Clearing 2016

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Clearing 2016 Remove Clearing 2016 Ad What is Clearing?

Enquire: 023 8201 5066

Looking to start a career as a session musician, songwriter or performing artist? Hoping to upgrade your existing qualifications and secure a full honours degree? Southampton Solent University’s popular music performance top-up programme will help you build on what you learnt at HND level (or equivalent), providing you with access to Southampton Solent University’s extensive professional facilities and experienced teaching teams.

  • Students learn from veteran musicians with a wealth of experience in producing and performing music for a living.
  • Students are given guidance as they create a professional portfolio, recording songs and musical arrangements on industry-standard equipment.
  • Our high-end facilities include nine recording studios, four large rehearsal rooms, digital analogue workstations, vocal booths and a 200-seat performance space. Students will also have access to a music technology lab equipped with Apple hardware and the latest professional software solutions.
  • Southampton is home to various nationally renowned venues including the O2 Guildhall and The Joiners. This vibrant mix of venues has nurtured a diverse range of local music scenes, perfect for gaining stage experience.
  • By choosing from a range of optional units, students can tailor the curriculum to their career ambitions.
  • Students are given the chance to get involved with SMILEFest, the University’s annual music industry conference. Past speakers include Zoe Ball; The Blackout; Gallows; Steve Strange; Download booking executive and Livenation promoter, Andy Copping; Kerrang editor, James McMahon; and Bloc Party/Franz Ferdinand PR guru, Janine Warren. 

The industry

The UK is the world’s biggest consumer of music (relative to population size), and is the world’s third-biggest music market after the US and Japan (BPI, 2013). This course aims to help students discover where they fit into this growing market and how to best monetise their talents.

The programme

This exciting top-up programme combines practical performance skills with in-depth study of music, enabling students to convert existing HND level qualifications into a full honours degree.

Emphasising the core rock and pop instruments, including guitar, bass, drums, vocals and keyboards, the course underpins an in-depth understanding of performance skills with an academic study of popular music.

You’ll learn, write and perform material (including your own compositions) in a wide range of styles, often as part of a band. These recordings can form the basis of professional portfolios.

Outside of the seminars and workshops, students are encouraged to engage with Southampton’s music scene. By promoting or performing their own shows, students can cultivate their talent and expand their understanding of arrangements, composition, and stagemanship as they relate to real performance.

Next steps

Do you want to hone your composition, song writing and performance skills? With close industry links, an eclectic mix of experienced teaching staff and ample opportunities to build a body of work in our studios, this year-long programme is the perfect way to upgrade your existing qualifications and get your career in performance off to a great start.

Have you got a question about applying?


Typical entry requirements

Relevant HND/foundation degree pass with Merit Overall

Which Creative University Award 2014    

Year one:


Core units

  • Music Practice 3
  • Music Strategies and Career Building 
  • Instrumental Studies 3
  • Major Project: Popular Music Performance


  • Festival Cultures
  • Film Music
  • Consuming Music
  • Technology and Production
  • Songwriting Portfolio
  • Experimental Music Production
  • Experimental Music Performance
  • Advanced Live Music Production
  • Music and Audio Post-Production
  • Freelancing at Solent Creatives
  • Creative Entrepreneurial Freelance Practice
  • Curriculum Plus

Teaching, learning and assessment

Workshops in rehearsal studios, lectures, seminars, group and individual projects, and individual supervision.

Work experience
You’ll be encouraged to build your experience through extra-curricular practice and to collaborate with students on the other popular music programme courses, for example, in setting up education projects, putting on gigs, playing at club nights and performing at festivals (including Glastonbury and Blissfields).

Public performances, studio sessions, instrumental assessments, project work, essays and seminar presentations.

Our facilities

Nine recording studios including four mix workstations and a production lab with 24 workstations featuring Pro Tools|HD, Logic Audio and Sibelius. You’ll also have access to large rehearsal rooms, with backline provided.

Meet the Team

Many of our tutors have high profiles in the contemporary music industry. Their wide professional experience and knowledge will help develop your musical skills and entrepreneurial flair to prepare you for a creative and commercial musical career.

What do we offer?

From a vibrant city centre campus to our first class facilities, this is where you can find out why you should choose Solent.

Music graduates are well placed to enter employment in music and related areas.

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Solo artists
  • Session players
  • Bands
  • Arts management
  • Tour support
  • Postgraduate study
  • Teaching

Links with industry

Many of our tutors have high profiles in the contemporary music industry, and their wide professional experience and knowledge will help develop your musical skills and entrepreneurial flair to prepare you for a creative and commercial musical career.

Transferable skills

IT, presentation, teamwork, creative thinking, project management.


Key facts


Location of study:

Study mode:

Entry requirements

  • Relevant HND/foundation degree pass with Merit Overall (55 per cent) or 240 CATS points from a relevant three-year degree
  • UK applicants will be asked to attend an audition
  • Applicants resident outside the UK will be required to send electronic auditions.

Audition requirements

Before attending your audition, please read the following: Audition information

For international students please read the following: Audition information

Contact: +44 (0)23 8201 5066


We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants who are not in possession of the minimum entry requirements but are able to demonstrate aptitude, enthusiasm and motivation will be considered on an individual basis and may be admitted subject to satisfactory interview and/or portfolio. Please contact us for further details.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component- TOEFL is only valid for EU students
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Note to all international students requiring a visa:

All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Southampton Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Southampton Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office.

We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at this PDF document which outlines both Solent University and Home Office requirements for a number of language tests.  

Non-standard entry

If you do not have these qualifications or are unsure of your eligibility please contact the University using the contact details found at the top of this page.

Costs involved


Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2016/2017 academic year are:

UK and EU full-time fees: £9,000 per year

International full-time fees: £11,000 per year

Other costs

Optional USA study trip: £1,000

Graduation costs 

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2015, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £42 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost.

For more details, please visit:

Bursaries and scholarships

Southampton Solent University offers a range of scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our scholarships page to find out more.

How to apply


Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Student support and services


Student welfare

Southampton Solent University is committed to giving you the best possible educational experience during your time with us. As such we have a number of support services and policies set up covering funding, careers and employability, chaplaincy, counselling, international advice, student affairs, key academic skills, disability support and general student advice. Find out more about our approach to student welfare.

University facilities

You will have access to a modern, comfortable and efficient environment in which to study, following our extensive refurbishment and modernisation over recent years. Some key facilities include Mountbatten library, a wide variety of sports and watersports facilities, plus superb IT and media facilities. Find out more about our first-class facilities here.

Living in Southampton

Southampton is a vibrant student city and studying at Solent means that you will be at the very heart of the action. Find out more about being a student in Southampton.

Solent Students’ Union

Run by students for students, Solent Students’ Union is a key part of any student’s time at Solent. Visit the Students’ Union website for more information.


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