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BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code


Start dates

September 2023 / September 2024



Course length

Full time: 3 years, or 4 years with a work placement

Part time: 5 - 8 years


School of Arts

UCAS Tariff Points



Create, develop and experiment with music that you’re passionate about through this flexible degree.

We cover music from practice to technology and history to theory. You'll explore topics from classical to pop to film music and beyond.

You'll study:

  • Composition
  • Performance
  • Musicology
  • Recording

You’ll choose whether to specialise or mix and match modules after year one.

You’ll join a lively music community. We have a variety of ensembles and student-led groups contributing to the musical culture of Oxford city.

You’ll work in the music industry. A placement in year two and live projects for real clients gives you professional experience through our industry links. The International Field trip explores music making abroad.

You'll be taught by leading academics and practitioners, we ensure you explore and are ambitious with your interests. You also have the option of third year placement / internship to build on your learning. Our students succeed in a range of careers and further study, including producing, composing, performing, and teaching.

Student with music book

How to apply

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29


Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27


Further offer details

We welcome applicants with a wide range of experiences and expertise in music. A-level Music is welcome, but not essential.

Offers can also include music qualifications that attract UCAS Tariff Points (eg ABRSM, Trinity / Guildhall, Rock school).

We welcome applications from candidates with alternative or non-traditional qualifications, and from mature students. There is no requirement for A level Music or music grade exams.

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

Selection process

We welcome applicants from any musical background. If you fulfill the entry criteria (see above), then we will assess your application and make you an offer. If we are not sure whether your music qualifications are suitable, then you will normally be invited to demonstrate your ability through a portfolio and interview once you have made your application.

Whether or not you expect to be formally interviewed, after you have applied, you are welcome to book an appointment with a member of the teaching team, to ask any questions about the course, or just to get to know us and show us your work. Email us at to make an appointment, or for queries about the application process. We would love to hear from you.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Many of our courses consider applications for entry part-way through the course for students who have credit from previous learning or relevant professional experience.

Find out more about transferring to Brookes. If you'd like to talk through your options, please contact our Admissions team.

Application process

Full time Home (UK) applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home (UK) applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time international applicants can also apply through UCAS

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2022 / 23
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Learning and assessment

Our flexible course draws on staff expertise. You will;

  • engage with traditional and digital technologies of music making
  • develop your skills in critical thinking and self-reflection
  • explore the world of music through the International Field Trip and Work Experience modules.

Our modules examine interactions or similarities between different musical genres, as well as considering their differences. In our musicology modules;

  • ‘Introduction to Music History’ and ‘Exploring Popular Music’ covers classical and popular music
  • Understanding Music on Screen covers film, television, and video game music
  • Music in Society considers how different types of music interact with broader culture over time.

Different modules encompassing music composition, performance and integrating technology into your musical practice will develop your skills and thinking for a career within music, across a variety of genres. The choice of modules will allow you to concentrate on one of these areas in order to specialise, or to combine studies in these areas in order to gain a wider perspective.

Student setting up microphone

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Year 1

The first year is now entirely compulsory and provides introductions to composition, musicology, recording, music theory and performance, covering a wide range of music from classical, to film, to popular music. Listening, Recording Composing and Song writing, Film and Media Composition introduce you to contemporary practices in composition, sound arts, field recording, phonography, listening, sound studies, songwriting and composition. Introduction to Music History, Exploring Popular Music, Critical Listening and Music Theory, and Understanding Music on Screen introduce you to thinking historically and critically about music, musicians and musical institutions, past and present. Performance Portfolio and Event Production gives you the opportunity to organise and present a mini music festival. Instrumental tuition is included as part of this module.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Compulsory modules

In the second year, you start to develop specialisms by choosing particular modules and pathways. All students take three compulsory modules (Music International Field Trip, Work Experience, and Music in Society), giving you the opportunity to engage with music and sound in a European city. You will also critically reflect on a work placement in the music industry, and develop an understanding of music in its historical and contemporary contexts.

Optional modules

Composition Strand

If you choose a Composition strand, you might take Practical Musicianship Skills; Song writing, Film and Media Composition; Recording Studio Practice, and Music Independent Study in performance or composition. You will develop your practical or vocational musicianship skills, advance your skills as a composer for visual media, engage with analogue and digital tools in the recording studio, and highlight your skills as a composer or performer.

Music Technology Strand

If you choose a Music Technology strand, you might take Song writing, Film and Media Composition 2; Recording Studio Practice, and Group Performance in the City. On these modules, you will further develop your skills as a composer for visual media, and be introduced to analogue and digital tools in the recording studio. You will also produce a 25-minute concert in the community.

Musicology or Performance Strand

If you choose a Musicology or Performance strand, you might take Music Analysis, Practical Musicianship Skills, and Group Performance in the City. These modules encourage close listening and analysis of musical scores from the 18th and 19th century, a development of musicianship skills (practical or vocational), and the opportunity to produce a 25-minute concert in the community.

Year 3 (placement year)

Optional modules

Career Development Placement

Career Development Placement The aim of this module is to develop the professional profile and professional confidence of a student through experiential learning opportunities and engagement with external organisations by undergoing work placements, internships and industry experiences. It aims to enable students to manage their own learning and self-direction through identifying opportunities that align to their disciplinary ambitions, situating their practice in a professional context. It offers a range of options including an Enterprise Residency where students can operate as freelancers and develop ideas for a start-up business with the full support of Brookes Enterprise Support.

Year 4 (or year 3 if no placement)

Compulsory modules

Major Project

This module can take the shape of a written dissertation, a major composition portfolio, or a significant music technology project.

Optional modules

Music Technology Strand

If you choose a Music Technology strand, you might take Professional skills for the portfolio musician, Music Technology: Editing and Mixing, and Advanced Composition). These modules will develop your skills as a portfolio musician, as well as advancing your recording studio skillset. You will liaise and collaborate with composers and sound artists, and curate a project for a sound arts festival.

Musicology Strand

If you choose a Musicology strand you might take Professional skills for the portfolio musician, Music journalism: history and practice), Advanced Musicology, Music and the Dramatic Arts. These modules provide the skills and strategies for a portfolio career, develop skills and historical contexts surrounding music journalism, and further advance your musicological research experience in the dramatic arts and a wide range of historical periods, past and present.

Performance Strand

If you choose a Performance strand you might take Professional skills for the portfolio musician, Advanced Musicology, Music and the Dramatic Arts, and Advanced Solo Performance. As well as developing skills for a portfolio career, and advancing musicological research skills, you will produce and perform a 40 minute public concert with the support of specialist tutors on your instrument.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

Teaching and learning methods vary depending on activities.

In Year 1 you will study core skills and theory. Learning activities will include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • individual and group projects
  • performances
  • coursework

In Years 2 and 3 you can specialize in one or more musical genres, as well as exploring music in the context of a European City and the creative industries through the International Field Trip and Work Experience modules.

Example routes through the programme include:

  • Music Technology Route
  • Musicology Route
  • Performance Route
  • Composition Route

Learning activities vary depending on the route chosen and include:

  • International Field Trip
  • Work placement
  • Recording Studio Practice
  • Group Performance
  • Song writing
  • Professional skills
  • Music Technology: Editing and Mixing Advanced Composition
  • Practical Musicianship Skills
  • Music History
  • Written dissertation
  • Solo Performance
  • Composition Music Project
  • Film and Media Composition.

Field trips

Field trips have included:

  • visits to local places of musical interest, such as the Bodleian Library and the Bate Collection of the University of Music
  • seeing an opera production at the English National Opera at the London Coliseum
  • sound walks in urban and rural spaces
  • music trade shows and exhibitions
  • international field trip to Milan.

A separate fee will apply to an optional field trip. Please contact our Enquiry Centre (see 'Contact us') if you would like more information about the field trip(s) on this course.


Assessment methods used on this course

The course is 100% assessed through coursework. All group work is supported and monitored closely to ensure fairness and maximum participation.  

This course encourages you to develop professional skills and you will have the opportunity to:

  • use traditional and digital recording tools
  • compose, perform and record in a wide variety of genres
  • collaborate with other students from across the School of Arts
  • make a podcast vlog or blog
  • design your own research and/or creative projects
  • take part in, organise and run live and online events.

Study abroad

You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

After you graduate

Career prospects

Graduates from Brookes Music have taken up positions in the music industry and the media, arts administration, teaching and business as well as successful freelance roles. Many have also continued their study at postgraduate level.

Our music degree develops general skills appropriate for careers where a lively, questioning and organised mind is required, whether inside the creative industries or in other areas of work. 

Recently music graduates from Brookes have found employment with:

  • Dolby laboratories
  • Welsh National Opera (performance)
  • concert promoters Pegasus Theatre, Music at Oxford and Oxford Contemporary Music
  • Royal Academy of Music, Guildhall, Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and Rock School
  • international publishing companies Faber Music, Boosey & Hawkes and Oxford University Press
  • secondary schools in the region and beyond, eg Merchants’ Academy Bristol and Didcot Girls School
  • BBC Radio and television.

Further study

A growing number of our undergraduate students continue studying at university after they have graduated, demonstrating the academic excellence of the music programme. Many opt for a PGCE, while others study on MA and PhD level.

Oxford Brookes offers its own MA Music with four specialist pathways and the opportunity to study for a PhD in musicology or composition.

Student profiles

Our Staff

Dr Matt Lawson

Dr Matt Lawson is musicologist with a particular interest in music for film, television, and video games.

Read more about Matt

Free language courses

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.