BA (Hons) Professional Musicianship


The guitar programme combines instrumental study with the opportunity to develop collaborative and entrepreneurial skills while performing a wide range of original and adapted music.

At BIMM Berlin, we understand that live performance is the key to you becoming a great guitarist, so you’ll spend a lot of time on stage to help you develop and find your niche as a performer. You’ll participate in weekly Live Performance Workshops (LPWs) in all three years, performing with your fellow students while receiving expert guidance from highly skilled BIMM tutors.

You’ll explore and develop your potential career pathways through research and professional projects, learning the essential skills required to work successfully in the music industry.

Through a range of optional modules, including Showcase, Music for the Moving Image, Creative Technology Applications and Music Pedagogy in Practice, you can tailor the degree to fit your own personal goals.

Above all, BA (Hons) Professional Musicianship offers an opportunity for you to explore your creative side as a musician, encouraging you to experiment with your style, try new things and push yourself to become the most unique and original individual artist you can be. As a graduate you’ll be ready to pursue a range of different career options, including artist, band leader, band member and arranger/composer.

So to make your way as a guitarist, connect with us, and we’ll connect you to a life in music.

Click here to find this course on UCAS.

Validated by:

2019/2020 Fees

Payment options available

UK Students: please note that this course is not eligible for Student Loans Company funding.


Year 1

All students take the following core modules in their first year of study. Module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Essential Styles

    As a studio or touring musician, the more musical styles you have at your disposal, the more employable you’ll be. On the Essential Styles module, we’ll make you the complete player, familiar with the key genres and must-hear releases from every era, and armed with the chops and aural skills to shine in any session or live situation.

  • Techniques

    As a studio or touring musician, the more musical styles you have at your disposal, the more employable you’ll be. On the Essential Styles module, we’ll make you the complete player, familiar with the key genres and must-hear releases from every era, and armed with the chops and aural skills to shine in any session or live situation.

  • Applied Music Business

    Every musician needs bulletproof business chops, and this module reveals how the modern industry really works. Whatever your next move, you’ll be confident dealing with every aspect of your career, including publishing, artist management, contracts, music law, synchronisation, music teaching and business planning. You’ll also learn the academic and study skills to help you get the most from your time at BIMM.

  • Artist Development and Entrepreneurship

    Passion is just the start. This module is where you’ll gather the skills and knowledge that turn amateurs into professional artists. You’ll learn how to make the right call in every situation – from international touring to long-term career decisions – and to apply the blue-sky thinking that will give you the edge in a competitive industry.

  • Live Performance Workshop

    In the modern industry, nothing opens doors like a great live performance. Working closely with BIMM’s expert tutors, you’ll learn to analyse and perfect all the elements – from arrangements to hooks – that make a song come alive onstage, and master the performance and communication skills you need to dazzle audiences and A&Rs.

  • Music Theory and Notation

    Whether you want to write more adventurous material or get booked for the best sessions in town, a watertight knowledge of musical theory goes a long way. Dive into a fast-paced, dynamic module full of applicable skills – from sight-reading to transcription – that will keep your music fresh and your phone ringing.

Year 2

All students take the following core modules in their second year of study, as well as one optional module. Module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Research Methods

    As a professional musician or project manager, you’ll need stellar research skills for a thousand different scenarios, from gauging international markets to finding the right clubs for your next tour. This module reveals the best methods of gathering accurate data in the digital age, without wasting time or resources. It’s a great practical skill for your career ahead – and invaluable preparation for the Year 3 Professional Project.

  • Professional Musicianship

    To make your mark in the competitive music industry, you’ll need complete mastery of your instrument. This module aims to move your technical capabilities on to the next level, inviting you to attend lectures on general techniques and liaise with your tutor to choose a specific area as your specialism.

  • Cultural Perspectives

    To know where music is headed, you need to understand where it’s been. This dynamic module leads you through the unfolding history of popular music and the industry, showing how art and business have been shaped by society, economics and technology. You’ll not only gain a watertight knowledge of the pivotal events, releases, labels and artists – but a clear vision of how you’ll write the next chapter.

  • Performance in Context

    The stage becomes your second home during the Performance In Context module, whose close focus on live technique turns raw talents into capable and commanding performers. Dive into BIMM’s archive of reference material, study the performances of the greats as you evaluate and improve your own – then showcase your new skills in front of real audiences.

  • Applied Music Theory and Critical Listening

    We believe in music theory with real-world benefits, and this module locks down the skills that you’ll draw on every day as a professional musician. Expect to make giant leaps as you polish your ear-training, transcription and notation-reading skills. Study the influence of different genres on modern rock and pop, then apply the theories, chords and scales to make your own material go supersonic.

  • Optional – Studio Musicianship

    Tracking in a professional studio will test your musicianship in a thousand different ways. With fast-paced classes, practical workshops and field work, this module gives you a flying start, drilling into the techniques and approaches that make a successful studio musician – and preparing you for your final practical studio recording assessment and viva.

  • Optional – Studio Recording

    The best studio musicians aren’t just capable players – they also understand the fundamentals of engineering and take responsibility for the sonic direction of their recordings. Mixing theory and hands-on skills, this module prepares you for every studio scenario, from getting a professional sound with basic equipment to arranging parts for your musicians when the clock is ticking.

  • Optional – Music Business Studies

    The contracts you sign as a professional musician are some of the most important paperwork of your life, with the terms dictating everything from earnings to creative freedom. This module gives you all the specialist knowledge you need to deal with management, recording and publishing contracts, helping you cut through the jargon, negotiate the small-print and sign with confidence.

  • Optional – Music Publishing

    If you write songs, and want to earn money from them, you need to know how music publishing works. This module is your complete guide to the theory and reality, covering copyright, business mechanics, collection societies and the many platforms – including radio, film, TV and the web – where modern songwriters can profit.

  • Optional - Performing with Creative Technology

    This module is designed to equip students with the skills to incorporate creative technology within a live performance utilising a unique pallet of sound artefacts generated through live recording and subsequent sonic manipulation and editing. Students will be advised on effective methodologies and practises to achieve the best possible outcome when recording and editing sounds. The realisation of the predetermined sonic palette within a live performance delivered through the use of technology (software and hardware) alongside live instrumentalists and / or vocalists enables the student, as creative artist, to express without limitation.

Year 3

All students take the following core modules in their third (and final) year of study, as well as two optional modules. Module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Professional Project

    The Professional Project is the culmination of your three years at BIMM. Your tutors will give you all the theory and concepts you need for a flying start, but it’s down to you to dream up a project that shows off your practical skills and see it through to completion. Perhaps you’ll take your band on a headline tour. Manage an album launch. Helm a national press campaign or set up a viable music business. The Professional Project is your chance to think big.

  • Professional Development

    As a professional musician, you’ll be responsible for steering your own career – so it’s vital to become self-sufficient and assess the areas that could hold you back. On the Professional Development module, we’ll help you identify your own personal and business needs, and teach the skills you’ll call on throughout your career, from stress control and teamwork to goal-setting and time management.

  • Analytical Perspectives

    Music doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and to be an effective industry professional, it pays to sharpen your knowledge of popular culture and business developments. This module teaches you to look critically at the culture and industry unfolding around you, take the pulse of the modern music scene – then fuse what you’ve learnt into your own musical projects and business plans.

  • Optional - Ensemble Performance

    You’ll never stop sharpening your live skills during your time at BIMM. Building on the performance modules from your first and second year, you’ll now work closely with your fellow students to arrange and perform your own original material to pro standards – then self-assess the results and make recommendations for the future.

  • Optional – Music Teaching Practice

    Whether you plan to teach full-time or give lessons between other projects, music tutoring is a highly rewarding career – and this module gives you the knowledge to pursue it. You’ll master the teaching skills to deliver one-to-one, small or large-group tuition. But you’ll also get a practical guide to the employment options, whether that’s teaching in mainstream education or setting up your own profitable private business.

  • Optional – Solo Performance

    Life as a professional musician is highly collaborative, but you’ll still be expected to excel on your instrument when the spotlight is on you. For this high-level Year Three module, you’ll perform either solo or with a backing track, critically assessing your development and measuring your attainment against the best professional players.

  • Optional – Music Theory and Analysis

    This module targets the students who want to drill deeper into advanced musical techniques across the spectrum of musical styles. Analysing seminal and modern releases from trailblazing artists, you’ll break down the harmonic, melodic and rhythmic approaches in genres ranging from jazz to progressive-rock – and learn how to fuse them into your own material.

  • Optional – Online Music

    As a modern musician, ignoring the web is not an option – and this specialist module gives you the practical knowledge to navigate and monetise the online world. Guided by our expert tutors, you’ll learn how the music industry interacts with the Internet – and discover the potential benefits and pitfalls of online investment and funding, digital rights management, social media, social networking and digital distribution.

The option modules advertised as available for BIMM Institute courses are subject to variation dependant on minimum student numbers and the availability of specialist resources at each college (Please refer to our terms and conditions for further detail).

Want to apply?

Minimum Requirements

Minimum of 2 A-levels at grade E or above (32 UCAS Points), OR BTEC Level 3 equivalent, and five GCSEs at a minimum grade of C/4, including English Language. Overseas students where English is not their native language must meet a minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.0. We require a minimum of 5.5 to be achieved in each band.

After this course:


Graduates can progress directly to employment in the music industry in roles such as solo performer, band member, session musician, backing vocalist or songwriter, or can continue their study with a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching at BIMM Brighton or a Masters Degree.

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Want to study here?

How to apply

Applications can be made directly to BIMM Berlin, to request an audition and/or assessment call +44 20 3701 3966. All students will be invited to attend an audition and/or assessment. International applicants who can’t attend an audition and/or assessment will be sent guidelines and an application form.

UK applicants can alternatively apply via UCAS – this course can be found on here.

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Coming from abroad?

International Students

We’re proud to welcome students from all around the world. Our dedicated International Team is on hand to help with applications, visas, accommodation, settling in and much more.

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Course Specification

Mode of attendance:
Length of course:
This course is taught as either a three-year course at levels four, five and six, or a one-year top-up course at level six available only to those successfully completing the Foundation Degree (Arts) in Professional Musicianship at BIMM Berlin.
Awarding institution:
University of Sussex (subject to revalidation)
Teaching institution:
BIMM Berlin
UCAS code:
Language of study:
Final award and exit awards:
Certificate of Higher Education (exit award only at level four), Diploma of Higher Education (exit award only at level five), Bachelors Degree with Honours.
Admissions criteria:
Minimum of 2 A-levels at grade E or above (32 UCAS Points), OR BTEC Level 3 equivalent, and five GCSEs at a minimum grade of C/4, including English Language. Overseas students where English is not their native language must meet a minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.0. We require a minimum of 5.5 to be achieved in each band.

Teaching this course

BIMM Tutors

From headlining the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury with Moby and playing drums in the soundtrack to the Hollywood movie ‘Nine’, to performing for The Queen and being a vocal coach on the Russian version of The X Factor, our BIMM Berlin tutors have done it all. Imagine what you could achieve with direct access to their knowledge, guidance, experience and enviable industry connections!

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Making it in music:

Success Stories

Our students prove that talent and hard work are an impressive mix, with many forging a career in the music industry as performers and music industry professionals.

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