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Music

BMus
  • UCAS code W302
  • Option 3 years full time
  • Year of entry 2021

The course

BMus Music at Royal Holloway is a flexible degree, allowing you to tailor your degree to your own interests and passions.

We have expertise spanning traditional, modern and world music. Through studying musical texts, practices, cultures and institutions you will explore issues in history, sociology, ethnology, and philosophy covering an exceptional geographical and chronological range. You will also be able to gain practical skills in composition, music technology and performance.

You will join a music department that is among the very best in the country, ranked third in the UK for research quality (REF 2014) and the only music department in the country to hold a prestigious Regius Professorship. Our well connected department means you have the opportunity to make valuable music industry contacts. Our staff are connected with musical networks such Wigmore Hall, the BBC Proms, Royal Opera House.

Our flexible degree programmes enable you to apply to take a Placement Year, which can be spent studying abroad, working or carrying out voluntary work. You can even do all three if you want to (minimum of three months each)! To recognise the importance of this additional skills development and university experience, your Placement Year will be formally recognised on your degree certificate and will contribute to your overall result. Please note conditions may apply if your degree already includes an integrated year out, please contact the Careers & Employability Service for more information. Find out more

  • Choose from a wide range of performance opportunities including orchestras, choirs, jazz, pop, and world music ensembles.
  • Learn from academics whose experitse spans music from the Middle Ages to the present and around the globe.
  • Gain practical skills in composition, music technology or performance.
  • Receive excellent tuition on your first instrument (or voice) at no extra cost to you.
  • Apply for one of our choral, organ, orchestral or music scholarships.
  • You will have access to our well-equipped studios, recording facilities, and incredible performance spaces, including the Windsor Auditorium, Boilerhouse Theatre, Victorian Picture Gallery and College Chapel.
  • Work with professional conductors and receive coaching from leading professional groups such as the King's Singers and the London Mozart Players.

Core Modules

Year 1. You will take eight from the following:
  • Theory and Analysis
  • Practical Musicianship
  • Creative Composition Techniques
  • Practical Composition Skills
  • A Very Short History of Music
  • Introduction to Historical Musicology
  • Introduction to World Music
  • Contemporary Debates in Music
  • Solo Performance
  • Creative Ensemble Performance
Year 2. You will take four from the following:
  • Studies in Music Analysis
  • Studies in Composition
  • Studies in Music History
  • Studies in Ethnomusicology
  • Studies in Music, Media and Technology
  • Practical Performance I
Year 3. You will take at least one from the following:
  • Special Study: Dissertation
  • Special Study: Theory and Analysis
  • Special Study: Performance
  • Special Study: Composition

Optional Modules

There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1
  • All modules are core
Year 2
  • Solo Performance
  • Ensemble Performance
  • Composition Portfolio
  • Practical and Creative Orchestration
  • Choral Conducting
  • Composing with Technology 1
  • Introduction to Jazz: Theory, Practice and Contexts
  • Popular Music and Musicians in Post-War Britain and North America
  • Korean Percussion Performance
  • Practical Ethics
  • Musical Aesthetics
  • Mozart's Operas
  • Issues in Sound, Music and the Moving Image
  • Intercultural Performance: Theory and Practice
  • Music and Society in Purcell's London
  • Contemporary Music Performance
  • Music, Power and Politics
  • Ideas of German Music from Mozart to Henze
  • Music and Gender
  • Hearing the Orient: Critical and Practical Approaches to the Middle East
Year 3
  • Musical Aesthetics
  • Mozart's Operas
  • Issues in Sound, Music and the Moving Image
  • Intercultural Performance: Theory and Practice
  • Music and Society in Purcell's London
  • Contemporary Music Performance
  • Music, Power and Politics
  • Ideas of German Music from Mozart to Henze
  • Music and Gender
  • Hearing the Orient: Critical and Practical Approaches to the Middle East
  • Practical Performance II
  • Composing with Technology 2

The BMus has a modular structure, whereby students take 12 course units at the rate of four per year.

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and instrumental/vocal lessons. Private study and preparation are essential parts of every course, and you will have access to many online resources and the University’s comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle. When you start with us, you are assigned a Personal Advisor to support you academically and personally.

Assessment is carried out by a combination of examinations, which take place in the summer term, along with written papers, extended essays, assessed coursework, portfolios of compositions and other practical work, and performance recitals.

1st in the UK for research intensity

Source: Complete University Guide, 2020

6th in the UK for performing arts

Source: QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2019

98% say staff have made the subject interesting

Source: National Student Survey, 2019

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