Music

Bristol has one of the UK's leading music departments. We offer high quality teaching and achieve excellent student satisfaction ratings.

Housed in the Victoria Rooms, the department is relatively small in terms of student and staff numbers, which enables us to maintain personal contact with our students and creates a friendly, nurturing study environment.

With equal emphasis on music history, composition, analysis and performance, the excellent choice of units on offer allows you to explore a wide range of music as well as develop intellectual, practical and interpersonal skills.

Why study Music at Bristol?

Our department is recognised as one of the very best for music research in the UK. We are committed to sharing our expertise with students, colleagues and the wider community.

Our undergraduate courses allow you to explore historical, technical, compositional, analytical and performance-based aspects of music, as well as focusing increasingly on your particular interests.

Specialisms within the department include:

  • composition
  • 20th century British music
  • Russian and Soviet music
  • Turkish music
  • film music
  • popular music and jazz
  • hip-hop
  • Renaissance vocal music
  • music theatre
  • medieval music
  • music and migration.

Optional units are available in these and other related topics each year.

We have 15 purpose built practice rooms with new Yamaha U1 pianos, several new grand pianos for practice, a young Steinway model D and a new Boesendorfer 200.

Visiting international artists give masterclasses to students most weeks. Recent artists include Emma Kirkby, Ashley Wass, Martyn Brabbins, Rachel Podger, Mahan Estafani, Mary King and Jason Rebello.

Our student-led music societies present the array of musical talent in the department. 

What kind of student would this course suit?

This course is suitable for those with an interest in learning how to invent, play, talk and write about music. 

You will enjoy confronting a wide range of challenges including:

  • working alone (practising, researching, composing, writing) and with others (rehearsing and performing);
  • appearing in front of audiences (on stage or in the seminar room);
  • presenting work in different forms (in recitals, edited scores, recordings, seminar presentations, essays and dissertations).

In order to achieve all of this, you will learn how to plan projects and organise your own work and time.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra, Second year, LLB Law

How is this course taught and assessed?

Our teaching includes a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials and individual lessons.

You will be allocated a personal tutor who will oversee your progress. In year one you will have small-group sessions with your tutor once every teaching week. If you study an instrument or voice you will have one-to-one lessons with your tutor throughout the year.

Assessment methods include coursework and written examinations for historical and technical units, as well as solo and ensemble recitals, practical exercises for areas such as conducting, and full dissertations and composition portfolios/digital media.

What are my career prospects?

Music graduates have a very strong track record of employment, with the majority entering graduate employment or further study within six months of graduating.

Employers are increasingly attracted by the wide variety of practical, creative, intellectual and transferable skills that a music degree fosters, such as self-organisation, creativity, teamwork and motivation.

Our graduates enter a wide range of professions including performance, teaching, arts administration, banking, law, publishing, broadcasting and the media.

Read more about what students from the Music department go on to do after graduation

Did you know?

  • Students from more than 180 countries study with us, and we share more than 150 exchange links with institutions worldwide.
  • Our Students' Union has over 200 student-run societies, and the Richmond Building, home to the Students' Union, is undergoing a £30-million renovation.
  • 11 Bristol graduates and members of staff have been awarded Nobel prizes.

Subject leaflet

Download the Music leaflet 2017 (PDF, 287kB)

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

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