Music BA (Hons)
Studying, creating and performing music of all eras in a lively atmosphere of creative activity and scholarly endeavour.
We offer the opportinity to study a variety of music styles from different perspectives.
Why choose Bangor University for this course?
- Music at Bangor has been placed 1st in the UK by the 2016 National Student Survey
- BA Music scored 100% overall student satisfaction
- We offer a large number ofoptions, allowing you to shape your course to reflect your interests and strengths. Our enthusiastic staff comprises active composers, musicologists and performers, whose expertise covers all angles of musical study.
- Much of the teaching is in small groups, providing a stimulating and supportive learning environment. Options include ensemble coaching, tuition in conducting and community-based projects.
- Our staff work at the cutting edge of research in music and all have international reputations in their fields.
- Our concert series includes performances concerts of chamber music (including residences by Ensemble Cymru and the Benyounes Quartet, who also give masterclasses), recitals by leading singers and instrumentalists, concerts of acousmatic music by Electroacoustic Wales, and regular visits by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. In addition, there is an annual New Music Festival. Tickets are available to students at greatly reduced prices.
- We have a large choir and a symphony orchestra, a chamber choir, early music and opera groups and various other ensembles. Performers have the opportunity to play concertos with the University Symphony Orchestra. Pieces composed by our students are performed frequently by visiting professionals. The University Music Society also runs an orchestra and choir; other Students’ Union societies include a brass band, a jazz band, and a musicals society.
- We have a new Arts and Innovation Centre, 2 fine concert halls, and two buildings of our own, with teaching rooms, rehearsal space, study areas, social learning spaces, and a number of soundproofed individual practice rooms.
- The School has a full complement of grand and upright pianos, harpsichords, organs, harps, percussion and world instruments. Our 4 studios are equipped to international standards for recording, research and composition. Our Library has over 3,000 CDs and 20,000 scores.
- Music Performance Scholarships are offered to the most promising instrumentalist and/or vocalists.
- We have an extensive range of electronic resources, including the Naxos Music Library and Grove Music Online. There are also fullyequipped open-access computers, with Sibelius and other music software installed.
- We have a strong engagement with
and commitment to the study of music in Welsh culture. The School is home to the Archive of Traditional Welsh Music (which also contains over 300 world instruments), the Welsh Popular Music Archive (which includes a significant library of records), and the Crossley-Holland Collection (which includes over 600 unique world instruments).
Key Facts from UniStats
You will have around 12 hours of lectures, seminars and tutorials each week. Solo Performance is taught through an innovative combination of individual tuition, workshops and masterclasses. In addition, you will spend time on background reading, listening to music, completing essays and coursework and preparing for seminars as well as rehearsing and performing in ensembles, choirs and orchestras. Several modules include field trips, for example to concerts, record companies and music publishers, and we have excellent links with leading organisations in the UK, including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Sain (Records) etc. Others involve short placements outside the University (for example Music in the Community). You may expect to spend between one-third and two-thirds of the final year working on independent music projects.
The course is interesting and allows us to be creative. The lecturers are friendly and nice to students. Also we have sufficient time to have one-to-one meeting with lecturers.Wai Ting Mak
What will you study on this course?
You take between 80 and 120 credits in music (you need to complete 120 credits each year).
- The Study of Music
- Harmony and Counterpoint
- Solo Performance
- Sonic Art
- Music Cultures of the World
- Making Music.
You take between 100 and 120 credits in music.
- At least 2 of the following: Musicology or Composition or Performance
- At least one Genre or Composer Study each semester. These change each year, but recent examples include:
Genre Studies: Minimalism, Brazilian Music and Culture, Beethoven and the String Quartet, the Twentieth-Century Symphony.
Composer Studies: Wagner, The Beatles, Dvořák, Handel, Debussy and Ravel.
Options (a wide choice including): Notation and Editing, Harmony and Counterpoint, Welsh Music Studies, Arts Administration, Music in the Community, Orchestration, Acousmatic Composition, Recording Techniques, Ensemble Performance, Composing for Film and Media, Music in Health and Well-being, Words and Music, Fusion Ensemble etc.
All your modules will be in Music. You must complete project work in at least one of the following areas: Dissertation, Edition, Composition (including Acoustic Composition, Acousmatic Composition, Popular Composition), Solo Performance.
Options for taught modules include: Teaching Techniques for Solo Performance; Editing Medieval Music; Vocal Pedagogy, Conducting; Fugue; Genre Studies, Composer Studies and optional modules from Year 2.
Modules for the current academic year
Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Music Modules page.
Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.
While many graduates pursue careers in the area of music, these degrees are also good preparation for a wide range of employment in administration, commerce, management, and other professions. Our graduates have become professional performers, composers, university lecturers, researchers, teachers, arts administrators, music therapists, music publishers, librarians, concert managers, community arts officers, stage managers, recording and broadcasting producers, and sound engineers. Many former students have followed these degrees with further musical training, as performers, scholars or composers, and there are opportunities for all these at Bangor.
Employability and Music degrees
A degree in Music offers excellent employment prospects, in a wide range of career options. Many of our graduates choose to become teachers, at all educational levels (up to and including university); others take up administrative posts with orchestras, opera houses, or arts centres. Music graduates are always needed in the media and in recording companies, as technicians, producers, programme-planners, and writers. Other possible career paths include specialist music journalism, music publishing, music librarianship, and arts marketing. Several of our graduates have gone on to become distinguished academics, composers, and performers.
Our degrees allow students to develop a range of transferable skills (communication, creativity, initiative, collaboration, etc.) which are excellent preparation for entry into the civil service, industry, or into one of the professions.
Each year several of our students decide to undertake postgraduate study, lasting from one to four years. Postgraduate study is an opportunity to further deepen your knowledge and expertise, and leads to a truly individual contribution as an academic, composer, or performer. Academic postgraduates often go on to teach in universities, while composers and performers make their way into the national and international arenas.
Music Careers Day
The Career in Music Day is an opportunity for current students to listen to advice from industry experts and meet with graduates who have gone on to careers in music. .
Opportunities at Bangor
The University’s Skills and Employability Service provides a wide range of resources to help you achieve your graduate ambitions. Developing your personal skills and enhancing your employability while at university is becoming increasingly important in today’s job market.
The Bangor Employability Award (BEA) and Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR)
The Bangor Employability Award enables students to build on their transferable skills through the recognition of activities they become involved in during their university life. Students can gain points towards the award through extra-curricular activities such as volunteering, attending workshops or actively participating in the Students’ Union’s clubs and societies.
The HEAR is a final graduation report that all undergraduates receive. The report itemises all academic achievements and additional extra and co-curricular achievements. Academic achievements appear on the report automatically and students are able to note their eligible activities by using the online platform ‘My Employability Hub’. This ensures that future employers are made aware of the additional skills the student has gained outside of the curriculum.
The Award is open to everyone and taking part in the scheme can make a major difference to your performance in the graduate job market.
Bangor University runs undergraduate and postgraduate internship schemes twice a year, which allow students to work in a professional environment while learning relevant skills and earning money.
Internships offer valuable experience in a professional workplace and there are a range of internships you can get involved in.
Not only is volunteering worthwhile – it also improves your employability and widens your experience.
The Students’ Union has a dedicated Student Volunteering Office (SVB) which currently contributes a total of 600 hours each week, promoting a close relationship between the university and the local community. Find out more on the Student Volunteering pages of the Bangor Student’s Union website.
TARGETconnect - Working while you StudyThe Skills and Employability Service offers support to students searching for employment during and after their studies.
- Graduate jobs – Local, National and International
- Full-time, part time, permanent and temporary jobs
- Work experience / internships
- Voluntary opportunities
TARGETconnect advertises the following opportunities:
For entry 2020:
For joint degrees, look at the entry for your other chosen subject. For all Music courses the ability to read staff notation is required. Typical offer is based on a minimum 120 tariff points from a Level 3 qualification* e.g.:
- A Levels (including grade B in Music or in conjunction with alternative qualifications listed below **)
- International Baccalaureate Diploma (including grade H6 in Music)
- BTEC National/Extended Diploma in Music: DDM
- Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma: DDM**
- City & Guilds Advanced Technical/ Extended Diploma: considered case by case**
- Access: Pass**
- Welsh Baccalaureate is accepted.
- Points from grade examinations are taken appropriate,not normally included in the offer.
International Candidates: school leaving qualifications and college diplomas are accepted from countries worldwide (subject to minimum English Language requirements). More information here.
We also welcome applications from mature applicants.
*For a full list of accepted Level 3 qualifications, go to www.ucas.com.
For 2019 entry:
- Our typical offer is 128-120 tariff points from level 3 qualifications* with normally at least B in A Level Music (or equivalent) and/or Merit in ABRSM Grade 5 Theory or Grade 7/8 Practical. *Level 3 qualifications include A levels, BTEC, Access, Irish Highers, International Baccalaureate, Welsh Baccalaureate, Scottish Advanced Highers and others – for a full list, please refer to the new UCAS tariff at www.ucas.com.
- We also welcome applications from mature applicants, individuals with European qualifications and international applicants (subject to minimum English language requirements).
General University entry requirements
We accept students with a wide range of qualifications and backgrounds and consider each application individually.
All students need to have good basic skills and the University also values IT and communication skills.
As part of the University’s policy we consider applications from prospective disabled students on the same grounds as all other students.
To study a degree, diploma or certificate course you’ll be asked for a minimum of UCAS Tariff points. For a fuller explanation of the UCAS Tariff Points, please see www.ucas.com
We also consider applications from mature students who can demonstrate the motivation and commitment to study a university programme. Each year we enrol a significant number of mature students. For more help and advice about being a mature student at Bangor, please visit the Study at Bangor site.
Specific entry requirements can be seen on the individual course pages.
EU and International students' entry requirements
For information and further detailed guidance on entry requirements for EU and International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages. International applicants can also visit the International Education Centre section of our website for further details.
Home/EU students and International UCAS applicants
E-mail for General Admissions: email@example.com or write to:
Telephone: +44 (0)1248 383717
International students (non-UCAS applicants)
Email to International Admissions: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to
Telephone: +44 (0) 1248 382028
When coming to University, you will have two main costs, Tuition Fees and Living Costs.
There are also some common additional costs that are likely to arise for students on all courses, for example:
- If you choose to study abroad or take the International Experience Year as part of your course.
- If you attend your Graduation Ceremony, there will be a cost for gown hire (£25-£75) and cost for guest tickets (£12 each).
Course-specific additional costs
Depending on the course you are studying, there may be additional course-specific costs that you will be required to meet. These fall into three categories:
- Mandatory Costs: these are related to a particular core or compulsory module that you’ll be required to complete to achieve your qualification e.g. compulsory field trips, uniforms for students on placement, DBS Check.
- Necessarily Incurred Costs: these may not be experienced by all students, and will vary depending on the course e.g. professional body membership, travel to placements, specialist software, personal safety equipment.
- Optional Costs: these depend on your choice of modules or activity and they are shown to give you an indication of the optional costs that may arise to make sure your choice is as informed as possible. These can include graduation events for your course, optional field trips, Welcome Week trips.
Core module (WXM 1001, The Study of Music): purchase of text book A History of Western Music: £25 (usual price £39).
Core module (WXC 1001, Astudio Cerddoriaeth): purchase of text book Hanes Cerddoriaeth y Gorllewin: £15 (usual price £25) [earlier edition of the English version].
Although we are moving to online submissions as of 2017-18, a minority of modules may require students to print out a copy of the assignment (i.e. they will not be suitable for online submission). These costs will vary according to students.
Necessarily Incurred Costs:
Instruments, instrument consumables (e.g. reeds, strings), instrument repairs, will vary from student to student.
Pontio concert tickets - varies, but on average around £50 a year.
Optional Year 1 module, Composition (WXK 1011) or Cyfansoddi (WXC 1011): purchase of text book, Composing Contemporary Music or Cyfansoddi Cerddoriaeth Gyfoes: £10 (usual cost £15).
Optional Year 3 module, Teaching in Context (WXM 3270): DBS check, if applicable (may not be to all students, depending on project chosen): £44.
Software (if students wish to work at home rather than on campus).
Sheet music (if students wish to have their own copies rather than using those in the Library).
Optional trips (e.g. annual BBC National Orchestra of Wales workshop in Cardiff) – cost varies.
Additional Tickets for School Graduation Tea: £10 per head.
How to apply through UCASApply online via UCAS
UCAS stands for Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. All university applications are processed through UCAS and then passed on to the universities listed.
Students may apply for a maximum of five courses. For Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary courses students are only allowed to apply for four courses.
The application form is found on the UCAS website, under ‘Apply’.
The early closing date is October 15 for all Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary students. The main closing date for all applications is January 15.
Your Personal Statement
Writing your Personal Statement is the part of the application form that requires most work. You are only allowed 47 lines or 500–550 words to explain why you wish to study the course and the skills you have that are essential for university study.
To write a successful personal statement for your UCAS application you must have a good understanding about the course and its content. Remember that you write only one personal statement for your five choices. Make sure that the courses are similar, if not the same, and make sure that you do not mention a specific course or university.
Read our advice on how to draft a winning personal statement or watch our video guide.
After you’ve applied
You should keep an eye on your application on UCAS ‘Track’. Offers from universities will appear on track and you will be able to accept or decline offers.
You can only reply when you have received all your decisions. The types of reply you can make are firm acceptance and insurance acceptance. Usually students reply in early May.
If you are an international student, our International Student pages offer further information on applying.
As an international student applying to study one of our undergraduate programmes you can;
- apply via UCAS,
- or apply direct to Bangor through our online direct application system
- or apply with the help of one of our recruitment agents
We receive around 350 exchange students every year from all over the world. 45% of these students come from Europe and the remainder from as far as Singapore, South Korea and Australia.
Confused about your next steps?
Take a look at our Going to University website for information and advice on getting ready for university.
Why study a Music degree?
- We offer one of the largest number of options of any UK Music department, covering every aspect of the subject. You can shape your degree course to reflect your interests and strengths.
- Much of the teaching is in small groups, providing a stimulating and supportive environment. The options include ensemble coaching and tuition in conducting, and a number of vocational modules such as Arts Administration.
- We offer fantastic music facilities. The Musuc degrees are taught in a recently renovated Victorian villa with a range of teaching rooms, practice rooms and social spaces for our students. We also have two fine concert halls (in which weekly rehearsals are held in addition to concerts), and four electronic music studios equipped to the highest specifications
- We have six grand pianos, three harpsichords, two organs, and a full suite of orchestral percussion.
- Our music library contains 30,000 scores, 3,000 CDs, and an excellent collection of books on music, and is open 24 hours a day during term time.
- Music degrees are taught at the heart of the university campus, with easy access to libraries, cafés and restaurants. The University’s Arts and Innovation centre – Pontio - is less than 5 minutes’ walk away.
- We take advantage of our local area for the study of music in Welsh culture, and draw on the resources of our Archive of Traditional Welsh Music and our Welsh Pop Archive.
- We have a unique collection of over 300 world instruments.
- All of our staff have international research profiles and are experts in their fields. In the latest government’s Research Excellence Framework (2014) exercise, 81% of our research was graded as world-leading or internationally excellent.
- Staff teach from their research specialisms, and so the course content is always at the cutting edge.
- We have excellent links with local and national employers, including Venue Cymru, Sain Records, the BBC, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Our concert series is one of the most varied of any British university. It includes recitals by visiting artists, our resident ensembles, and concerts of electroacoustic music given by Electroacoustic Wales, alongside performances by students themselves.
Studying at Bangor
Rated Gold for teaching
We have been awarded a Gold rating, the highest rating possible, for the standarad of our teaching in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) assessment. The TEF assessment took into account teaching quality, learning environment and student outcomes and learning gain. We were judged to deliver consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students and our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.
A top 10 university
The National Student Survey (NSS) results place Bangor amongst the UK’s top 10 universities (excluding specialist institutions) for student satisfaction. This reflects the University’s focus on overall student experience.
Enjoy a university experience that’s amongst the best in the UK
Take advantage of the Bangor Student Experience with free membership of student clubs and societies, a new international experience programme and employability award scheme.
Award-winning clubs and societies!
Our clubs and societies have been named the best in the UK at the WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2019.
Choose to study in one of the best places in the UK to be a student. Bangor’s location – close to the mountains and the sea - has been described as ‘the best university setting in the UK’.
Investment in facilities
Benefit from continued investment in facilities and services – with Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre, Halls of Residence, and improved sports facilities amongst recent developments.
Guaranteed accommodation in award-winning halls of residence
We guarantee accommodation for first year students who apply within the deadline and hold Bangor as their Firm Choice. Our accommodation has been named the best in the UK at the 2018 WhatUni Student Choice Awards.
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