Popular Music Performance - Top for Student Satisfaction

Popular Music Performance at The University of Chester achieved 91.3% overall student satisfaction (nearly 13% above the sector average!) in the 2017 National Student Survey, the largest national survey of final year undergraduates in the country.

The BA Popular Music Performance course also came joint 1st place nationally – scoring 100% satisfaction in areas such as:

  • "teaching on my course"
  • "staff are good at explaining things"
  • "receiving sufficient advice and guidance"
  • "staff have made the subject interesting"
  • "the course is intellectually stimulating" and
  • "my course has challenged me to achieve my best work".

More about Popular Music Performance

Kingsway Campus

The Popular Music Performance course is part of the Department of Performing Arts along with Dance, Drama and Theatre Studies, Music and Performing Arts. The Department of Performing Arts is based at Kingsway Campus, Chester and hosts a range of excellent and enriching facilities such as sound-proofed rehearsal spaces, which are equipped with the latest technology for recording and live sound.

IT and study spaces include well-equipped Mac computers with the latest music-based software including Sibelius and Logic. There is a reference library at Kingsway and access to online databases such as Rock's Backpages.

Live Performance

As well as the performances that take place at Kingsway by the students and visiting musicians and artists, we have a weekly showcase evening at the local live music venue Alexander’s Live. Our students not only perform there regularly, but some who specialise in music technology have the job of engineering the live sound.

We also loan our students equipment such as guitar amps, drum kits, keyboards and whole sound systems (at no extra cost of course), so that they can go and play gigs! It is important to us that students have the correct facilities to practise and perform.

There is a thriving live music scene in the city of Chester, with many gigs on each week and lots of places to play. As well as this, Liverpool and Manchester are only a short distance away.


Kingsway also hosts our annual week-long event that supports visiting professionals to inspire our students. PULSE (Professionals at Uni Live Sessions Event) week has attracted a range of interesting and fascinating artists from BBC’s Daniel P Carter, to Kasabian drummer Ian Matthews. We host a range of workshops from guitar maintenance to beat boxing and songwriting workshops, to practical lectures given by rock guitar idols.

Supportive, Research-active Staff

Students are taught by enthusiastic and supportive staff and there is an excellent student-to-staff ratio within the department, meaning you never have to wait long to speak to a member of the team.

Taught sessions include traditional lectures, practical classes, tutorial classes and small group teaching. We also have an excellent technical support team who offer weekly drop-in sessions to offer support and advice.

Every student at the University of Chester also has a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT), who provides additional pastoral support to a student throughout their full degree. 

Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning modules and work placements are a key part of the course at Chester and help students gain professional experience before graduation. We offer students the opportunity to work with their own contacts or arrange for work placements, which may vary from working in a school to recording studio. We also have a Performance Practice module that enables music students to plan, promote and organise their own tour, gaining real-world experience by performing in a number of venues around the North West.

It’s very important to us that our students have the opportunity to develop the technical expertise and professional skills required to thrive in the music industry.

Want to Know More?

To find out more about Popular Music Performance at the University of Chester, please contact the programme leader Dr Ruth Dockwray: 01244 515731, or by email: r.dockwray@chester.ac.uk

Visit Us

If you would like to know more about studying at the University of Chester, meet staff and students, get your questions answered, or about living in Chester, why not visit us on one of our Open Days?

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