Music BMus(Hons)

2018-19 (also available for 2019-20)

Music BMus(Hons) includes composition, performance and musicology, plus chances to collaborate, research, and perform in orchestras, choirs and bands.

It’s not too late to apply for September 2018. Find out more

Start date

17 September 2018


3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

Entry requirements

A Level - BBB


See full entry requirements



Places available (subject to change)


Phone contact: +44 (0)1484 472007

About the course

Perhaps you are interested in broadening and deepening your understanding of music. Or you want to build on your performing abilities, or explore composition and see what you’re capable of. If so, our Music BMus(Hons) course could be just right for you. The course develops your skills in composition, performance, music analysis and history, and is deliberately flexible so you can play to your strengths as well as explore new areas of study. An optional placement year could also help give you the edge in your chosen career.

Music is all about collaboration and experimentation, so you’ll have opportunities to get involved in large and small ensembles, choirs and bands, composing for your fellow students, studying and playing with others. We’ll also encourage you to carry out your own creative projects and research.

We’re based in the purpose-built Creative Arts Building, with its many practice rooms, rehearsal spaces and recording studios. Our two concert halls provide you with contrasting acoustics and environments in which to perform and hear others, and we have a large instrument collection including historical keyboards, organs, early music resources, percussion and electronic instruments.

You’ll be taught by leading composers, performers and researchers, and our team of part-time instrumental and vocal teachers includes internationally recognised professional performers from across the region.

During your studies you’ll be able to specialise in composition, performance or musicology, or mix it up and explore the connections between all three. We want to hear your work too, in recitals, concerts, master classes and workshops and we regularly host concerts and workshops with leading chamber groups. As a composer, you’ll have the chance to hear your work performed by professionals and this year our students will be spending a day playing in the Orchestra of Opera North.

In musicology, you’ll be able to study the development of music across history and in different historical and cultural contexts. You could specialise in subjects like baroque music, experimental music, opera and musical theatre, or film music.

In 2015 we were awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for ‘world-leading work to promote, produce and present contemporary music to an international audience'. This represents one of the most coveted distinctions in UK Higher Education.

How we think about music, how we perform it, compose it, listen to it - all these are in a constant state of flux. The BMus Music course reflects this by challenging students to position all their musical activities firmly in the 21st century. I love seeing our students passionate about what they do and how they do it, whether that's performing a Beethoven piano sonata, singing with the early music ensemble, arranging for brass bands or other ensembles, writing songs and performing them in student-led bands, or researching about music from medieval times to the present. Our students graduate with a wide set of skills and knowledge which they enthusiastically take into a variety of professions, from teaching to performing to arts administration and much else besides.


Professor Philip Thomas, Admissions Tutor, Music and Music Technology


In addition to the compulsory short term (8 week) work placement in the final year via the Work and Professional Practice module, this course offers you the opportunity to take an optional one-year (48 week) work placement after your second year, in the UK or abroad. Previous placement providers have included Kirklees Music School, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Buxton Opera House and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

The best part about studying abroad is experiencing a different culture. I played in the University Orchestra and attended Erasmus social events and trips around the area. The experience has given me practical skills to take into my final year and improved my self-confidence.

lydia barrington

Lydia Barrington, Music BMus(Hons) in 2017

Entry requirements

BBBat A Level including a minimum grade B in Music or Music Technology

120 UCAS tariff points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications including a minimum grade B at A Level or Distinction in BTEC in Music or Music Technology

DDM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

  • Practical and theory music grades are accepted in the total points (see UCAS tariff).
  • Applicants intending to study instrumental or vocal performance should have reached at least Grade 8 standard of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), Rockschool or equivalent at entry and attend an audition.
  • Pass Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits at Merit or above to include modules in Music or Music Technology
  • 120 UCAS tariff points from International Baccalaureate qualifications which should include modules in Music or Music Technology.

Other suitable experience or qualifications will be considered. For further information please see the University's minimum entry requirements.

For international students:

You should demonstrate your ability to play to approximately Grade 8 ABRSM standard and provide proof via a DVD, or a link to a url movie, or the actual exam. You'll also be required to demonstrate your music theory ability, ideally to Grade 8 ABRSM (again this could come from the exam or from any piece of notation - for example, harmony exercises or compositions).

Music at Huddersfield

Why choose to study Music at the University of Huddersfield? The University of Huddersfield offers a diverse and vibrant student environment, located on one central town centre campus site. Students talk about their experiences here at the University: what they like about their courses and what they enjoy most outside of the curriculum.

Course Detail

Core modules:

Introduction to Music Research

The module will introduce you to a wide range of music, from medieval and renaissance song to contemporary film scores, and from romantic symphonies to popular song traditions. Key issues, themes and controversies in musicology will be considered.

Introduction to Analysis

The module will provide you with a grounding in the basic skills of musical analysis through the study of classical and popular music. Both printed scores and recordings will be studied to give you the opportunity to develop the complementary skills of score-based analysis and/or aural analysis and critical listening.

Composition 1

This module offers an essential introduction to the fundamentals of composition by exploring the various musical parameters of melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre and texture through a series of preliminary exercises given in seminars and group tutorials. In term two you will be able to build on this knowledge through the creation of a portfolio of short pieces for keyboard, voice and strings. The second term also includes demonstrations and performances from visiting professional artists. Assessment is though portfolio of coursework.

Performance Skills 1

This module is designed to help you to gain key skills in general musicianship. You will learn about and practice skills in improvisation and aural awareness, as well as gain experience in critical evaluation of concerts and your own development as a musician. You will have the opportunity to develop skills and experience in ensemble performance and participation. Assessment consists of practical tests and coursework assignments in which you will demonstrate your knowledge, understanding and skills through written assignments, music performance, and practical tests of your musicianship.

Option modules:

Choose one from a list which may include:

Technology for Music

This module introduces key practical concepts of technology used within music and is designed specifically for students on our BMus course. You will have the chance to learn how to use music notation and DAW applications alongside recording techniques focused on 'classical' concert hall work and location based recording. The module is assessed via a recording test and culminates with a composition project using the Logic Pro.

Computer Composition 1

In this foundation module you will study composition and technical processes for writing in a range of possible genres, and will have the opportunity to develop a broad understanding of sound synthesis, audio manipulation and music production skills. The module includes tuition on technical fundamentals while introducing composers and genres that constitute the breadth of sound computer-based composition offers. Topics include theory and practice in sound synthesis and sampling, and genres include Musique Concrète, Elektronische Musick, ambient music, and contemporary electronic music artists and styles. Assessment is through coursework: creative exercises, free composition and accompanying written documents.

Plus one from a list which may include:

Stylistic Composition

You will attend weekly lectures and seminars that explore a variety of stylistic compositional approaches from Baroque to 20th Century. The emphasis will not be on originality but on developing a heightened sense of stylistic awareness through the close examination of a work’s instrumentation and compositional materials as well as its form and structure. In addition to utilising works within their original context, the module will use examples that demonstrate ways in which these stylistic idioms have been drawn upon and adapted by the modern film composer. You will produce a short folio of compositions in term one and an extended composition with commentary in term two.

Solo Performance 1

You will work closely with an individual instrumental/vocal tutor throughout the year to develop your technical skills and musical insight to prepare you for solo and ensemble performance at intermediate and Honours level.

Songwriting 1

This module provides an introduction to songwriting and raises the question of what songwriting is, or might be, in the twenty first century. Through the exploration of a range of compositional and vocal techniques, you will aim to acquire a knowledge and understanding of an array of songwriting styles both historical and contemporary with the view of developing an individual creative voice. You will have the opportunity to explore approaches to lyric writing, chord progressions and song structure, utilising different accompaniments.

Grooves, Glitches and Crackles (Foundation Studies in Popular Music and Electronica)

This module traces both the developments and practical applications of technology in compositional practice as well as aesthetic issues in sound technology and practice. It will help you embrace theoretical writings concerning the proliferation of popular genres in contemporary culture as well as ways in which the computer and other technologies have challenged the definitions of sound and music. Key topics include: the history of early recording and electronic instruments, music and ethnicity, mixers, DJs and turntablism, club culture, electronica and sampling practice. The module is assessed through coursework, including two essays and an album review.

Teaching and assessment

21% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, workshops etc.

You'll learn in a range of teaching and learning formats, including lectures, seminars, individual tutorials, practical workshops, composition clinics, masterclasses and rehearsals, and opportunities for individually devised projects that may involve off-campus placements. Students are encouraged to take a full part in extra-curricular activities, including participation in Directed Ensembles, chamber music and concert attendance both on and off campus.

Assessment of this course takes various forms including written and oral examinations, dissertations, essays, seminar papers, analyses, practical projects, composition folios, performance recitals, learning journals and peer assessment.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (either written and/or verbal) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Further information

The teaching year normally starts in September with breaks at Christmas and Easter, finishing with a main examination/assessment period around May/June. Timetables are normally available one month before registration. 

Your course is made up of modules and each module is worth a number of credits. Each year you study modules to the value of 120 credits, adding up to 360 credits in total for a bachelor’s qualification. These credits can come from a combination of core, compulsory and optional modules but please note that optional modules may not run if we do not have enough students interested.

If you achieve 120 credits for the current stage you are at, you may progress to the next stage of your course, subject to any professional, statutory or regulatory body guidelines.

Teaching excellence

  • Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. The University is number one in England for the proportion of staff with teaching qualifications (HEFCE, Dec 2016)
  • We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff* have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.
  • For the past nine years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.


The University of Huddersfield is home to a vibrant, diverse, international, and innovative group of music researchers. Our staff are recognised as leading figures in their fields, as evidenced by major commissions, performances, recordings, and publications. Our international postgraduate student community includes early career researchers who are already making significant contributions as composers, performers, technicians, engineers, and musicologists.

In the 2014 REF, 85% of music research at Huddersfield was judged to be Internationally Excellent, with 44% of the overall submission ranked as ‘World-Leading’. In addition to a strong profile of individual research outputs, Huddersfield’s research environment for music was tied for 7th in the sector, alongside Edinburgh, Southampton, Royal Holloway and Cambridge. The impact of Huddersfield’s music research was judged to be 5th among the 84 submissions in music, drama, dance and performing arts, receiving the second highest possible score. The ranking for impact acknowledges the breadth and reach of research at Huddersfield, with impact case studies encompassing innovations in music technology and audio software, historically-informed performance practice in early music, and intercultural exchange in music composition as a model for social change.

There are five research centres in Music Technology; the Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM), the Huddersfield Centre for Performance Research (HuCPeR), Centre for the Study of Music, Gender and Identity (MUGI), the Sound.Music.Image Collaboration Research Centre (SMIC) and the Popular Music Studies Research Group.

For more information, please refer to our research pages.

The Music Department

For more information regarding the Music department at the University of Huddersfield, please click the images below

Your Career

*Percentage of graduates from this course who go on to work and / or further study within six months of graduating (Destinations of Leavers Survey 2015/16).

* Source: DLHE Survey 2015/16

95% Graduates employed*

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

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