BMus Music

Start date
September
Duration
3 years
UCAS code
W302
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee.
Fees for 2019/20:
£9,250 (Home/EU)
£18,360 (Overseas)
More detail.

Music at Birmingham has evolved throughout the past century to give you unparalleled facilities, opportunities and student experience - blending tradition with fearless exploration of contemporary developments.

Your degree will encompass musicology, performance and composition, with opportunities to specialise in one of these disciplines. In addition, all students receive a scholarship for lessons for up to two instruments (including voice) at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire or through the Centre for Early Music Performance and Research.

You will benefit from some of the best facilities for music study and practice in the country, including our state-of-the-art Bramall Music Building and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, with its magnificent Art Deco concert hall. You will have access to practice rooms, electro-acoustic music studios and early instruments. Our library resources include listening booths, extensive audio and text collections, as well as Special Collections centred on Baroque music and 20th century English music, including Elgar diaries, manuscript scores and early editions. This student experience is complemented by a diverse and eclectic array of music venues in the city of Birmingham, and music-making opportunities in abundance through our active Music Society, the university's largest and oldest society. 

There are so many interesting modules to choose from. You can specialise in your particular interests, such as musicology, musical analysis, performance and composition. The course is accompanied by brilliant extra-curricular opportunities that are available in the University of Birmingham Music Society!

Ed

Why Study this Course?

  • Exceptional facilities - As well as the University's magnificent Bramall Music Building  and Barber Institute of Fine Arts, the Department of Music houses a Balinese Gamelan and a large collection of Early Instruments, upon which it is possible to receive tuition. We are also home to the Centre for Early Music Performance and Research (CEMPR); the Centre for Composition and Associated Studies (COMPASS); and Birmingham Electroacoustic Music Studios (BEAST).
  • Plentiful performance opportunities - You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to making music. You will have access to a wide variety of choirs, orchestras, ensembles, music groups and musical theatre organised by the Department of Music, University Music Society and the Guild of Students.
  • Excellent employability development - 100% of our students enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017).
  • Exciting variety of modules - Birmingham offers a stimulating balance of both theoretical and vocational modules with opportunities to discover something new, explore a current interest, and even specialise in Musicology, Performance or Composition. As a result, you will graduate as a well-rounded musician with a background in all major musical disciplines. 
  • Birmingham: the city of music festivals - Alongside the Music Department's student-organised Summer Festival of Music, the University also hosts its annual Valefest - the largest student-run charity Music festival in Europe. The city of Birmingham itself is home to an eclectic offering of annual music celebrations, from Jazz, Funk and Soul, to Experimental, Hip-Hop and Swing. There is always something happening in our diverse music scene for a well-earned study break. 

Modules

Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2019. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

First year

Compulsory Modules

  • Music History I and II (40)
  • Tonal Harmony and Counterpoint I and II (20)
  • Solo Performance I and II (20)
  • Paper Composition (10)
  • Studio Composition (10)

Detailed description of Year 1 compulsory modules

Second year 

Compulsory Modules

  • Critical Musicology (20)
  • Analysis of Music (20)

Detailed description of Year 2 compulsory modules

You will also take 80 credits of optional modules

Year abroad

You can apply to study abroad for a year in an approved university around the world. If you achieve a grade of 2.1 or above in your first year then you will be invited to apply for a Year Abroad in your second year. If your application is successful, you will go abroad in your third year and return to us for your final year. Find out more.

Final year

Compulsory Module

  • Independent Study in Musicology, Studio Composition, Paper Composition or Solo Performance (20 or 40)

Detailed descriptions of final year independent study modules

You may also put a particular emphasis on one of these subjects by choosing it as a Special Subject module

You will also take 60-100 credits of your remaining credits in optional modules

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2019, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Fees for 2019/20 are as follows:

  • Home / EU: £9,250
  • Overseas: £18,360

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, please see our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.


For students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

Tuition fees when studying abroad

For those spending a whole academic year abroad (where available):

  • Students who are classed as home/EU for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as overseas for fee purposes are required to pay 50% of their normal annual tuition fee

For those studying abroad for just one semester (where available), normal annual tuition fees apply.

Note - Study abroad opportunities vary between courses; please see the course description for details of study abroad options offered.

How To Apply

Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
AAB
Required subjects and grades:
A level Music grade A. BTEC applicants also require A level Music grade A. Where applicants are not taking Music at A level then ABRSM grade 7-8 theory is acceptable in addition to the three A levels at AAB.
General Studies:
Accepted.

IB Diploma:
6,6,5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall.

BTEC qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM, plus an A at A-level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Diploma: DD, plus an A at A-level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D, plus AB at A-level, including an A in the required A-level subject/s mentioned above.

Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements.

International Students

We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

University of Birmingham students are part of an academic elite and learn from world-leading experts. We will challenge you to become an independent and self-motivated learner, qualities that are highly sought after by employers.

You will have a diverse learning experience, including:

  • lectures
  • small group tutorials
  • independent study
  • and peer group learning, such as delivering presentations with your classmates

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to Higher Education.

  • Personal tutors - You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.
  • Wellbeing officers - We have dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond.
  • Academic Skills Centre - The centre aims to help you become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.
  • Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) - the AWAS team will provide guidance on writing essays and dissertations at University-level. You will receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects. Support is given in a variety of ways, such as small-group workshops, online activities, tutorials and email correspondence.
  • Student experience - Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into university. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.

Teaching staff

Students at the University of Birmingham are taught by a mixture of professors, senior lecturers, lecturers and doctoral researchers, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. Many of our teaching staff have published important works about their areas of expertise, whilst others have taught at international institutions and can offer unique perspectives of their subjects.

You can find out more about the members of staff (including their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest) in their academic profiles linked below.

Seminars, workshops and studio work are interactive sessions that develop subject-specific skills such as harmony, counterpoint, composition, analysis and historical understanding, as well as generic skills such as communication and essay writing.

Instrumental and vocal lessons are one-to-one and usually take place at the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Contact hours

Although the contact hours vary by year of study in Music, over the course of your degree you can expect an average of 11 contact hours per week, comprising of a mixture of lectures, seminars and one-to-one tutorials, plus a further average of 6 hours per week spent in ensemble rehearsals.

Assessment Methods

Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:

  • coursework, such as essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • and formal exams

Feedback - you will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so you can learn from each assignment. You will also be given feedback on any exams that you take. If you should fail an exam, we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is provided to help you prepare for future exams.

 

To test your knowledge and develop your core skills we use a range of different assessment methods, including essays, compositions (on paper and in electronic files), teacher reports, instrumental/vocal recitals, end-of-year examinations, listening tests, critical reports on concerts and programme notes

Year one

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

For a detailed breakdown of the contact hours associated with each module available on this programme, please visit:  https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/registry/policy/programmemodule/handbook/index.aspx 

 

Year two

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

For a detailed breakdown of the contact hours associated with each module available on this programme, please visit:  https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/registry/policy/programmemodule/handbook/index.aspx 

 

Year three

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

For a detailed breakdown of the contact hours associated with each module available on this programme, please visit:  https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/registry/policy/programmemodule/handbook/index.aspx 

 

100% of our students enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017).

Our Music graduates have a wide range of skills that are highly valued by employers in many sectors, such as:

  • Communication
  • Lateral thinking
  • Creativity
  • Personal organisation
  • Event management
  • Teamwork
  • Entrepreneurship to succeed in a competitive field
  • Analytical skills
  • Researching, analysing and interpreting information
  • Handling complex information
  • Forming concise and articulate arguments
  • Time management and workload prioritisation

Our graduates become professional musicians, pursue postgraduate study, or progress to highly successful careers. Employers include:

  • City of London Sinfonia
  • Faber & Faber
  • City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO)
  • The BBC
  • Purcell School
  • KPMG
  • Island Records UK
  • Cartwright Communications
  • Royal Opera House
  • Royal Academy of Music
  • Government
  • Education institutions

Many take management jobs in orchestras, music venues and other arts and performance organisations. Job titles include:

  • Accompanist Composer
  • International Events Manager
  • Lecturer Music Teacher
  • Orchestra Administrator
  • Trainee Orchestra Manager
  • Performance Music Assistant
  • Piano Teacher
  • Film Composer
  • Marketing Assistant

Famous alumni include:

  • Natasha Marsh, BA Music and Drama, 1996 - operatic soprano
  • Gabriel Prokofiev, BMus Music, 1997 - composer and DJ with works performed at the Proms (Sergei was his grandfather)
  • David Murray, BMus Music, 1975 and 2012 Honorary Graduate - Director of the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales

Graduates return to campus to talk to current students about their careers, how to find opportunities and the wide variety of roles available in the industry. Recent speakers hold positions such as Teacher; Jazz Festival Manager at Cheltenham Festivals; Music Therapist at Music Therapy Works; Customer Service and Admin Assistant at DanceXChange; and Assistant Registrar at the University of Birmingham.

Developing your career

Employers target University of Birmingham students for their diverse skill-set and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of our wide range of opportunities you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

  • Careers events - we hold events covering careers in teaching, event management, marketing and working with charities to help you meet potential employers and learn more about these sectors.
  • Global Challenge - you can apply to work overseas on an expenses-paid placement during your summer vacation through our Global Challenge initiative.
  • Work experience bursary - we encourage you to apply your skills in the workplace by undertaking internships in the summer. Our work experience bursaries allow you to apply for funding to support you during unpaid internships.
  • Cultural Internships - our innovative Cultural Internships offer graduates the opportunity for a six month paid internship at a leading cultural institution in the West Midlands. These internships will give you professional experience to set you apart in a competitive graduate market. Our current partners include Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham REP, Birmingham Royal Ballet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, Library of Birmingham.

There are also internships available at our own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you will need to think about engaging in some extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and network of contacts.

  • Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme - our College of Arts and Law Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme enables interested students to work on a current academic research project being run by one of our academic researchers. Undergraduate research scholars gain work experience over the summer after their first or second year and have the chance to develop skills in both collaborative and independent research.
  • Personal Skills Award - our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.
  • Guild of Students - there is a vast number of student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students, which cover a wide variety of interests.