Find a course



BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code


Start dates

September 2019 / September 2020



Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: 5 - 8 years


School of Arts

UCAS Tariff Points



Our Music degree develops your ability to make, think about and work in music. We cover;

  • music technology
  • composition
  • performance
  • music theory
  • understanding the context of music. 

You can shape your course to reflect your interests. Either choose a range of modules for a broad learning experience or study one of four specialist strands;

  • music technology
  • composition
  • performance
  • musicology.

Knowledge of music technology and practical music-making is key for a 21st Century musician. So live projects with sound-making and music technology form an integral part of the course.  You can develop your skills from a music business perspective through work experience and an international field trip. 

Our staff are active researchers. We have the highest amount of world-leading research in Oxford Brookes University (REF: 2014). 

On graduating you'll be ready for a range of careers in;

  • composition
  • performance
  • music production
  • education and music teaching
  • arts management.

As well as postgraduate study and careers beyond the music industry.

Student with music book

How to apply

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29


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.

(A-level Music welcome, but not essential)

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.

Entry requirements

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.

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.

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

Many of our courses consider applications for entry with credit for prior learning. Each application is individually assessed by our credit entry tutors. 

If you would like more information about whether or not you may be eligible for the award of credit, for example from an HND, partly-completed degree or foundation degree, please contact our Admissions team.

We operate 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.

Application process

Full time Home / EU applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home / EU 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/EU full time

Home/EU part time
£750 per single module

International full time

Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to agreement by Office for Students)

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

Home/EU full time

Home/EU part time
£750 per single module

International full time

Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to agreement by Office for Students)

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

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 below.

Financial support and scholarships

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

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;

  • Western Music History covers classical and popular music
  • Music in Society considers how different types of music interact with broader culture over time. 

Our Composition, Technology and Performance modules will train you in different genres of music. 

As your degree progresses, you can choose to specialise in one genre. You will take modules which focus on a particular music of your choice. Or you can take a mixture of modules throughout. 

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. 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.

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

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.