Applying for the BA Music programme

In addition to looking at awarded (and predicted) examination grades, we seek to gain insight in to your experience in areas of relevant practice: performance, composition, and/or production. We also seek to gain a clearer perception of your general confidence with academic writing and reflection. As such, applicants who have achieved, or are predicted to achieve, their grades will be asked to submit a portfolio.

Your portfolio must include:
  • a brief summary of your key musical and academic interests and experience
  • for those wishing to be considered as performers; filmed excerpts of you performing two or three contrasting pieces (approximately 10 minutes).
  • for those wishing to be considered as composers or producers; a portfolio of scores or recordings (approximately 10 minutes).

If you wish to be considered with more than one specialism you should provide portfolio submissions appropriate to all specialisms with which you wish to apply.

Improve your application by including:
  • Strong potential and/or skills in your stated specialism.
  • Evidence of curiosity and interest in exploring concepts and ideas through your own research, reading, writing, listening and practice.
  • Evidence of thoughtful reflection, independence and autonomy.
  • Demonstrable interest and/or experience in other specialisms (e.g. if you are applying specifically as a Production or Composition specialist, you may play an instrument and it will be helpful to include an excerpt of you performing. If you are applying specifically as a Performance  specialist, you may have written songs and it will be helpful to include one or more of your own pieces).
Requirements for applicants wishing to study COMPOSITION or PRODUCTION:

Collate a portfolio of examples that demonstrate your experience writing or producing for different styles and genres. Your portfolio may be submitted as recordings and/or scores, and should be approximately 10 minutes long.

NOTE: If you are not applying as a performance specialist, but wish to study on performance focused modules, please include a performance portfolio.

Requirements for applicants wishing to study PERFORMANCE

You are asked to submit a video of two or three contrasting pieces. You should select pieces that correlate with your preference for study:

  • If you wish to study performance with a classical/traditional focus please submit performances that reflect these styles.
  • If you wish to study performance with a contemporary commercial music (CCM)/pop focus please submit performances that reflect these styles (e.g. rock, pop, jazz, hip hop, EDM, RnB, country, funk, salsa, bossa nova).

Where possible, it is desirable to play with accompaniment appropriate to the style of music. This may include backing tracks. If you are auditioning with classical repertoire and are unable to find a pianist to accompany you, you may play unaccompanied. We ask that you keep the total duration of your pieces to within ten minutes.

Your repertoire should reflect your musical interests, and show versatility within those interests. Contrast in the pieces will vary according to the repertoire, and will explore variation in tempo and character.

Please note that if you are offered a place, it will be with the expectation that you undertake performance studies in the style, and on the instrument, with which you have applied. If you wish to apply with multiple instruments please rank, numerically, your preference for principal instrument study in the form that will be provided.

Note: your work will only be viewed by administrative and academic staff involved in the BA (Hons) Music admissions process in accordance with the University’s GDPR code of practice. You can find more information at this link: Privacy Policy

Portfolio Support for Contextual Applicants

Edinburgh Napier is committed to increasing the number of contextual applicants coming to university and extra support sessions are offered to develop portfolios for these applicants.

Following up on your UCAS application, contextual applicants are invited to join online support sessions. These support sessions do not guarantee offer of a place but do help you present your work in the best light.

Support sessions consist of weekly 1-hour group workshops, held online. A tutor will work to help you develop your portfolio in sessions that will be held in groups of around 5 applicants per group. Sessions provide an opportunity to:

    • Show what you are working on
    • Get peer and tutor feedback on your content
    • Discuss any issues you are experiencing in producing the portfolio
    • Get support in creating the portfolio

Note: This means that offers from Edinburgh Napier may come in slightly later than other institutions as a result of the extra support being offered. 

To see if you are eligible to be considered as a contextual applicant please visit the below link.