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Mathematics and Music (BA)

  • UCAS code: GW13
  • Next intake: September 2020
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Mode: Full time

Entry Year

Why study this course

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.

Distinctive features

Fully-funded instrumental tuition - Your instrumental tuition is fully funded by the School of Music on your principal study instrument if you are studying a Practical Musicianship module.

Work placement opportunities - Your Business of Music modules offer a short work placement, composition workshops, performance masterclasses, the University concert series, the John Bird lectures presented by visiting academics, and careers talks providing many opportunities for you to engage with active music professionals.

Student support - In addition to having your very own personal Math tutor at the start of the first year, you will also have access to weekly tutorials, supervised computer laboratories and daily drop-in sessions for one-to-one support.

Where you'll study

School of Music

Our lively, community-led School offers rigorous musical training and rich opportunities for performance, composition and music studies.

School of Mathematics

Our intellectually exciting degrees are accredited to meet the educational requirements of the Chartered Mathematician designation.

Entry requirements

AAB-ABB, including grade A in Mathematics and grade B in Music Please note Critical Thinking and General Studies will not be accepted.

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

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.

DD in the BTEC Diploma in Music and grade A in Maths A-level, excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking.

35-31 points, to include 6 in HL Music and 6 in HL Mathematics.

Other UK qualifications may also be accepted, often in lieu of A-levels, but subject requirements must be met. If you are offering non-UK qualifications, our qualification equivalences guide should allow you to calculate what kind of offer you are likely to receive.

Please be aware that this is a general guide, and that some programmes may have more detailed or specific entry requirements which will be reflected in your offer.

Find out about our Schools' admissions criteria, offer guarantee scheme, changes to programmes and translating your documents.

GCSE

Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.

TOEFL iBT

At least 90 overall with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

At least 62 overall with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

You will require GCSE Maths at grade C/4. You will be required to have, or be working towards, Grade 8 Music Practical in an instrument or voice.  

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course. If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement, including the ability to travel to outside of the UK or to undertake a placement/studies outside of Cardiff University
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
£9,000None

Learn about our tuition fees

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 (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
£17,700None

Learn about our tuition fees

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.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

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

Accommodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Course structure

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 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

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 titleModule codeCredits
Elementary Differential EquationsMA100110 credits
Foundations of Mathematics IMA100520 credits
Foundations of Mathematics IIMA100620 credits
Linear Algebra IMA100810 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Composition 1AMU110710 credits
Ethnomusicology 1: Music in Human LifeMU112410 credits
Elements of Tonal Music 1MU112520 credits
The Full WorksMU112710 credits
Elfennau 1MU113520 credits
Composition 1BMU120810 credits
A History of Popular MusicMU122610 credits
Elements of Tonal Music 2MU122720 credits
From Page to Stage: Dramaturgy in Musical TheatreMU123010 credits
Composing the LandscapeMU123110 credits
Elfennau 2MU123720 credits
Practical Musicianship 1MU131410 credits
Repertoire StudiesMU131720 credits
Cerddoriaeth Ymarferol IMU132410 credits
Astudiaethau RepertoireMU132720 credits

Year two

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.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Calculus of Several VariablesMA200110 credits
Complex AnalysisMA200310 credits
Series and TransformsMA200410 credits
Linear Algebra IIMA200820 credits

Year three

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.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Complex Function TheoryMA300010 credits
CombinatoricsMA300410 credits
Introduction to Functional and Fourier AnalysisMA300520 credits
Coding TheoryMA300710 credits
Ordinary Differential EquationsMA301210 credits
Theoretical and Computational Partial Differential EquationsMA330320 credits
Methods of Applied MathematicsMA330420 credits
Game TheoryMA360410 credits
Mathematical Methods for Data MiningMA370010 credits
Practical Musicianship 3 (Ensemble)MU313710 credits
The Birth of ModernismMU314910 credits
Studio Techniques 2: Audio and Hard Disk RecordingMU316320 credits
20th Century Contrapuntal PracticeMU316410 credits
The Birth of ModernismMU316520 credits
Nineteenth Century Italian OperaMU316810 credits
Nineteenth Century Italian OperaMU316920 credits
The Cultures of BeethovenMU317410 credits
The Cultures of BeethovenMU317520 credits
Studio Techniques 2: Audio and Hard Disk RecordingMU326720 credits
Wagner and Romantic OperaMU327410 credits
Wagner and Romantic OperaMU327520 credits
Performance Practice and Organology the Long Seventeenth Century, 1550-1700MU328410 credits
Performance Practice and Organology the Long Seventeenth Century, 1550-1700MU328520 credits
Jazz, Culture and PoliticsMU328610 credits
Jazz, Culture and PoliticsMU328720 credits
FugueMU328810 credits
Aural Cultures from the Phonograph to the SmartphoneMU328910 credits
Aural Cultures from the Phonograph to the SmartphoneMU329020 credits
DissertationMU334030 credits
Project in Music AnalysisMU334330 credits
Practical Musicianship 4 (Performance)MU334420 credits
Composition 4MU334520 credits
Project in EthnomusicologyMU334630 credits
Practical Contribution Portfolio 3MU334710 credits
TraethawdMU335030 credits
Cerddoriaeth Ymarferol IV (Perfformiad)MU335420 credits

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.

Learning and assessment

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.

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

26%

Guided independent study

74%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

27%

Guided independent study

73%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

24%

Guided independent study

76%

Placements

0%

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.

Year 1

Written exams

67%

Practical exams

3%

Coursework

30%

Year 2

Written exams

57%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

43%

Year 3

Written exams

87%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

13%

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
Musicians

Careers and placements

Career prospects

​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.

Placements

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.

Studying in Welsh

Up to 17% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

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