Secondary Music Education BA(Hons) with QTS 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

Want to join us in September? You can now apply via Clearing

Harriet Sharp

About the course

If you're passionate about training to become a secondary school music teacher, then studying our Secondary Music Education BA(Hons) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) course could be for you. Music is an extremely rewarding subject to teach, contributing uniquely to pupils' personal development and aesthetic sensitivity. Based in the School of Education and Professional Development and our School of Music, Humanities and Media, you'll develop your own musicianship and specialist subject knowledge as well as your ability to teach music in a way that inspires and engages young people.

You'll be taught by an outstanding team of tutors; in 2015 we were awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for world-leading work to promote, produce and present contemporary music to an international audience. This represents one of the most coveted distinctions in UK Higher Education.We've also been ranked in the top five in the Guardian Guide for Education 2016 for the sixth year running. You'll have access to our extensive professional and academic network which feeds directly into course design and delivery and to excellent facilities and specialist equipment, including our specialist music studios, practice and rehearsal rooms.

A significant amount of your learning will take place whilst on placement within our partnership schools.You'll benefit from being able to observe experienced teachers, gain practical hands-on experience and mentoring to help you develop into an outstanding and successful teacher.

UCAS code:

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


3 years full-time

Course type:

Full Time


Clearing helpline:
03301 232 277

Course content

The course is designed to help develop your specialist subject knowledge, skills and understanding in music, alongside your understanding of subject specific pedagogies, the statutory and non-statutory curriculum, and the development of practical teaching skills.

In the education modules, we'll help prepare you for the classroom; you'll have the opportunity to study behaviour for learning, assessment and inclusion, and a range of professional issues in secondary education. We'll help to develop your understanding of the music curriculum; progression in music; how to plan and develop musical activities; the examination requirements in music; supporting pupils' use of music technology; world music; workshopping and informal teaching approaches to help enable you to plan and teach creative lessons which support pupils' progress in music.

The music elements are typically delivered by the School of Music, Humanities and Media and have been carefully selected to develop your specialist subject knowledge for teaching. There are some optional modules to help you develop different musical strengths and interests within the areas of composition, musicology and performance. You'll have the opportunity to take part in a number of directed ensembles and you'll enjoy recitals, workshops and concerts by visiting artists, as well as experiencing the world-famous Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, hosted by the University.

Year 1

Core modules:

Introduction to Analysis

The module will provide you with a grounding in the basic skills of musical analysis through the study of classical and popular music. Both printed scores and recordings will be studied to give you the opportunity to develop the complementary skills of score-based analysis and/or aural analysis and critical listening.

Behaviour for Learning

This module introduces you to the professional role and expectations of teachers with regards to your own personal and professional conduct and in developing appropriate, positive and learning behaviours in pupils. You’ll develop an understanding of the statutory frameworks and policies which underpin teachers’ professional practice including the responsibilities for ensuring the safeguarding and well-being of pupils. You’ll also have the opportunity to critically analyse factors which influence and impact on pupils’ behaviour and learn a range of strategies and approaches for managing and developing behaviour for learning in the classroom.

Developing Pedagogy and Professional Practice (Induction)

This module introduces you to your specialist subject within the curriculum and key specialist subject pedagogy to help prepare you for your first teaching placement. You’ll be supported to learn a range of planning, teaching and learning strategies in your subject and begin to develop your professional practice through reflection, target setting and continual evaluation and refinement. During the placement you’ll have the opportunity to plan lessons and sequences of lessons to support the learning of individual pupils, groups and whole classes. You’ll then seek to evaluate the impact of your initial teaching on pupils’ progress and engagement and begin to demonstrate your ability to meet the Teachers’ Standards. Assessment is typically via written assignments and preparation of a teaching file.

Option modules:

Composition 1

This module offers an essential introduction to the fundamentals of composition by exploring the various musical parameters of melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre and texture through a series of preliminary exercises given in seminars and group tutorials. In term two you will be able to build on this knowledge through the creation of a portfolio of short pieces for keyboard, voice and strings. The second term also includes demonstrations and performances from visiting professional artists. Assessment is though portfolio of coursework.


Stylistic Composition

You will attend weekly lectures and seminars that explore a variety of stylistic compositional approaches from Baroque to 20th Century. The emphasis will not be on originality but on developing a heightened sense of stylistic awareness through the close examination of a work’s instrumentation and compositional materials as well as its form and structure. In addition to utilising works within their original context, the module will use examples that demonstrate ways in which these stylistic idioms have been drawn upon and adapted by the modern film composer. You will produce a short folio of compositions in term one and an extended composition with commentary in term two.

Performance Skills 1

This module is designed to help you to gain key skills in general musicianship. You will learn about and practice skills in improvisation and aural awareness, as well as gain experience in critical evaluation of concerts and your own development as a musician. You will have the opportunity to develop skills and experience in ensemble performance and participation. Assessment consists of practical tests and coursework assignments in which you will demonstrate your knowledge, understanding and skills through written assignments, music performance, and practical tests of your musicianship.


Popular Music Performance Skills

This module introduces pop ensemble playing to you in the first year of your course. You will have the opportunity to perform with your fellow students in a small, acoustic group and also have a choice of more focussed tuition on either keyboard, pop singing (in a choir) or Brazilian, African and Latin percussion. You will be assessed via a learning journal (coursework) of your journey through the module and a practical assessment consisting of an un-plugged style performance.

Year 2

Core modules:

Composition 2: Composition Techniques and Analysis

This module builds on Composition 1 with units in Instrumentation and Analysis. You look in detail at the physical and idiomatic possibilities of instruments, how they work, and how this can be developed to explore new sounds. The analysis component examines the techniques of other composers to see how they create form and structure. You will gain understanding of how to take the material explored in Composition 1 and develop this alongside instrument knowledge and compositional technique. The module is a mix of lectures, performer workshops, and clinics with invited guest composers. Assessment is by portfolio of compositions and two analyses.

Assessment for Learning

This module focuses on the important role of assessment in supporting pupils’ learning. You’ll have the opportunity to learn the theories and concepts associated with formative and summative assessment and ways of implementing these effectively in the classroom. During your school experience you’ll be supported to engage a range of assessment strategies with a group of learners and systematically reflect on the impact of these on learners’ progress.

Developing Pedagogy and Professional Practice (Application)

This module seeks to further develop your understanding of your specialist subject within the curriculum and the specific pedagogy which underpins successful teaching and learning within the subject. You’ll be supported to implement a range of evidence based teaching and learning strategies in your subject and further develop your professional practice through reflection, target setting and continual evaluation and refinement. During the second teaching placement you’ll have the opportunity to take increasing responsibility for planning sequences of lessons to support pupils’ learning. You’ll seek to further evaluate the impact of your teaching on pupils’ progress and engagement and demonstrate your ability to meet the Teachers’ Standards. Assessment is typically via a written critical reflection and the submission of a portfolio of your teaching.

Option modules:

Scoring the Silver Screen: the Musicology of Film and Television

Scoring the Silver Screen introduces you to a range of analytical, critical, and theoretical approaches to music and sound in film and television. You will explore the evolving relationships between technology, economics, and aesthetics in the history of moving images media, with case studies ranging from 'silent' films and classic Hollywood musicals to art-house cinema, contemporary blockbusters, and television serials.


Popular Music Studies

This module will help you to develop an understanding of popular music within specific cultural and musical contexts. It will consider a range of popular music genres from reggae to heavy metal to synth pop and beyond. These will be used to explore the interface between popular music and several disciplines within musicology, such as music technology, philosophy, sociology, critical musicology and gender studies. You will be assessed on a set essay, a presentation proposal and a presentation of a case study of your own choice. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with a partner in producing the proposal and doing the presentation

Performance Skills 2 (Minor)

In this module you will be able to select one area of study from a list of performance areas, such as chamber music, directed ensembles or conducting. You will be assessed by practical examinations and coursework assignments. The module provides opportunities for you to develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in a wide range of performance areas, guided and coached by our team of expert full and part-time performance and instrumental staff.


Popular Music Directed Ensembles 1

In this module you are coached as a fully formed band in more advanced groups. The ensembles you could be in are: Folk, Blues, Funk, Reggae/ska, Prog Rock, Jazz, Laptop Ensemble, Frank Zappa Band, Guitar Orchestra, Guitar Improvisation, A Capella Choir, Samba Band plus the opportunity to create original bands. Assessment comes in the form of two practical gigs through the year and a reflective report tracking your experience in the module.

Year 3

Core modules:

Music in the Curriculum

This module helps prepare you to teach the music curriculum by considering the subject knowledge required to teach the current National Curriculum and the external examination requirements at Key Stage 4 and post 16. You’ll have the opportunity to identify aspects of your subject knowledge, skills and understanding for further development and work to develop these through guided study. You’ll consider a range of theoretical perspectives which underpin key aspects of the music curriculum.

Dissertation: Research into Secondary Education

This module helps the development of knowledge, understanding and skills required to utilise basic research methods to explore a specific question in a small-scale investigation within the context of a secondary school. The findings are analysed critically with reference to published theory and recent research.

Developing Inclusive Practice

This module introduces you to the barriers of inclusion and equality of opportunity that children and families may encounter and to inclusive teaching and learning strategies which are designed to overcome these. You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a period of working as a classroom teaching assistant in your second placement and be supported by mentors to enable you to apply theory in your teaching practice.

Developing Pedagogy and Professional Practice in Seconday Education (Consolidation)

This module helps consolidate your professional practice as a teacher. You’ll have the opportunity to undertake two sustained teaching placements in two schools. You’ll implement a range of evidence based teaching and learning strategies in your subject and further develop your professional practice through reflection, target setting and continual evaluation and refinement. You’ll then seek to evaluate the impact of your teaching on pupils’ progress and engagement and demonstrate your ability to meet the Teachers’ Standards. Assessment is typically via the presentation of a portfolio of evidence and a critical evaluation demonstrating the impact of your teaching on the learners’ progress over time.

Please note: A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required to enable you to undertake placements in settings with children. We arrange this as part of the application process. Please note that there is a charge for the DBS check which is approximately £44.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.


A key element of your studies and learning takes place whilst you're on placement.You'll undertake a number of compulsory placements as part of your programme, in fact you'll spend at least 120 days in our partner schools. In Years 1 and 2, on average, trainees undertake a compulsory assessed teaching placement of between 6-8 weeks duration and in Year 3 and extended placement of 12-14 weeks duration.

You'll have the opportunity to experience the wider role of a teacher in secondary education. You'll have the support of both subject and professional mentors in schools who'll help to develop your practice through observations, planning meetings, weekly tutorials, reports and in-depth lesson evaluations.Your university tutor will visit you in school to guide, support and evaluate your progress.

Career opportunities

Successful completion of your PGCE course prepares you to start your first teaching year (NQT year) within a secondary school setting.

Professional links and accreditations

Upon successful completion of the programme we recommend Qualified Teaching Status be awarded by the National College for Teaching and Leadership .

Teaching and assessment

You'll learn in small, friendly and supportive groups, designed to give you the confidence to succeed. Course tutors are very experienced and supportive and you'll have a personal tutor to support you through your studies. Teaching is through workshops, tutorials, seminars and lectures, some with guest speakers, composition clinics, masterclasses and rehearsals and through group work with other teacher trainees from a variety of subject specialisms. Students are encouraged to take part in extra-curricular activities, including participation in directed ensembles.

Assessment is typically through the completion of a range of classroom activities, written assignments, reports, personal subject audits, analyses, practical projects, composition folios, performance recitals, learning journals and the development of portfolios of evidence.Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the UK's only university where 100% of the permanent teaching staff are fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

  • permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.

Who will teach me?

How much will it cost me?

The full-time undergraduate tuition fee for 17/18 entry is £9250.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.

Please also note:

•  Your placements could be in Huddersfield or surrounding areas, so please consider any travelling costs you may incur.

•  A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required to enable you to undertake placements in settings with children. We arrange this as part of the application process. Please note that there is a charge for the DBS check which is approximately £44.

Further study

Upon successful completion of your undergraduate studies, progression onto the following postgraduate programmes may be of interest:

Education MA

Technology Enhanced Learning MSc

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) MA

Leadership in Education and Public Services MA

Learning and Development Management MA


If you're an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.

If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.0 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree course. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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