment with different styles and techniques.
Take advantage of regular feedback on your performance, skills and assessment on live performances, to quickly improve your skills.
Taking into consideration the current COVID-19 restrictions, throughout your course you may have the opportunity to listen to professional musicians on campus every week in our lunchtime concert series, as well as attend workshops, masterclasses and lectures by visiting performers, composers and academics.
Choose to study abroad for one semester and get ongoing support to find work placements, to gain a broad experience of the music industry.
Whether you’re interested in the music industry, world music, performance art or music therapy, our degree will help you explore popular music in depth, as you prepare for your future career.
Winner of NMG's Best Male Solo Artist 2018, talks about how his time on the BA (Hons) Popular Music course at ARU.
This is a Year 2 optional module that allows students from any of our undergraduate music courses to compose and realise original music to accompany a film, video or other type of digital moving or still image.Explore more
November 2017, crowds gathered at the Portland Arms, Cambridge, to hear performances by our BA (Hons) Popular Music students.Explore more
Poptronix II saw our BA (Hons) Popular Music students again take to the stage at the Portland Arms, Cambridge, as part of their assessed coursework.Explore more
Psychedelic rockers Grass Roof formed on the first year of our BA (Hons) Popular Music degree, and have since gone from strength to strength.Explore more
Creative industries students came together for an evening of music and merriment at ARU's open mic night.Explore more
Fido, Helson and Lumberjacks
In May 2017, students from our BA (Hons) Music, BA (Hons) Popular Music, BA (Hons) Performing Arts and MA Music Therapy worked alongside professional soloists on this production of Britten's Paul Bunyan.
Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.
All our music students have access to:
You can also get training in all of our creative facilities – not just the ones for your course.
Study at ARU and benefit from:
Associate Lecturer, Music
Senior Lecturer / Practitioner, BSc Audio and Music Technology
Lecturer, Popular Music
Course Leader, BA (Hons) Musical Theatre; Doctoral Researcher and Senior Lecturer Practitioner
Course Leader, BA (Hons) Electronic Music Senior Lecturer, Audio and Music Technology
Course Leader and Senior Lecturer, Music
Course Leader, BA (Hons) Popular Music
Senior research fellow, Music for Health Research Centre; Music and Performing Arts
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.
"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 is a graduate of ARU's BA (Hons) Popular Music degree.Read more
Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our application experts. We're here Monday-Thursday 8.30am-5pm, and Friday 8.30am-4.30pm. You can also ask our Student Ambassadors about life at ARU.
Applying for one of our music or drama courses? Get information and insider tips on preparing for your audition.Audition information by course
Read this institution's report