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.
You will spend a similar amount of time on each subject, developing your music understanding and skills and pursuing a range of enquiries in different historical periods and topics.
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.
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.
The University has a superb historical research collection and historical sites in the city include Cardiff Castle and the resources of the National Museum.
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.
- 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
- There are no compulsory modules in either discipline
- 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
Our lively, community-led School offers rigorous musical training and rich opportunities for performance, composition and music studies.
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.
ABB-BBB including 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.
DDM-DMM in Music
34-32 points, to include 6 in HL Music
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.
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.
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
- 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.
UK and EU students (2021/22)
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year. Fees for the previous year were £9,000.
Students from outside the EU (2021/22)
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year.
Course specific equipment
Other than your principal study instrument, 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.
This is a three-year full-time degree, consisting of 120 credits a year, split between the two Schools. Most modules in Music are worth 10 or 20 credits; those in Years 2 & 3 History are weighted at 30 credits.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.
You will take 60 credits in Music and 60 credits in History.
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. The History side of your degree will comprise three survey modules designed to introduce you to broad periods and historical subjects, from the medieval world to the modern Far East.
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.
You will take 60 credits in Music and 60 credits in History.
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 History your courses become more chronologically focused with particular subject areas that build on the survey modules of Year 1.
You will take 60 credits in History and 60 credits in Music.
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).
History modules in the final year place considerable emphasis on working with primary documents. These are often unique materials uncovered during your lecturers’ researches. From these foundations students are encouraged to build complex historical interpretations, and to challenge received ideas and accounts in their chosen field of study.
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.
History 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.
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 tutor will be able to provide advice and guidance on module choices and you will have regular meetings with them.
You will have a personal tutor in both the School of Music and the School of History, Archaeology and Religion.
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.
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 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. 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 2013/14, 94% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.
We believe in giving its graduates the best opportunities to find employment. 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. Some of our graduates enter professions which make direct use of their academic expertise. The majority however compete very successfully in a wide range of other fields
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.