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The award
BA (Hons)

How long you will study
3 years

Domestic course fees
GBP 9250

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Music (Jazz) at Bath Spa University

A specialist jazz course offering a wide range of performance opportunities for instrumentalists and singers.*

  • Enhance your jazz skills with this busy performance course featuring classes in improvisation, transcription and arranging.
  • Perform publicly and enjoy instrumental and vocal masterclasses from leading jazz professionals.
  • Kick-start your career with guidance from a team of professional lecturers and tutors, all of whom are working jazz musicians.

*New for 2018 entry, this course is subject to final approval.

As a Jazz student at Bath Spa University, you'll be part of an established Music department with a long history of working with world class musicians and composers.

The focus of the course is to prepare you as an improvising musician for a career in the jazz music industry. This is achieved by delivering a dynamic and practical curriculum tailored to your individual strengths and interests.

You'll explore performance, improvisation, composition, music production, education and marketing. Instrumental/vocal tuition and the performance experience are at the heart of the course, offering you a focused learning experience guided by a team of professional lecturers and tutors who are all working jazz musicians.

'Having the opportunity to play in multiple ensembles (big bands, jazz ensembles etc.) allowed me to practise the practical side of the course whilst classroom-style theory lessons introduced me to new ways of thinking about the music.'

Doug Wells, Trumpet

What you'll learn


Elevate your instrumental and vocal performance skills to an advanced standard through weekly one-to-one lessons, practical workshops and numerous ensemble and band opportunities. You'll also benefit from weekly classes in standard and contemporary repertoire, jazz harmony, aural, history and analysis, transcription, arranging and composition.

Industry-led professional development is essential to the course. We'll focus on music production, education, marketting and promotion during regular masterclasses and workshops with major visiting artists. 

You'll also benefit from regular public performance opportunities at our Bath city centre arts venue, together with opportunities to create and promote your own group and augment your skills in band leadership.

Course structure

Year one
The first year provides a grounding in all aspects of music. One-to-one lessons in performance focus on instrumental/vocal technique, and you'll also benefit from workshops in rhythm and improvisation, jazz theory and harmony classes and aural analysis. You'll study composition - notation, arranging, free composition and music technology, and musicology - history, style and context. You'll also benefit from a study of the music of other cultures in our Global Music module.

Year two
The focus is employability; as a professional musician, you'll need to be industry-aware, and the option to undertake a work placement supports this in your second year. You'll embark on Jazz Studies 1 and 2 - critical listening, transcription and arranging, and Performance - one-to-one lessons, solo and group performance workshops. Optional modules include Composition and Music Research, where you'll focus on music in its cultural contexts and undertake fieldwork in the area of jazz practice.

Year three
Throughout the course, working as an ensemble is fundamental to the process of learning, both through small and large groups. As you progress, greater performance independence is encouraged. In Performance, you'll experience advanced solo and group performance workshops, plus public performances. In Jazz Studies 3 and 4, you'll investigate issues in jazz and jazz performance, as well as undertaking independent jazz research in your chosen area. In Composition (optional), you'll undertake a project-based composition for jazz ensembles. Independent Study (optional) comprises a creative/practical research project or dissertation.

How will I be assessed?

You'll be assessed through recitals and technical studies, practical ensemble assessments and coursework in the form of written work, transcriptions, arrangements and free composition. 

How will I be taught?

You'll be taught in collaborative lecture/seminar/workshop sessions guided by tutors and peers, as well as one-to-one instrumental/vocal lessons, ensemble/group rehearsals and coaching sessions.


Study abroad

You'll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes in a variety of countries including the USA and Germany.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Our students have worked with major artists such as Jason Rebello (piano) Iain Ballamy (saxophone) Asaf Sirkis (drums) Andy Sheppard (saxophone) Nigel Price (guitar) Derek Nash (saxophone) and Xantone Blacq (piano).


Freelance musicians enjoy varied portfolio careers in areas including performing and teaching.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Community Music is taught at Newton Park's Michael Tippett Centre, which has numerous ensemble rehearsal spaces, a concert hall and practice rooms. 

You'll have access to a range of excellent facilities, including: 


You'll have access to practice and rehearsal spaces equipped with pianos, including three Steinway grand pianos.

We have a percussion studio with all orchestral and band instruments and a wide range of orchestral instruments, for example soprano and baritone saxophones, flutes and clarinets that you can borrow, together with keyboards, amps, etc.

The Library and the Music Department have a large collection of band and ensemble scores and parts.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardBA (Hons)How you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study3 years
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course feesGBP 9250International course fees find out
  • The awardBA (Hons)How you will studySandwichHow long you will study4 years
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course feesGBP 9250International course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course


UK and EU students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 £9,250 Year 2 Published Jan 2019 Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2019 Year 2 Published Jan 2020 Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2020 Year 2 Published Jan 2021 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

UK and EU students full time - with placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study.

International students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 £13,900 Year 2 Published Jan 2019 Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2019 Year 2 Published Jan 2020 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2020/21 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2020 Year 2 Published Jan 2021 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

Entry requirements

What we look for in potential students

We're looking for talented instrumental and vocal performers who are passionate about Jazz. We value commitment to learning, so the ability to be open to challenges is an important trait that we look for in candidates.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - grades BCC including Music Grade B or related subject.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma in Music or related subject accepted at grade Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) accepted.
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 27 points required in addition to evidence of Music ability and/or other graded Music qualifications.
  • Access to HE courses - typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher) accepted in addition to evidence of Music ability and/or other graded Music qualifications.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants
IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

What students think about Bath Spa University

    Yasmina Van De Peer, BA (Hons) English Literature and Film Studies, Spain

    Where to start with this year? There have been so many new friends, a new life-style with freedom and no muYasmina Van De Peerm bossing me around. My year has not been easy but I would do it all again, life challenges you in many ways and this experience definitively has.

    When I arrived in September, I felt like a lost girl trying to find something that I could grasp and change my life forever. My first year in a foreign country was fantastic and thanks to the creative writing department, I will never forget my second year as I have the privilege of studying in Chicago for a full academic year! However, this has no real connection with why I chose Bath Spa University.

    I worked as an ambassador for this University and a lot parents have asked the same question, why did I choose it? After 50 parents it gets tiring- especially when I was unsure. As everyone else I want to succeed in life. I have dreamt about going to Oxford, Harvard or any well known University. But the one thing that I have learnt in life is that you can be successful and come from the smallest place in the world. The key to success requires determination to reach your goal.

    Bath Spa just felt right and it allowed me to combine my subjects [English Literature and Film Studies], be myself and it also has an inspiring and picturesque scenery. For me it was perfect.

    Johannes Gerdes, BA Business and Management, Germany

    I chose BA Business and Management as I have always been inspired by my dad who runs a world leading business. The opportunity to work for him during holidays gave me a chance to look inside a company and to experience what management, leadership and communication is all about. I wanted to widen my knowledge and hence started my Business & Management career here at Bath Spa.
    My parents always wanted to give me the opportunity to study abroad. My old school, near Bristol, where I stayed as a boarding student for the last two years, helped me to discover where most of my interests lie. In addition, friends of mine started studying here at Bath Spa.

    I would describe Bath Spa in three words as: Cultural, Wonderful, Friendly.

    In the future I hope I will be working together with my dad and widen the market to countries which haven't been discovered yet.

    Don't be afraid of university life. University is the best time in your life. You meet so many new people from different nationalities and all come together! You will settle down easily. You make friends so fast and there is always someone around to help you! Even language barriers can be fixed with a perfect Writing and Learning Centre [the English Language Unit (ELU) is also available for all international students to access where English is not their first language] here at Bath Spa. Come to Bath and experience the whole range of activities they offer and be open to new things!

    Nassos Polyzoidis, MMus Songwriting, Greece

    Even though I live in Greece, I'm familiar with many British Universities, as I work for some English Examination Boards for Music and I've attended some Summer Schools in UK over the years. Bath Spa University's reputation in Songwriting and Commercial Music was known to me for a long time. Being a guitarist and working for the RGT at the same time, I have heard stories about Bath being the birthplace of guitar magazines and other music and artistic events. I was accepted to study Commercial Music as an undergraduate student about 4 years ago, but due to some sudden accidents I have to decline my offer. After this unfortunate event, I decided to become better Musician and Songwriter, so that I can return as a postgraduate applicant. When I noticed that there was a distance learning degree, MMus Songwriting, I knew I had to do this. Meanwhile, I did my research, which only lead me to ensure my initial decision to study at Bath Spa University.

    I was attracted to this course as I was already familiar with Bath Spa University's reputation in this field. In addition to that, Songwriting isn't taught in my home county at all. I knew that only few Institutes offer Songwriting as a postgraduate degree, so I did my research over the last 3 years. During this time, I was only ensuring myself that I have to apply for this course. I really want to become a successful songwriter, and also, probably one of the first songwriting teachers in Greece, so I know that this course is best for me. I knew that the course will help me become more confident and enhance my professional skills in the field. Finally, being mainly inspired by British Songwriters, it was really important that my songwriting skills would develop a lot lyrically, which can help me open the door to an international market.

    I would describe Bath Spa University in three words as: Innovative, modern, artistic.

    Once I have my degree, I am really hoping to become a successful songwriter. Being inspired mainly by British Songwriters, I would really like to write songs for the UK and international market. In addition, I will probably become one of the first songwriting teachers in Greece. Last, but not least, as I'm already collaborating with several English musicians, I'm considering in my future plans to apply for a PhD and probably seek for more collaborations in UK, which might extend my visits there.

    My advice I would you give to other international students who want to study in the UK would depend on the ethics and societal context of each county. So, a general advice I would give is "Do not be afraid of failure, do your best and apply to the courses that you really like!"

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