BA (Hons) Music
“I would recommend Anglia Ruskin to study music because of the range of facilities and opportunities offered and mainly because of the support from your lecturers about your ideas, creativity and hard work.
Being part of the Department of Music and Performing Arts brings together hard work and a social life, which is the most beautiful thing. Being part of different ensembles creates special relationships between players as we all enjoy doing something we love the most: music.
In the final year we have to find a work placement and work there for about 35 hours. That was very useful as it made us think about our future, and helped us to improve our CV and deal with career-orientated questions. However, the most important aspect is that we had a chance to gain experience in the area that we were interested in.”
Course overviewThe BA (Hons) Music course engages you both practically and intellectually in the study of this discipline, through a consideration of music in a variety of styles, approaches and contexts. The course focuses on the concept of 'learning by doing' and provides a range of opportunities to experience live musical performance, from solo work to large-scale orchestral and choral productions. With a curriculum that integrates theory and practice in dynamic and productive ways, you are able to specialise in areas such as performance, composition, music technology, jazz studies and music education.
Individual instrumental and vocal tuition is included within the course for students enrolled on performance modules, delivered by a large team of visiting tutors of international reputation.
We are especially proud of our extensive and stimulating programme of public concerts, theatrical performances and workshops. On-campus, we host a series of weekly lunchtime concerts given by professional musicians. Large-scale orchestral and choral concerts are held at venues throughout the city, together with a variety of smaller ensembles, from early music groups to jazz bands. Membership of the Cambridge University Musical Society and the Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra is open to Anglia Ruskin students via audition and many of the chapel choirs and college orchestras in Cambridge include Anglia Ruskin musicians.
Outstanding facilities within Music and Performing Arts offer you the chance to gain the sort of skills much valued by prospective employers. These include a purpose-built music centre with lecture and practice rooms, recital hall, five state-of-the-art computer music studios, plus the Mumford Theatre, a full-size venue for professional touring companies.
One aspect of the music course at Anglia Ruskin that is particularly distinctive, and about which we are especially enthusiastic, is our emphasis on what we call issue-based modules. We have moved away from the idea of teaching topics which are defined by historical period or arbitrary geographical location to a broader contextual consideration of music and its relationship to society, other art forms and other disciplines.
The course includes, for example, modules such as Intertextuality in Music, in which we discuss ideas and principles through a consideration of a wide range of different music. Topics in this module include: Music of the Spheres, which examines the relationship between music, natural phenomena, and concepts of proportion; Music, Text, Voices, which examines the close relationship between the human voice, language and communication, and vocal music; and Reinventions, which considers aspects of musical borrowing and ownership.
Year one core modules
On this module you enrol for a programme of regular one-to-one instrumental or vocal lessons on one study. These lessons are supplemented by weekly performance workshops, which include some specialist masterclasses and tuition on rehearsing, and weekly lunchtime concerts. You also enrol for ensembles within the programme offered by the department, aiming at a schedule of rehearsals and concerts totalling a minimum of 75 hours. These ensembles vary from semester to semester, and some will require an audition.
This module is designed to secure a common foundation of musical literacy. Consequently, the primary purpose of the module is to revise or introduce concepts that form the basis of musicianship skills. Issues relating to the juxtaposition of consonance and dissonance (tension and release) will be fully explored through analysis and completion of technical exercises and examination of appropriate extracts. A similar approach will be adopted in the exploration of rhythmic patterns and the notion of cadence (openness and closure). By studying these concepts through both practical application and the examination of appropriate exemplars, the module seeks to encourage critical appraisal and develop powers of self-expression, both verbally and in written form. The module develops your understanding of fundamental issues of musical style and aesthetics.
Music and Technology is designed as an introduction to the concepts, methods and basic practicalities of the use of technology in the composition of music. Using digital audio workstations, you learn to apply principles of acoustics and computer-based sequencing within the context of a wider understanding of the historical and aesthetic issues relating to the composition and practice of technology-based music. The major activity of the module is the preparation of an original composition utilising various techniques. This is approached via a number of prescribed tasks designed to lead you systematically through the processes of computer operation. You will become familiar with a range of musics and techniques through detailed step-by-step explanation and hands-on experience in class. The module also includes lectures, demonstrations and discussions of a wide range of technology-based music and associated topics with the aim of encouraging you to question and examine their traditional conceptions of sound and music. Much emphasis is placed on the ability to analyse musicaurally.
This module is designed to further develop musical literacy and understanding of musical syntax. Concepts relating to the application of melodic and harmonic systems will be explored and the course examines the relevance of such systems in matters of musical form. This module is also designed to provide an opportunity for you to develop research methodologies appropriate to the consideration of a range of musical issues and styles. Focusing on a number of seminal works from the 18th to the 20th century the course examines critical features of musical style and places the range of music studied within an appropriate historical, cultural and aesthetic framework. The course seeks to develop an awareness of the character of the many musical forms and to encourage an understanding of the nature of musical development.
Whether or not you consider yourself to be potential composers, you can deepen you understanding of music by experiencing the processes of composition. Furthermore, the notion of improvisation - 'real-time' composition - is a vital complementary area to foster and, in this respect, a direct route to tap musical intuition is explored. During the course of the module, composition and improvisation cross-fertilise each other, and understanding and development is gained through the examination and exploration of a range of different techniques and compositional styles.
Year two core modules
- Composing and Improvising 2A
- Music in Context 2A
- Music in Context 2B
- Music Performance Studies 2
Year three core modules
- Enterprise in the Creative Arts
- Intertextuality in Music
- Major Project
Year one optional modules
- Music Business
- Introduction to World Musics
- Anglia Language Programme
Year two optional modules
- Anglia Language Programme
- Composing and Improvising 2B
- Electroacoustic Composition
- Interdisciplinary Performance
- Principles and Practice of Music Education
- World Music Regional Studies
Year three optional modules
- Anglia Language Programme
- Art, Music and Performance
- Composition 3
- Music Performance Studies 3A
- Music Performance Studies 3B
- Principles of Music Therapy
- The Global Marketplace in Music
AssessmentAssessment is carried out via a very broad mix of methods including: essays, creative projects, presentations, public performances, portfolios and a Major Project, which may include creative work.
Assessment is also used as a learning tool, and you gain the ability to improvise, sight-read and generally 'think on your feet', whilst also developing skills in reflective preparation, drafting and revision of work. You are encouraged to use self-help packages, particularly for aural training, and to undertake an extensive listening programme. We also affirm the view that music provides a most effective and flexible discipline within which transferable interpersonal skills can be developed. To support learning and assessment a range of module resources is available online, enabling the access of course materials off-campus.
FacilitiesLocated in purpose-built accommodation, the Anglia Ruskin Music Centre includes lecture and practice rooms, a recital hall, plus the Mumford Theatre, a full-size receiving house for professional touring companies. There is also a group of five state-of-the-art computer music studios for the creation, recording and manipulation of acoustic and electronically produced sound. The studios house a range of technological equipment, including a wide selection of specialist computer hardware and software. All computers have full Internet and intranet access and are supported by extensive online facilities and resources.
In terms of instruments, you have access to five grand pianos, including a new Steinway Model D, two harpsichords, a range of orchestral instruments including alto flutes, two cors anglais, an oboe d'amore, Eb, alto and bass clarinets, a contrabassoon and a bass saxophone and a selection of baroque and Renaissance instruments including cornets and natural trumpets and a consort of recorders. Our department also has a range of traditional instruments from India (including two sitars), China (including a Chinese zither) and Africa (including a set of Ghanaian drums) and a Balinese Gamelan.
Our campus libraries offer a wide range of publications and a variety of study facilities, including open-access computers, areas for quiet or group study and bookable rooms. We also have an extensive Digital Library providing on and off-site access to e-books, e-journals and databases.
We endeavour to make our libraries as accessible as possible for all our students. During semester time, they open 24 hours a day from Monday to Thursday, until midnight on Friday and Saturday and for 12 hours on Sunday.
Our open access computer facilities provide free access to the Internet, email, messaging services and the full Microsoft Office suite. A high speed wireless service is also available in all key areas on campus. If you are away from campus or a distant learner, our student desktop and its many applications can be accessed remotely using the Internet. Your personal student email account provides free document storage, calendar facilities and social networking opportunities.
Throughout your studies you will have access to our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), providing course notes, reading materials and multi-media content to support your learning, while our e:Vision system gives you instant access to your academic record and your timetable.
Study abroad optionsOur department promotes staff and student exchange programmes with universities in the US and in Europe. Performing ensembles and study groups frequently undertake tours of Europe and beyond. In recent years performing groups have visited Italy, Austria, Eastern Europe, Australasia and Cyprus.
Special featuresOur music degree offers a distinctive and creative integration of practice and theory, as well as vocational experience. Teaching is provided by first-class, research-active staff who are recognised, nationally and internationally, as experts in their field and who are often professional practitioners.
In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, set up to monitor the quality of research in UK universities, 80% of the department's work was judged to be of international standard, with 20% judged to be either 'internationally excellent' or 'world leading'.
Course leaderDr Paul Rhys
Associated careersIt is widely recognised that the varied disciplines of music - analysis, performance, composition, ensemble work, presentation - and its opportunities for nurturing artistic expression, provide a strong platform of transferable skills for many walks of life.
The practical and vocational skills gained through this course, combined with the ability to specialise in a particular field, should make you particularly attractive to potential employers within the industry. Recent graduates now currently enjoy careers as performers, composers, technologists, arts administrators and music teachers.
An important feature of the curriculum is those modules that have a vocational bias, in particular Enterprise in the Creative Arts, which encourages you to acquire and reflect on vocational experience through self-organised placement projects.
Research shows that the study of the creative and performing arts to an enhanced level provides the ideal training for any position requiring quick thinking, self-reliance, imagination, teamwork and the ability to organise both yourself and others.
Links with industry and professional recognitionWe have fostered close links with a range of industry partners, including The Junction, an arts venue in Cambridge, where you can see a variety of theatre and music performance works, Hazard Chase, one of the leading international music management companies, and the Britten Sinfonia, one of Europe's most celebrated and innovative chamber orchestras.
A range of visiting artists and performers are also regularly invited to give masterclasses and workshops across our courses.
Work placementsWork placement opportunities are available via the third year Enterprise in the Creative Arts module, which encompasses such areas as music education, instrumental teaching, artist management, marketing, recording and studio work, composition and events management.
|Alternative qualifications accepted:||
We welcome applications from International and EU students. Please select one of the links below for English language and country-specific entry requirement information.
Cambridge Ruskin International College, an associate college of Anglia Ruskin, which is located on our Cambridge campus.
How to apply
UK & EU applicants
Call 01223 698444
Available startsSeptember, January
Fees & funding
Open DaySaturday 27 September
Undergraduate Open Day
Advice & supportEmployability
- Anglia Ruskin Festival Week branches out!
- Trumpet legend performs at Anglia Ruskin
- Première for Music lecturer's Piano Concerto
FacultyArts, Law & Social Sciences
DepartmentMusic and Performing Arts
Contact usUK and EU applicants:
- Call 01245 493131
- Complete enquiry form
- Call +44 (0)1223 698609
- Complete enquiry form