Our undergraduate programmes allow you to specialise and develop your own musical interests
Our undergraduate courses are flexible and challenging, allowing you to specialise and develop your own musical interests whilst acquiring a solid, broad-based education in aesthetics, analysis, composition, ethnomusicology, music history and performance.
For the BA Single Honours course, your primary focus will be on music but you may also have the opportunity to broaden your education through the study of other subjects, subject to availability. If you would prefer to focus solely on Music, consider our BMus course as an alternative.
Home to the arts, Cardiff is a great location for the study of music in the UK. The city has a professional opera company, Welsh National Opera, and a professional symphony orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The School of Music enjoys a fruitful relationship with both organisations that allows, for instance, students to attend dress rehearsals and buy cut-price tickets for concerts.
We offer a number of instrumental and vocal entrance scholarships to Single Honours Music students. You do not need to apply for these scholarships as you will be automatically considered when applying through UCAS. Visit the School of Music’s website for more information.
You are expected to have gained or shown evidence of working towards Grade 8 in one or more instruments or voice at the time of your application. You may be considered if you are not taking A-level Music but have (or are working towards) Grade 7/8 Theory and are studying appropriate subjects at A-level.
The distinctive features of the course include:
- instrumental tuition which is fully funded by the School of Music on your principal study instrument if you are taking a Practical Musicianship module
- Business of Music modules which offer a short work placement
- composition workshops, performance masterclasses, the University concert series, the John Bird lectures presented by visiting academics and the careers talks which provide many opportunities for contact with active music professionals
|Next intake||September 2018|
|Studying in Welsh||Up to 1% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information|
|Typical places available||The School typically has 70 places available.|
|Typical applications received||The School typically receives 350 applications.|
|Typical A level offer||AAB-BBB, including a B in Music. Please note, General Studies will not be accepted. Please also see ‘Other requirements' below.|
|Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offer||The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects. Please also see ‘Other requirements' below.|
|Typical International Baccalaureate offer||32 points, to include 6 in HL Music. Please also see 'Other Requirements' below.|
|Alternative qualifications||Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Music admissions criteria pages.|
|English Language requirements||If you are an overseas applicant and your first language is not English, please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our accepted qualifications.|
|Other requirements||You will require GCSE Maths at grade C or grade 4 and GCSE English or Welsh Language at grade C or grade 4. You will be required to have, or be working towards, Grade 8 Music Practical in an instrument or voice and will also be required to attend an audition.
This is a three-year full-time degree, consisting of 120 credits a year. Each year is divided into an autumn and a spring semester and has a modular structure. Most modules are worth 10 or 20 credits.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2018/19 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2018.
The first year in Music provides the foundations for you to take advantage of the creative and intellectual benefits of higher education.
Instruction in analysis, harmony and counterpoint, history of music, composition and practical musicianship. As a BA student you will take a free choice from these topics, subject to availability.
You will take a minimum of 80 credits in Music in year one. Students of this course can choose to study modules outside of their allocated School’s modules, subject to availability.
Note that some modules are ‘prerequisites’, provigin essential preparation for more advanced modules if you wish to pursue them in later years.
To complement your academic study, you are actively encouraged to join the University Choir or Orchestra and other ensembles.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Composition 1A||MU1107||10 credits|
|Ethnomusicology 1: Music in Human Life||MU1124||10 credits|
|Elements of Tonal Music 1||MU1125||20 credits|
|The Full Works||MU1127||10 credits|
|Composition 1B||MU1208||10 credits|
|A History of Popular Music||MU1226||10 credits|
|Elements of Tonal Music 2||MU1227||20 credits|
|From Page to Stage: Dramaturgy in Musical Theatre||MU1230||10 credits|
|Composing the Landscape||MU1231||10 credits|
|Practical Musicianship 1||MU1314||10 credits|
|Repertoire Studies||MU1317||20 credits|
In year two, courses are more advanced and you will focus on more specialist topics, choosing from four groups: composition and electroacoustic studies, written and practical musicianship, analytical and critical skills, and historical studies.
Our year two modules on the Business of Music I/II are designed to help you better understand different branches of the music profession and give an opportunity for a short placement in an area related to music or the arts, either in one block or as a series of regular workplace visits.
You will take a minimum of 100 credits in Music in year two, and can choose to study modules outside of Music, subject to availability.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
In year three, you choose again from the four subject groups, and must pursue at least one (but no more than two) of the three major academic projects: Dissertation, Project in Ethnomusicology, or Project in Music Analysis.
You will take a minimum of 100 credits in Music in year three and can choose to study modules outside of Music, subject to availability.
Unlike BMus students, BA students do not have the options of a 30-credit composition portfolio (Composition III) or public performance (Recital), though they may complete a shorter (20-credit) composition portfolio (Composition IV) and/or an open’ recital in front of examiners and an invited audience (Practical Musicianship IV).
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
How will I be taught?
You will be taught by academic staff with expertise across composition, performance, musicology, ethnomusicology, and popular music.
Instrumental tuition is fully funded by the School on your principal study instrument if you are taking a Practical Musicianship module. This includes accompaniment at your final recital. You will receive 24 half-hour lessons over the course of the year.
We use a range of teaching and learning styles, including lectures, small-group seminars and workshops, individual tutorials, ensemble instrumental tuition, rehearsals and independent study.
How will I be supported?
At the start of each year you will be given a guide to module aims, learning outcomes, methods of assessment, module syllabuses, and reading and listening lists. Your allocated personal tutor will be able to provide advice and guidance on module choices and you will have regular meetings with them.
For the final-year projects you will have a supervisor to monitor progress and provide individual consultations by arrangement.
You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.
The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.
How will I be assessed?
Methods of assessment vary from module to module and may include essay assignments, presentations, extended projects, performances, and written exams.
What skills will I practise and develop?
You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’, such as:
- advanced literacy
- computer literacy
- critical skills (reasoning, evaluating evidence, problem-solving, relating theory to practice)
- oral and written communication skills
- coping with uncertainty/complexity
- creativity and innovative thinking
- leadership, teamwork and self-management, embedded in practical musical activities
- identifying, recording and communicating your relevant career attainments
In 2015/16, 95% of the School of Music’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.
The skills developed within a music degree help our students to progress to a wide range of careers, both within and beyond the music profession.
Graduates have gone on to careers with the BBC, Arts Councils, Glyndebourne Opera, English National Opera, universities, Oxford University Press, the National Trust, and London Symphony Orchestra, along with a range of other industrial, commercial, and charitable organisations.
Employability skills are embedded in modules at the School of Music so that you will learn both music-specific and academic skills that are transferable to other domains, especially the workplace. Our second-year modules on the Business of Music are designed to help you better understand different branches of the music profession and provide an opportunity to undertake a short placement in a music-related or arts-related area.
Our annual series of talks on Careers in Music offer a great chance to meet professionals active in a range of fields such as performance, music education, music journalism, arts and artist management, production and licensing, and composing for media.
- Music journalist
- Arts Administrator
- Music Librarian
UK and EU students (2018/19)
The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in the second and subsequent years of a course as permitted by law or Welsh Government policy. Where applicable we will notify you of any change in tuition fee by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which the fee will increase.
Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.
Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.
Students from outside the EU (2018/19)
Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes and Medical and Dental courses. Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.
Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?
Other than your principal study instrument, you will not need any specific equipment.
Our undergraduate programmes allow you to specialise and develop your own musical interests.
You will be invited to attend one of four interview days held from November to February. Applicants who do not attend may be rejected unless they have contacted us to make alternative arrangements, or to say they are unable to attend for reasons such as distance to travel or exam commitments. In such circumstances, an offer may be made without interview.
The day includes a tour of the School of Music, presentations by staff and students and a 15-minute interview/audition. You will be asked to perform a piece (or pieces) of your own choice for around five minutes. Assessment is based on overall expressive and technical standards.
The interviewer will ask specific questions, possibly relating to the music performed, and more general questions about musical interests and experience. You will be assessed in terms of your enthusiasm and commitment to the subject and your wider knowledge. The interviews are not designed to catch you out or expose your weaknesses.
The final decision of the admissions tutor is based on an interview report and the UCAS application.
Year two modules on the Business of Music I/II give an opportunity for a short placement, either in one block or as a series of regular workplace visits.