Music BA (Hons)

Embrace a variety of musical styles and genres on a unique new course from the top 2 UK modern university for Music.
The Guardian University Guide 2023


Delivered by a diverse range of industry and research experienced lecturers, this course will enable you to respond to the changing landscape of the music and wider creative industries, making you adaptable and employable.

This course is designed to support you in following pathways that reflect your specialist interests in performance, composition, production, or other areas such as education, management and research.

You will have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of your creative and scholarly intentions and mindset, with music as the primary medium for exploration and expression across a range of genres, including Classical, Jazz, Contemporary Commercial, Avant Garde and Popular Music styles (including Hip Hop, and Electronic Music).

You will explore music in practical and contextual perspectives and domains, to develop your practical, critical and analytical skills and attributes. You will experience performance in a solo and/or ensemble/band context, depending on your specialism, with accompaniment provision (where appropriate). The practical application of orchestration/arranging and composition is emphasised through collaborative projects and workshops with instrumentalists. With modules that prepare you for careers in education and community music, we are also one of the few music departments in the country to offer an undergraduate module in Music Therapy.

Male Student playing guitar with recording equipment.

Mode of Study:



4 years

Start date:


UCAS code:


BA Music Portfolio Requirements

A look at the requirements for your portfolio when applying for BA Music in Performance, Composition, and/or Production.

Course details

Our lecturers and support staff include active performers, composers, conductors, musicologists and music therapists.

You will have access to outstanding facilities that mirror industry, including dedicated practice spaces, four high-quality recording studios and a fully networked music lab, running a range of industry-relevant software including Logic, Pro Tools, Ableton and Sibelius. We also have Avid Certified Instructors and Pro Tools experts on our staff.

Our graduates commonly pursue portfolio careers, within and outside of music industries, that include performance, production, composition, community music, music education, music therapy and music business and management. The transferable skills gained from studying a music degree are also appealing to graduate employers in other fields.

You are expected to purchase and maintain your own instrument. Exceptions include piano, drum kit and percussion, in which case students can access University owned instruments on campus. You will need to purchase some specialist equipment related to music technology modules (you’ll be advised on any necessary purchases at the time of entry).

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    How you’ll be taught

    The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, workshops, one-to-one and group lessons, practical classes, and computer lab/studio sessions, as appropriate. Teaching is supported by a comprehensive virtual learning environment.

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    Work placement

    We are eager to support short-term work placements and promote various internal opportunities throughout the course.

    Our students studying Contexts of Music Education have the opportunity to shadow music tutors at local schools, while our relationship with the Eric Liddell Centre provides those studying Music Therapy with a unique opportunity to gain practical experience working with people with dementia. In recent years Music students have been invited to participate in a range of school and community-based placements with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, in some cases leading to paid opportunities with the orchestra’s education programmes.

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    Study abroad

    You’ll have the opportunity to spend one trimester or a full year abroad in Years 2 or 3.

    Taking the opportunity to study abroad provides a unique opportunity to develop your studies in music while embarking on a rich cultural exchange.

    Opportunities include:

    Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Finland
    Washington State University, USA

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    All our students benefit from our modern teaching, rehearsal and practice rooms, a recital area, state of the art recording studios, fully networked music lab and comprehensive music library, ensuring that all your needs are met on campus. We offer 24/7 access to our studios and practice rooms.

Popular modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules:
• Contextual Studies: Sampling Musical Worlds

• Technologies: Making Music with Technology
• Introduction to Musicology


Optional modules:

• Score Interpretation

• Organising Sound
• Performance Studies: Integrated Musicianship
• Western Art Music 2
• Recording Studio Theory and Practice 1


Year 2

Compulsory modules:

• Contextual Studies 2: Music in its Social and Cultural Context


Optional modules:

• Performance Studies: Interpretive Musicianship

• Composition, Signs, and Meaning 
• Music Technology and Live Performance
• Composition and Orchestration
• Music Industries
• Applied Musicology
• Recording Studio Theory and Practice 2
• Techniques of Score Analysis 1


Year 3

Compulsory modules:

• Music and Praxis

• Contextual Studies: Research in Music


Optional modules:

• Contexts of Music Education

• Contexts of Practical Musicianship: Technique and Applications
• Music and Modernisms 1890-1945
• Techniques of Score Analysis 2
• Introduction to Music Therapy
• Lyrics: Narratives and Prosodies
• Music Software Applications
• Contexts of Practical Musicianship: Creative Parameters
• Music Industries: Entrepreneurship


Year 4

Compulsory modules:

• Major Music Project

Optional modules:

• Contexts of Practical Musicianship: Identity, Persona and Promotion
• Practical Musicianship: Improvisation
• Music Research Project
• Contexts of Music Education: Project
• Contexts of Practical Musicianship: Live Performance
• Music Psychology
• Music and Modernisms 1945-1990


We work closely with our industry partners to offer short-term work placements and work experience opportunities to our BA (Hons) Music students throughout their degree. As an Avid Pro School we can deliver training to beginners up to expert level and our music studios and music lab run Avid Pro Tools Ultimate and Sibelius Ultimate software.


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

What are the entry requirements for Music?

You should state your specialist interests clearly on your application. This may be performance (please state your principal instrument), composition, or production. If you meet or are predicted to meet the minimum academic requirements, we will contact you to request a portfolio demonstrating your experience in areas of relevant practice: performance, composition or production. You can find more information about what to include in your portfolio here.

Our entry requirements indicate the Standard (minimum) qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

Can you go straight into second year of university?

Advanced entry into Year 2 or Year 3 of this course is possible for students with suitable qualifications. See the individual year tabs for more information.

Can I make an appointment with an advisor to discuss further about the admission process?

If you want to get more information on the admission process, please get in touch with the undergraduate admissions team by submitting an enquiry form above.

Minimum Year 1

SQA Higher

  • Standard Entry Requirement:ABCC
  • Minimum Offer Entry Requirement:ABCC 

A Level 

  • BCC

Irish Leaving Certificate

  • H1/H3/H3/H4 at HL

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Award of Diploma with 27 points overall including three HL subjects at 6,5,4

T Level

  • Grade Merit


Minimum Year 2


  • Pass HNC in Music, Music Performance or Sound Production with grade A in the graded unit.

Minimum Year 3


  • Pass HND in Music or Music Performance with A in the graded unit.

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery
  • All Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

See who can apply for more information on Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2024/25 2025/26
Scotland £1,820 £tba
England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £tba
Overseas and EU £19,340 £tba
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland will be invoiced the tuition fees for 3 years of their 4 years of study. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.
Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next. For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships
If additional compulsory costs other than the tuition fees are applicable, these will be detailed in the course details.
Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.


students in a music recording studio
Recent graduates have been employed in a wide variety of fields of work including:

  • Arts management
  • Classroom teaching
  • Instrumental teaching
  • Performance
  • Composition
  • Songwriter
  • Artist manager
  • Producer
  • Musicologist
  • Music teacher
  • Music therapist
  • Arts administrator
  • Audio engineer
  • Foley artist
  • Postgraduate study
  • Session musician
  • A&R coordinator
  • Music distribution manager
  • Tour manager 
  • Agent
student playing flute whilst her peer watches smiling