Why study this course
Many students find joint honours both stimulating and rewarding for the similarities and differences they encounter between the two subjects. Often there are complementary issues and perspectives as well as skills that link the subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or the ability to experience and contribute to cutting–edge of research.
The School of Music and the School of History, Archaeology and Religion offer challenging and fascinating suites of modules in their respective subject areas. The flexibility of the course allows you to specialise and develop your own interests, while acquiring a solid, broad-based education and developing transferable skills.
Religion has been the way most cultures have sought to express their understanding of the purpose of life and the foundation of personal and social behaviour. You will have the opportunity to explore your own and other peoples' religious history and culture, and some of the fundamental questions of existence, in a flourishing centre of research. Your lecturers are active researchers in their fields, bringing the latest research into teaching.
Home to the arts, Cardiff is a great location for the study of music and history 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 Humanities subjects at A-level.
Our Music modules 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.
- This course is especially suited to those interested in seeing music within a broad cultural context, embracing the literary, the social, the historical and the political
- Our range of optional modules enables you to study a programme that best suits you
- Your optional third year dissertation may draw on both disciplines
- Instrumental tuition 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 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 provides many opportunities for contact with active music professionals.
Where you'll study
Curious about the human experience across millennia and cultures, we are seeking to better understand our past, to illuminate our present and improve our future.
Our lively, community-led School offers rigorous musical training and rich opportunities for performance, composition and music studies.
BBC - BCC including Grade B in Music. Please note that General Studies and Critical Thinking 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.
DMM in Humanities and Social Science subjects and A-level History, Classics or Ancient History
Achieve the IB Diploma with 655 in 3 HL subjects.
Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.
At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.
At least 90 overall with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.
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.
UK and EU students (2020/21)
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)
Course specific equipment
Other than your principal study instrument for Music, you will not need any specific equipment.
We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.
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 2017 and this page will be updated by end of October 2017 to reflect the changes.
Within this degree scheme, students will have the option to pair development of musical and creative talent with the study of religion.
This is a three-year full-time degree, consisting of 120 credits a year, split between the two Schools. In each year of your degree programme, you will take 60 credits of Religious Studies and 60 credits of Music.
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.
You will take 60 credits in Religious Studies and 60 credits in Music.
You may study religion through texts, poetry, art, film, biographies, fieldwork and drama. You will be introduced to key ideas about ritual, gender and place that provide a dynamic foundation for further study across a range of modules offered in your second and third years. You will also have the option to study one of the original languages of religious texts on offer.
In Music, year one provides the foundations for you 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.
Note that some Music 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 title||Module code||Credits|
|A World Full of Gods||HS0001||20 credits|
|Projecting the Past: Film, Media and Heritage||HS0002||20 credits|
|Reading Latin1||HS3121||20 credits|
|Reading Latin 2||HS3122||20 credits|
|Reading Greek 1||HS3123||20 credits|
|Reading Greek 2||HS3124||20 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|
|Themes and Issues in the Study of Religion||RT0102||20 credits|
|Introduction to a Scriptural Language 1||RT0103||20 credits|
|Introduction to a Scriptural Language 2||RT0104||20 credits|
|Introduction to the Bible||RT0105||20 credits|
|The Story of Christianity||RT0106||20 credits|
In Year 2, you take 60 credits of Religious Studies and 60 credits of Music modules.
In Religious Studies you will have the opportunity to develop a more advanced knowledge of a range of religious traditions, building on introductory modules undertaken in year one and develop your awareness of the role of religion in shaping the cultural, intellectual, and ethical concerns of contemporary societies.
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.
You will choose a further 60 credits of Religious Studies and 60 credits of Music modules.
You will have the opportunity to deepen your understanding of religious themes and topics with a range of specialised modules. You may also acquire skills in qualitative and quantitative research into religion(s) in contemporary societies, depending on your module choices.
In Music, you choose again from the four subject groups, and can pursue 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 (Practical Musicianship IV).
The option in both subjects to write a dissertation lets you choose a topic that draws on both disciplines, if you wish.
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.
Religious Studies modules are delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, classes, document workshops and individual tutorials. Students also undertake independent study and research, under the guidance of a supervisor.
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
How will I be supported?
For both subjects 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 tutors (one in each School) 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.
We’ll provide you with frequent feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including oral feedback during tutorials, personalised feedback on written work, feedback lectures, generic written feedback and feedback on tutorial performance
Coursework will usually be marked by your module tutor and you will receive written feedback on your work. You will also have a feedback class after each assessment. Students will be given general feedback in relation to examinations following the May/June examination period and you will be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor as part of the monitored student self-assessment scheme.
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:
- asking the right questions of complex texts
- identifying and applying relevant data
- critical skills (reasoning, evaluating evidence, problem-solving, relating theory to practice)
- oral and written communication skills
- coping with uncertainty/complexity
- creativity and innovative thinking
- computer literacy
- leadership, teamwork and self-management
- identifying, recording and communicating your relevant career attainments.
Careers and placements
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 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 History, Archaeology and Religion
In 2015/16, 94% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating. Some of our graduates enter professions which make direct use of their academic expertise, while others compete very successfully in a wide range of other fields.
We organise interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help students identify their skills and attributes and have our own, in-School Workplace Placements and employability officer.
Religious and Theological Studies students may choose to study the module ‘Religion in the Workplace’ which focusses specifically on developing employability and enterprise skills.
The School of History, Archaeology and Religion has a dedicated Work Placements Officer who supports students with work experience opportunities both in and out of term time and careers advice.
The School of Music's second-year modules The Business of Music I/II are designed to help you better understand the music profession. They also offer the opportunity to undertake - either in one block or as a series of regular workplace visits - a short placement in a music- or arts-related area.