Music BMus (Hons) – 2016 entry

The atmosphere is really lovely here. It is a great community where I feel so at home.

What you'll study

Our Music degree reflects the diversity of contemporary musical experience and the rich variety of music as an art form. You will encounter a huge range of music and music-making, thus gaining insight into how you might wish to develop as a musician.

Our course offers you a high standard of academic, compositional and instrumental/vocal tuition in a uniquely broad range of styles. You will participate in a thriving performance and composition environment and have opportunities to work with a wide range of professional artists and practitioners. We have excellent performance, recording and learning facilities and you will be able to discuss the latest ideas with visiting leading composers, performers and scholars.

As a BMus student at Surrey you’ll work closely with students of the world-famous Tonmeister Music and Sound Recording course and with those following our Creative Music Technology degree. Together, these three programmes provide a unique environment to study contemporary and professional music industry practice.

We are distinctive in pursuing all these fields in our teaching and research, resulting in a highly stimulating environment for undergraduate musicians as scholars, performers, composers and future decisionmakers in the arts.

Programme overview

Performance, composition and the academic study of music have equal status in our Music degrees, which makes them well suited to those aspiring to a professional career in any area of the music industry. Our curriculum is structured so that almost any musical activity with which you might want to engage can receive credit, and all disciplines are equally valued.

Our three-year BMus degree explores musical repertoires past and present through integrated studies in classical/popular musicology, composition and performance, with emphasis on cultural issues, theory and analysis, music technology and practice-based learning. Our four-year BMus degree includes core components in arts-management issues and cultural policy-making. This programme is unique in offering a Professional Training placement year and is designed for students who wish to gain experience in music management or administration.

The range of subjects is especially broad. Western classical music, jazz and popular music form the backbone of historical and analytical studies, but modules in non-Western music, music technology and screen music are also available. In your second and final years you may specialise in performance/conducting, composition, or musicology.

The result is a highly stimulating environment for undergraduate musicians, whether you are interested in performance, composition, musicology, music technology or the music industry.

Read about the experience of Music student, Kirsten Parry.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

In your first year you are given a thorough grounding in the principles of music and an introduction to the tools of music study at HE level.

Modules include:

  • Harmony
  • Encountering Music History
  • Music Project 1A and 1B
  • Practical Musicianship
  • Performance
  • Topic Study 1A (Western classical music)
  • Topic Study 1B (Popular music)

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

Your second and final years are structured to allow you to pursue your own interests, with staff guidance, within a range of optional modules and elective assessments.

Compulsory modules include:

  • Repertoire Studies 2A and 2B
  • Music Project 2A and 2B
  • Topic Studies 2A, 2B, and 2C

Optional modules include:

  • Composition
  • Performance/Conducting

Professional Training placement (optional)

See below for more details.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

Compulsory modules include:

  • Dissertation
  • Repertoire Studies 3
  • Topic Studies 3A and B

Optional modules include:

  • Composition
  • Performance/Conducting

Indicative Project, Repertoire Studies, and Topic Study subjects include:

  • Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
  • Terry Riley’s In C
  • Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas
  • European Modernism
  • 18th-century Classicism
  • Jazz Studies
  • Screen Music Studies
  • Opera Studies
  • Historical Performance Practice
  • Popular Song Analysis
  • Music, Politics, and Society
  • Advanced Popular Music Harmony
  • Musical Theatre
  • Live! Popular Music Performance Practice

Please note: Course structure and content may be subject to revision. Please contact us for further details.

Professional Training and placements

The third year of our four-year Music (W301) degree programme is spent away from the University, working in a professional role for major arts and music organisations. The senior Professional Training tutor works with you to prepare you for the placement period and helps you to choose and organise an appropriate placement and host organisation.

Types of placement are varied and can take place anywhere in the country, although many are London-based. Recent students have worked in areas such as:

  • Music management and administration
  • Concert management
  • Music education
  • Marketing
  • Music publishing
  • Venue management
  • On and offline record labels
  • Music retail

Organisations/companies that have participated in the scheme include:

  • London Symphony Orchestra
  • Royal Opera House
  • Schott Music Publishing
  • London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • South Hill Park Arts Centre
  • HMV
  • Royal School of Church Music
  • Orchestra of St Johns (OSJ)
  • Faber Music Publishers
  • Sherriff Rosebriars Trust
  • State 51
  • The Point
  • Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  • Signum Records
  • The Drill Hall

The placement experience helps you to get that all-important first job or move on to postgraduate study.


On our degree programmes, you attend a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. All are encouraged to participate in the many practical performance opportunities on offer. These include choirs, orchestras, student-run ensembles, weekly lunchtime recitals, concerts of student compositions, masterclasses and recording sessions.

Many students start up their own chamber ensembles and rock/pop groups. Short modules on computing skills for music are also available, and access to a range of specialised online music archives and materials are provided.

More information about the Music Department can be found at:


Degrees are awarded on the basis of the assessment of coursework, end-of-semester examinations, projects, composition folios and performances. Most modules involve both coursework and examination, though a few are assessed by just coursework or examination.

Year 1 marks do not count towards the final degree classification. However, they do determine whether students are able to proceed to Year 2.

Global opportunities

You have the opportunity to spend one or two semesters abroad on study placements in the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in the Czech Republic with Erasmus funding, in the University of Cincinnati (USA), at the University of Central Florida (USA), at North Carolina State University (USA) and the University of North Texas (USA). Opportunities also exist at Australian partners.

Thanks to your experience overseas, you will acquire a new cultural background which will contribute to your success whether in your studies or in your professional career.

Career opportunities

Our graduate employment record is excellent. The breadth of experience gained on our programmes equips graduates with numerous transferable skills and an invaluable sense of initiative and adaptability. You will find our graduates in almost every area of work within the cultural and creative industries.

Graduate prospects

Graduates over the last few years entered employment in roles such as:

  • Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music – Theory Assistant
  • Royal Opera House – Musical Play Leader
  • London Symphony Orchestra – Discovery Schools Project Co-ordinator
  • Musical Associates UK – Box Office Manager
  • Warner Music UK – SLC Co-ordinator
  • Christchurch Cathedral – Teacher and Lay Clerk
  • Wigmore Hall, London – Learning Assistant
  • University sector – Arts Co-ordinator
  • Schott/Faber – Music Publisher
  • Music Producer – Kylie Minogue, Ellie Goulding, Lady Gaga, Timbaland, Katy Perry, Cheryl Cole
  • Signum Records – Label Manager

Performance opportunities

Opportunities in the School of Arts include:

  • University Symphony Orchestra
  • University Choir
  • Gospel Choir
  • Chamber Choir
  • Chamber Orchestra
  • University Big Band
  • Numerous chamber ensembles

Artists, composers and ensembles who have recently visited for concerts and masterclasses include:

  • Mark Anthony Turnage
  • Richard Rodney Bennett and Clare Martin
  • Nikolai Demidenko
  • Jacqui Dankworth
  • Nicola Benedetti
  • Notes Inégales
  • John Williams
  • Paco Pena

The Department holds a weekly lunchtime recital series featuring student performers and several larger concerts each semester. It also hosts regular performances by visiting professional artists. There are numerous opportunities for performing outside official University groups such as at the Guildford International Music Festival.


2016 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?


Grades required - AAB-ABB

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma

Grades required - DDD

European Baccalaureate

75% mark required

International Baccalaureate

35-34 points required

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

A-level Music (or equivalent) required. Normally applicants taking a performance pathway will be required to have achieved grade 7 (minimum) or grade 8 ABRSM (or equivalent) in their primary instrument or voice.

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above (or equivalent).

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades. Applicants who submit a strong application are likely to receive an offer at the lower end of the range.

Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from our International Foundation Year.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BMus (Hons) 3 years W300 View KIS data set
BMus (Hons) 4 years W301 View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

Fees for UK/EU students

Tuition fees are currently set at £9,000 per year for UK/EU undergraduates starting in 2016.

Fees for overseas students

Fees for students classed as overseas (for fees purposes) are set at £15,200 for 2016 entry to this programme.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info

Music BMus (Hons)

Why Surrey?

  • Our music programmes ranked fourth in the Guardian University Guide 2016
  • Our music programmes also ranked second in the National Student Survey 2015 with 99 per cent overall student satisfaction
  • Study and perform a wide spectrum of music: classical, rock, pop, jazz, world music and music for screen
  • Specialise in performance, composition, musicology or conducting
  • One-to-one performance tuition and ensemble coaching with leading instrumentalists and tutors
  • 70 per cent of our research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent by the latest REF research-assessment exercise
  • Regular guest lectures by distinguished visiting scholars, composers and performers
  • Opportunities to participate in a range of musical events and performances, both on and off campus
  • Masterclasses and workshops in performance and composition
  • Outstanding career prospects

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