Music with a Year of Study Abroad (BMus)

Entry year

2018

Our undergraduate programmes allow you to specialise and develop your own musical interests.

Our undergraduate courses allow you to specialise and develop your own musical interests whilst acquiring a solid, broad-based education in aesthetics, analysis, composition, ethnomusicology, music history and performance.

The BMus is the ideal choice if you would like to concentrate solely on music. Of all our courses it offers the most in-depth study, allowing you to spend all your time specialising in music. It also enables you to take the specialist 30-credit options of Composition and / or Public Recital in year three (options which are not available on our BA 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.

We offer a number of instrumental and vocal entrance scholarships. You do not need to apply for these scholarships as you will be automatically considered when applying through UCAS. Visit the School of Music’s website for more information.

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.

For the year of study abroad you will take modules in music and possibly other subjects that relate to those in your Cardiff degree programme, with opportunities to develop further one or more pathways in composition, historical/critical musicology, performance, music analysis, and/or ethnomusicology. At a host university it is likely that you will gain different perspectives and approaches to a pathway already started and will have, in addition, the possibility of choosing subject areas that are unavailable at Cardiff. The programme aims to provide an important stepping-stone to a more specialized project in the final year, when you return to your final year of study at Cardiff.

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • instrumental tuition which is fully funded by the School of Music on your principal study instrument if you are taking 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
  • major composition and public recital options in year three

Key facts

UCAS CodeG85D
Next intakeSeptember 2018
Duration4 years
ModeFull time with year abroad
Studying in WelshUp to 1% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information
Typical places availableThe School typically has 70 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 350 applications.
Admissions tutor(s)

Entry requirements

Typical A level offerAAB-BBB, including a B in Music. Please note, General Studies will not be accepted. Please also see ‘Other requirements’ below. 
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerThe 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 offer32 points, including 6 in HL Music. Please also see ‘Other requirements’ below. 
Alternative qualificationsAlternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Music admissions criteria pages.
English Language requirementsIf 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 requirementsYou will require GCSE Maths at grade C or grade 4 and GCSE English or Welsh Language at grade C or grade 4.  You will be required to show that you have completed, or are working towards, Grade 8 Music Practical in an instrument or voice and will also be required to attend an audition. 
 

Our undergraduate programmes allow you to specialise and develop your own musical interests.

This is a four-year full-time degree, consisting of 120 credits a year. Each year in Cardiff is divided into an autumn and a spring semester and has a modular structure. Most Cardiff modules are worth 10 or 20 credits Depending on where you spend your year abroad, the semester and module structure may differ in Year 3 of the programme.

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.
 

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.

Year one

Year one provides the foundations for you to take advantage of the creative and intellectual benefits of higher education.

The five core modules focus on the basic skills of literate musicianship: harmony and counterpoint (in Elements of Tonal Music I and II), Practical Musicianship I, historical and stylistic awareness of musical genres and traditions (Repertoire Studies), and skills in research and writing about music (The Full Works).  Optional modules are offered in composition, music history, ethnomusicology and acoustics.

Note that some modules are 'prerequisites’, providing essential preparation 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.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Elements of Tonal Music 1MU112520 credits
The Full WorksMU112710 credits
Elements of Tonal Music 2MU122720 credits
Practical Musicianship 1MU131410 credits
Repertoire StudiesMU131720 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Composition 1AMU110710 credits
Ethnomusicology 1: Music in Human LifeMU112410 credits
Composition 1BMU120810 credits
A History of Popular MusicMU122610 credits
From Page to Stage: Dramaturgy in Musical TheatreMU123010 credits
Composing the LandscapeMU123110 credits

Year two

In Year 2, the course is more advanced and focus on more specialist topics, encouraging a greater level of concentration on areas of particular interest to you.

You have the opportunity to consolidate your strengths while maintaining activity in a breadth of disciplines, choosing your modules from at least three of four groups: Composition and Electroacoustic Studies, Written and Practical Musicianship, Analytical and Critical Skills and Historical Studies.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Analysing 20th Century MusicMU215210 credits
Studio Techniques 1: Midi and SynthesisersMU215310 credits
Formal Functions in the Classical TraditionMU215720 credits
Issues in Popular MusicMU216010 credits
OrchestrationMU216120 credits
The Business of Music 1MU216410 credits
Music Sounded Out: Interpreting Oral and Recorded Genres and FormsMU216510 credits
Performance Practice and Organology: the Long Eighteenth Century, 1700-1830MU216710 credits
Performance Practice and Organology: the Long Eighteenth Century, 1700-1830MU216820 credits
Issues in Popular MusicMU217020 credits
Harmonic Practice, 1725-1870MU217810 credits
Reading Film SoundMU217910 credits
Composition 2MU218010 credits
Reading Film SoundMU218120 credits
Opera from Handel to WeberMU225610 credits
Introduction to Schenkerian AnalysisMU225710 credits
Studio Techniques 1: Midi and SynthesisersMU226110 credits
Ethnomusicology 2: Music in Cross-Cultural PerspectiveMU227120 credits
The Business of Music 2MU227220 credits
Opera from Handel to WeberMU227820 credits
British Music in the 20th CenturyMU227910 credits
British Music in the 20th CenturyMU228120 credits
Contrapuntal Practice, 1725-1870MU228410 credits
Composition 2MU232020 credits
Music Sounded Out: Interpreting Oral and Recorded Genres and FormsMU235620 credits
Practical Musicianship 2MU235810 credits
Practical Musicianship 2BMU235910 credits
Practical Contribution Portfolio 2MU236010 credits
Study Abroad 1MU241110 credits
Study Abroad 2MU241210 credits
Study Abroad 3MU241310 credits
Study Abroad 5MU241420 credits
Study Abroad 4MU241510 credits
Study Abroad 6MU241620 credits
Study Abroad 7MU241720 credits

Year three: Sandwich year

The intercalated year will be a ‘stand-alone’ year, in which students pursue at a partner university modules in music related or different from those in their Cardiff degree programme. The curriculum abroad will equate exactly to 120 Cardiff credits, and will be assessed according to the norms established at that partner university.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Study AbroadMU2400120 credits

Year four

You choose again from at least three of the four subject groups, and pursue at least one (but no more than two) of the three major academic projects: Dissertation, Project in Ethnomusicology, or Project in Music Analysis. 

You have the options of a 30-credit composition portfolio (Composition III) or public performance (Recital).

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

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. This increases to 24 hour lessons in the final year, for BMus students taking the Recital module.

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.

How will I be supported?

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.

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.

For the Year of Study abroad, the School’s International Coordinator will provide you with guidance before, during, and after  your placement. Most partner universities provide a comprehensive induction programme, with a welcome session organized for the beginning of the year. For universities in Europe, if you require additional tuition in the native language of the institute, you are encouraged to enrol in classes suitable to your level of ability.

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. For the Year of Study Abroad you will be assessed according to the norms established at the partner university

 

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
  • critical skills (reasoning, evaluating evidence, problem-solving, relating theory to practice)
  • 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

As part of the Year of Study Abroad, you will acquire:

  • language skills
  • ability to negotiate cultural differences
  • ability to adjust to new institutional practices

In 2015/16, 95% 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.

Graduates have gone on to careers with the BBC, Arts Councils, Glyndebourne Opera, English National Opera, universities, Oxford University Press, the National Trust, and London Symphony Orchestra, along with a range of other industrial, commercial, and charitable organisations.

Employability skills are embedded in our modules 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.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

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 feeDepositNotes
£15,950None

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.

Costs for sandwich years

During a sandwich year (e.g. year in industry, placement year or year abroad) a lower fee will apply. Full details can be found on our fees pages.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

Other than your principal study instrument, you will not need any specific equipment.

You will be invited to attend one of four interview days held from November to February. 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.

The day includes a tour of the School of Music, presentations by staff and students and a 15-minute interview/audition. You will be asked to perform a piece (or pieces) of your own choice for around five minutes. Assessment is based on overall expressive and technical standards.

The interviewer will ask specific questions, 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 and your wider knowledge. The interviews are not designed to catch you out or expose your weaknesses. 

The final decision of the admissions tutor is based on an interview report and the UCAS application.

Progression from Year 2 to the Year of Study Abroad depends on academic performance in Year 2 (i.e. no failed modules) and the availability of a place to study at a suitable partner University.

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.

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