Department of Music

Successful graduates - Music

  • 100% of first-degree graduates in the department available for employment secured work or further study after six months of graduation.*
  • The average salary of these was £20,400, with the highest being £27,000.*

*Known destinations of full-time home first-degree undergraduates 2014/15. Salaries are calculated based on those in full time paid employment within the UK.


Annie Johnson
Graduate Trainee Librarian, Newham College, University of Cambridge

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While I was studying at Nottingham I worked in the Music Library as a Student Library Assistant. This experience led to an aspiration to work in libraries when I left university.

My current role as Trainee Librarian at Newnham is very varied and interesting. I spend a lot of time helping students with their research, as well as the behind-the-scenes parts of library work such as cataloguing and processing new books. I've also been able to use my skills as a music graduate, as I'm heading a project to catalogue and classify a large collection of sheet music which has been languishing in a basement for several years!  

The whole Nottingham music degree experience has been very good preparation for this job. I am constantly using the critical thinking and research skills the course helped me to develop. In September I will be taking an MA in Library and Information Studies at UCL, after which I hope to continue my career at Cambridge

Hannah Shoukry
External Bookings Manager, Royal Academy of Music, London

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I have worked at the Academy since graduating from Nottingham. My first role was Concerts and Programmes Administrator, in which capacity I had responsibility for paper and online marketing, assisted with programming and planning of public events, and preparing programme booklets.

My current role involves managing c. 450 external performances given yearly by Academy students for festivals, concert venues, and corporate functions. I also oversee all financial and marketing matters related to these performances.

Nottingham’s varied Music curriculum and the freedom offered by the course to research subjects of personal interest have made a massive difference to what I can now offer audiences as a promoter. Whilst I was at Nottingham I gained valuable work experience at the University’s Lakeside Arts Centre, Opera North and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. I also gained crucial skills for ensemble/musician management during my time as Brass Ensemble Manager. Overall, the musical knowledge I obtained during my degree at Nottingham has assisted me enormously in my career. 

Sam Watts
Freelance composer for film and TV, London

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Since graduating from Nottingham I have provided music for BBC productions including Doctor Who, Planet Earth, Being Human and The Sarah Jane Adventures, for feature films and documentaries including Stormhouse and For Neda, and audio books for the Dark Shadows series.

My time at the University of Nottingham was fantastic. It broadened my musical knowledge and understanding and helped make me a better overall musician. The composition and orchestration modules really challenged me to improve and think about new ways of writing and arranging music: I still fish out Dr Nick Sackman’s orchestration guidelines from time to time. The Film and Television module helped me to decide that I wanted to become a composer for media. Also, whilst at Nottingham, Prof Mervyn Cooke introduced me to film composer George Fenton, who gave me my first job after graduating and kick-started my career as a composer. In this sense I owe my career directly to the Music Department at the University of Nottingham.

Polly Jackman
Grand Rights Licensing Associate, Boosey & Hawkes music publisher, London

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I have worked at Boosey and Hawkes since graduating. My first role involved liaising with composers, artist agencies, commissioners and all branches of the company to pave the way for successful world premieres at venues around the globe. 

I am now responsible for licensing all performances of operas, ballets and recordings. Each licence is negotiated on an individual basis – there are no set rates – so powers of negotiation/persuasion/creativity are absolutely essential!

There’s not a day goes by that I don’t feel I’m drawing on the knowledge and skills I acquired at Nottingham. The course offered a diverse and imaginative range of modules developed by lecturers who not only know their stuff but care passionately about what they do. I was also given the space and encouragement to explore, ask questions, think creatively and develop my own research interests. I think it’s very telling that when I recently changed roles at Boosey, my old job went to another recent Nottingham graduate. 

Roger Lewis
Group Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union and Millennium Stadium 

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Roger has an impressive CV and is credited with turning around many businesses over 30 years in his role as Head of BBC Radio One, Managing Director of EMI Premier, President of the Decca Record Company, Board Director of the GWR Group and Managing Director of Classic FM.

Now as the man at the helm of the WRFU and the Millennium Stadium he’s turned in record turnover, investment and a Grand Slam for the Welsh national side. 

The son of a South Wales steel worker, Roger was born across the road from Cefn Cribwr rugby club, near Bridgend. He played rugby at school and at the University of Nottingham, and prior to becoming a student he played with the Glamorgan Youth Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Wales and the Welsh Jazz Orchestra. Following his graduation, Roger spent four years as a musician, composer and musical director. 

Alumnus Roger Lewis has received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the 2009 Alumni Laureate Awards at The University of Nottingham. 




Department of Music

The University of Nottingham
Lakeside Arts Centre
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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Telephone: +44 (0)115 951 5841