Music and Philosophy (BA)
This joint honours degree programme enables you to combine the study of Music and Philosophy.
Many students find joint honours both stimulating and rewarding as they observe similarities and differences between the two subjects. Often there are complementary issues and perspectives as well as skills that link the subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research.
You will spend a similar amount of time on each subject, benefiting from developing your musical understanding and skills while studying the fascinating and challenging subject of Philosophy.
The School of Music and the School of English, Communication and Philosophy offer challenging courses of modules in each subject. The flexibility of the course allows you to specialise and develop your own interests, while acquiring a solid, broad-based education and developing transferable skills.
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.
Philosophy at Cardiff is distinct for its strong emphasis on ethics, politics, and philosophy of mind and its equal attention to ‘analytic’ and ‘Continental’ styles of Western philosophy.
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 Grade 8 Practical and Grade 7/8 Theory and are studying appropriate Humanities subjects at A-level.
We do not routinely interview applicants for our undergraduate programmes. Applicants with a non-traditional qualification may be invited to attend an informal interview at the School of English, Communication and Philosophy which will have a bearing on the selection decision.
- This course is especially suited to those interested in seeing music within a broad cultural context, embracing the literary, the social and the political
- There are no compulsory modules in either discipline
- Your optional third year dissertation may draw on both disciplines
- A strong emphasis on ethics, politics, and aesthetics
- Instrumental tuition is fully funded by the School of Music on your principal study instrument
- Business of Music modules 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 provides many opportunities for contact with active music professionals
|Next intake||September 2017|
|Studying in Welsh||Up to 33% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information|
|Typical places available||The School of Music typically has 70 places available.|
|Typical applications received||The School Music typically receives 350 applications.|
|Typical A level offer||ABB (including Music, excluding General Studies). All joint honours applicants with Music are expected to have gained or shown evidence of working towards Grade 8 in one instrument or voice at the time of application. Consideration will be given to applicants who are not taking A-level Music but have Grade 8 Practical and Grade 7/8 Theory and are studying appropriate Humanities subjects at A-level.|
|Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offer||WBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above). Applicants are expected to have gained or shown evidence of working towards Grade 8 in one instrument, or voice, at the time of application.|
|Typical International Baccalaureate offer||35 points, including 6 points in higher level Music.|
|Alternative qualifications||Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of English, Communication & Philosophy and 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||Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.|
This is a three-year full-time degree, consisting of 120 credits a year, split between the two Schools. Most modules are worth 20 credits.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2017.
You will take 60 credits in Music and 60 credits in Philosophy.
In Music, this is essentially a foundation year preparing you to take advantage of the creative and intellectual benefits of higher education. You will receive core instruction in analysis, harmony and counterpoint, history of music, composition and practical musicianship.
In the first year the School of Music offers core 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 subjects.
Note that some modules provide essential preparation (‘prerequisites’) 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.
In Philosophy year one is a foundation year designed to equip you with the skills for advanced study and to give you an overview of the subject. You will take three core modules: Mind, Thought and Reality; Moral and Political Philosophy; and Critical Thinking.
|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|
|Y Da, Drwg a'r Gwleidyddol||SE4106||20 credits|
You will take 60 credits in Music and 60 credits in Philosophy.
In Music, 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.
In Philosophy you will develop a solid understanding of core areas such as aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, language, metaphysics, mind, moral psychology and political philosophy.
You will take 60 credits in Music and 60 credits in Philosophy.
You choose again from the four subject groups in Music, and can pursue one of the three major academic projects: Dissertation, Project in Ethnomusicology, or Project in Music Analysis.
You may complete a short composition portfolio (Composition IV) and/or a ‘closed’ recital in front of examiners only (Practical Musicianship IV).
In Philosophy specialised modules are on topics such as the problem of consciousness, moral psychology, metaethics, feminism and aesthetics let you pursue your interests and engage with current issues in research and scholarship, enabling you to develop analytical and presentational skills that employers will value, as well as equipping you for postgraduate study.
The option in both subjects to write a dissertation lets you choose a topic that draws on both disciplines, if you wish.
How will I be taught?
Cardiff offers a supportive learning environment, where students are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory, and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team-working, independent research, and time management.
In Music we use a range of teaching and learning styles, including lectures, small-group seminars and workshops, individual tutorials, ensemble instrumental tuition, rehearsals, portfolios, creative assignment and independent study. Instrumental tuition is fully funded by the School of Music on your principal study instrument. This includes accompaniment at your final recital. You receive 24 half-hour lessons over the course of the year.
In Philosophy you will be taught both by lecture and seminar. Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas.
Seminars provide an opportunity for you to explore the ideas outlined in the lecture in a small group environment. Seminars would usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small group work and student-led presentations.
How will I be supported?
For Music 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 tutors 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.
Instrumental tuition is fully funded by the School of Music on your principal study instrument, including accompaniment at your final recital. You will receive 24 half-hour lessons in a year.
You will also have a personal tutor in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy.
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?
A range of formative and summative assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios, performances and creative assignments.
Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enable you to produce your best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling you to develop your strengths and address any weaker areas.
The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study, to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.
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:
- asking the right questions of complex texts
- identifying and applying relevant data
- critical skills (reasoning, evaluating evidence, problem-solving, relating theory to practice)
- oral and written communication skills
- coping with uncertainty/complexity
- creativity and innovative thinking
- computer literacy
- skills such as leadership, teamwork and self-management
- identifying, recording and communicating your relevant career attainments
In 2013/14, 98% 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.
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.
In 2013/14, 91% of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.
UK and EU students (2017/18)
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 (2017/18)
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. 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.
Year two modules on the Business of Music I/II give an opportunity for a short, either in one block or as a series of regular workplace visits.