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Music and Philosophy (BA)

  • Subject areas: Music, Philosophy
  • UCAS code: VW53
  • Next intake: September 2022
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Mode: Full time

Entry year

Why study this course

location

Tailored to you

With primarily optional modules you have freedom to choose a personalised degree.

certificate

Your instrument of choice

Realise your full potential through fully-funded instrumental tuition.

structure

Music business placement

Explore what the music business has to offer with a placement.

building

Industry experience

Gain skills, confidence and connections through a variety of cultural internships.

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Learn from the best

Benefit from research-led content; learn from world-renowned Philosophy scholars.

Many students find joint honours both stimulating and rewarding as they observe similarities and differences 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 recent research.

You will spend a similar amount of time on each subject, benefiting from developing your musical understanding and skills while studying the fascinating and challenging subject of Philosophy.

The School of Music and the School of English, Communication and Philosophy offer challenging courses of modules in each subject. 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 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.

Philosophy at Cardiff is distinct for its strong emphasis on ethics, politics, and philosophy of mind and its equal attention to ‘analytic’ and ‘Continental’ styles of Western philosophy.

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.

We do not routinely interview applicants for this undergraduate programme. Applicants with a non-traditional qualification may be invited to attend an informal interview at the School of English, Communication and Philosophy which will have a bearing on the selection decision.

 

Subject area: Music

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

Subject area: Philosophy

Entry requirements

We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. Typical offers are as follows:

A level

ABB-BBB. Must include Music.

Applicants without an A-level in Music will be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine appropriate levels of music performance and theory skills (such as Grade 6/7 Music Theory).

Where skill levels cannot be determined by alternative qualifications, you may be invited to audition.

Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ 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.


This grade range reflects our typical standard and contextual offers. We carefully consider your contextual data (the circumstances in which you've been studying) upon application. Eligible students applying for this course will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.

International Baccalaureate

32-31 overall or 665 in 3 HL subjects. Must include grade 6 in HL Music.

Applicants without HL Music will be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine appropriate levels of music performance and theory skills (such as Grade 6/7 Music Theory).



Where skill levels cannot be determined by alternative qualifications, you may be invited to audition.

Baccalaureate Wales

From 2023, the Welsh Baccalaureate will be renamed the Baccalaureate Wales Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate. This qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

Other qualifications from inside the UK

BTEC

DDM in a BTEC Extended Diploma in Music.

Applicants without BTEC Music will be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine appropriate levels of music performance and theory skills (such as Grade 6/7 Music Theory).



Where skill levels cannot be determined by alternative qualifications, you may be invited to audition.

T level

Acceptance of T Levels for this programme will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic School. Consideration will be given to the T Level grade/subject and grades/subjects achieved at GCSE/Level 2.

Qualifications from outside the UK

See our qualification equivalences guide

Additional entry requirements

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 59 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 Student visa, you must ensure your language qualification complies with UKVI requirements.
- GCSE Maths grade C/4 or equivalent qualification (subject and grade). If you are taking A-level Maths (or equivalent), GCSE Maths is not required. Core Maths may also be accepted in place of GCSE Maths.
- grade 8 Music Practical in an instrument or voice.

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.

Interview or selection process

Where skill levels cannot be determined by alternative qualifications, you may be invited to audition.

Tuition fees for 2022 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £9,000 None
Year two £9,000 None
Year three £9,000 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2022/23 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £19,200 None
Year two £19,200 None
Year three £19,200 None

Learn more about our tuition fees

Financial support

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.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

Other than your principal study instrument, 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.

Living costs

We're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

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 2022 and this page will be updated by end of October 2022 to reflect the changes.

This is a three-year full-time degree, consisting of 120 credits a year, split between the two Schools. Most modules are worth 20 credits.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2022/2023 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.

Year one

You will take 60 credits in Music and 60 credits in Philosophy.

In Music,year one provides the foundation 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.

In the first year the School of Music offers core instruction in analysis, harmony and counterpoint, history of music, composition and practical musicianship. As a BA student you will take a free choice from these subjects.

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 University Choir or Orchestra and other ensembles.

In Philosophy year one is a foundation year designed to equip you with the skills for advanced study and to give you an overview of the subject. You will take three core modules: Mind, Thought and Reality; Moral and Political Philosophy; and Critical Thinking.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Mind, Thought and RealitySE410120 credits
Moral and Political PhilosophySE410320 credits
Critical ThinkingSE410720 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Composition 1AMU110710 credits
Elements of Tonal Music 1MU112520 credits
The Full WorksMU112820 credits
From Page to Stage: Dramaturgy in Musical TheatreMU112910 credits
Composition 1BMU120810 credits
Elements of Tonal Music 2MU122720 credits
Ethnomusicology 1: Music in Human LifeMU123310 credits
Rewinding PopMU123410 credits
Practical Musicianship 1MU131410 credits
Repertoire StudiesMU131720 credits
Practical Portfolio IMU131910 credits

Year two

You will take 60 credits in Music and 60 credits in Philosophy.

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 Philosophy you will develop a solid understanding of core areas such as aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, language, metaphysics, mind, moral psychology and political philosophy.

Year three

You will take 60 credits in Music and 60 credits in Philosophy.

You choose again from the four subject groups in Music, 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 a ‘open’ recital in front of examiners and an invited audience (Practical Musicianship IV).

In Philosophy specialised modules are on topics such as the problem of consciousness, moral psychology, metaethics, feminism and aesthetics let you pursue your interests and engage with current issues in research and scholarship, enabling you to develop analytical and presentational skills that employers will value, as well as equipping you for postgraduate 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

Cardiff offers a supportive learning environment, where students are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory, and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team-working, independent research, and time management.

In Music we use a range of teaching and learning styles, including lectures, small-group seminars and workshops, individual tutorials, ensemble instrumental tuition, rehearsals, portfolios, creative assignment and independent study. Instrumental tuition is fully funded by the School of Music on your principal study instrument if you are taking a Practical Musicianship module. This includes accompaniment at your final recital. You receive 24 half-hour lessons over the course of the year.

In Philosophy you will be taught both by lecture and seminar. Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas.

Seminars provide an opportunity for you to explore the ideas outlined in the lecture in a small group environment. Seminars would usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small group work and student-led presentations.

How will I be supported?

For Music 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 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 English, Communication and Philosophy.

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.

How will I be assessed?

A range of formative and summative assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios, performances  and creative assignments.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enable you to produce your best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling you to develop your strengths and address any weaker areas.

The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study, to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

 

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

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 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.

In 2015/16, 95% of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Placements

Year two modules on the Business of Music I/II give an opportunity for a short, either in one block or as a series of regular workplace visits.

Studying in Welsh

Up to 33% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

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How to apply

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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19, published by HESA in June 2021.