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Careers and employability

Inner workings of a piano

We support you in your personal and professional development as well as your academic development.

Our degree programmes offer the opportunity to develop musical and intellectual skills in a way that will be applicable both inside and outside the music profession.

We actively encourage our students to develop musical and critical skills that are suited to a wide variety of careers and workplaces.

  • 98% of our graduates were in employment and/or further study, due to start a new job or course, or doing other activities such as travelling 15 months after the end of their course (Graduate Outcomes 2020/21).*

Skills to boost your career prospects

Employability skills are embedded in our modules so that you will learn music-specific skills, such as performance (teamwork), composition (creativity) and analysis (problem-solving), and academic skills including reasoning, comprehension, and oral and written communication, which will prove themselves easily transferable to other domains, especially the workplace.

Music students are often able to demonstrate skills and attributes that help them to stand out from other candidates when job-hunting. They have self-discipline (think about the many hours of practice); performing under pressure (overcoming nerves to perform on stage and at auditions); technical skills (from using technology to create and record music); teamwork (working in orchestras and ensembles); and commercial awareness (from managing income from performing or teaching).

The creativity of the subject aids music students in making an impact in the competitive job seekers’ market by presenting themselves as creative learners with the ability to meet and overcome problems and challenges.

Where do our graduates go?

Many of our students enter the music profession in roles such as:

  • arts administrators
  • composers
  • conductors
  • music librarians
  • performers
  • teachers.

Students also go on to careers in a range of fields demonstrating how a music degree can help you gain the skills and flexibility required to keep your options open throughout your working life.

Career paths include:

  • web development
  • journalism
  • marketing
  • the civil service
  • management
  • law.

What we offer

We provide a number of opportunities to help you develop your career and improve your employability.

Our Careers in Music talks provide opportunities to meet professionals active in fields such as performance, music education (including special needs), arts and artist management, production and licensing, and composing for media.

These second-year undergraduate modules are designed to give you a better understanding of the music profession and embed a work placement into the curriculum. These modules offer you the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge and experience of a professional area of your choice and enhance your employability in the process.

This module on our Master’s programme aims to enable performers and composers to develop and deliver effective and imaginative oral presentations of musical ideas. You will have the opportunity to develop your professional skills along with awareness of the music industry.

We offer an optional formal Personal Development Planning (PDP) programme. This scheme enables you to identify your personal, academic and professional goals, monitor your development towards them, and evaluate your profess and achievements.

Employers may not always immediately understand the level of work involved in a music degree, so it is up to you to recognise your own skills and articular them clearly. The PDP programme will aid you in doing this and evaluating the commitment, dedication and responsibility you have demonstrated throughout your degree.

The UK

As well as placements offered by the Business of Music modules, Cardiff University Research Opportunities Programme (CUROP), one of the UK’s largest undergraduate research schemes, provides summer placements for undergraduates in the University research environment. Bursaries are offered to support students on a placement of up to eight weeks duration, working under supervision on staff-defined research projects.


Our students have the opportunity to work or volunteer abroad through the University’s Global Opportunity Centre.

Our student/staff panel has student representatives from each of our undergraduate and postgraduate schemes. As well as acting as a bridge between students and staff at Panel meetings, these elected representatives are also asked to serve on a range of School committees.

Membership of the panel allows you to experience committee servicing, decision-making processes, and administrative procedures.

*Source: Contains HESA Data: Copyright Jisc 2023. Jisc cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data.