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About the course

This unique contemporary music masters facilitates engagement in all styles and genres of contemporary music practice. Individual artist development lies at the core, supporting you to progress into today’s competitive music industry.

The course has been designed to enable students from both a music performance and music production background to develop a professional portfolio – and focuses on your individual artist development, maturity of style and creative personality.

Throughout the course you’ll be provided space to broaden your knowledge within current music industry trends, take advantage of shared or complementary subject areas and develop your creative aims and aspirations while enabling networking opportunities, entrepreneurship and artist development – central to the course manifesto.

You’ll benefit from a regular schedule of visiting lecturers who’ll discuss their different approaches, philosophies and ideas with you, including musicians, academics and guests from the wider creative industries.

Performers will also have the chance to continue their exploration of personal artist development alongside music producers, enabling the personal advancement of music production artistry.

This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
You can apply direct to Solent University for this course.
Apply direct
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies
You can study this course part-time.
Part time option

Integrate theory with industry practice at an advanced, independent and self-critical level.

What does this course lead to?

MA Popular Music Performance and Production can lead to a number of roles including musician, artist, producer, music entrepreneur, songwriter, sound engineer, composer and music teacher.

Who is this course for?

The course is ideally suited to those who want to refine their skills within a broad range of musical disciplines in order to meet professional industry requirements. The course specialises in artist development and studio-based production skills to advance creativity, musicianship, song writing and performance techniques.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The 2021/22 fees are not yet available. For guidance, the 2020/21 fees were: 
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £7,370
International full-time fees: £13,260
UK, EU and Channel Island part-time fees: £3,685 per year
International part-time fees: Students from outside the EU are usually unable to obtain a visa for part-time study. Please visit our visas and immigration page for more information.

Students in receipt of a postgraduate loan from the Student Loan Company are typically able to pay their tuition fees via instalments.

For further information, please see our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

The 2021/22 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:

Compulsory costs
High quality headphones (approx. £100)

Bursaries and scholarships

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

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 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. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

An honours degree at 2:2 or higher.
  • A portfolio of work and/or audition will be required for courses focusing on the development of creative or performance-based skills.
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
  • For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.

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 6.5 overall with minimum of 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in reading, listening and speaking
  • TOEFL IBT 92 with minimum of 22 in writing and a minimum of 19 in reading, listening and speaking
  • 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 Language Course for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.


Solent alumni save up to 50% on their tuition fees

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team: 023 8201 5066

How to apply

Applications for postgraduate courses can be made at any time prior to the start of the course. However, we strongly recommend you apply at your earliest convenience.

Please ensure you upload the following mandatory documents with your application.

  • Two academic references
  • Certified transcripts of qualifications, including English language proficiency if non-UK student
  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of current visa (if applicable)
  • A personal statement
  • Employer sponsor form where appropriate

Applications for 2021 will open soon. For any enquiries, please email admissions.

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Alumni discount

Solent alumni could be eligible for up to a 50% reduction of tuition fees if returning to study a postgraduate course. The discount applied will be dependent on your undergraduate degree classification as follows:

Solent Alumni with a:

  • First (1.1) will be offered a 50% discount to study at PG level
  • 2.1 or 2.2 will be offered a 20% discount to study at PG level

The discount applied will be based on the most recently completed course.

If you are currently a student at Solent University and are continuing on without a break in your studies, your discount will be automatically applied on your return.

If are not following directly on from a course at Solent University, but have studied with us in previous years, you will need to register for the alumni discount.

Click here to register or to find out more

What you'll study

Modules include:

  • Creative Music Development
  • Perspectives on Contemporary Music
  • Interdisciplinary Music
  • Professional Practice Portfolio
  • Masters Project


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Meet the course team

Daniel Pennie academic profile Daniel Pennie Course Leader View profile
Pete Wilson academic profile Pete Wilson Senior Lecturer View profile
Toni Diaz academic profile Toni Diaz Senior Lecturer View profile
Patrick Ainsworth academic profile Patrick Ainsworth Senior Lecturer View profile
Simon Fisk academic profile Simon Fisk Senior Lecturer View profile
Paul Statham academic profile Paul Statham Associate Lecturer View profile
Phil Durrant academic profile Phil Durrant Associate Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


As a master's student, you’ll have direct access to Solent’s modern facilities with industry-standard hardware, software and instruments, including a state-of-the-art recording studio, high-tech Mac labs and dedicated performance spaces, which can all be booked free of charge outside of class hours.

Solent is also home to a 24-hour library, modern IT facilities and a range of expert learning and employability support services.

MA Popular Music Performance and Production provides an opportunity for students to inquire, investigate, explore, experiment and articulate their chosen musical discipline applying academically sound research and evaluative methods in originality and critical thinking.

Your future

Solent’s MA Popular Music Performance and Production course will prepare students for a wide range of employment and PhD opportunities. Suitable roles may include:

  • Musician
  • Artist
  • Music entrepreneur
  • Private music teacher
  • Higher education teacher
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Sound technician, broadcasting/film/video
  • Arts administrator
  • Broadcast engineer
  • Community arts worker
  • Event manager
  • Radio broadcast assistant
  • Radio producer
  • Composer
  • Sound engineer

Get ready to find your place

You can still experience life at Solent at a virtual open day! Hear from course tutors, take virtual campus and accommodation tours, and chat to us live.

Register for a virtual open day