Why study this course
This flexible and challenging programme will allow you to specialise and develop your own musical interests while acquiring 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 also be encouraged to join our School-led musical ensembles, representing a wide range of musical repertoires and traditions.
- 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; 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 three and minor projects in composition and performance.
- You will have the opportunity to spend a semester studying abroad in your second year.
AAB-BBB, including a 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.
DDM-DMM in Music
32-31 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 will also be required to attend an audition.
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.
Interview or selection process
Our undergraduate programmes allow you to specialise and develop your own musical interests.
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.
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.
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 2021 and this page will be updated by end of October 2021 to reflect the changes.
This is a three-year full-time degree, consisting of 120 credits a year. Each year is divided into an autumn and a spring semester and has a modular structure. Most modules are worth 10 or 20 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.
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 title||Module code||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|
|Elfennau 1||MU1135||20 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|
|Elfennau 2||MU1237||20 credits|
|Practical Musicianship 1||MU1314||10 credits|
|Repertoire Studies||MU1317||20 credits|
|Cerddoriaeth Ymarferol I||MU1324||10 credits|
|Astudiaethau Repertoire||MU1327||20 credits|
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.
In year three, 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 options of 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
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.
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?
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.
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
Careers and placements
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.
- Music journalist
- Arts Administrator
- Music Librarian
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.