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The Details
Course: Certificate of Higher Education Popular Music & WorshipDuration: 1 Year
Start Date: September 2021Study 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 one-year Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) Popular Music and Worship course has been designed to give students comprehensive training, providing a broad understanding of both popular music and the Biblical concept of worship.

Specific instrument classes focus on honing and advancing core musical skills – our knowledgeable and experienced teaching staff providing you with everything you need to be a creative and expressive musician.

Further to your instrument study, there are frequent opportunities for you and your fellow students to perform in our well-equipped concert hall. Tutors are on hand to provide feedback during these sessions, shaping and developing your live playing and performance.

A variety of lectures a week give you 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.

There are also 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.

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

Tuition fees for the forthcoming academic year are set at £7,500 per academic year*. This is in addition to a £300 registration fee (£500 for international students) required to confirm your place on the course. Please see the Fees and Payments page for more details.

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