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The Details
Course: BA (Hons) Popular Music & WorshipDuration: 3 Years
Start Date: September 2020Study Mode: Full-Time
Pathways: Bass & synth, drums, guitar, piano & keys, vocals

(Looking for our live sound pathway? Don’t worry, we’ve launched an entire degree just for you. Click here to check it out.)
OverviewEntry RequirementsStructureFees and Payments

The BA (Hons) Popular Music and Worship degree has been designed to give you a comprehensive educational experience. The course provides an in-depth understanding of both popular music performance and the Biblical concepts of worship.

Over three years, our world-class teaching staff combine specific instrument classes and one-to-one tutorials in order to transform your musical ability. For the aspiring musician, optional modules give you the opportunity to develop and showcase your new-found technical skill.

Further to your instrument study, you will have opportunities to perform alongside your fellow students in our well-equipped performance hall. Tutors are on hand to provide feedback during these sessions, shaping and developing your live playing. You will then put this experience and feedback into practice, taking performances out into venues across the city.

Through expert teaching, you will gain an overview of the Bible and its themes, as well as an exploration into worship and its practical context. Corporate worship sessions, group discussion and practical presentations are used to reflect and review the material, providing you with the opportunity to gain a greater grasp of the concepts being taught. Optional modules are available for those that want to specialise in Church leadership or to prepare for working within the wider area of Christian ministry.

We are dedicated to preparing you for a career that lies beyond your studies. You will explore and develop the many career pathways that are available to Nexus ICA graduates, with sessions dedicated to equipping you for success in a broad range of working environments. Visiting lecturers from a variety of fields bring a level of expertise and insight into how your new-found knowledge and skill can translate into a fulfilling and rewarding career.

There are many opportunities throughout the duration of the course to get involved in a variety of aspects of life here at Nexus ICA. A strong sense of community is an integral part of what we do and students are encouraged to contribute to a wide-range of causes and events during their time here.


64 UCAS tariff points
GCSE English at Grade 4 (Grade C if you studied previous to 2017)

Non native English-speaking students need to meet our following English language requirements: IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. Visit our International Students page for more information.


Prospective students will be required to undertake an interview to assess their suitability for the course. Interviews take place over Skype, or in-person at Nexus ICA should this be preferable.

If you require any support relating to this, please do not hesitate to Contact Us or for more info see our FAQ page.

Pathway Audition

Prospective students will be required to undertake a practical audition to assess musical ability (equivalent to Grade 6 Practical and Grade 5 theory, based on the RockSchool syllabus). If you don’t have Grade 5 theory you will be required to take a short music theory entrance exam. These exams will be available to take on one of our Open Days.

If you require any support relating to this, please do not hesitate to Contact Us or for more info see our FAQ page.

Need help?

Applying for a course can be daunting. See our application guidance page for further tips, and if there’s anything else you require please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Year One

Foundational Instrument Study

The first of our instrument study modules, Foundational Instrument Study is designed to secure the foundations every player needs in order to develop into a well-rounded musician. Through expert tuition you will acquire the tools and knowledge you need to enhance every area of your playing and prepare you for any musical environment.

This module is delivered through five sessions per week.

Drawing upon years of professional experience, this module offers a comprehensive education in the key aspects of modern playing.

Level 4 – 20 Credits

Further Instrument Study

The second of our instrument study modules, Further Instrument Study follows directly on from the previous level 4 module, Foundational Instrument Study. As such this module continues the same structure of class content; four sessions plus one Theory class per week.

The aim of this module is to push you further towards the mastery of your instrument. You will cover more complex techniques, approaches to harmony, application of in your own playing and learn from the masters of the instrument through history.

Level 4 – 20 Credits

Applied Biblical Studies; Foundations

The first of our Applied Biblical Studies modules, Applied Biblical Studies: Foundations will give you an introduction to the Bible and Christian doctrine and will develop your study, research and practical life skills. The goal of this module is to help you grow in your knowledge of God and to be better equipped to build His kingdom. Applied Biblical Studies: Foundations will assist you in grounding your life’s cause on foundations of faith and ever-increasing biblical understanding. You will increase in your understanding of the Old Testament in particular, and understand how these books relate to the whole of scripture.

The module is delivered in three learning environments: lectures, discussion forums and self-directed study. With the help of experienced tutors, you will be supported as you explore contemporary and historical Biblical scholarship.

Applied Biblical Studies: Foundations is constructed around four core topics; Bible Overview, Doctrines and Themes, Life Skills and Discipleship Discovery.

Level 4 – 20 Credits

Applied Biblical Studies; Developing Salvation History

The second of our Applied Biblical Studies modules, Applied Biblical Studies: Developing Salvation History is a module that moves further into the study of the Bible, culminating in a study of the Gospels. Alongside this, Christian doctrine and life skills such as public speaking and communication are studied in greater depth. Themes such as Salvation, Pneumatology, Baptism, Prayer and Communion are also explored.

A significant application of this module comes through the church placement, where you will gain experience and are required to critically reflect on your engagement with one of our local partner churches. The module is designed to reflect our conviction that theology and doctrine equip us for mission and service.

Level 4 – 20 Credits

Pursuit of Worship 1

Pursuit of Worship 1 aims to equip you with the relevant skills and competencies in the area of worship. Through this module you will explore the Biblical themes and principles of worship, taught through lectures, discussions, personal tutorials and self-directed study.

The Module is divided into 3 teaching sessions:

  • Pursuit of Worship: Core unpacks the crucial building blocks for engaging with worship beyond musical skill. The session is delivered in an accessible informal teaching style with discussion and group feedback. These sessions examine well-known passages of scripture with an emphasis on their application in your personal life.
  • Pursuit of Worship: Foundations focuses on scriptures and scholarship that relate to our understanding of worship and the relevance of spiritual disciplines when considering the practicalities of worship leading. Primarily delivered in lecture format, there is also opportunity for group discussion and feedback.
  • Pursuit of Worship: Applied explores the journey from understanding to response. Themes that have been presented in the Core and Foundations sessions are unpacked through music, workshops and Q&A. Highly interactive, you will have an opportunity to engage with the teaching in a variety of ways, learning how to recognise and decode cultural trends in worship and translate Biblical texts and worship music to produce a relevant, personal understanding.

Level 4 – 20 Credits

Live Performance Workshop

The Live Performance Workshopmodule will develop your confidence as a performer by providing regular opportunities to play with other musicians in a wide variety of contexts and musical environments. Throughout this module you will:

  • Practically apply your pathway instrument study sessions in a live context.
  • Develop communication and teamwork through working in bands.
  • Receive regular individual and group feedback on performances.
  • Take part in workshops that support development in areas relating to live performance
  • Exercise creativity through a variety of musical tasks.
  • Gain experience playing and performing a variety of styles and genres.
  • Learn key skills and knowledge relating to the live performance of music.

In a safe, supportive environment you will have the chance to hone your technical ability and increase your confidence in a range of live performing environments. The module will help you develop the skills needed to succeed.

Level 4 – 20 Credits

Year Two

Advanced Instrument Study

The final instalment of our instrument study modules, Advanced Instrument Study pushes you to develop your technical skills further and to advance your creativity on the instrument, looking very specifically at how to craft sounds and tones, as well as the compositional elements of your own parts. Designed to follow directly on from your study at level 4, through expert tuition you will gain the tools and knowledge you need to improve every aspect of your playing and prepare you for almost any musical environment.

Within these areas of study, you will acquire many of the tools necessary to be a well-rounded and creative musician. Teaching takes place in small classes, with opportunities for regular one-on-one sessions with instrumental tutors.

Level 5 – 20 Credits

Applied Biblical Studies; Advancing New Testament Church

The final instalment of our Applied Biblical Studies modules, Applied Biblical Studies: Advancing New Testament Church concentrates on Acts, the Epistles and Revelation, completing the Bible overview begun in Applied Biblical Studies: Foundations you studied at level 4.

You will develop a deeper understanding of biblical and Church history, scriptural structures and core Christian theology. You will also develop transferable core academic, leadership and vocational skills. This module will afford opportunities through set assignments to gain further ability and confidence in group work, planning, communication, presentation and project management.

Level 5 – 20 Credits

Contextual Studies

The Contextual Studies module provides you with a platform to conduct enquiry-based learning into any of the various practical and social contexts within which the wider subject area of popular music and worship resides.

This could include elements such as:

  • Popular music history
  • Faith and popular music
  • Worship and church history
  • Popular music and society
  • Popular music and politics

This module will provide you with the opportunity to broaden your awareness and understanding of the relevant literature as well as develop critical thinking skills within a subject area that is of particular interest to you.

Level 5 – 20 Credits

Popular Music Performance

Building directly on from Live Performance Workshop at level 4, Popular Music Performance gives you the opportunity to develop individual and collaborative creativity within a wider range of performance contexts. Through this module you will explore broader elements of music performance such as lighting, visuals elements and music technology.

This module includes larger and more challenging creative projects in order to further develop your confidence as a performer.  You will grow in your ability to manage your learning, creative writing, collaborative and time management skills.

Level 5 – 40 Credits

Pursuit of Worship 2

Pursuit of Worship 2 examines responses in worship from a biblical perspective with a greater emphasis on being able to analyse and apply these skills, particularly in a personal and wider cultural and corporate level. Building on the skills and competencies your gained at level 4, this module enables you to continue developing your understanding of worship and worship leading.

You will be able to draw from a wide range of scholarship as you form a wider understanding of the impact of worship in the corporate life of the church.

Level 5 – 20 Credits

Year Three Compulsory

Music Performance and Professional Practice

Through this module you will consolidate all the skills and experience gained in your first two years of live performance study. With supporting lectures and workshops you will develop, learn and apply the broader skills that are required within the arena of music performance.

As well as stretching your ability and creativity as a performer, the module will cover essential skills needed to succeed in the professional world.  Sessions will consider promotions and branding, budgeting, music history and appreciation, social media and much more, culminating in a final band performance at an external venue of your choice.

Level 6 – 20 Credits

Professional Development & Career Planning

The Professional Development and Career Planning module focusses on how t take the knowledge and skills you have developed throughout the entire course and apply it to the world of employment. Covering a wide range of skills and competencies pertinent to portfolio careers, traditional employment and more, you will learn to prepare for employment or self-employment within the creative industries, the faith arena and beyond.

You will also learn how best to apply and communicate your skills to the varying career aspirations you have and will create a portfolio of employment focused tools to aid in your post-study journey. The module includes sessions delivered by visiting professionals in a wide variety of fields, as well as practical workshops and real-world, situated learning.

Level 6 – 20 Credits

Contemporary Worship Practice

Throughout Contemporary Worship Practice you will explore the relationship between music, theology and worship. You will begin by studying foundational issues such as the essence of music and the interaction between music and theology, before moving on to more specific issues of applying music in a local church setting.

This module will also involve the analysis of existing worship songs, as well as the opportunity to write new ones. You will build on all that you have experienced in your time at Nexus ICA and will have the opportunity to practically outwork much of what has been taught over your three years of study.

Level 6 – 20 Credits

Year Three Options

Advanced Recital

The Advanced Recital module provides the opportunity for those who see themselves pursuing a career in the area of music performance or within the wider field of the performing arts. With the support of an assigned tutor you will receive tailored instrumental coaching to prepare for an advanced music recital. Alongside your performance, you will develop programme notes, requiring you to consider your repertoire carefully and contextualise this within a thirty-minute set.

This module will provide the perfect vehicle to hone your technical skills and musicality through the performance of challenging repertoire, whilst seeking to further develop and establish your sound and persona as a musician.

Level 6 – 20 Credits

Song Writing & Production

Through the Song Writing and Production module you will discover how to build from simple composition, used as a form of personal expression to a well tuned craft, developing a foundation to creating great quality songs. In semester one, the focus will be on creating the right song content and communicating that most effectively. Through a series of taught sessions and workshops you will learn the practical skills of lyric writing, song form, melody and harmony as well as arrangement.

In semester two, the focus will shift to how best to capture a song’s emotion, feel and message through the way we understand the production process. Through a series of taught sessions and workshops, you will learn the practical skills of appropriate DAW platforms, how to create the most effective atmosphere when working with musicians as well as creative production approaches. The module includes sessions delivered by our in-house tutors as well as visiting experts.

Places are limited on this module.

Level 6 – 20 Credits

Live Events Management

In this stand-alone third year module, you will learn the principles and practices of managing live events. Live Events Management is designed to take your experience of performing and operating events and develop it to a professional competence, building on two years of previous involvement in Nexus ICA events.

As a learning live events manager, you are required to be involved in a number of internal and external real-world events. This will develop transferable leadership and vocational skills in addition to project management, strategic thinking and problem solving. The Live Events Management module will also consider the environmental and social impacts of the industry, marketing and sponsorship, stakeholder management and wider issues such as globalisation and politics.

Level 6 – 20 Credits.

Instrument Teaching & Pedagogy

The Instrument Teaching and Pedagogy module has been designed for those students who see a possible career in music education. You will be equipped with an understanding of the key aspects of music pedagogy from an instrumental teaching perspective, focusing on how this shapes your lesson delivery and curriculum. You will also study the psychology of learning, the philosophies of teaching, and how to set up and run a successful, self-employed teaching practice.

A key part of this module is the requirement to practically engage in instrumental teaching, helping you ground your new-found theoretical knowledge within real-life teaching scenarios.

Level 6 – 20 Credits

Church Praxis

The Church Praxis module is designed for anyone who feels called to church leadership, either in a professional or voluntary capacity. You will study the key doctrines and principles that underpin Christian ministry, as well as learn from experienced church leaders who will reflect on their ministries.

The module content will also be applicable for those who feel called to positions of leadership in business, industry and education. Alongside theological training, the challenges of church leadership and cross-cultural engagement in the 21st century will be addressed. Church Praxis has been designed to educate and equip future pastors, worship leaders, youth and children’s workers, evangelists and those with a heart for social action.

Level 6 – 20 Credits

Church History

The Church History module will give you an in-depth introduction to the history of the church. You will cover some of the significant themes, events and personalities that have shaped the church throughout history. This module will be suited to everyone, from those who have already studied widely to those who have no prior knowledge. The Church History module will engage with some of the most important phases of church history, including the Early Church, the Middle Ages, the Reformation, and the emergence of the Pentecostal movement.

This module will help to give you a deeper understanding of theological issues, and will allow you to engage with and learn from significant characters. As well as learning about the development of the Christian faith, you will be equipped to apply this knowledge to understanding issues facing the church today. The module will develop critical academic and vocational skills, suitable for those who are interested in careers such post-graduate study, church ministry, and teaching. It is just as useful for those who have always been curious about the Christian faith has progressed through the centuries.

Level 6 – 20 Credits

Tuition fees are set at £6,165 per academic year*. This is in addition to a £300 registration fee (£500 for international students) required to confirm your place on the course.

For more information visit Fees and Payments.

*Fees correct as of 2020-2021 academic year. Fees for subsequent years are subject to change.

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