BA in Global Popular Music

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time


The BA Global Popular Music offers a unique programme that allows students to focus on popular and contemporary music styles and cultures in a global perspective.

The degree includes regional modules that build on the expertise of SOAS staff in music in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, world music performance, practical skills modules in multimedia, approaches to the study of popular music, and opportunities for directed independent study projects on topics ranging from K-Pop to hip-hop, Latin to Rai.

The programme leads into careers and vocational pathways including arts management, festival administration and curating, music journalism, teaching, performing and composing, album production, and management and consultancy within the music industry in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Structure

Occasionally the availability of optional modules changes as a result of staffing and other circumstances. Students who had signed up for such modules will be notified as soon as possible and given the opportunity to choose from available alternatives.

Students are required to take modules to the total value of 360 credits over the duration of their degree, 120 credits per year. A 30 credits module will be taught over both terms, while a 15 credits module is taught over one term.

Up to 90 credits may come from "open option modules" (modules outside of this programme - e.g. language or non-music modules), but only 30 credits of open option modules may be taken in each year.

Year 1

You will take six 15 credits introductory modules and 30 credits of open option modules.

Compulsory Modules

  • Sounds and Cultures
  • Studying Popular Music
  • Decolonising Pop: K-Pop and Beyond
  • Writing Across the Arts
  • Performance 1b: ensembles

Guided Option Modules

Choose one of the following Modules:

  • Great Works: art, films, literature, music
  • Performance 1a: gamelan

and

Open Options

Choose related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits.

  • Language Open Option Modules
  • Non-Language Open Option Modules

Year 2

Compulsory Module

Students will take the following compulsory module.

  • The Music Business

and

Guided Options

Choose a module(s) from the List of Skills below to the value of 15 credits.

and

Choose a module(s) from the List of Popular Music below to the value of 30 credits.

and

Choose a module(s) from the List of Other Music below to the value of 30 credits.

and

Open Options

Choose related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits.

  • Language Open Option Modules
  • Non-Language Open Option Modules

or

Choose a module(s) from the List of Modules below to the value of 30 credits.

Year 3

Compulsory Modules

Students will take the following two compulsory modules:

  • Urban Soundscapes
  • Arts, Culture and Commodification: Themes in the Global Creative and Cultural Industries

and

Guided Options

Choose a module(s) from the List of Skills below to the value of 15 credits.

and

Choose a module(s) from the List of Popular Music below to the value of 15 credits.

and

Choose a module(s) from the List of Other Music below to the value of 30 credits.

and

Open Options

Choose related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits.

  • Language Open Option Modules
  • Non-Language Open Option Modules

or

Choose a module(s) from the List of Modules below to the value of 30 credits.

List of modules (subject to availability)

Year 2 and 3 Area Modules

  • Other Music (Including generic, regional and performance modules)
    • Classical singing in India: Continuity and change
    • Mughal Arts: Sound, Text, and Image
    • Music and travel on the Silk Road
    • Music in Africa: Critical Listening - The Mande World
    • Music in Africa: Musical crosscurrents in East Africa and the Indian Ocean
    • Music, Religion and Society in the Middle East and North Africa
    • Music, Religion and Society in South Asia
    • Musical Traditions of East Asia
    • Raga: concept and practice
  • Popular Music
    • Atlantic Africa: (P)Layers of Mediation in African Popular Music (UG)
    • Jaffa: Music and Urbanism in the Contested Middle East
    • Pop and Politics in East Asia
    • The World of Cuban Music
    • Directed Study in Creative Industries
    • Global Hip-Hop

Year 2 and 3 General Modules

  • Other Music (Including generic, regional and performance modules)
    • Composition
    • Critical Readings in Arts and Cultures
    • Curating Global Arts
    • Gender and Music
  • Skills
    • Introduction to Sound Recording
    • Presenting World Music On Radio
  • Project Modules
    • Extended Essay
  • Performance Modules
    • Performance 2
    • Performance 3

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

To apply for an undergraduate degree at SOAS (including students wishing to transfer from another university) you must apply through the UK's central universities application organization, UCAS. An application form and details of courses can be found on their website. UCAS charges an applicant's fee for handling the application.

You can apply to up to five choices of higher education institutions or course on the UCAS form. How you utilise the choice is up to you. In other words, you could apply to do the same subject, for example, economics, at five different universities, or five different courses at the same university, or any combination of subject and institution. Nor do you have to use up all five choices. Whatever you choose you should list your choices in the order they appear in the UCAS handbook.

Entry Requirements

  • Subjects Preferred: Music A level is NOT required.
  • A-Levels: ABB - BBB
    IB: 33 (555 at HL)

Alternative entry requirements

  • BTEC: DDM
  • Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction
  • Scottish Highers: AABBB
  • Scottish Advanced Highers: ABB
  • Irish LC: 320 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above
  • Advanced Placement: 4 4 4 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0
  • Euro Bacc: 80%
  • French Bacc: 14/20
  • German Abitur: 2.0
  • Italy DES: 80/100
  • Austria Mat: 2.0
  • Polish Mat: Overall 75% including 3 extended level subjects

English Language Entry Requirements

You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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