Why study this course
This programme is the ideal choice if you want to focus solely on music. It will 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.
Of all our courses, the BMus offers the most in-depth study, allowing you to spend all your time specialising in music. It also enables you to take composition and/or recital as major projects in year three, which are available only as minor projects in our BA programmes.
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.
- You will receive fully-funded instrumental tuition on your principal study instrument if you take a Practical Musicianship or Recital 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.
- The opportunity to undertake major projects in composition, performance, musicology, analysis, and ethnomusicology in year four.
- You will spend your third year studying abroad, returning to Cardiff in your fourth year to complete your studies.
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 Diploma 32-31 points, including 6 in HL Music. Please also see ‘Other requirements’ below.
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, and GCSE English or Welsh Language at grade C/4 or an accepted English Language equivalent
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.
Year one provides the foundations for you to take advantage of the creative and intellectual benefits of higher education.
The five core modules focus on the 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 is also opportunity to select optional modules in composition, music history, and ethnomusicology.
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.
In year two, the course is more advanced and focuses on more specialist topics, encouraging a greater level of concentration on areas of particular interest to you.
You will have the opportunity to consolidate your strengths while maintaining activity in a breadth of disciplines, choosing your modules from at least three of 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.
Year three: Sandwich year
This is a stand-alone 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.
You choose again from at least three of the four subject groups, and may pursue up to two of the five 30-credit major academic projects in musicology, ethnomusicology, analysis, composition, or performance. The 30-credit options in performance (Recital) and composition (Composition III) are only open to students on BMus pathways.
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. This increases to 24 hour lessons in the final year, for BMus students taking the Recital module.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 our modules 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.
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
Data from Unistats is not yet available for this course.
Data from Unistats is not yet available for this course.