What is music?
Our undergraduate courses offer flexibility of choice, breadth of subject matter, and unrivalled opportunities to gain experience and training relevant to a range of careers. You may follow pathways in composition, performance and music technology through all three years. Academic modules cover a huge range of periods and musical genres, and also encompass the philosophy of music, music analysis, music therapy and music in the community. In the second year, you may study abroad for a semester, or take an optional Work Placement module with one of our external partners. After the first year there are few constraints on module combinations, allowing you to specialise in fields of personal interest. All Nottingham music students will graduate with an enviable array of highly developed skills adaptable to any work environment.
In addition, Nottingham you can participate in more than 20 student ensembles, become a student mentor on Nottingham's pioneering In Harmony scheme, benefit from workshops with professional musicians, and gain valuable work experience through our music internships.
How will I study?
Teaching takes the form of lectures, seminar classes and individual consultative tutorials, and is supplemented by workshops and master classes with professional musicians. In the first year you will receive an average of 12 contact hours per week.
All students taking solo performance modules will receive fully-paid tuition with one of our experienced instrumental and vocal teachers. The allocations are generous: in the first year, 16 hours across the year; in the second year, 18 hours across the year; in the third year, 20 hours across the year. Additionally, for each assessed recital performance students will receive a bursary to support practice with an approved accompanist.
Class time is supplemented by the huge range of performance activities taking place in the department. More than 20 student ensembles are based in the department, and these provide opportunities not only for performing, but also for conducting and for ensemble management – the latter developing invaluable employability skills.
All music students are entitled to free tickets for concerts at the University’s Lakeside Arts Centre. Many students are also actively involved in the dynamic musical life of the city of Nottingham, through choral scholarships at the cathedral and major churches, involvement in local schools, and close collaborations with the city’s performing groups.
The department is housed in modern purpose-built accommodation overlooking the boating lake on University Park Campus. We have:
- an on-site music library (including a large collection of sound recordings and a video and DVD archive)
- a computer laboratory
- a Digital Composition Studio
- a Recording Studio
- teaching and practice rooms
- a lecture theatre
- an orchestral-size Rehearsal Hall
- the Djanogly Recital Hall, where professional and student concerts are presented throughout the year
- a varied collection of orchestral and early instruments.
Find out more about our facilities for music study.
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.
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 'Music Careers' and 'Work Placement' modules are 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, Harrison Parrott 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).
In 2016, 93.2% of undergraduates in the School of Humanities who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £20,205 with the highest being £38,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.
We offer opportunities to study abroad in Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden and the United States.
Nottingham has the highest number of any UK university on outward mobility under Erasmus.*
* Erasmus student and staff numbers by institution, Erasmus+ 2014.
Application and interview
Offers are usually made without interview. Students with non-standard entry qualifications, including mature students, may be invited to an interview.
Choosing where to study for the next few years of your life is a difficult decision. By coming to an open day you can see for yourself why Nottingham could be the place for you.
If you make an application to study at the University of Nottingham and are successful in being made an offer, you will receive an invitation to attend an offer-holder event. These events take place between February and April.