• Application Deadline
  • 36 months


Popular music provides not only entertainment for millions but also opportunities for personal, social and political expression. This exciting and innovative course challenges you to think deeply about popular music’s meanings and influence.

  • Explore the role, impact and context of popular music – from key works, artists and audiences to historical debates, cultural theories and political ideas
  • Build skills which are highly prized by employers seeking adaptable, analytical, creative and culturally aware graduates for a rapidly changing world
  • Broaden your knowledge through work-based learning, study visits and guest lectures
  • Be inspired to succeed by our highly experienced team of subject experts who have published influential research in this field
  • Choose to study part of your degree overseas at one of our North American or European partner universities
  • Combine Popular Music in Society with another subject and set yourself apart as a versatile and independent learner.

The emphasis of this Popular Music in Society Joint Honours course from University of Derby course is the study of popular music rather than its practice. You will build a comprehensive understanding of popular music as a global phenomenon, examining its histories, platforms and trends and exploring its meanings, influence and pervasiveness.

In the early stages of the course, you will receive an excellent grounding in theoretical and critical approaches to the subject, analysing popular music texts past and present. You will then progress to modules on more specialist topics such as popular music on screen; popular music and the written word; and fans, movements and sub-cultures.

As you grow in confidence and develop your knowledge, there is plenty of opportunity for independent project work to concentrate on the aspects of popular music in which you are particularly interested.

Because Joint Honours gives you the flexibility to cover two subjects in one degree, you will also be able to demonstrate your organisational skills and capacity to work to deadlines, communicate effectively and carry out independent research.

Compelling Joint Honours subject combinations which work particularly well include:

  • Popular Music in Society and Journalism
  • Popular Music in Society and Sociology
  • Popular Music in Society and History
  • Popular Music in Society and Politics
  • Popular Music in Society and American Studies
  • Popular Music in Society and Media Studies.


In common with graduates from other Humanities courses, the Popular Music in Society graduates are likely to pursue global careers in many different fields: the creative, cultural and heritage industries; journalism and the media; teaching and academia; business and commerce; and the civil and uniformed services.

Whichever career route you decide to follow, we do all we can to ensure you acquire the knowledge and experience to excel. We are committed to helping you develop highly prized transferable skills – including critical thinking, written and oral communication, project management, digital and informational literacy, and global awareness – which are particularly attractive to a wide range of prospective employers.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Full-time duration 36 months
    • Average part-time duration 48 months
    • Duration description
      4-6 years
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
  • More information Go to the programme website

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Pop Life 1: Form, Meaning and Representation 
  • Pop Life 2: Institutions, Industries and Audiences
  • Writing for Media
  • Audible Republic: American Music and Society
  • Image Music Sound
  • It Says Here: Popular Music and the Written Word
  • Research Project in Popular Music and Society
  • Work-Based Learning in the Media and Cultural Industries
  • Exchange modules 1-3
  • Children of the Revolution: Popular Music in the Long Seventies
  • The Kids are Alright: Fans, Movements, Subcultures
  • Independent Study in Popular Music in Society
  • Work-Based Learning

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

    Studyportals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

  • Minimum required score:


    PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic) is a language test that enables students to demonstrate their writing, listening, speaking, and reading skills when applying to study in English. Delivered and marked by computer, it reports on a scale between 10 and 90.

Academic Requirements

General Requirements

  • UCAS points - 112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
  • GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
  • London Tests of English: we accept level 4 for undergraduate courses
  • International GCE O Level English Language: Grade C
  • International GCSE English or English as a Second Language: Grade C.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    12500 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 12500 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • EU/EEA

    9250 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 9250 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.


  • We have a range of scholarships and discounts available to students from outside the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA).
  • We award scholarships based on your application to study; there is no separate form to complete. All applications from eligible students will be considered for a scholarship by our international admissions team. We will notify you of your scholarship when we make you an offer, and apply your discount to your remaining fees.
  • You must be applying for a full-time degree and applications for postgraduate research, online studies, foundation and pre-sessional language programmes are not eligible for a discount or scholarship.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.


Did you know you can compare your wishlisted programmes with our new Comparison tool?