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BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code


Start dates

September 2022 / September 2023



Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: 5 - 8 years


School of Arts

UCAS Tariff Points



Create, develop and experiment with music that you’re passionate about. This flexible music degree is designed to cultivate your interests and ambitions. 

This contemporary course covers all areas of music from practice to technology and history to theory. You'll cover topics from classical to film music and beyond. In your first year you'll study:

  • composition
  • performance
  • musicology
  • and recording.

You can then decide to specialise in a particular area or take a mixture of modules.

On this course you’ll gain experience in the music industry. A work placement in your second year and live projects for real clients will give you professional experience. 

Whether you’re pursuing grades or self taught, this course will support you to gain the skills needed to pursue music further. Our teaching focuses on ensuring that you can explore and be ambitious with your interests.

You’ll be part of a lively music community, Oxford Brookes is home to a variety of ensembles and a range of student-led groups. Oxford also offers an inspiring base for studying as it has a rich music culture. 

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.

For more information about how we are supporting applicants impacted by Covid-19, please see our information for applicants page.

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

You will normally be invited to demonstrate your ability through a portfolio and interview.

You will be asked to provide a portfolio comprising:

  • a sample of your creative work (for example, a composition, songwriting or producing).
  • a video or sound recording of you performing (this can be from any style of music). For example, you might sing and play guitar, perform a DJ set, play your own composition, or play a classical piece.
  • a short piece of your written work, up to 1000 words.

We will invite you for an interview with a member of the music team, online or over the phone, so that we get to know you and your creative work. More importantly, this is also an opportunity for you to talk about your musical experiences, your expectations from the course and your plans for the future.


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 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 / EU full time

Home (UK) full time
£9,250 (subject to OfS confirmation)

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module (subject to OfS confirmation)

International / EU full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2021 / 22
Home (UK) full time

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

International / EU full time

2022 / 23
Home (UK) full time
£9,250 (subject to OfS confirmation)

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module (subject to OfS confirmation)

International / EU full time

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.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

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, if any, are detailed below.

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements. In the event of changes made to the government advice and social distancing rules by national or local government, the University may need to make further alterations to the published course content. Detailed information on the changes will be sent to every student on confirmation in August to ensure you have all the information before you come to Oxford Brookes.

Learning and assessment

Our flexible course draws on staff expertise. You will;

  • engage with traditional and digital technologies of music making
  • and develop your skills in critical thinking and self-reflection.

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

  • Key Moments in Music Past and Present 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 and module combinations 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. Key Moments in Music Past and Present, 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

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 that 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 Year 2 and 3 you can specialize in one or more musical genres.

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:

  • 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


Assessment methods used on this course

Assessment varies depend on your route through the course.

Methods may include:

  • Coursework
  • Project work
  • Dissertation
  • Assessed performance

After you graduate

Career prospects

Our graduates are good team players and team leaders, who have taken up positions in the record industry and the media, arts administration, teaching, the civil service and business. Others have continued their study at postgraduate level.

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

Recently music graduates from Brookes have found employment with:

  • Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (business management)
  • Welsh National Opera (performance)
  • concert promoters Music at Oxford and Oxford Contemporary Music
  • administrative and managerial roles at the Royal Academy of Music and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM)
  • international publishing companies such as 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.

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.

Our Staff

Dr Matt Lawson

Dr Matt Lawson is musicologist with a particular interest in music for film and television, as well as 19th century music.

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.