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Admissions criteria - Music

This information applies to all undergraduate Music programmes, including selection for the Music component of joint honours programmes.

We are looking for intellectually curious, lively students who are keen to explore music in all aspects. We look for evidence of potential for high academic achievement along with an enthusiasm and interest in music which can be evidenced in the applicant's personal statement and reference.

A-level, Welsh Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate and BTEC

A-level, Welsh Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate and BTEC requirements can be found in our course pages.

Other qualifications

Applicants without A-Level Music will be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine appropriate levels of music performance and theory skills (such as Grade 7/8 Music Theory).

Where skill levels cannot be determined by alternative qualifications, you may be invited to audition.

If you would like to know the entry requirements for a specific qualification not listed here, please contact our admissions team on or +44 (0)29 2087 9999.

All applications for a place on any of our Music degree programmes must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application service. Applications can be made in either English or Welsh. We recognise that if you are a Welsh speaker, you may feel more comfortable speaking to a Welsh member of staff and every effort will be made to allocate a Welsh speaker to you at any point of the application process should you request this.

After we have received and considered your details, we will normally invite single subject applicants to visit the School of Music at one of our UCAS Visit Days. Joint Honours applicants will be invited to a convenient Humanities and Social Sciences Open day in the period January to March.

All BMus and BA Single Honours applicants who meet the criteria described above will be invited to a UCAS Visit Day. On this day, you will tour the School and its facilities, hear a talk by an admissions tutor, attend presentations and workshops by staff and current students, and have an audition and interview with a member of staff.

The information provided by interviews and auditions is a crucial addition to that provided on UCAS forms, and they are an important means of identifying potential in individual candidates.

You will be invited to attend one of four interview days that are held from November through to February. For each of these days, around 50 candidates attend. 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.

About the Interview and Audition

Interviews are conducted by individual members of staff. You will initially be asked to perform for around five minutes on your principal instrument/voice. You can choose your repertoire and assessment of performance is based on overall expressive and technical standards.

The interviewer will then ask questions of a specific nature, 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, your wider knowledge, and your ability to respond to issues which you may not have considered before.

The aim of the interview is not to test factual knowledge, or to judge you in terms of your likes and dislikes, but to encourage you in as relaxed a way as possible to talk about what you know and what your interests are. The interviews are not designed to catch people out or expose weaknesses, but it is expected that you will engage readily with the interviewer. You will also have the opportunity to ask the interviewer questions regarding undergraduate programmes.

Final Decisions

Members of staff involved in the interview process prepare written reports on each candidate. The final decision of the admissions tutor is based on both the interview report and the information contained in the UCAS application.

We are happy to make offers for deferred entry and the same selection criteria will apply.

Transfers with credit from another Higher Education institution

We will consider applications from students wishing to transfer to Cardiff from other UK Universities where yout, (a) meet the entry requirements for the relevant degree scheme, and (b) have achieved a satisfactory level of performance in each module taken at your current institution.

Transfer with credit from another programme at Cardiff University

Applications for transfers from students wishing to transfer to Year One from other Schools within Cardiff University are considered where you meet the entry requirements for the relevant degree scheme and are able to demonstrate motivation to study music.