Music students performing

Work with companies including TAGlive (Talent Artistic Group), Sonic Artists and the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, train as a singer and/or instrumentalist and graduate with a professional showreel

3 years Full Time
Bishop Otter Campus

Top 30

UK University

1. The Guardian University Guide 2022


happiest place to live in the UK

2. Office for National Statistics 2019

5 stars

for teaching quality

3. QS Stars University Rating 2019


This BA (Hons) Music and Cabaret Performance course combines a traditional music degree with specific performance training to prepare you for a variety of professional contexts. You could be a solo singer wanting to pursue a stage career, or an instrumentalist or band musician wanting to train for theatre pit work, cruise ships, orchestras, hotels and international holiday resorts.

This specialist course will prepare you for the demands of the modern-day music sector and develop your performance and professional skills throughout your studies geared towards your individual ambitions.

You will take part in fully staged cabaret floor shows as a soloist and/or member of the Cabaret Showband, perform in an industry Showcase in your final year, and have the opportunity to take part in full scale production work. You will secure professional accomplishments in your selected instrumental or vocal study and graduate with a professional showreel, joining one or more of our six orchestras and other taught vocal and instrumental ensembles during your degree.

Working with industry partners the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, TAGlive (Talent Artistic Group), Sonic Artists and professionals from industries including the West End, Opera, BBC Radio, chart topping recording artists and the most prestigious cruise companies in the world, you will prepare for a wide-ranging career in the music industry. You will benefit from regular visits and workshops with agents, leading cruise ship booker, Sonic Artists and the Syd Lawrence Orchestra.

On this course you will:

  • Study music theory.
  • Develop your performance skills and experience.
  • Take part in fully staged cabaret floor shows as a solo singer and/or member of the cabaret showband.
  • Be able to play or perform in full scale production work in Regional theatres including the Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis and the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth.
  • Take part in West end workshops.
  • Develop your stage persona.
  • Pursue professional accomplishments in your selected instrumental or vocal study.
  • Be able to join one or more of our six orchestras and other taught ensembles.
  • Have the opportunity to take part in regular visits and workshops with leading cruise ship booker, Sonic Artists.
  • Benefit from industry partners the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, TAGlive (Talent Artistic Group), Sonic Artists and professionals from industries including the West End, BBC Radio,Opera and chart-topping recording artists.
  • Perform in an industry showcase in your final year.
  • Develop your professional showreel before you graduate.


Jon Perry

Director, Sonic Artists
"Sonic Artists have a wide range of opportunities for musicians and performers in the cruise, leisure and holiday industries ideal for Jazz, Musical Theatre, Songwriting and Cabaret Performance. We are committed to helping the University of Chichester develop this talent and eventually guide them into the job market."

Chris Dean

Musical Director, The Syd Lawrence Orchestra
"I am truly delighted with the new collaboration between the University of Chichester Conservatoire Cabaret Performance Programme and the Syd Lawrence Orchestra. I look forward to working with the instrumental cabaret students over the coming years."

Syd Lawrence Orchestra

Founded in 1967 by trumpeter and arranger Syd Lawrence, the famous Syd Lawrence Orchestra has been thrilling audiences in Concert Halls, Theatres, TV Shows, Music Festivals and Cruises all over Great Britain and Continental Europe for over 40 years. The orchestra, directed since Syd’s retirement in 1996 by Chris Dean, is renowned for its exciting blend of high-octane Big Band Swing and Classic Dance Music. Count Basie himself described the Syd Lawrence Orchestra as “So good it should be BANNED!” and it has recently been voted Best Big Band in the Land for the eighth consecutive year.

Teaching and Assessment

How you will learn

You will study using lecturers, seminars, practical classes and workshops. You will learn from a core team of experienced and qualified tutors alongside a wide-ranging team of more than 60 specialist instrumental and vocal teachers.

You will be assessed through a range of assignments including essays, exams, exhibitions, performance and practical work, project work, presentations and seminar discussions.

Saara Sofia Paakko

Conservatoire student
"The atmosphere at the university is lovely due to the small size of the institution, and I love being around like-minded people."

The Course

What you will study

You will study a selection of core and optional modules in each year. Each module is worth a number of credits is delivered differently, depending on its content and focus of study.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Select a year

Performance Development (Music)

You will work on your technical development and expressive facility in performance in a bespoke way with regular one to one tuition. We pride ourselves in helping you to form an excellent working relationship with your one to one tutor, which will enable you to identify areas for development, understand your specialist discipline with mindful awareness.


You will produce a professional standard performance, demonstrating confidence within your chosen repertoire(s) and technical and expressive maturity. You will need an appropriate balance in programming and the ability to lean towards either a supporting or leadership role and develop your skills in hosting events and presenting the work to others.

Professional Resilience

More information on this module will be available soon.

Musical Grammar

This module introduces and familiarises you with a range of aspects of musical structure and its notation.

Style and Genre

You will complete a chronological survey of the Western Art-Music tradition from it’s beginnings in ancient Greece, through the birth of polyphony, early opera, the works of Mozart and Beethoven, to the Tristan Prelude and the roots of modernism. You will understand the development of genres, musical structures and compositional style.

Cabaret Skills

With a rigorous focus on developing your individual skills, this all year module puts your technique into practice in the development of performance in a variety of styles and contexts. As a solo singer you will have the choice of regular vocal repertoire classes in addition to a good amount of group dance/movement tuition, arranging, and join the Cabaret showband as a soloist. As an instrumentalist you will join the Cabaret showband, study arranging and musical direction. Your classes will give you the fundamental techniques for your chosen route and encourage you to push yourself out of your comfort zones in exploring repertoire choices from not only Musical theatre, but also (where suitable) classical, pop, jazz, rock, disney and swing. The performance of song and/or instrumental studies allied to engaging with the audience is a vital skill that is explored in this module.

Professional Skills (Cabaret)

In the first year you will learn recording studio techniques with an emphasis on audio recording in our bespoke editing suites. As an instrumentalist you will also study musicianship, sight-reading, musical expression, improvisation and reading charts. As a solo singer you will study spoken voice class/entertainment skills and choose a practical option to compliment the technical aspect, with a choice of guitar, comedy song or magic.

The Baroque

You will explore a broad range of musical genres, ideas, styles and constructional devices from the birth of opera in 1600, through the rapid development of concerti grossi, the mass and the oraotorio, to the seminal theoretical and compositional writings of Jean-Phillippe Rameau.

Reading Popular Music

You will explore key critical texts and concepts such as authenticity, anthropology, ethnography and textual analysis, applying these to a variety of models in contemporary popular music.

Opera And Operetta

Available in two different delivery modes, this module can be followed as either a conventional weekly series of lectures during semester two, or as a week long intensive culminating in a staged performance outside the semester period. Learning is focused on examples drawn from 19th century opera forms, seeking to develop a lively sense of the evolving performance context which came to be described as operetta.


More information on this module will be available soon.

Modern Jazz: Seven Steps to Heaven

More information on this module will be available soon.

Self-Employment, Marketing and Promotion

This module explores the local and national marketplace and introduces you to a number of different models of successful positioning within the industry. For a successful career as a film or music professional you will need a strong understanding of the nature of self-employment in business. This module will develop your understanding and encourage you to confidently approach the world beyond university. You will complete a tailored financial and business plan which will encourage an awareness of local markets and circumstances.

Cabaret Skills (Level 5)

With a rigorous focus on voice and/or building on your instrumental skills, this all year module further develops your techniques in the advancement of performance and/or arrangement in a variety of styles and explores further repertoire. You will elect to specialise in either voice or instrumental studies. As a singer you will have regular vocal classes plus a good amount of dance classes alongside vocal repertoire classes which will encourage you to push yourself out of your comfort zones in exploring even further repertoire choices. You may also choose to appear in the musical theatre shows in Regional theatres. As an instrumentalist you will have regular Cabaret Showband rehearsals, perform in the pit orchestra for the music theatre productions and study advanced arranging, building on the work covered in the first year of study.

Professional Skills (Cabaret) (Level 5)

In this year-long module you will supplement your audio recording editing techniques with the introduction of self-taping, video editing and podcasting. All students will study advanced musicianship, whilst instrumentalists will study transposition and more complex improvisation. Singers will select one option from a choice of guitar, magic or comedy song. You will also have spoken voice class/entertainment skills further developing your ability to engage with an audience in audition or performance.

Venue and Organisations

This 1 semester module prepares you for professional audition in the main disciplines of instrumental study and/or singing with dance. You will have specialist group lessons in audition technique and vocal repertoire folder classes where you will create your own bespoke repertoire list of cut songs appropriate for audition. In this module you will reflect on your strengths and current skill set in your specialisms to develop an understanding of how you may best market yourself in the profession upon graduation.

Cabaret Performance Showreel

This large all-year module incorporates a huge array of classes specific to your specialisms, including; instrumentals studies, sight-reading, vocal rep, musical direction, spoken voice/entertainment skills, video and audio editing, plus your chosen option (comedy song, guitar or magic) to create your own Industry Showreel at the conclusion of the course. Working with a wide range of tutors, this module will encourage you to look at how to present your own work on camera, how you market your skill-set in the profession and help you to reflect on positioning yourself to a professional standard to agents and bookers.


Use industry standard equipment

You will also use the 350-seater Alexandra Theatre in Bognor Regis, and the Theatre Royal in Portsmouth.


Learn from experienced performers, musicians and tutors

You will be taught by a core team of experienced and highly qualified tutors alongside a wide-ranging team of more than 60 specialist instrumental and vocal teachers.

As well as supporting student development and the student experience our staff are active, practicing professional musicians and researchers who regularly perform and record. We have around 140 professional tutors who visit campus regularly throughout the semester to deliver our practical and contextual modules. You will be supported by your one-to-one tutor and your module tutors, as well as your Academic Advisor.

Study Abroad

Explore the opportunity to study part of your course abroad

As a student at the University of Chichester, you can explore opportunities to study abroad during your studies as you enrich and broaden your educational experiences.

Students who have undertaken this in the past have found it to be an amazing experience to broaden their horizons, a great opportunity to meet new people, undertake further travelling and to immerse themselves within a new culture.

You will be fully supported throughout the process to help find the right destination institution for you and your course. We can take you through everything that you will need to consider, from visas to financial support, to help ensure that you can get the best out of your time studying abroad.


Where you could go after your studies

This BA (Hons) Music and Cabaret Performance degree will prepare you for a range of careers after you graduate. You will benefit from our industry relationships throughout your degree and we will help you explore career opportunities with our network of employers and agents.

As performers, graduates have gone into:

  • West End productions
  • Major touring productions throughout Europe
  • Major cruise ships including Disney
  • UK and International small-scale touring theatre
  • ​Film and TV in both the UK and US
  • Edinburgh Festival
  • Cabaret
  • Cruise ship bands on P&O
  • Warner Leisure Hotels

Graduates have also secured roles as stage managers, arts managers and producers picking up contracts in the UK and around the world.

Browse our alumni on Facebook to see some of our graduates.

Further Study

You could choose to continue your studies at postgraduate level.

Study options at the University of Chichester include:

  • MA Music Performance
  • MA Music Teaching
  • MA Screen Acting
  • PGCE
  • PhD/MPhil

University of Chichester alumni who have completed a full undergraduate degree at the University will receive a 15% discount on their postgraduate fees.

Course Costs

Course Fees 2022/23

UK fee
International fee

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fees page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Scholarships may be available for selected instruments; please enquire with the Head of Music.

Entry Requirements

Typical offers (individual offers may vary):

tariff points from A levels or combination with AS / EPQ / BTEC/ Cambridge Technical.
A Levels
26 points
with no element lower than 5.5.


You will need to demonstrate your ability in an instrument or voice performance, display musical awareness and showcase your skills during your performance audition. If you have a high level of performance skills you may be considered for a lower academic offer.

Interviews and Auditions

Auditions and interviews usually run from December until March.

We aim to offer you a genuine dialogue during your application process. This gives you a sense of worth and achievement from the audition process itself; a sense of ownership for you during the process and, ultimately, is an opportunity for us to get a clear understanding of who you are, what you need, and how we can best prepare you for  your degree.

We judge you on your skills, your potential, and your personality, not your background.

Booking Your Audition

If you are invited to audition you will receive an email asking you to book your audition date on ChiView. If you are unsuccessful we will email you to let you know. 

You can usually choose between two or three different days on ChiView at one time. Once these dates are close ChiView will refresh to show new options. If none of the current dates suit you then you should wait until the dates renew and check again. Dates are released two to three weeks in advance.

Once you have booked your audition you will have access to the relevant documents on ChiView. 

Log in to the ChiView portal, click on ‘Events schedule’ and then ‘View details’ to view, download, or print documents telling you how to prepare for your audition and what to expect on the day.

If your situation changes and you can no longer attend your interview date you should cancel your booking in ChiView by visiting your ‘Event Schedule’ and clicking ‘Cancel Attendance’. You also need to inform the admissions team by emailing so we can send you a new audition invitation.

Using ChiView 

Sometimes if you are viewing your ChiView portal on a phone you will not be able to see the page correctly. If this happens you should try again on another device.

You may need to clear your browser history. 

If you are still unable to see the ‘View details’ button, please check that you have successfully booked your audition by clicking ‘respond to interview invitation’.

If all else fails please email with your query and applicant number.

Your Audition Day

You will need to prepare a three minute piece, in any style, but if you’d like to perform something slightly longer or to perform on more than one instrument, or on an instrument and as a singer, just let us know on the day. Composers can opt to bring a recording of some of their work, with a score if there is one, and play this instead if they prefer.

You can park on-site if you buy a pay-and-display ticket but please note that the demand for car park spaces exceeds the spaces available, particularly during term time. For this reason, there are specific parking controls and restrictions to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the University, equity of access and fairness.

There are clearly marked disabled parking bays available at both campuses. 

After Your Audition

After your audition the panel will discuss your application and pass our decision onto the admissions team who will update UCAS.

  • We make bespoke offers: Your offer is specifically for you. If we offer less than your predicted grades, this will reflect the potential and quality of your audition and we’d like to take a bit of pressure off of you heading into your exams.
  • We don’t do unconditional offers: Unless you already have your grades (you are a mature student), we will always insist on certain grade achievements because we want you to succeed in all aspects of your academic life including your A levels, BTEC, etc.
  • If you do not get the grades you wanted: Don’t panic. You received an offer because you were good enough for the department at audition. Ring us on the clearing hotline so we can discuss things with you.
  • We may offer you a different course: We may offer you a place on a course within the department that is different to the one you applied for. If this is the case we will speak to you about this at your audition or shortly afterwards. We will explain our reasoning, which will revolve around placing you on the most appropriate course where we think you will thrive.


BMus (Hons) Music Performance
“I remember sitting in a music A level lesson when I received my email offering me an audition to study BMus (Hons) Music Performance at the University of Chichester. I was immediately terrified of having to choose a piece to perform and to then perform it in front of tutors and other applicants. In the end I needn’t have worried at all, the audition experience was extremely enjoyable and relaxed. I had the best time meeting other prospective students, some of whom became course mates and one even a future housemate! Meeting the Head of Music, Ben Hall, was invaluable as it meant that any questions that I had about the course could be answered. He even gave us a tour of the Chichester campus and the music block which helped put us all at ease before we performed to each other.”


Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

Click the ‘Apply now’ button to go to relevant UCAS page.

What are UCAS tariff points?

Many qualifications have a UCAS Tariff value. The score depends on the qualification, and the grade you achieved.

How do I know what my UCAS tariff points are?

Head to the UCAS Tariff Points web page where you can find a tariff points calculator that can tell you how much your qualification and grades are worth.

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