Welcome to HE Music


Congratulations on your offer to study Popular Music at Barnsley College Higher Education.

We are delighted to welcome you to our department.

If you have any questions about the course, assessments or teaching please do not hesitate to contact me on:
01226 216 169

Susan Donnelly
Pathway Leader


Meet the team

Your teaching staff:


If you require any further information specific to your course, please feel free to contact us on 01226 216 169 or via email using the addresses above.

We look forward to meeting you and hope that you enjoy your studies with us.

Induction schedule

Our aim is to ensure that you know what to expect from the course and provide advice and guidance on what you need to prepare for your studies. There will be activities that you may want to get involved in, both across the department and within Barnsley College, and we will let you know more about these when you enrol. Enrolment will take place w/c Monday 13 September and we hope you can join us at our virtual Welcome Event – an online event that will set your week off with a bang!

Enrolment checklist

Proof of qualifications

You must be able to produce certificates to prove that you have achieved the following:

  • English at Level 2 or above (or approved equivalent)
  • Mathematics at Level 2 or above (or approved equivalent)

In addition, the Popular Music BA (Hons) course has it’s own specific entry requirements and qualifications that you will need to show evidence of achievement when enrolling. For further information, visit the Popular Music BA (Hons) course page.

Please make sure you have of all your qualifications (original certificates). You will not be able to fully enrol on the course unless these have been presented to Barnsley College and failure to produce these will delay any loan payments, if eligible, being paid.

If you find that you do not have the original certificates, you will need to obtain copies from the awarding body as quickly as possible prior to enrolment.

Please check with the school or college you attended for information on contacting the relevant awarding body.


You will have access to four recording and mixing studios as well as a Mac laboratory equipped with all the latest music software used within the music industry. Our graduates have gone on to work as:

  • Performers
  • Session musicians
  • Composers
  • Songwriters
  • Teacher
  • Sound engineers
  • Producers for artists or groups
  • Some have chosen careers in other media, including advertising and film installations and game

Internet and online resources

The following sites will be useful to familiarise yourself with:

Digital resources

Useful for reading and utilising:


Course information

The course provides opportunities to develop a broad range of both practical and academic skills.

BA (Hons) Popular Music (Performance Route) covers areas such as solo and band performance, through studio and stage technology to composition and case study.

BA (Hons) Popular Music (Production Route) covers areas such as sound recording, mixing and production as well as computer music composition for media, music business and promotion and video production for the music industry. All modules link to music industry contexts such as working as a session musician, songwriter, media composer, arranger, performer, studio or live sound engineer, music producer, sound designer, instrument and effect programmer, events promoter, educator or researcher.

Study skills

These books will be very useful and available in the library at the Church Street campus, though it is recommended that you purchase your own copy of at least one Study Skills text:

  • Burns, T and Sinfield, S. (2003). Essential Study Skills: The Complete Guide to Success at University. London. Sage.
  • Cottrell, S. (2008). The Study Skills Handbook (third edition.). Basingstoke. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Cottrell, S. (2005). Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument. Basingstoke. Palgrave Macmillan.

Personal development opportunities

There are a number of opportunities available to you within the department. The more experience that you can show on your CV the better chance you have of impressing future employers or places of study. The following are typical of the opportunities offered within the music department each year.

Industry talks

We run a scheduled programme of talks from different experts in the field of employability or subject specific skills within your area. Throughout the year talks include ‘Preparing for your Career’, ‘Previous Student: Work Experience/Career and Study Decisions’, ‘Enterprise’, ‘Social Media Branding’, ‘Effective Applications’ and ‘Preparing for Job Interviews’.

Support sessions

There are a number of workshops which have been designed to support and develop you within your studies. These are provided by PGCE Music students who have completed their degrees in the previous years. They can quickly help to explain difficult concepts, show you various software or help you to develop your theory skills. Students making the most of these sessions have really benefitted.

Employability opportunities

We have a number of opportunities available to you throughout the year. Apart from the ensemble performances that you do, we are frequently asked for performers to attend events both inside and outside of College.

We also work with a number of local businesses/charities delivering a broad range of music projects. This has recently included Shawlands Primary School, Qdos Creates, BIADS (Dementia Group), Team17, Barnsley Community Choir and Barnsley Live. If you would like to benefit from this type of experience please speak to Susan Donnelly (HE Pathway Leader for Music/Music Technology) whose details can be found at the top of this web page.

Student representatives

Each year you will be given the opportunity to become a student representative and present the views of your cohort at student panels and course committee meetings. Those wishing to extend this opportunity may wish to apply for the Students’ Union representative roles as they become available. Recently we have had HE Music students in the positions of President and LGBTQ Officer. This is a fantastic role to show on your CV as there are many transferable skills linked to the work involved.