About us

The Department of Music is one of the most distinguished in the UK, with a history stretching back to 1905 when Edward Elgar was appointed the University's first Professor of Music, and looking forward to the latest cutting edge developments in the practice and study of music.


Department Second in the UK for Research and Third for Student Satisfaction

The Department is recognised internationally for both its high level of student satisfaction and the quality of its research output.

Beautiful spaces

  • Our world class facilities include the £16 million Bramall Music Building, which houses the Elgar Concert Hall and the Dome Room, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts with its award-winning art gallery and art-deco concert hall. Together these provide spaces perfectly suited for everything including chamber music, electronic music, jazz, and orchestra concerts.
  • The Barber Music Library is one of the best in the country, with Special Collections centred on 20th-century English music (including Elgar - diaries, manuscript scores and early editions) and Baroque music.
  • Birmingham has one of the most beautiful campuses outside of Oxbridge, with listed red-brick buildings, extensive leisure facilities, and canal-side walking paths; all only minutes from the buzzing centre of the UK's second city with its vibrant musical life and culture possibilities.

Vibrant performance and music-making opportunities

Cutting edge activities

Famous former students

  • Notable graduates include conductor Sir Edward Downes, composers John Casken and Peter Wishart; singers Natasha Marsh, Geraldine McGreevy, Diana Moore, Susan Parry, Carolyn Sampson and Richard Wistreich; instrumentalists Ian Hockley and Emma Murphy; opera producers Michael McCarthy and John La Bouchardiere; musicologists Donald Burrows, Tim Carter, Ian Fenlon, Elaine Gould and Alison Latham; Elaine Padmore, Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House; Richard King, Managing Director of Faber Music; and Colin Lawson, Director of the Royal College of Music.
  • Numerous former students teach at institutions internationally and throughout the UK, including at Harvard University, the University of Manchester, the University of Sheffield, Edinburgh University, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, the University of Malaysia, Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, and many more.