BIMM University announces The Joan Armatrading Scholarship

24 May, 2024

We are delighted to announce that BIMM University has partnered with singer-songwriter and three-time Grammy nominee Joan Armatrading for a brand-new scholarship.

As one of Britain’s very first female singer-songwriters to gain international success, Joan has won accolade after accolade. After being honoured with an MBE in 2001, Joan then received a CBE in 2020. Amongst her many awards, she has won a coveted Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection. She is renowned as a champion of new talent, which is why we couldn’t be more excited to launch this scholarship at BIMM Music Institute Birmingham in her name.

Joan grew up in Birmingham and started writing songs at a young age. Navigating the music industry as a black woman in the 1970s and 80s posed formidable challenges, and she has channelled these experiences of prejudice into her songwriting, which continues to resonate with audiences across the world. Having collaborated with numerous high-profile producers, as well as artists such as Elton John, Joan has continually pushed the boundaries of creativity, and her illustrious career has been marked by experimentation and innovation.

The Joan Armatrading Scholarship

Applicable to students starting their course in September 2024, The Joan Armatrading Scholarship will provide full three-year tuition fees for a candidate who is from a low household income and/or a group that is under-represented in higher education. The scholarship is designed to assist individuals who demonstrate talent in their chosen discipline, strong creative potential, and a desire to pursue a career in the creative industries.

The scholarship will support eligible undergraduate students across all our music courses at BIMM Music Institute Birmingham.

We caught up with Joan to ask a few questions to find out how she felt about the launch of the scholarship:

Why do you think studying music at a higher education level is important?

I like to think that having a bit of education on music theory can help you to get to where you want to get to in your head just that little bit faster.

What inspired you to enter the music industry?

I was born to write. I didn’t decide I would write songs; I just found myself writing songs. Because I wrote songs, I wanted people to hear them, and the way to do that is to enter the music business.

What three pieces of advice would you offer our students as they start their careers in the music industry?

1. First and foremost, believe in yourself. 2. Be truthful to yourself. 3. Don’t always think that the other person is right. People will try to persuade you that what you think you can do can’t be done. If you believe in yourself and you are truthful to yourself, you will know if you can really do it.

Why is supporting the scholarship important to you?

Supporting the scholarship is important to me because we need young people to be involved with music to keep it alive. I also love the enthusiasm of young people. I love how they think they can conquer the world, and guess what, most success happens when you are young and full of optimism.

We’re super excited to be offering this scholarship at our BIMM Birmingham campus, what is your connection to Birmingham?

I grew up in Birmingham and I love the people.

Here’s what James Maiden, Dean of BIMM Music Institute Birmingham Campus, had to say about the exciting news:

“Joan Armatrading is a leading light among the many influential artists with ties to our city of Birmingham, and we are honoured and truly excited to launch this partnership with her. Joan’s achievements and the substantial impact her career has had on the music industry make her the perfect figurehead for our scholarship, which will transform a talented student’s opportunity to build a career in music.”

Who can apply

You can apply for The Joan Armatrading Scholarship if you meet all the following criteria:

  • You are applying for an undergraduate degree at BIMM Music Institute Birmingham that starts in September 2024.
  • You are a UK national with a home fee status.
  • You are from a low household income* and/or an under-represented group in higher education.

This includes:

    • Students from a global majority background.
    • Students who have experience in care or are estranged.
    • Mature students.
    • Students who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community or are from a gender-diverse background.
    • Disabled students.

*Student Finance England (SFE) offers a full maintenance grant to students with a household income of £25,000 or less.

How to apply

You will first need to apply for an undergraduate degree course at BIMM Music Institute Birmingham starting in September 2024.

Once you have applied and have your applicant ID, please complete the scholarship application form below.

The Joan Armatrading Scholarship applications close on 28th June 2024. Scholarships will only be awarded to those who go onto accept an offer from BIMM Music Institute Birmingham and complete the enrolment process.

Scholarship application form

What happens next

A panel will assess your application, and we will contact you as soon as possible regarding the outcome. As this is a competitive process and there are a limited number of scholarships available, we strongly recommend that all applicants follow the usual processes to secure student funding. Where appropriate, successful applicants will be able to amend/cancel their request for financial support from Student Finance England once their scholarship has been awarded.

Applying to The Joan Armatrading Scholarship will not exclude you from accessing university hardship funds or the Fair Access Fund.

If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected].

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