Mathematics and Music (BA)
This Joint Honours degree programme enables students to combine the study of Music and Mathematics
This Joint Honours degree programme enables students to combine the study of Music and Mathematics.
The time spent on each subject is effectively equal, enabling you to benefit from developing your musical understanding and skills while studying the fascinating and challenging subject of Mathematics. You will be encouraged to actively pursue your own areas of interest through the highly flexible modular courses.
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.
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 degree include:
- instrumental tuition which is fully funded by the School of Music on your principal study instrument if you are studying 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. Mathematics classes are used to discuss both theoretical concepts and essential techniques
- Mathematical classes used to discuss both theoretical concepts and essential techniques
|Next intake||September 2018|
|Studying in Welsh||Up to 17% 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 of Music typically receives 350 applications.|
|Typical A level offer||ABB, including an A in Mathematics and 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||34 points, to include 6 in HL Music and 6 in HL Mathematics. Please also see ‘Other requirements’ below.|
|Alternative qualifications||Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Mathematics 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||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 also be required to provide evidence that you have completed or are working towards Grade 8 Music Practical in an instrument/voice.|
This is a three-year full-time degree, consisting of 120 credits a year, split equally between the two Schools.
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.
In Music, year one provides you with the foundations to take advantage of the creative and intellectual benefits of higher education. You will receive instruction in analysis, harmony and counterpoint, history of music, composition and practical musicianship.
To complement your academic study, you are actively encouraged to join the University Choir or Orchestra and other ensembles.
In Mathematics, year one currently consists of four compulsory modules. These are Foundations of Mathematics I, Vectors and Matrices, Foundations of Mathematics II and Elementary Differential Equations.
Note that in both subjects some modules are 'prerequisites', providing essential preparation for more advanced modules if you wish to pursue them in later years.
|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 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 Mathematics, please see the module list to see the specifics of individual modules available.
Note that Statistics as a subject area is not available to students taking Music.
In Music, you choose again from the four subject groups, and may 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 an ‘open’ recital in front of examiners and an invited audience only (Practical Musicianship IV).
There are no core modules for Mathematics in year three.
How will I be taught?
In Music 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.
Mathematics is based on lectures supported by examples classes (and laboratory classes where appropriate). In all years the classes are used to discuss both theoretical concepts and essential mathematical techniques. You are encouraged to undertake additional reading outside of timetabled classes and fully engage with and reflect upon the assessments that take place. Feedback on progress is typically provided through a combination of discussion in class, written comments on submitted work and review of outline solutions to problems. You are encouraged to discuss any queries related to specific modules with individual lecturers.
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 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.
In Mathematics there are scheduled academic tutorials for all core modules in Year One, and you will also be assigned a Personal Tutor who can offer pastoral advice, guidance and support. There is also a daily drop-in service based in the School where you can ask any maths-related question.
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.
Many mathematics modules include written examinations that take place at the end of the Autumn or Spring Semester, with some also having an element of continuous assessment. This may include problem solving exercises, written reports, computer programs or presentations. Please see the module descriptions for further details.
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
- applying logical and analytic thinking to problems
- 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
School of Music
In 2015/16, 95% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.
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.
School of Mathematics
In 2015/16, 89% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.
The Mathematics degree programmes will equip you with specialist numerical skills and develop your capacity for logical and analytical thought. These are qualities which are in demand across a broad range of stimulating and rewarding careers.
In addition to the formal teaching on the programme the School of Mathematics also has significant engagement with the Careers Service and Employers. This includes a Careers Management Skills Programme, numerous company presentations held in the School, presentations by students returning from industry, and a range of sponsored prizes awarded for academic achievement.
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.
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.