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BA (Hons) - single

School of Arts

What you will study
You will develop your abilities in making music, thinking about music and working in music.    This course covers music technology, composition, performance, music theory and the understanding of the context of music. Skills are developed from a music business perspective through work experience and an international field trip. There is flexibility for you to shape the course to reflect your interests. You can focus on one of four specialist strands, namely music technology, composition, performance or musicology, or study a range of modules for a broader learning experience. 

What next?
Studying Music at Oxford Brookes will prepare you for a range of careers in composition, performance and music production, education and music teaching, arts administration and management as well as postgraduate study and graduate careers beyond the music industry. Practical music making and an understanding of music technology is a key requirement for the 21st century musician, therefore this programme includes a series of live projects where sound-making and music technology form an integral part of the degree.


Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 104

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus, Headington Hill

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: 5 - 8 years

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • Benefit from the development of a new £25 million building opening in 2020 featuring state of the art Music Studios and a Media Arts Theatre.
  • You will engage with sound and music in a major European city through an International Field Trip which is included as part of the programme. 
  • Work experience and working in music are key component of preparing you for a music career beyond your time at university.
  • Enjoy a wealth of rich opportunities to be involved in live music events in the University and in the city.
  • You will be taught by academics who are active researchers in their fields (with the highest concentration of world-leading research in the University [REF 2014])

The Music degree at Oxford Brookes draws on staff expertise to create a degree aimed at students who are capable performers in contemporary, popular, or classical genres, who are engaged with traditional as well as digital technologies of music-making through different media, and who are keen to develop their intellectual potential for thinking critically and self-reflectively. The programme prepares graduates for careers in composition, performance and music production, education and music teaching, arts administration and management across a range of musical genres, as well as for traditional graduate careers beyond the music industry. The course can also lead on to postgraduate study at MA and PhD level.

We’ve designed the course to be as flexible as possible while still providing a strong grounding in the broad range of music and skills needed to be a creative musician in the 21st century. In this era of music streaming, any and all types of music are at our fingertips and this course reflects that by not offering modules that focus on one type of music to exclusion of another, instead looking at interactions or similarities between different musical genres, as well as considering their differences. Thus in the musicology modules, Western music history covers classical and popular music, and Music in Society considers how different types of music interact with broader culture over time. The composition, technology and performance modules also offer training across different genres. As the degree progresses there is opportunity to specialise in one genre or another, completing your assessments within modules focused on a particular music of your choice, or you can continue to mix and match throughout.

Study modules

As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you choose from may vary from the ones shown here.

Year 1

The first year is now entirely compulsory and gives students a good grounding in 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, and sound studies. You will also investigate contemporary practices in songwriting and composition for film and media, and will be introduced to core practices in songwriting; fundamentals of film composition and the creation of film soundtracks.
  • 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. You will engage with central principles of music theory across genres, and examine key concepts in film music theory. 
  • 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

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. 
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.

Year 3

In your final year, you will take one compulsory module, Major Project. This module can take the shape of a written dissertation, a major composition portfolio, or a significant music technology project.

  • Students on a Musicology strand might 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.
  • Students on the Performance strand 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.
  • Students on the Music Technology and Composition strands might 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. 

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

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.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

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.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module. 2019/20: £750 per single module.

International - full time: 2018/19: £13,150 2019/20: £13,410

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU 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 and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

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 in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 104

A-Level: BCC or equivalent (A-level Music welcome, but not essential)

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

IB Diploma: 29 points


Offers can also include music qualifications that attract UCAS Tariff Points (eg ABRSM, Trinity / Guildhall, Rock school) in place of an A level. 

We also enourage prospective students with non-traditional qualifications to apply.  There is no requirement or preference for A level Music or music grade exams.

Specific entry requirements

We welcome applicants with a wide range of experiences and expertise in music.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

Selection process

Applicants will normally be invited to demonstrate their 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 (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 [grade 6 and above])
  • 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, by Skype, phone or in person, 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.

Once you have received an offer to study Music at Oxford Brookes, you will be invited to an Applicant Day in March.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

How to apply

International applicants

Apply direct »

For full-time study you can also apply through UCAS.

International applications

International students who are unable to attend an interview will need to submit a piece of written work, preferably in English, and either a portfolio of compositions or a recording of a recent performance. This will be requested by the Admissions Team once the application has been received.

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

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford has a dynamic music scene with music from across the spectrum. It is home to historic concert venues such as the Sheldonian Theatre and the Holywell Music Room (England's first concert hall), but also a thriving pop, rock and jazz scene.

Brookes Music students have the opportunity to hone their performance skills in a wide range of venues in Oxford, from new music in the O2 Academy to chamber music in the Holywell Music Room.

For their final-year dissertation project, Brookes Music students can gain access to the resources of the world-renowned Bodleian Library.

The musical venues in London, eg the English National Opera, the Wigmore Hall or Southbank Centre, can easily be reached by coach.

Specialist facilities

Our music facilities are situated in the Richard Hamilton Building, which includes two lecture rooms, seven practice rooms including a band room, acoustically isolated studios and a music editing suite. These facilities are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to music students. Several practice and seminar rooms are equipped with grand pianos, including a Steinway in the Green Room in historic Headington Hill Hall, and a Yamaha concert grand in the Harcourt Hill Chapel. There are organs on the Wheatley and Harcourt Hill campuses, and the department owns three drum kits, a range of percussion instruments as well as bass and guitar amplifiers. Students can store their instruments and amplifiers in a secure locker room. 


The department has three electroacoustic studios, two of which can be combined in a multi-studio format when required for large-scale recordings. A selection of microphones from AKG, Beyerdynamic, Rode, Sennheiser and Shure are available for booking along with the studios. 

Studio 1:

  • Avid Pro-Tools HD and Apple Logic recording/editing systems on Apple Mac hardware
  • 5.1 Genelec monitoring system with option for Dolby Atmos format mixing
  • Synthesizers include Kurzweill K2000, Roland Fantom and EMU Proteus systems

Studio 2: 

  • Avid Pro-Tools and Apple Logic recording/editing systems on Apple Mac hardware
  • Genelec 1038 stereo monitoring system
  • Vintage keyboards include a Hammond Organ and an EMS VCS-3 analogue synthesizer.
  • Various backline including drum kit, guitar and bass amplifiers, etc.

Software includes Avid Pro-Tools, Adobe Audition, Logic, CDP, Kontakt, Pure Data, CSound, Sibelius, Cycling '74 MAX, GRM.


The Digital Edit Suite features iMacs with:

  • Fully compatible with windows hard-drives*
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Edition (including Adobe Audition)
  • Final Cut Pro X
  • Garage Band
  • Audacity and MPEGStreamclip Freeware

Richard Hamilton Building is equipped with wireless internet access.

The University library, located across the road at Gipsy Lane, is well stocked with music books, scores, CDs, DVDs and videos. The library also offers access to a wide range of e-books, electronic journals and databases which are indispensable for advanced study in music. 

Students are trained to use the library's music resources from their first semester on progressively until the final-year dissertation. Our dedicated subject librarian is always happy to help with student questions. All Oxford Brookes students undertaking research may also apply to join the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

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. 100% of our graduates are in employment or further study 6 months after graduation.

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.

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