Brand-new music college opens in the heart of city’s Cultural Industries Quarter

A new music college which aims to offer a unique learning experience is set to officially welcome its first intake of students later this year.

Music education pioneers Adam Bushell and Bruce John Dickinson hosted the opening of WaterBear The College of Music, based in Eyre Lane, Sheffield, at the weekend.

Together the pair have more than 30 years of experience in professional music and set up their first WaterBear music college in Brighton in 2018.

Bruce John Dickinson, founder and director of WaterBear, said: “Sheffield just feels like the right place for our second campus. The Sheffield music scene is legendary.”

The Mayor of Sheffield Sioned-Mair Richards attended the event, which had local artists playing, refreshments and advice for prospective students.


Mr Dickinson said: “The opening was one of the greatest things in our history. More than 200 people came to the opening on Saturday, when we were expecting 20, 30 or 40. We’ve been going for five years and it’s always really tough to do any new venture.

“It was fantastic. It was like one of those gigs that’s sold out and you have to fight to get to the bar. We’ve had those gigs where no-one has turned up, and you have to still put on a good show, so it was amazing to have the reaction that we did.”

The building in Eyre Lane has several mentoring rooms to allow students to access one-to-one mentoring with industry professionals, alongside two suites with Apple Macs, some general purpose teaching spaces, and a variety of high-tech equipment for students to use.


WaterBear offers a wide range of BA and MA degrees, from business and entrepreneurialism to performance and production.

Mr Dickinson added: “The fundamental concept is that we are a city-wide campus, so we’ll do a lot of our learning in studios and music venues, like The Leadmill, so students are actually integrating with the music community.”

Falmouth University partner with WaterBear and own 10% of the college, which means students will receive a Falmouth University qualification award when they graduate.

Peter Cox, Chief Operating Officer of Falmouth University, said: “This unique joint venture build on Falmouth’s 118-year history in creative education, significant course portfolio and experience of delivering online degrees, combined with Waterbed’s student and industry-centred flexible delivery approach.

“I look forward to further developing this partnership for the ongoing benefit of our students.”

You can find out more about WaterBear here.

Written by Issy Todd

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