Music BMus (Hons) – 2020 entry
Why choose this course
We’re one of the UK’s leading universities for music, with our courses ranked 2nd by the Guardian University Guide 2020.
On our BMus Music course you’ll encounter a huge range of music and music-making, and gain an insight into how you might wish to develop as a musician. We have excellent performance, composition, recording, and learning facilities, where you’ll be able to discuss the latest ideas with our experienced staff, as well as leading visiting composers, performers and scholars.
We offer a highly stimulating environment, whether you are interested in performance, composition, musicology, music technology or the music industry.
What you will study
Our BMus Music course combines performance, composition and the academic study of music, offering excellent tuition in a broad range of styles. You’ll join a thriving performance and composition environment and be able to work with professional artists and practitioners.
You’ll explore musical repertoires past and present through classical/popular musicology, composition and performance, with emphasis on cultural issues, theory and analysis and practice-based learning.
On our four-year course, you’ll also be able to take a year-long Professional Training placement and gain experience in the arts and music industry.
In your second and final years you may focus on performance/conducting or composition alongside musicological study. Your final year project can be a written investigation or include both practical and written work.
Professional Training placements
A Professional Training placement provides you with the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and many of our students are offered employment on graduation by their placement provider.
The Professional Training placement year gives our students an insight into their subject and career potential, and early access to professional experience. It can be invaluable in developing work-based skills and helping them secure a graduate career.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
The third year of our four-year music course is spent away from the University, working in a professional role for major arts and music organisations. The senior Professional Training tutor will prepare you for the placement period and help you 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
- Music publishing
- Venue management
- Online and offline record labels
- Music retail.
Organisations/companies that have participated in the scheme include:
- English National Opera
- London Sinfonietta
- Music Nation (Hong Kong)
- London Symphony Orchestra
- The Control Room Ltd
- Faber Music Publishers
- Signum Records.
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via our online placement opportunities platform called Surrey Pathfinder, within which students can select and apply for placement vacancies. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to the vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
We have an excellent record for graduate employment. The breadth of experience you’ll gain on our course means you’ll graduate with vital transferable skills and invaluable initiative and adaptability.
You can find our graduates in almost every area of work within the cultural and creative industries. Our graduates over the last few years entered employment in roles such as:
- Assistant Producer, Perfect Pitch
- Activities and Development Officer, Haringey Music Service
- Marketing Officer, English Folk Dance and Song Society
- Studio Manager, Spitfire Audio
- Concerts and Projects Manager, London Sinfonietta
- Commercial Rights Administrator, Faber Music
- Assistant Studio Runner, The Crypt Studio
- Music Supervisor, PH Media.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
View our study and work abroad exchange information to find out more and see where you can go.
Please note: the status of the Erasmus+ scheme is dependent on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.
If you choose to study our three-year BMus Music course, you could spend one or two semesters abroad on study placements at institutions such as:
- Monash University, Australia
- Universidade da Sao Paulo
- Victoria University of Wellington
- North Carolina State University
- University of Central Florida
- University of Cincinnati
- University of Maryland
- University of North Texas.
Through your experience overseas, you’ll gain a new cultural appreciation which will contribute to your success in your studies and your professional career.
Our music facilities include:
- Two editing suites
- Mac Lab
- Practice rooms with 24/7 access
- Rooms for ensemble rehearsal
- Instrument storage facilities.
We have a wide range of performance opportunities available in the Department of Music and Media, including:
- University Symphony Orchestra
- University Choir
- Gospel Choir
- Chamber Choir
- University Big Band
- Numerous student-led chamber ensembles, rock, pop and jazz groups.
We also regularly host artists, composers and ensembles for concerts and masterclasses. Some who have recently visited include:
- Mark Anthony Turnage
- Nikolai Demidenko
- Nicola Benedetti
- Notes Inégales
- John Williams
- Paco Pena
- The Delta Saxophone Quartet
- Graham Fitkin
- Dame Judith Weir
- Harry Gregson-Williams
- Tasmin Little.
We also hold a weekly lunchtime recital series within the Department featuring student performers and several larger concerts each semester. We also host regular performances by visiting professional artists.
There are lots of opportunities for performing outside official University groups too, such as in our student-run 'Live at' events for pop, rock and jazz performers as well as in Guildford's many classical music venues.
Learn more about music at Surrey on our dedicated Music at Surrey Twitter account.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.
Academic year structure
At the core of this course are modules you’ll take in each year that we call the ‘Music Project’ and the ‘Topic Study’. To maximise your choice and experience, these change from year to year. You can find an indicative list of subjects that we’ve recently explored below.
Please note that while these musical areas indicate the scope and variety you can expect from our curriculum, staff availability means we may have to make adjustments to the topics we can offer in any one year.
Music Project (first, second and third year students)
- Re-working the Classics
- Experimental Music
- The Music of Data
- Film Music
- In C
- The Musical.
Topic Study (second and third year students)
- African American Music
- Opera Studies
- Jazz Studies
- English Music from Elgar to Britten
- Studying Music as Performance.
- World Music.
The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Optional modules for Year 2 - FHEQ Level 5
Choose one optional module in Semester 1 and two optional modules in Semester 2 (either Topic Study 2B or 2C, PLUS either Composition 2B or Performance 2B).
Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6
Student must choose three optional modules from Semester 1 and one module from Semester 2.
Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
On this course you’ll attend a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. You will regularly work in groups with other students on practical assignments and presentations.
We’ll provide you with access to a range of specialised online music archives and materials.
You’ll be 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 of our students start their own chamber ensembles and rock/pop groups.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by postgraduate research students. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
This course is taught by academic staff from the Department of Music.
VOLIOTI G Dr (Music & Med)
All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:
- Academic progress
- Pastoral/welfare issues
- Personal/professional development and employability.
Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
Learning and disability support
We have two services, Academic Skills and Development and the Disability and Neurodiversity Service which can help develop your learning.
Academic Skills and Development
Academic Skills and Development is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Disability and Neurodiversity Service
The University’s Disability and Neurodiversity Service supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (including autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you tell us about any conditions and register with us, we can give you appropriate support during your studies.
We can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance, and test you for dyslexia and dyspraxia. We can also offer regular study skills and mentoring support.
English language support
Our English Language Support Programme (ELSP) provides tailored English language support during your studies. It is particularly valuable to students who speak English as a second or additional language, but native speakers are also welcome.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
Applicants are shortlisted according to predicted grades and overall music profile. If you are a shortlisted candidate you will be invited to an interview day and we will make offers, normally in terms of grades, after interview.
During your visit to the University, you can find out more about the course and meet staff and students.
If you can demonstrate exceptional academic performance in your schooling to date, you could be awarded an unconditional offer following a successful interview as part of the University’s Unconditional Offer Scheme.
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
UK and EU To be confirmed
Overseas To be confirmed
BMus (Hons) (with professional training year)
UK and EU To be confirmed
Overseas To be confirmed
Professional training To be confirmed
Overseas students: please note that annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.
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.
How to apply
Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.
Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.
Campus locationStag Hill
Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught.
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement which would require attendance off campus, depending on where you secure your placement.