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What Will You Study?

The single-honours degree is organised around six pathways, which reflect the Department’s broad range of expertise: Music History, Ethnomusicology, Analysis, Composition, Performance, and Musical Techniques. In addition, we offer modules in various other exciting fields, such as the Psychology of Music.

At the start of your degree, you take six foundational modules addressing all of the main pathways. In the second year, in addition to taking a further foundational module in Music History, you choose from an expansive menu of modules, deciding which pathways are of particular interest to you. In the third year, the module choices are entirely up to you, though all students take a double-weighted major project – Dissertation, Performance Recital or Composition Portfolio. Across all years of the degree, it is also possible to take modules in other departments, further enhancing the range of possibilities open to you.

Have a look at the modules that are currently offered.


Music History

The core Music History component in the first and second years provides a comprehensive introduction to Western music from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Second- and third- year special options have recently included subjects as diverse as Music and Politics in France, Music in Italy 1850-1950, Studies in the History of Opera, Popular Music, and Music Theology.


We offer a broad grounding in the cultural study of music. Following on from Introduction to Ethnomusicology in the first year, you can choose from a wide range of ethnomusicology-focused modules. Typically, we offer modules like World Music Traditions and Advanced Ethnomusicology, as well as more specialised modules such as Music of India.


The first-year module introduces you to key concepts in the analysis of tonal common practice, focusing on music of the Baroque and Classical styles. Thereafter, you can choose from a variety of analysis modules. Recent examples include a second-year module surveying developments in music theory, exploring music from Beethoven to Stravinsky, Studies in Symphonic Analysis, and Time and Rhythm.


We offer a comprehensive variety of composition-focused modules. This ranges from a foundational module in the first year to the Composition Portfolio module in the third year, supported by workshops and performances. We also have internationally renowned expertise in electro-acoustic composition. The Music Department currently houses three studios and a Music Technology Lab.

A student performs on digeridoo as part of a virtual composition workshop


The performance programme combines classes in performance practice with recording projects, specialised subjects (with recent examples being Contemporary Music Performance and Conducting), and the option of giving a major recital in the final year. We also have a large adjunct staff of instrumental and vocal teachers and offer financial support for performance tuition across the degree.

Staff and first year performance students participating virtual tutorial

Musical Techniques

Your study of Music History, Analysis and Composition is complemented by modules in Musical Techniques, which develop practical skills in Renaissance and Baroque counterpoint, four-part harmony and the composition of Classical forms. Other related modules, which we commonly offer, include Orchestration.

Hector Sequera giving virtual performance lecture