BA Popular Music Studies

BA Popular Music Studies

Bachelor degree
48 months
Application deadlines: June 1
Processing time: 30 days
Intakes: September
International tuition: CA$33,382.05
Domestic tuition: CA$7,754.05

Program overview

Through a focus on the project paradigm of music production, popular-music students hone their musical and technical skills in courses devoted not only to hands-on instruction in songwriting, audio engineering, mixing, and production techniques, but also to training as a complete musician (music theory and history, critical listening skills, analysis, orchestration). By integrating practical and theoretical studies in collaborative, project-based courses, the Popular Music Studies major provides ideal preparation for careers in the creative music industry. The program incorporates three dimensions: practical subjects, including songwriting and analysis of popular songs and recordings recording practice critical study of musical styles, recordings, artists, and genres in their broader historical and cultural contexts. In addition to courses in popular music and culture, the program includes post-1945 popular music, musical theatre, jazz, and more advanced courses indigenous musics and musics of the world, film studies, literature, and sociology. Introductory and advanced courses in songwriting and desktop music production allow students to compose, produce, and record their own music.

Study options

Study options
This program can be done
On campus



  • PTE
Certificate of Complete Secondary General Education indicating all subjects taken and grades earned (or equivalent) is required. If your documents are issued in a language other than English, you must also provide notarized literal English translations. The Bachelor of Arts, does not include studio lessons in the degree requirements, but applicants are expected to have strong musical background in either pop or classical music and classical experience equivalent at least to Grade 8 conservatory level. After applying through the Ontario Universities Application Centre ( Applicants are required to: Complete the questionnaire Provide two letter of recommendation forms Complete the theory placement test prior to an interview. The Theory Placement Test contains written questions at the Royal Conservatory of Music intermediate harmony level (intervals, clefs, rhythmic notation, transposition of melodies, chord progressions, harmonic analysis, and simple forms), as well as questions which test basic aural ability, that is, recognition of intervals, chords, and simple melodic and chord progressions. Interview. All applicants will be scheduled for an in person interview to take place at the Don Wright Faculty of Music. Applicants who live at a distance may request permission for a telephone interview and to submit their accompanying recorded performance as a streaming link to YouTube or Vimeo. IELTS Academic is required with a minimum overall score of 6.5 with no part less than 6.0 (submitted electronically by the IELTS test center). The minimum score required on the internet-based TOEFL is 83 with no score below 20, and a 550 on the paperbased test with a 5 on the TWE. A minimum overall score in PTE Academic of 58 is required with no score less than 56.

Career opportunities

Accompanist Arts Administrator Conductor Elementary Teacher Military Musician Music Publisher Opera Singer Pop Musician Secondary School Teacher Television Personality Agent Church Musician Choral Singer Film Producer Music Editor Music Therapist Orchestra Player Radio Music Solo Performer University Professor Arranger Composer Educational Officer Fundraising Officer Music Librarian Musical Theater Piano Technician Recording Engineer Studio Teacher

Campus location

London , Canada

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