Music BA

   
   
  

Fact file - 2017 entry

UCAS code:W300
Qualification:BA Hons
Type and duration:3 year UG
Qualification name:Music
UCAS code
UCAS code
W300
Qualification
Music | BA Hons
Duration
3 years full-time (available part-time)
A level offer
AAB/ABB
Required subjects
A or B in music; or A or B in music technology plus Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM). If no A Level in music or music technology, then AAB/ABB plus Grade 8 Performance (ABRSM, LCM, Trinity, Rockschool) and Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM)
IB score
34 (5 in music at Higher Level) 
Course location
University Park Campus
Course places
45
School/department
 

Overview

The course covers a wide range of musical repertory and offers a variety of practical and theoretical approaches.
Read full overview

The course covers a wide range of musical repertory, including all periods of western art music, jazz, world music, popular music and film music, and offers a variety of practical and theoretical approaches. Alongside practice-based modules (including performance, composition, music technology and music analysis), there are modules focusing on specific periods or genres, and on a variety of contextual and contemporary music-related topics. You will gain a solid grounding in basic skills in the first year; the flexible modular structure and choice of topics will enable you either to specialise or to maintain a breadth of interests as you progress through the course.

The typical path in our courses guarantees class contact time of 12 hours/week in year 1, 10 hours/week in year 2 and 8 hours/week in year 3. Weekly tutorial support and ensemble rehearsals provide further, additional optional learning activities.

Fuller descriptions of our modules can be found under the 'Modules' tab. The modules listed below may vary slightly from year to year.

 

Year One

Your understanding of the discipline is consolidated and deepened through the following core modules:

  • Elements of Music 1 (building blocks of music across all genres)
  • Elements of Music 2 (principles of form construction in music)
  • Repertoires 1 (Early Music and Opera)
  • Repertoires 2 (C19 and C20 Music)
  • Global Music Studies
  • Ensemble Performance

The remaining credits may be filled with one or both of the following optional Music modules, or modules from another department.

  • Skills in Composition
  • Performance 1

Year Two

The emphasis in years two and three is on choice - there are no compulsory elements. You choose up to six of the following modules:  

  • Advanced Ensemble Performance
  • Creative Orchestration
  • Critical Thinking
  • Digital Composition
  • Sound Design and Synthesis
  • Understanding C18 Music
  • Jazz: Origin and Styles
  • Philosophy and Aesthetics of Music
  • Aesthetics of Electronic and Computer Music
  • Performance II
  • Composing for Words, Theatre and Moving Image
  • Digital Composition
  • Work Placement
  • Can Classical Music Change Lives? 
  • Opera and Politics
  • Music in Asia
  • Approaches to Popular Music
  • Film Music
  • Beethoven and Schubert
  • Narrative and Emotion
  • C20 Studies
  • Approaches to Music Therapy
You may also take a maximum of 20 credits from another department.

Year Three

The final year allows you to specialise further, with pathways across the year in Dissertation (on a subject of your choice), Performance, Composition and Music Technology. We currently offer the following specialist third-year modules:

  • Collaborative Project
  • Dissertation
  • Editorial/Analytical Project
  • Research Seminar: Britten and Sondheim
  • Research Seminar: Music and Minorities
  • Research Seminar: Musicians' Health
  • Research Seminar: The Romantic Imagination
  • Performance III
  • Composition Project
  • Music Production

Many year two modules are also offered as year three options. You may also take 20 credits from another department.

 

Entry requirements

A levels: A or B in music; or A or B in music technology plus Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM). If no A Level in music or music technology, then AAB/ABB plus Grade 8 Performance (ABRSM, LCM, Trinity, Rockschool) and Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM).

English language requirements 

IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

Students who require extra support to meet the English language requirements for their academic course can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE) to prepare for their future studies. Students who pass at the required level can progress directly to their academic programme without needing to retake IELTS. Please visit the CELE webpages for more information.

Alternative qualifications 

BTEC: We normally require DDD grades in BTEC Music courses, and if syllabus is heavily practice – or technology – weighted, we may also ask for a pass in ABRSM Grade 5 Theory. 

Please see the alternative qualifications page.

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, The University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.  
 

Modules

Find out more about some of our current modules by clicking on the links below. A fuller view of the course structure, including a full list of current optional modules, is offered on the ‘Overview’ tab.

Typical Year One Modules

Compulsory

Elements of Music I

This core module will consolidate your knowledge of the fundamental building blocks of music across all periods and genres. Topics will include notation, mode, chord, time and texture.

 

Elements of Music II

This core module focuses upon principles of form construction in music. Topics will include partimenti, baroque forms, song form, sonata and the principles of tonal and thematic relationships.

 

Repertoires I

This core module introduces you to key developments in Early Music and Opera. Through a combination of lectures and seminars, you will become familiar with fundamental developments in these areas of the repertoire, cementing basic knowledge essential for all trained musicians.

 

Repertoires II

This core module introduces you to key developments in 19th and 20th-century music. Through a combination of lectures and seminars, you will become familiar with fundamental developments in these areas of the repertoire, cementing basic knowledge essential for all trained musicians.

 

Global Music Studies

This module offers an introduction to the different meanings, practices, and theories of popular and art music from a diverse range of cultures, surveying traditions from Asia, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Pacific. It incorporates an introduction to ethnomusicological theory and method. 

 

Ensemble Performance

This module is based upon participation in and preparation for rehearsals and performances of the University Choir and/or Philharmonia. Through intensive preparation of demanding repertoire with a professional conductor, you will develop your understanding of the demands and pleasures of large ensemble performance and knowledge of the repertoire concerned, and be encouraged to reflect upon the roles and responsibilities of individual performers within the group. You will also be required to attend a professional ensemble concert or concerts in the Djanogly Recital Hall, which you will review and on which will prepare a report. Your learning will be assessed through monitoring participation, and by two short written assessments.

 

Optional

Performance I

You will receive instrumental or vocal lessons (including guidance on programming) from a specialist tutor. These lessons will be complemented by regular, interactive performance workshops examining performance style, stage presentation and recital preparation. You will be assessed through a 15-minute public recital in the Djanogly Recital Hall. 

 

Skills in Composition

This module explores the relationship between musical raw materials and the realisation of their creative potential by examining a wide range of compositional techniques and musical styles. Short musical studies will focus on new approaches to rhythm, melody, counterpoint and harmony. 

 
 


Typical Year Two Modules

Optional

Critical Thinking about Music

This module develops awareness of and interest in a variety of broadly based critical and investigative topics that go beyond the orthodoxies of chronological history and technical/stylistic commentary. The module aim is to enable you to see music not just as a self-sufficient artistic and intellectual tradition but also as an activity that is embedded in social-cultural contexts and informed by your values and attitudes. Important critical issues, embracing ethical and philosophical ideas as they relate to music, as well as a range of aesthetic and interpretive questions, will be addressed in a theoretical and a practical way.

 

Advanced Ensemble Performance

This module assesses student performance in a small ensemble setting. Weekly coaching sessions will be given to student ensembles, plus individual instrumental tuition. The module will be assessed through a public ensemble performance, plus involvement in the larger student ensembles.

 

Creative Orchestration

This module explores the creative potential of present-day orchestral and popular instruments and the specific notational requirements of contemporary composition. Short musical studies will focus on writing for woodwinds, brass, strings, percussion and popular instruments, culminating in a final project for orchestra.

 

Digital Composition

This module develops core skills in professional digital composition, using Logic Pro software. Topics addressed will include the analysis and study of different examples of digital composition techniques, and the completion of industry-specific composition briefs. The aim is to provide a basic grounding in computer based music composition and industry standard software. 

 

Performance II

This module offers opportunity for intensive development of performing skills. You will receive regular individual lessons with your assigned performance tutor, with whom you agree a corpus of works to be studied. Individual lessons are complemented by regular performance workshops. Your end of year recital will usually include items selected from the appropriate syllabus of the ABRSM, Trinity or Rockschool.

 

Work Placement

This module involves part-time placement (1 day a week) in an external organisation, and is aimed at developing hands-on work experience and employability skills in a workplace relevant to Music graduates. Each placement will be arranged by the Department, and will be provided by organisations involved in music or other areas of the creative and cultural industries. Departmental mentoring will take the form of a fortnightly seminar, where experiences are shared and work is undertaken on the assessment tasks.

 

Approaches to Popular Music

This module aims to provide a grounding in approaches to thinking and writing about popular music, with some theoretical and musicological background in musical, historical and cultural issues. It will cover a variety of general approaches and perspectives, as well as exploring key issues in relation to featured songs, videos, and case studies.

 

Jazz: Origins and Styles

This module investigates the origins of jazz in ragtime and the blues, and the development of contrasting jazz styles from 1917 to the present day. Topics include: New Orleans and Chicago ensemble jazz; Harlem stride piano; swing bands; be-bop and hard bop; the 'cool' school; modal jazz; free jazz; jazz-rock fusion. 

 

Philosophy and Aesthetics of Music

This module introduces the student to the traditions of philosophical reflection on music, dating from Kant to the present day. Students will be encouraged to apply the ideas of key philosophers to a present-day case study. 

 

Aesthetics of Electronic and Computer Music

This module investigates technological shifts in recording and performance and assesses their impact on the perception of music. Students will explore how cultural changes and advances in technology have shaped existing genres and created new movements.

 

Composing for Words, Theatre and Moving Image

This module explores musical composition in dialogue with other artistic media. Topics will include text-setting and writing for voice, new possibilities for opera and music theatre, and film composition. 

 

Can Classical Music Change Lives?

This module examines projects that have used music to tackle situations of conflict or social disadvantage. Case studies include El Sistema, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Streetwise Opera and Music in Prisons.

 

Opera and Politics

This module considers political ‘meanings’ embedded in individual operas, and examines ways in which political theories might be related to the aesthetic dimension of opera. Themes include race, nationalism, gender, religion, fascism. 

 

Music in Asia

This module examines musical traditions throughout Asia, with an emphasis upon the different functions played by musical practice in different cultural contexts.

 

Film Music

This module provides an introduction to the various styles of film music developed during the history of cinema. Topics include silent film, the golden era of Hollywood, genre characteristics (eg, animation, musical comedy, science fiction, etc), European cinema, and jazz/pop soundtracks. 

 

Beethoven and Schubert

The position of Beethoven and Schubert in music history will be examined from a dual perspective: as a continuation of the maturity of the Classical style and as a point of departure for the Romantic era. Their respective biographies will be studied, both psychologically and professionally, in relation to the musical life of the times and their individual creative trajectories. 

 

Narrative and Emotion

This module examines ways in which visual artists and composers tell stories and convey feelings in the period 1600–1750. Topics will include: the portrayal and projection of character, the delineation of emotion, the development of plot and action, the build-up of situations and the relation of these to the narrative sequence. 

 

Twentieth-Century Studies

This module examines aspects of style and structure in a wide variety of 20th-century classical music. Topics to be considered include post-tonal harmony, serial thought, block form, minimalism and new concepts of rhythm and texture. 

 

Approaches to Music Therapy

This module considers both the history and the present day practice of therapeutic uses of music. The intention is to give students a grounding in the basic theories of music therapy, and an appreciation of the range of music’s use in different contexts.

 
 


Typical Year Three Modules

Optional

Collaborative Project

This module involves student performers, composers and music technologists working together to develop a new creative project, for performance in a venue in Nottingham. Improvisation will be fundamental to the developmental stages of the project. 

 

Performance III

Building on previous performance modules, you will develop your performing skills to a professional standard. You will receive regular individual lessons with your assigned performance tutor, with whom you agree a corpus of works to be studied. Individual lessons are supplemented with regular performance workshops. The recital should usually include items selected from the appropriate syllabus of the ABRSM, Trinity or Rockschool.

 

Composition Portfolio

This module offers the opportunity to develop creative ability and technical skill in composition to an advanced level. Individuality of compositional voice is encouraged in a project or programme of projects agreed between yourself and the module tutor.

 

Music Production

This module investigates current production processes within historical contexts; explores communication of artistic expression via musical direction and arrangements, and factors affecting performance; develops communication and time management skills in working with artists; and skills in effective digital file management.

 

Dissertation

This module provides you with the opportunity to prepare for an extended individual prose study of 11,000–13,000 words, on a self-selected subject, agreed with the module convenor. Credit will be given for the scope and depth of the study, for clarity of expression and thoroughness of presentation. One-to-one supervision will be supplemented by regular group classes and attendance at Department Music Colloquia.

 

Research Seminars

Every year a number of research seminars are offered in subjects directly relating to staff research interests. In the next two years these will be on Britten and Sondheim, Music and Minorities, Musicians’ Health, Music in Historic Cities, and The Romantic Imagination.

 

Many year two modules are also offered as year three options. You may also take 20 credits from another department.

 

 

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.

 
 

Work placement

We are one of very few UK music departments to offer a curricular, credit-bearing Work Placement module. Gaining relevant work experience is increasingly seen as a must in today’s competitive world; at Nottingham you can do this as part of your music degree!

The department currently offers more than 20 placements at music-related organisations in Nottingham and the East Midlands, including:

Students attend the placement organisation for one day a week during the spring semester, and undertake a related written project.

Additionally, we currently offer voluntary mentoring placements at local primary schools in conjunction with Nottingham Music Hub, and paid part-time traineeships with Nottingham Lakeside Arts and the department’s Denis Arnold Music Library.

 

Careers

All music graduates leave the University with a broad portfolio of transferable skills, prepared for a variety of careers both within and outside music. The variety of kinds of learning encompassed by a music degree is uniquely suited to developing the key employability skills identified in the recent CBI/NUS report 'Working towards your future'. Additionally, the department's 'Work Placement' module is specifically designed to enable music students to develop their career prospects in ways relevant to their interests and skills.

Recent graduates have gained employment in the music and creative industries (including jobs at the BBC, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Boosey and Hawkes, HarrisonParrott Artist Management, Oxford University Press Music, Blackheath Halls), in other business and professional sections (including professional positions at KPMG, Deloitte UK, PwC, Deutsche Bank, Charles Russell LLP, Citigroup, Christie's), and in education and other public sectors (including jobs at King’s College London, Arts Council England, Royal College of Music and schools around the country).

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2014, 100% of first-degree graduates in the department who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £20,400 with the highest being £27,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2013/14.

Careers Support and Advice

Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.  

 
 

Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help.

Home students*

There are several types of bursary and scholarship on offer. Download our funding guide or visit our financial support pages to find out more about tuition fees, loans, budgeting and sources of funding.

To be eligible to apply for most of these funds you must be liable for the £9,000 tuition fee and not be in receipt of a bursary from outside the University.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

The University of Nottingham provides information and advice on financing your degree and managing your finances as an international student. The International Office offers a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees.  
 

Related courses

 

Key Information Sets (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.

Time in lectures, seminars and similar

From September 2012, the typical path in our courses guarantees class contact time of 12 hours/week in year 1, 10 hours/week in year 2 and 8 hours/week in year 3 (when you are likely to be receiving more one-to-one tuition). Weekly tutorial support, ensemble rehearsals and the accredited Nottingham Advantage Award provide further optional learning activities, on top of these class contact hours.

% in professional/managerial job at six months

Nottingham Music graduates gain employment in a huge variety of careers. A period of apprenticeship or workplace training is normal for careers in the arts; these 6-month statistics accordingly do not take account of graduates who progress to professional or managerial posts within a year or two of graduation.

How to use the data

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Disclaimer
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to 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 the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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