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Music with a Year of Study Abroad (BA)

Entry year


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

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Course overview

This flexible and challenging programme allows you to specialise and develop your musical interests while developing a solid, broad-based education in aesthetics, analysis, composition, ethnomusicology, music history and performance.

As well as the key foundations of an education in music, this programme offers you a flexible and diverse range of modules. You may also be able to study topics in other Schools, subject to availability. If you would prefer to focus solely on music, consider our BMus course (which includes composition and performance as third-year major projects) as an alternative.

You will spend the third year of this four-year course studying abroad, taking modules in music and other subjects where available. At your host university, you will learn different perspectives and approaches to studying music. You will complete your studies in Cardiff in the fourth year.

Distinctive features

  • You will receive fully-funded instrumental tuition on your principal study instrument if you are taking a Practical Musicianship module.
  • The Business of Music modules offer insight into the working world, as well as the opportunity to undertake a short work placement.
  • The School hosts regular composition workshops; performance masterclasses; a regular concert series; the John Bird lectures presented by visiting academics; and a series of careers in music talks which provide opportunities for contact with active music professionals.
  • Opportunity to broaden your study and select modules from other subjects.
  • The opportunity to undertake major projects in musicology, analysis, and ethnomusicology in year four and minor projects in composition and performance.
  • You will spend your third year studying abroad, returning to Cardiff in your fourth year to complete your studies.
UCAS codeG84D
Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration4 years
ModeFull time with year abroad
Typical places availableThe School typically has 70 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 350 applications.

Through classes, concerts, workshops, and talks at the School, students work in collaboration with internationally recognized scholars and performers, many of whom are drawn from Cardiff’s vibrant professional music scene.

Entry requirements

AAB-BBB, including a B in Music. Please note Critical Thinking and General Studies will not be accepted. Please also see ‘Other requirements’ below. 

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.

DDM - DMM in Music. Please also see ‘Other requirements’ below. 

IB Dploma with 32-31 points, including 6 in HL Music.Please also see ‘Other requirements’ below.   

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Music admissions criteria pages.

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 sub-score.

TOEFL iBT

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

PTE Academic

62 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 or grade 4 and GCSE English or Welsh Language at grade C or grade 4.  You will be required to have, or be working towards, Grade 8 Music Practical in an instrument or voice.  You will also be required to attend an audition.  

Selection

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

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page 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.

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

We are currently working with our students to update and improve the content of this course. The information shown below reflects the current curriculum and is likely to change. The review of the course is expected to be completed by August 2020 and this page will be updated by end of October 2020 to reflect the changes.

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

Year one

The first year in Music provides the foundations for you to take advantage of the creative and intellectual benefits of higher education.

Available modules focus on basic skills of literate musicianship: harmony and counterpoint, practical musicianship, historical and stylistic awareness of musical genres and traditions, and skills in research and writing about music. There are also modules available in composition, music history, and ethnomusicology.

You will take a minimum of 80 credits and a maximum of 120 credits in Music in year one. Students on this course can choose to study modules outside of Music, subject to availability.

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 many ensembles run by the School of Music or led by students. School ensembles explore a variety of classical, jazz, contemporary, and non-Western repertoires and traditions.

Module titleModule codeCredits
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 year two, study is more advanced and you will have the opportunity to consolidate your strengths while maintaining activity in a breadth of disciplines, choosing from four groups: composition and electroacoustic studies, written and practical musicianship, analytical and critical skills, and historical studies.

Our year two Business of Music modules 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.

You will take a minimum of 100 credits in Music in year two and can choose to study modules outside of Music, subject to availability.

Year three: Sandwich year

This is a standalone year in which students pursue music-related modules at a partner university abroad. 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

In year four, you choose again from the four subject groups, and may pursue up to two of the three 30-credit major academic projects: Dissertation, Project in Ethnomusicology, or Project in Music Analysis.

You will take a minimum of 100 credits in Music in year three and can choose to study modules outside of Music, subject to availability.

Unlike BMus students, BA students do not have the option to undertake a 30-credit composition portfolio or public performance, though they may complete a shorter 20-credit composition portfolio (Composition IV) and/or an 'open' recital in front of examiners and an invited audience (Practical Musicianship IV).

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

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.

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.

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

Careers and placements

Career prospects

In 2016/17, 100% 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 (DLHE 2016/17).

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, educational, and charitable organisations.

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.

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 1% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

Data from Unistats is not yet available for this course.

Data from Unistats is not yet available for this course.

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