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Popular Music and Game Design Studies BA (Hons)

University of Liverpool

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Course options

  • Qualification

    Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) - BA (Hons)

  • Location

    Main Site

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    3 Years

Course summary

Popular Music - This programme focuses on developing an in-depth and critical historical understanding of popular music repertoires, cultures, and practices. We have a particular specialism in this area, having established the Institute of Popular Music (IPM), the world’s first specialist centre for the study of popular music, in 1988.

Some of the modules are practical, concerned with musical performance, song-writing, or creative music technology, although none of these are compulsory. To support these practical elements, we recently undertook a major refurbishment and expansion of our facilities.

Other modules focus on popular music history topics or the music industry, and there are also options in areas such as music psychology, audio-visual media (films and videogames), and vocational options. Throughout, you will learn to write about popular music from a historical, critical, sociological, or philosophical viewpoint.

Programme in detail

The nature of the programme varies according to your module choices. In Year One, core modules will take a detailed look at the nature of the popular music industries, and a critical exploration of 20th century popular music history, not only going through key musical milestones but also exploring their social contexts and the long-term cultural implications.

In Years Two and Three you will focus in more depth on fewer selected topics, either concentrating solely on Popular Music modules or retaining the option to pursue one or two modules in other areas. Specialist topics are studied alongside advanced level performance and music technology modules. In Year Three there is a particular emphasis on specialism and an extended or independent project (such as a research project, a music technology project, or an extended performance recital).

Game Design Studies - Game Design Studies will introduce you to the study of video games, which includes topics such as the history and development of gaming cultures, the complex nature of interactive media, and the critical issues that accompany engagement with virtual worlds, multicursal narratives, and dynamic musical content. Digital games represent one of the fastest growing forms of entertainment media: consequently, there is a growing need for many jobs that are not only in the games industry, but in surrounding industries as well. This programme develops a wide range of skills that prepare students for employment at various entry points in the job market, including content creation, publishing, journalism, and marketing.

Application deadline

15 January

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

18,500per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

Entry requirements

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A level : ABB

ABB. Offer may be reduced to BBB for those candidates achieving Grade 8 Distinction in any instrument. If an applicant is taking Grade 8 in any instrument (or singing) a dual offer can be made: ABB or BBB with Grade 8 Distinction.


University information

University image

University of Liverpool

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Liverpool, The Foundation Building, 765 Brownlow Hill, Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 7ZX, England

Renowned for excellent teaching that relates to the professions including medicine, dentistry, business, law, architecture and engineering.
Internationally recognised themes: personalised health, infectious disease, advanced materials, digital, heritage, and starting well, living well, ageing well.
Extensive support network in place for International students. Students can take advantage of a meet and greet service and ‘Hello International!’ welcome.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    31st out of 110 4

    40th out of 85 5

  • Entry standards

    / Max 236
    145 61%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    87 87%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    3.94 79%


  • Entry standards

    / Max 214
    152 70%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    54 54%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.10 82%



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