Music BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)


January, September


Stand out in the music industry with our ‘learn by doing’ culture and modern study of music relevant to today.

Full description


Combined with your own specialisms, the practical and vocational skills you’ll gain from our Music course will help you stand out in the music industry. Many of our recent graduates now enjoy successful careers as performers, composers, technologists, arts administrators and music teachers.

But you will also be well equipped for any role that requires quick thinking, self-reliance, imagination, and teamwork.

If you have an interest in arts therapy, you could go on to take our MA Music Therapy after you graduate.


In your final year, we’ll help you arrange a work placement that interests you, whether it’s music education, instrumental teaching, artist management, music marketing, recording and studio work, film composition or events management.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Music Performance 1A
    The Music Performance modules form the backbone to your experience on our music courses, giving you the chance to develop your performing skills; to explore a variety of performance occasions and scenarios; to develop your understanding of what it is to perform; and to build your confidence. The modules are conceived as a three-year whole, encouraging you to think progressively deeply about musical performance issues and to extend your knowledge of music through a process of discovery and collaboration. You will encounter a range of performance opportunities from solo playing through small ensembles to large-scale productions in venues within the university, local venues and nationally. Your development will be supported by weekly performance workshops, including masterclasses and sessions on various aspects of performing. You will also enrol for ensembles within the programme offered by the department, aiming at a schedule of rehearsals and concerts totalling a minimum of 40 hours. These ensembles vary from semester to semester, and some will require an audition. For assessment you are required to write a reflective report of 2,500 words that (i) describes your individual progress as a performer during the semester, (ii) explains what you have gained from involvement in Anglia Ruskin’s ensembles programme, and (iii) sets realistic future goals for your individual and ensemble performance activities including repertoire for the solo recital at the end of the second semester.
  • Foundations of Music Theory
    This module will provide you with a foundation in musical literacy, revising and introducing concepts that form the basis of modern music theory. Through analytical work, technical exercises, and the examination of appropriate examples from the repertoire you will explore foundational principles relating to the relationship between consonance and dissonance. You will be introduced to basic features of musical composition including notions of tonal harmony, counterpoint, and cadence. You will study these concepts by examining appropriate sources and practical work, developing critical appraisal skills and a technical theoretical language that will allow you to further discuss and debate. You will also develop your understanding of fundamental issues of musical structure, style, and aesthetics, and discover a framework for articulating these ideas in academic writing on music. This in turn will help to inform your wider activities as a performer / composer. For your assessment, you will need to demonstrate an understanding of principles of tonal theory in written form by producing a written assignment, through the use of analytical tools such as Roman numerals and figured bass, and in practice through a portfolio of technical exercises.
  • Composition 1
    As a music student, your overall understanding of music is greatly enhanced by learning about the process of composition. On this module you will encounter a series of exercises, each designed to explore a particular technical aspect of composition and expand your ideas about musical style and expression. These may include topics such as ostinato technique, symmetrical division of the octave, variations on a theme, or the use of metre in non-western music. You will compose music for one another, with considerable time devoted to practical workshops during which all pieces will be rehearsed, discussed and performed. A final exercise will allow you to compose for a larger ensemble or instruments not present in the class. By delivering short presentations and demonstrations on your own instrument or voice, you will also teach one another about instrumental technique and learn about conventions of notation that apply to particular instruments. The tutor will support you to develop your handwritten music notation, and to produce finished scores and instrumental parts using computer notation software.
  • Music and Technology
    This module will introduce you to the use of electronic technology in the composition of music. Using digital audio workstations, you will learn to apply principles of sound design and computer-based sequencing within the context of a wider understanding of the historical and aesthetic issues relating to the composition of technology-based music. You will prepare an original composition using specific techniques, via a number of prescribed tasks designed to lead you systematically through the processes of computer operation. Through detailed step-by-step explanation and hands-on experience in class, you will become familiar with a range of compositional techniques. The module tutor will also discuss and demonstrate a wide range of technology-based music and associated topics, encouraging you to question and examine traditional ideas of sound and music, and also developing your skills of aural analysis.
  • Music Performance 1B
    On this second Music Performance module, your development will be supported by weekly performance workshops, including masterclasses and sessions on various aspects of performing. You will also enrol for ensembles within the programme offered by the department, aiming at a schedule of rehearsals and concerts that total a minimum of 40 hours. These ensembles vary from semester to semester, and some will require an audition. Your assessment will comprise an end-of-module solo recital lasting ten minutes that comprises repertoire chosen to demonstrate your performance skills to the best effect.
  • Introduction to Music Studies
    This module will help you develop your critical awareness of music in its theoretical and historical contexts. You will be introduced to wider trends in contemporary music scholarship, exploring concepts relating to the application of melodic and harmonic systems and examining the relevance of such systems in matters of the history of musical form. You will also have the opportunity to develop research methodologies appropriate to considering a range of musical issues and styles as they relate to specific social, cultural, and historical contexts. Focusing on representative examples from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, you will examine features of musical style and discover a historical, theoretical, and aesthetic framework for the range of music studied. You will develop an awareness of musical form and social function, and an understanding of the relationship between historical and theoretical approaches. You will also develop your skills in academic writing as you work towards a final coursework submission. This will include the development of scholarly written English, an awareness of academic conventions in written work, ways of constructing a persuasive argument, and the use of the Harvard referencing system.
  • Entrepreneurship for Music 1: Digital
    The contemporary musician requires a range of skills alongside composition, performance and production to make their mark in the world of music. Increasingly they need to understand the opportunities that new and emerging digital technologies provide in gaining a profile for their music-making, and as a platform for launching their future careers. This module will help develop an understanding of the potential of digital media platforms for music networking, promotion, distribution and retail, and wider ethical and legal issues concerning online music. You will explore broader issues concerning the music industries and the impact digital technologies have had in their operations. You will be assessed through two exercises. Firstly, you will write an analysis of a chosen topic that draws from material covered in module sessions. Secondly, you will develop an online presence using appropriate digital platforms to showcase your developing work as musical artists and/or your potential as a future music industries employee. The approaches you take must be clearly located in and related to ideas and practices encountered in your degree course. Along with contributing to module sessions, the Anglia Ruskin University Employability Service will provide you with additional module support through drop-in support and CV Surgery sessions. You will also have access to a range of online employability information via the Careers and Employability Portal.
  • Introduction to World Musics and Ethnomusicology
    The advent of the internet and various forms of social media, together with the increasing mobility of individuals around the globe, are increasingly accustomising us to the sounds of musics from a wide diversity of cultures. Despite this, relatively few of us possess either an appropriate level of technical understanding, or familiarity with the origins and contexts of most such musics. This module will introduce you to a selection of musical styles from around the world, highlighting some of the important features and explaining their organising principles. You will also learn how understanding of the music itself is inextricably linked to understanding the people who make that music. Some of the questions you will ask are: "What is music, and what do people think it is for?"; "When and where is music made and how is the nature of the music determined by its context?"; "Who are the musicians, and what is their role in society?" and "How is music passed on from one generation to the next?". During the module, you will deliver an assessed presentation on an appropriate aspect of World Music, to be agreed by the Course Leader. Additionally, you will produce an assessed portfolio to demonstrate your level of understanding of various aspects, both technical and contextual, of some of the musics considered during the module. You may elaborate and enhance this portfolio by including reviews of music and documentary sources. This module is both a self-contained course of study and preparation for further specific studies in non-western music (see World Music and Globalisation at Level 6). It will equip you with a range of employability skills including the understanding of cultural diversity, insight into changing global patterns of migration, presentation skills and public speaking.

Year two, core modules

  • Music Performance 2
    On this level 5 Music Performance module, you must gain experience in at least one small-scale ensemble. You will need to show your emerging reliability and maturity in performance, particularly in university concerts and productions. Your assessment will comprise an end-of-module designated ensemble performance, which must be agreed by the module tutor.
  • Readings in Music History
    This module will help develop your understanding and experience of current trends in music scholarship through an investigation of musical works, artefacts, practices, and contexts. This will include an investigation of arguments and controversies considered central and specific to the study of music, such as the work-concept, music theory and analysis, musical notation(s), and matters of musical performance practice. You will also be invited to consider matters that lie outside the immediate moment of the sounding music. These may extend to, but are not limited to: historical context; aesthetic/philosophical contexts; politics; class; race; gender and sexuality; nationalism; modernism; and post-colonialism. The application of appropriate research and analytical methodologies will complement your contextual exploration, and you will need to demonstrate awareness of a range of scholarly considerations appropriate to the repertoire under consideration. The module will allow you to develop your academic writing skills, with the aim of producing cogent and persuasive arguments observing the conventions of academic referencing. Your assessment will comprise an independently researched essay that demonstrates the critical and technical skills you acquire during the module. This will be supported by a particular focus on research practice, exploring research approaches, methodologies and ethics, specifically in preparation for your third year research in major project work.
  • Composition 2
    This practical module covers selected compositional issues in some depth, allowing you to produce a portfolio of original compositions submitted as notated sheet music. You will be introduced to the concepts and techniques of a wide range of compositional styles through projects that might include exercises in contrapuntal writing, harmonisation techniques, instrumentation and orchestration, modal composition, vocal setting, arranging for small instrumental groups, or combining electronic and acoustic resources. The module will be divided into three projects, which may vary from delivery to delivery. Each project will culminate in a workshop, during which you will perform your compositions. Your understanding will be developed through seminar discussions, in turn informing and improving the range and depth of your compositions. Specific times will be set aside for you to rehearse and time will also be allowed for you to revise and improve before your final submission. Your progress through the module will be supported by individual and group tutorials.
  • Live Performance
    This module will give you the opportunity to engage in the planning, negotiation, organisation, promotion, marketing, budgeting and management of a live musical event at a public venue. You will be expected to perform at the event (individually or in a group/ensemble), but assessment will focus on your organisation and management skills. Collaboration is a vital element of this module. You will need to carefully manage and negotiate a variety of responsibilities in your event group, drawing from knowledge and a theoretical underpinning introduced in taught sessions. Before delivering your event you will present a proposal, including an initial budget, justification of your plan and supporting research in a 10 minute presentation. The module tutor will provide formative feedback and advice. You will then prepare an action plan with a framework for the musical event that you intend to present, considering content/theme, promotion, ethical issues and financial planning. You will develop the plan further in group tutorials. You will be expected to evaluate the overall effectiveness of your musical event through a final group report incorporating a contextual and critical framework. This report will contain supplementary materials (not included in the word count) including a risk assessment specific to your event; a financial budget; copies of e-mail correspondence; meeting minutes; and a promotional pack containing copies and evidence of your promotion and PR for the event. Alongside taught module sessions, you will attend performance workshops, where you will develop the content of your contribution to musical performance at the event. You will separately submit a personal project review evidencing your individual input and skills development during the project. The collaborative focus of this module will help prepare you for further collaborative project work in the final year of your degree.
  • Techniques of Music Analysis
    How does music work? What does it do to have the effect on us that it does? What devices does a composer place in music to give a coherent sense of structure and direction? How do elements of motive, form, deep structure, and surface ornament work together to form an expressive whole? Pursuit of these questions is the domain of analysis, an activity essential to increasing a musician’s conscious awareness of music, and the ability to understand and interpret it in more than superficial terms. Yet answers to such questions are elusive enough that no single theoretical approach seems satisfactory in addressing them all. This module will help develop your analytical and critical skills through an investigation of contemporary trends, approaches, and techniques in music history, theory, analysis, and criticism. Your lectures will focus on one or more musical repertoires and the theoretical approaches that relate to those repertoires. The module will give you the opportunity to develop your academic writing skills alongside incorporating more varied approaches, including various forms of graphical analysis. It will also invite you to examine the relationship between the technical and music-specific demands of your engagement with theory and the place of the musical object in its wider contexts (historical, social, political, aesthetic), and to reflect critically on these issues in your written work. You will be assessed through a portfolio, which may comprise solely written work, but may also include a combination of an essay and analytical components presented in graphical form, demonstrating your critical engagement with the material.
  • Orchestration
    This module will help you develop your creative and technical skills in instrumentation and scoring. You will develop critical skills in score analysis and demonstrate your understanding through practical work. This will involve producing technically sound orchestrations, and presenting your work in a clear and professional way within the conventions of the western common practice. The repertoire you will cover addresses the various challenges and opportunities that composers face when writing for large ensembles. These include the anatomy of orchestral instruments, their relationships within their respective instrument families, and the relationship between those families; technical issues to do with transposing instruments and natural brass instruments; the problems of translating musical materials from a pianistic idiom into an orchestral one; the relationship between parameters such as form, texture, tonality, harmony, melody, and balance; and instrumental colour, capability, and extra-musical association. The module will address the relationships between piano/small ensemble and orchestral repertoire in a range of styles which covers the music of the period from Mozart to Stravinsky. By the end of the module you will be able to create stylish orchestrations, and present your work in a professional way. You will be assessed through a coursework portfolio of exercises to be presented in full score.
  • Entrepreneurship for Music 2: Placement
    This module will support you in finding a placement or internship opportunity that focuses on a potential career pathway in an area of the music industries. Particularly important will be your development and self-evaluation of transferable and employability skills. Supported by module tutors and Anglia Ruskin's Employability Service, you will identify an area of career interest and negotiate, generate and complete a placement opportunity lasting the equivalent of 35 hours. The placement should be clearly located in and related to ideas and practices encountered in your degree course. You will be assessed through two elements: firstly, a presentation that outlines the tasks and activities you aim to undertake on the placement, including research into the context within which your placement organisation operates and an outline of how you aim to develop and evaluate your transferable and employability skills during the placement; secondly, a reflective portfolio that documents and self-evaluates your placement experience. This module combines independent study with lecture sessions and tutorial support that guides you through the placement or internship, with the module Canvas page providing further support. You will also have the chance to attend presentations from visitors who work in roles within the music industries. As well as contributing to module sessions, the Anglia Ruskin University Employability Service will provide additional module support through drop-in support and CV Surgery sessions. You will also have access to a range of online employability information via the Careers and Employability Portal, and be able to access additional placement support through the ALSS Faculty Placements Officer, with drop-in support or scheduled one-to-one sessions.

Year two, optional modules

  • Music for the Moving Image
    On this module you’ll compose and realise original music to accompany a film, video or other type of digital moving or still image. You may either work with supplied material or with other students undertaking complementary work within related media production modules. By undertaking a series of practical exercises, you'll examine a range of techniques, and consider the approaches to film music composition of various commercial and non-commercial film composers. Using appropriate editing software, you'll better understand how your music will fit in to the overall scenario of audio-visual collaboration. You'll be assessed by the submission of a portfolio of materials, accompanied by a brief critical evaluation.
  • Music in Education
    This module will introduce you to a number of key principles, concepts and methodologies of music education, developing your understanding of certain theoretical foundations crucial to the study and practice of teaching music. Topics may include: introductory philosophies of education; the application of music education in a variety of contexts; the sociological and psychological elements of music pedagogy. You will consider such questions as why music education is important, how do people learn through music, and how can teaching be delivered effectively through the music? You will also evaluate the role, function and practice of music in primary, secondary and further education, peripatetic teaching, and the role of music in community arts education, as well as examining current educational methodologies and policy frameworks, including the implications of national curricula, and issues of equality. Practical work is included in the module so you can gain first-hand experience of issues in music teaching practice, providing you with a useful insight if you intend to pursue a career in the field. This will take the form of teaching a group of students focusing on an aspect of music education.
  • Production project
    This module will give you the opportunity to pursue a negotiated music project with a practical outcome. The project can be undertaken individually or collaboratively, but you will be assessed individually through your final submission, consisting of a production artefact with a researched critical commentary. You will produce an E.P. of 3-4 tracks, including associated visual and written material (e.g. covers, text and logos), so that the outcome is a standalone artefact. Owing to the many digital and analogue music production technologies available, you will need to identify and negotiate in individual or group tutorials how you will creatively approach the music production and visual elements of the the project. You will reflect on your existing technological interests and abilities developed during the course - curricular or extra-curricular - in the context of the array of music technologies available in the current production environment. To support your practical work, the taught element will help improve your understanding of appropriate critical tools and language relevant to the evaluation of your production work in two ways: through a critical discussion of current debates in contemporary music production practice (e.g. issues of fidelity and authenticity, loudness and technostalgia); and through the consideration and use of visual critical analysis tools, that will help you evaluate potential meanings of your chosen cover design, in terms of both the visuals and text. The knowledge and skills you acquire in this module will provide a strong basis for professional work where current and emerging music technologies are deployed in creative and commercial contexts beyond the University.
  • Principles of Music Therapy
    This module will introduce you to the theory and practice of music therapy, as practised by registered professionals in the UK. It will not train you to be a therapist, but will equip you with knowledge of the field and some introductory skills that are useful in considering music therapy as a vocation. It will introduce you to the clinical field and enable you to make informed choices about music therapy and other related professions such as teaching and nursing. You will be taught through experiential workshops, which will be linked to theoretical lectures and also a possible field trip. Audio-visual presentations will allow you to demonstrate your work in process. Through these activities you will be able to evaluate, develop and analyse your musical potential and explore the application of different media to therapeutic situations. Your assessment will comprise a small group practical focusing on musical improvisations (as appropriate), in which you will actively demonstrate an understanding of the use of music as a therapeutic tool. The knowledge you gain on this module can be applied to others that involve improvisation, role-play or performance, and can contribute to a basic understanding of groups and how they function.

Year three, core modules

  • Major Project
    The individual Major Project will allow you to undertake a substantial piece of individual research, focused on a topic relevant to your specific course. Your topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The project will require you to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct research, evaluate information, process data, and critically appraise and present your findings/creative work. You should arrange and attend regular meetings with your project supervisor, to ensure that your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.
  • Professional Music Practice 1
    This practical module will allow you to further enhance the knowledge, skills and understanding you have developed on your course at Level 4 and Level 5 in a chosen area of practice. You will explore practically an area of contemporary professional music-related practice, producing an end-of-module artefact or undertaking a performance and negotiating the specific nature of the project outcome with your module tutor. You will be allowed to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the key components through which music in all its forms is created, realised, received and/or mediated, and to demonstrate your knowledge of the creative affordances of music and/or media technologies and instruments in your chosen area of practice. You will be expected to analyse, critically evaluate and interpret the practices you undertake, demonstrating an ability to convey personal expression and imagination in practical work while employing appropriate technical and interpretive means. You will be able to choose one of four professional strands through which to focus your practice: Performance; Composition; Technology and Production; or Music Media and Journalism. After initial group sessions, you will individually identify and negotiate an appropriate practical approach that allows you to achieve the learning outcomes you have identified. You will be supported in your research through tutorials, as well as other taught sessions and workshops. You will be assessed through an artefact submitted at the end of the module, or through an end of module performance.
  • Professional Music Practice 2
    This practical module will allow you to further enhance the knowledge, skills and understanding you have developed on your course and in the Professional Practice 1 module. You will explore an area of contemporary professional music-related practice, and produce an end of module artefact or undertake a performance that is negotiated with a module tutor. You can continue with the same area of practice as Professional Practice 1, or focus on another area to develop a new project. However, whichever you choose, you will be expected to identify how your approach in Professional Practice 2 has reflected on and responded to your achievement of module and learning outcomes in Professional Practice 1. You will further demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key components through which music in all its forms is created, realised, received and/or mediated, and your knowledge of the creative affordances of music and/or media technologies and instruments in your chosen area of practice. You will be expected to analyse, critically evaluate and interpret the practices you undertake, and demonstrate the ability to convey personal expression and imagination in practical work while employing appropriate technical and interpretive means. You will choose one of the following professional strands: Performance; Composition; Technology and Production; Music Media and Journalism. After the initial group sessions, you will identify and negotiate an appropriate practical approach, supported in your practice through tutorials and other taught sessions and workshops. You will be assessed through an artefact submitted at the end of the module, or an end-of-module performance.
  • Collaborative Project Development (Music)
    You will be given the opportunity to develop and negotiate a collaborative music project in which you will employ and meet relevant professional practices and expectations. You will perform a variety of practical and creative roles, critically reflecting upon the processes involved in undertaking professional, ethical and sustainable composition, performance, production, promotion and/or other responsibilities in a negotiated project. Through this, you will demonstrate your understanding of concepts of entrepreneurialism and professionalism in music in a live project. Your project must be clearly located in and related to ideas and practices encountered in your degree course. Your collaboration can involve students from across the music courses at Anglia Ruskin University. You will need to take your work to an extra-University audience, and as such your collaboration may also involve external individuals, agencies or organisations. During initial lecture and seminar sessions, you will identify collaborative groups and discuss project management and the requirements of the module. As you progress, group tutorials and seminars will allow you to formatively explore and develop your initial project ideas; discuss contextual and theoretical research needs; identify audiences and stakeholders; and consider and agree technical and, if appropriate, outsourced requirements. You will be assessed through a group presentation (either in live or video form) that pitches your project, explains its relationship to wider cultural and industry contexts, and identifies your overall aims and objectives. This presentation will also allow you to demonstrate your work in progress and outline how you will deliver the final project on time and to an external audience. Alongside contributing to module sessions, Anglia Ruskin University Employability Service and the ALSS Faculty Placements Officer will also provide support. You will then put your project proposal into operation in the semester 2 module ‘Collaborative Project’.
  • Collaborative Project (Music)
    Working in a team or group, you will put into practice the collaborative music project you developed in the Collaborative Project Development module. You will demonstrate your ability to work collaboratively in performing a variety of practical and creative roles, and critically reflect upon the processes involved in undertaking professional, ethical and sustainable composition, performance, production, promotion and/or other responsibilities in a negotiated project. Through this, you will demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of concepts of professionalism and entrepreneurialism. You will be expected to contribute effectively to group work, demonstrate adaptability in determining and achieving individual goals (including supporting or being proactive in leadership) and critically evaluate the roles you have carried out. Your collaboration can involve students from across the music courses at Anglia Ruskin University. In putting their project into practice, you will need to take your work to an extra-University audience. As such, your collaboration may involve external individuals, agencies or organisations. Your work will be supported by group tutorials, which will allow you to identify and negotiate the requirements for the two assessed elements: a group project portfolio and an individual project evaluation. In the individual project evaluation, you should place the project in its wider cultural and industrial context, reflecting on your roles throughout the project with a focus on transferable and employability skills.

Year three, optional modules

  • Film Music Composition
    This module will develop your skills in creating a film soundtrack. Over the course of the module you will analyse soundtracks in a wide range of styles and periods, from the birth of synchronised sound in 1927 to the present day. You will study the techniques of composition and sound design used in these films, consider the process of collaboration between composer and director, and examine the cultural context of the films and their dissemination. You will also study advanced techniques of sound design, instrumentation and orchestration appropriate to film music and will acquire specific skills for the musical representation of narrative, character and mood. Your assessment will comprise a portfolio of film soundtrack compositions as detailed in the module guide, and a critical evaluation of 500 words that places your work in the context of current and historic trends in film music, draws attention to particular techniques of sound design and composition, and explains why the choice of music or sound design is appropriate. The skills you acquire in this module will provide a strong basis for professional work in the audio-visual industry, which is now a significant employer of composers.
  • Radiophonica
    Radiophonic techniques are essential tools in the creation of content for media broadcasters involving the spoken word. A knowledge of radio genres, including those of an experimental nature, goes hand in hand with principles of compositional design, structuring, editing and realisation, and experience in this area will prepare you for involvement with the media industries. This module will give you practical experience with the aesthetic issues and unique characteristics of radio. You'll also be introduced to key moments in the history of experimental, documentary and dramatic radio English language broadcasting and encouraged to respond to the spoken word in a musical way, integrating into your work concepts of sound design that originated in radio. Your assessment will take the form of a portfolio including radiophonic work and an evaluative critical commentary including evidence of project planning.
  • World Music and Globalisation
    The accelerating influence of the internet and social media is continuing to enable the instant distribution of music around the globe. What we listen to is no longer exclusively conditioned by economics, since so much is free online, nor by national boundaries. Instead individuals choose. On this module, you'll investigate the various factors that influence how these choices are made, including who the listener is, the varying degrees of censorship and technological access to music to which listeners around the world are subjected and historical legacies such as colonial links. You'll also trace the dynamics of the relationship of different music industries with foreign 'others', from the early Western appropriation of blues and other African genres through to the imitations of western styles in, for example, China and the Far East. You'll also examine how certain musics have remained hugely popular in their home countries but less so abroad, while others have been accommodated into the commercial Western paradigms of festivals, recordings and broadcasting. In this context, you'll consider notions of authenticity, exoticism, and cultural appropriation, together with the conflicts and ironies encountered in bringing traditional musics onto the world stage and away from their original performance contexts. You'll further investigate the role of Western pop music in other societies, the power dynamics of cultural transmission, and the extent to which certain traditions have survived or been altered in the face of competition from Western commercial interests (in so doing, challenging our normal distinctions between pop and classical or traditional musics and the identities that they define). You will develop a range of employability skills, including an understanding of cultural diversity and an insight into changing global patterns of migration as well as presentation preparation and public speaking.


For a full breakdown of module options and credits, please view the module structure.

You’ll show what you’ve learned on the course through a combination of performances, creative projects, presentations, portfolios, essays, and a special Major Project in your final year, which can include creative work.

Thanks to this ongoing assessment, you’ll improve your ability to improvise, sight-read and think on your feet, and you’ll develop skills in reflective thinking, researching, drafting, and revising your work.

We’ll also encourage you to use self-help packages, particularly for aural training, and undertake an extensive listening programme.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

The School of Performance is a community of over 400 students and staff, working together in a supportive environment to create new and challenging compositions and performances. Our lecturers are research-active practitioners and recognised experts in their field, so our students always have access to the latest theories and practice, as well as invaluable career guidance.

We organise many activities to help our students prepare for the future, like concerts, theatre performances, work placements, study abroad opportunities, talks by acclaimed guest speakers, and research conferences.

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Specialist facilities

You’ll work in our purpose-built music centre, which includes an extensive suite of computer music studios, recording facilities, band rooms, plenty of practice rooms, an audiovisual studio and a spacious recital hall. Our studios feature specialist music hardware and software, supported by extensive online facilities and resources.

You’ll also have access to five grand pianos, including a new Steinway Model D, and many orchestral instruments, as well as traditional instruments from India, China and Africa, and a Balinese Gamelan.

Every week, you will see performances by professional musicians at the Mumford Theatre in our free lunchtime concert series.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2018/19 or 2019/20 (per year)


International students starting 2018/19 (per year)


Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

From September 2018, EU students starting an undergraduate degree with us can access an £800 bursary.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Interview and audition

You will be required to attend an interview of around 30 minutes, during which you will also need to perform an audition piece or present samples of your music work.

For more guidance on how to prepare for this, please visit our auditions and interviews page, or go straight to the detailed auditions information for School of Performance courses.

Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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