BA (Hons) Career Musician

3-year full-time on-site (blended learning)

If you are an independent, self-motivated musician who wants to thrive, not just survive, you’ve come to the right place.

Our BA (Hons) Career Musician degree is designed to give you the perfect blend of artistic freedom alongside practical strategies to forge your own career. On your own terms.

It’s flexible and comprehensive. Study in a way that suits you. And build your own music projects into the course.

The degree is built on three fundamental elements – your music, your career and your projects. It deals with what really matters in the industry. It will expand your options and push you to create original, boundary-shifting music.

And it’s fully accredited and approved by one of the UK’s leading specialist universities for the creative industries, Falmouth University.

3-year full-time on-site (blended learning). Starts September.

All the details...

You'll find all the information you need in the sections below.

The 3-year on-site version of the BA (Hons) Career Musician degree offers the best of both worlds. Immerse yourself in the on-site university experience. Enjoy the flexibility of online learning.

Who’s it for?

Every musician has their own story to tell and their own path to follow. That’s why at WaterBear, we treat you as an individual and you can select to study a wide range of subject areas. Your main interest may be:

  • Vocals
  • Guitar
  • Drums
  • Bass
  • Production
  • Songwriting
  • DJing
  • Tour management
  • Event management
  • Technical / events support.

All lectures and content is also available online, so you can mix and match different subjects. You can design your own path through the degree, and make it your own.

You’re a drummer who also wants to sing better? Or a songwriter who needs to improve your recording and mixing skills? Or just want to stay fully focussed on your main interest? No problem. How and what you study is completely up to you.

All musicians at WaterBear will make, record, mix and master their music. We provide a supportive, safe environment to experiment and create. You’ll also develop a personal career plan to support your ambitions.

How You Will Learn

In term time, you’ll spend around 10 hours each week on-site in timetabled teaching and learning activities. You’ll also get access to all your module content prior to your class lectures via WaterBear’s dedicated Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

On-site teaching and learning activities can include:

  • Lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops
  • One-to-one mentoring
  • Assignments, assessments and feedback sessions
  • Masterclasses
  • Live performances and gigs
  • Peer collaboration via ‘Jam Cloud’ (VLE)
  • Free rehearsal time in professional studios

Career Pathways

This course is designed to develop careers in:

  • Music performance and composition
  • Audio/visual production
  • Studio recording
  • Music production and engineering
  • Live sound engineering
  • Digital marketing and PR
  • Digital content creation
  • Tour, artist and events management
  • Artist, label and publishing services
  • Technical support
  • Music education

Further Study

After graduating, you’ll have a number of routes to further study available, including the MA Music Entrepreneur course at WaterBear and other postgraduate specialist programmes.

Course Modules

Year One

Module title: Your Music

Creating original work or interpreting cover versions that represent you as an individual. Making music that tells your story as an artist. This is me today, and this is where I am going.

Module title: Your Music Industry

The music industry, past and present. Exciting case studies of artists that have made an important contribution to music. How did they do it? How can you employ these insights into your own music projects, right now?

Module title: Your Musical Development

Expanding your skills and abilities. Pushing the boundaries of instrumental or vocal technique, producing lo-fi experimental work, or writing a hit pop song. The direction you take your music is controlled by you.

Module title: Your Strategy

Creating your individual career plan, with careful design and thorough testing. Here we develop knowledge of current music industry practice to create career plans that are a). realistic and b). achievable.

Year Two (Level 5)

Module title: Who Are You?

Time to Stop and reflect. Who exactly are you? Competent musicians can play, sing and write well, but an artist stands for so much more. Loads of music creation, production, performance and soul searching will help you become the best possible version of you.

Module title: Making Things Happen

Now’s the time for the rehearsal and practice to stop and for you to show the world what you’re made of. Working as a team to put on shows and events. From live streams, to solo acoustic shows, to a fully-fledged national tour. It’s all fair game.

Module title: Innovation in Music

Expanding your music into new and ground-breaking environments. Different methods of recording. Innovative playing techniques. New ways of writing songs or performing. You’ll use this as inspiration to create a wide range of original or creative covers.

Module title: Innovation in Music Business

Just because it’s about the ‘music business’, doesn’t mean this module is dry. No way. You’ll bring all your creative faculties to the table to create innovative new business models for the future music industry.

Year Three (Level 6)

Module title: Dissertation

A dissertation isn’t just a long essay. It’s so much more than that. Yes, you’ll be honing your academic chops as you undertake formal research. But you’ll also be preparing the ground for your ambitious final project (Destinations). This is where you do the prep.

Module title: Journeys

Having thought about what to do for that final project, you’ll now need to prepare for it. A lot. This is where we will do that work together, and document the process. You’ll be getting plenty of mentoring and guidance too, so don’t worry.

Module title: Destinations

The big one. The final project. The springboard into your creative future. You are encouraged to be practical and realistic, but also ambitious and to challenge yourself. There is no limit to where you can take this or what you can do. Anything is possible.

Initial applications for the BA (Hons) 3-year full-time course can be made via the ‘Apply Now’ button at the top of the page, or by contacting

We consider all applications on their own merit and potential. We’ll invite you to a 1-1 consultation, either in person or by video conference. This is where you’ll have the opportunity to find out all about WaterBear and talk about your music, achievements and career goals. Find out more about the 1-1 Consultation process here.

You can also apply directly via UCAS here.

The BA (Hons) 3-year full-time course is also available to international students if they are based in the UK with settled status (no restrictions on how long you can stay).  Students living outside of the UK can apply to study the 2-year accelerated online version of the course via the ‘Apply Now’ button at the top of the page, or by contacting

Language Requirements

If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to achieve equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of equivalent approved tests too. Visit the English Language Requirements page of the Falmouth University website ( for more information.

In order to get the most out of the BA (Hons) 3-year course, it’s essential to have regular access to the resources below. Having your own equipment will provide maximum flexibility for both your college and professional work.

Essential basics:

  • Your instrument (instrumentalists)
  • Expendables (strings, sticks, picks, leads, etc.)
  • Note-taking materials (pens, notepad, manuscript paper, etc.)
  • Computer (desktop, laptop, tablet, etc.)
  • DAW software 
  • USB memory stick
  • Reliable Internet connection

We recommend:

  • Computer (laptop / desktop) capable of running DAW, audio interface, plug-ins and A/V processing software (recommended 8-16GB RAM, 7,200 RPM Hard Drive, 8MB buffer, 1TB hard drive)
  • Reliable, high speed Internet connection
  • Professional DAW software (ProTools, Logic, Cubase, Ableton, etc.)
  • External hard drive
  • Dynamic microphone(s) (e.g. Shure SM57 / SM58)
  • Audio interface (e.g. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2)
  • Headphones (e.g. Sennheiser HD 200, Beyerdynamic DT770)

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Why WaterBear?

Tardigrade (AKA Water Bear)

  • Micro-animal that is found everywhere, in all extreme climates
  • The most resilient creature known to humanity. Survives and adapts to its surroundings
  • This resilience and ability to adapt and survive inspires us in everything we do