Northumbria University Newcastle - Music Foundation Year

Northumbria University Newcastle

Music Foundation Year

Do you have a passion for music? Would you like to develop your performance skills alongside an understanding of music history and knowledge of music theory? The Music Foundation Year is a fully integrated programme with the BA (Hons) Music course, and will develop key musical skills in piano playing, theory and harmony.

During your studies, you will develop your performance skills in 20 one-to-one instrumental/vocal lesson with the same specialists who teach on our degree programme. The course will equip you with essential skills for a performer such as interpretation, effective practising and handling performance anxiety. You will build your knowledge of music theory, and the study of harmony will be delivered in a fresh, creative way using the piano and/or guitar. Your creativity will develop through improvisation, taking inspiration from the music you perform.

Entry Requirements

Standard Entry

80 UCAS Tariff points

From a combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications which may include: A-level, T Level, BTEC Diplomas/Extended Diplomas, Scottish and Irish Highers, Access to HE Diplomas, or the International Baccalaureate.

Subject Requirements:

Applicants should be performing at grade 6 level or above in Music Performance, or a recognised equivalent. 

Applicants not taking graded music examinations will be considered, and you may be asked to attend an online audition. You should ensure that your musical experience is detailed in your personal statement.

GCSE Requirements:

Applicants will need Maths and English Language at minimum grade 4/C, or an equivalent.

Additional Requirements:

Applicants may be asked to submit a video recording demonstrating their performance ability, and have a discussion with academics about their application.

English Language Requirements:

International applicants should have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or an approved equivalent*).

Career Prospects

The Foundation Year develops key musical skills in piano playing, theory, harmony and aural, all of which are necessary for an advanced study of Music, and for careers in performance, musicology and music teaching. It helps you to develop as a performer, and gives you the intellectual skills needed for degree-level study. Above all, you will develop confidence in all areas of study to proceed to the next level.

Course Details

You will work in an environment in which all learning is informed by the academic expertise and research specialisms of our staff.

In performance, you will receive 20 hours of individual instrumental/vocal tuition. This is complemented by seminars covering strategies for practice/performing and performance practice, attendance at concerts and open rehearsals, and participation in masterclasses and workshops. This introduces you to the way performance is taught throughout the Northumbria Music degree.

Music history combines lectures with seminars based around group discussion of musical texts or broader questions, with seminars often led by students. Music history is brought alive in this module through visits to libraries, archives, houses and other institutions, where you will have the opportunity to engage with the primary source materials of music history, giving you insights into how music research is done.

Foundation Year

Music in the Home (Core,20 Credits)
Performance (Core,20 Credits)
Theory, Harmony and Improvisation (Core,20 Credits)
Essential Skills in Piano-Playing (Core,20 Credits)
The Music Profession (Core,20 Credits)
Music Portfolio: Skills for University (Core,20 Credits)

*The information’s are correct at the time of publishing, however it may change if university makes any changes after we have published the information. While we try our best to provide correct information, It is advisable to call us or visit university website for up to date information.

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