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Student life

Cardiff is a great location for the study of music. The city’s rich artistic culture combines Wales’ strong musical traditions with contemporary trends.

The diverse range of musical activities here, both within the School and the city itself, are both easily accessible and affordable.

We encourage all of our students to check out upcoming events by the Welsh National Opera and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Our fruitful relationships with both organisations allows students to attend dress rehearsals and buy cut-price concert tickets.

"The community feel is something I enjoyed from the moment I started as an undergraduate. Participation is key - especially in a highly active department that showcases the talents of students and staff. Throw yourself into as much as you can and you’ll have the best time imaginable."

Kate Willetts, BA Music 2015

Music society

Cardiff Music Society is open to all students across Cardiff University, from all subject areas. Members have access to a range of musical ensembles, social events, competitions, performance opportunities, trips abroad and more.

The Music Society runs a series of Lunchtime Concerts throughout term, where music students and Music Society members can sign up to perform just about anything they like.

There are also a number of other musical societies including the Cardiff University Operatic Society, Jazz Society and the Brass Band Society.


Music students performing
School of Music students performing.

We have over 20 ensembles, both School and student led. Students are encouraged to audition for our ensembles which will allow them opportunities to play in concerts across the UK as well as further afield.

The Cardiff University Symphony Orchestra embarked on its first European tour in 2015, visiting Germany in 2016 and Xiamen, China in 2017. In 2018, our Gamelan Ensemble spent three weeks in Java, Indonesia, studying and performing.

Our ensembles cover a wide range of music genres, including jazz, African drumming, gamelan, chamber choir, symphony chorus, chamber and symphony orchestras, contemporary music and symphonic winds.

Learn more about our ensembles.


We offer a range of opportunities for aspiring composers to develop their voice, including composition modules, workshops with visiting composers and professional contemporary ensembles, and opportunities to hear your works performed.

Learn more about composition workshops and seminars.

Student reps

Our student-staff panel is a great opportunity for our students to play an active role in the life of the School. Representatives from each of our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are elected each year.

“Becoming a Student Representative for the School of Music has been an incredibly rewarding experience. The role has allowed me to interact closely with fellow students and voice the opinions of those in my year group directly to members of staff and other reps at the Student-Staff panels. As well as helping current and future generations of students, it has also enabled me to develop my communication and organisation skills, and given me experience in negotiating with staff and students of all levels.”

Lauren Thornell, first year student

Student blog

Johanna is a second year Music student. Check out Johanna’s blog to find out what living in Cardiff and studying with us is really like.

Our Insiders are here to answer any questions you have about life at University in Cardiff – what is a typical day like? What clubs and societies are there? Is Cardiff’s music scene any good?

Watch and listen

Composer Judith Weir, previously a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Cardiff, has been a regular visitor. Her most recent visit was when she provided advice and guidance to members of the Cardiff University Contemporary Music Group (CMG) during recording sessions of several of her choral pieces. The CMG recorded four of her pieces, including this one and a world premiere recording of two movements from her song cycle ‘Really?’

Our annual Student Showcase concerts are a great opportunity for us to showcase our talented students. The programmes for these concerts usually feature a range of performance styles and repertoire.

The weekly lunchtime concerts organised by the Cardiff University Music Society allow students to gain performance experience and listen to some great music. Throughout the year several of these concerts will have special themes that offer an opportunity for some quirkier repertoire choices. We love this choral take (arranged by Guy Withers, then an undergraduate and one of the performers in the video) on Gangnam Style…