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Religious Studies and Music (BA)

  • UCAS code: VW63
  • Next intake: September 2021
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Mode: Full time

Entry Year

A line of statues

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.

 

Distinctive features

  • 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

School of Music

Our lively, community-led School offers rigorous musical training and rich opportunities for performance, composition and music studies.

  • icon-chatGet in touch
  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4392
  • Marker31 Corbett Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EB

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

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.

  • icon-chatGet in touch
  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4470
  • MarkerColum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Entry requirements

BBB-BBC

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 a BTEC Extended Diploma in Humanities or Social Science subjects. We will consider BTECs in alternative subjects alongside other academic qualifications and any relevant work or volunteer experience.

31-30 overall or 665-655 in 3 HL subjects.

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.

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 subskill.

TOEFL iBT

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

PTE Academic

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 must have or be working towards:
- English language or Welsh language at GCSE grade C/4 or an equivalent (such as A-levels). If you require a Tier 4 visa, you must ensure your language qualification complies with UKVI requirements.

We do not accept Critical Thinking, General Studies, Citizenship Studies, or other similar equivalent subjects.
We will accept a combination of BTEC subjects, A-levels, and other qualifications, subject to the course specific grade and subject requirements.

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
  • curfews
  • 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.

Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.

Tuition fees

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.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

Other than your principal study instrument for Music, 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 2021 and this page will be updated by end of October 2021 to reflect the changes.

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 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.

Year one

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.

Year two

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.

Module titleModule codeCredits
What is ReligionRT020120 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Opera WorldsMU211110 credits
Opera WorldsMU211220 credits
Music Sounded Out: Interpreting Oral and Recorded Genres and FormsMU212220 credits
OrchestrationMU216120 credits
The Business of Music 1MU216410 credits
Performance Practice and Organology: the Long Eighteenth Century, 1700-1830MU216710 credits
Performance Practice and Organology: the Long Eighteenth Century, 1700-1830MU216820 credits
Reading Film SoundMU217910 credits
Reading Film SoundMU218120 credits
Music in France Since 1900MU221110 credits
Music in France Since 1900MU221220 credits
Tonal Common Practice: Styles and TechniquesMU221420 credits
Studio Techniques 1: Midi and SynthesisersMU223120 credits
Ethnomusicology 2: Music in Cross-Cultural PerspectiveMU227120 credits
The Business of Music 2MU227220 credits
Analysing 20th Century MusicMU229120 credits
Composition 2MU232020 credits
Practical Musicianship 2MU235810 credits
Practical Contribution Portfolio 2MU236010 credits
Independent Study or Critical TranslationRT020220 credits
Exploring Christian DoctrineRT020320 credits
Christian EthicsRT020420 credits
Christian EthicsRT020420 credits
The Hebrew Bible: Stories, Suffering and JusticeRT020520 credits
Buddhism: The First Thousand YearsRT020820 credits
Intermediate Scriptual LanguageRT021120 credits
Elementary Language for the Study of ReligionRT021220 credits
Further Elementary Language for the Study of ReligionRT021320 credits
Emotions, Symbols and Rituals: Introducing the Anthropology of Religion through FilmRT021420 credits
From Jesus to the New Jerusalem: New Testament StudiesRT021620 credits
Bhagavad-Gita in ContextRT021720 credits
Living IslamRT021820 credits
Islamic Ethics of Life and DeathRT021920 credits
Sociology of ReligionRT022020 credits
Visual History of Early South AsiaRT022120 credits

Year three

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.

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

23%

Guided independent study

77%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

0%

Guided independent study

0%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

0%

Guided independent study

0%

Placements

0%

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.

Feedback

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.

Year 1

Written exams

47%

Practical exams

2%

Coursework

52%

Year 2

Written exams

0%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

0%

Year 3

Written exams

0%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

0%

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

Career prospects

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.

Placements

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.

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