Aimed at musicians of outstanding potential and inspired by the diverse and ever-changing needs of the arts and creative industries, this programme provides fully integrated and wide-ranging training in performance/composition and related skills, to help you establish a successful career as a musician with a creative and intellectual approach to music.
Core performance modules run throughout the first three years supported by individual tuition, a range of departmental performance classes, masterclasses and other performance activities. This will enable you to develop an increasingly refined level of technical assurance, advanced knowledge of repertoire and style, and the ability to communicate compellingly with an audience through performance. The training also emphasises the development of collaborative music making skills through involvement in chamber music and small ensembles, supported by weekly coaching and mentoring sessions.
For instrumentalists and vocalists, an introductory module – Enhancing Performance – provides you with an understanding of the fundamental issues relating to the physical and psychological health and well-being of musicians. The module is delivered by a range of specialists from the world of medicine, sport and music and aims to help you to make the most of your educational and professional potential, over a sustained period.
A series of practical classes, workshops and seminars in the first and second years provide essential training in harmony and aural skills, with specialist modules for keyboard players in the essential areas of keyboard musicianship required for diverse employment contexts.
Contextual studies lectures cover key developments in the history of music, while seminars explore the ways in which music may be studied, analysed and written about. This offers you the opportunity to deepen your understanding of a variety of works, composers and styles within their historical context, and develop advanced skills in research and written communication.
An initial professional studies module in the second year introduces various approaches and styles of outreach work. You will work in small teams to devise and develop a creative project to deliver in local primary schools. Alongside this, a series of lectures and seminars will support the essential development of reflective professional practice.
In the third year, you will have the opportunity to develop your teaching practice, usually working over a period of time with a student from another department. Supporting classes explore various methods and materials for teaching music, and consider fundamental musical and professional issues associated with individual and group tuition.
A comprehensive range of module options in the third and fourth years enables you to explore and develop a range of complementary professional skills, in areas including studio work, broadcasting, arts management, teaching and community outreach. You may also choose to study at one of the College’s European partner conservatoires during the third year.
In the final year, you will be able to map your own degree path by selecting modules that reflect your particular interests, strengths and career aspirations.
Optional modules include vocational projects, which allow you to gain valuable experience of working in a professional context, in preparation for life after College.
Entry is by audition for instrumentalists and vocalists, and by interview for composers.
As a guide to the minimum standard required for entry, we expect instrumental and vocal candidates to be able to demonstrate musical ability equivalent to that required to gain a Distinction at ABRSM Grade VIII.
We will ask composers to send examples of their creative work prior to attending an interview.
Candidates who are successful at audition/interview are usually expected to gain at least two A levels including Music, or equivalent Level 3 qualifications prior to entry. Equivalent qualifications include WBQ, Scottish Highers, BTEC National Diploma/Certificate, International Baccalaureate, Advanced GNVQ, AVCE or Advanced Diploma (Level 3) and recognised international qualifications.
ABRSM music theory qualifications at Grade VI or above may also be considered as an alternative to an A level in Music.
In any case, the minimum conditions attached to any offer of a place are based on individual applications/auditions, and will often be higher than the minimum requirements stated above.
International applicants whose first language is not English will need to demonstrate that their English language ability meets the College’s minimum requirements. Please refer to our English Language Requirements page for details of accepted English language tests and required scores.
Tuition Fees for 2021-2022
|Course Duration||Home (UK) / Republic of Ireland (ROI) Students||Overseas Students||Students from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man|
|4 years full time||£9,000 *||£21,849 **||£15,427 **|
* Undergraduate tuition fees for UK students are set by the Welsh Government. They are reviewed annually and may be subject to an increase in future years.
** Undergraduate tuition fees for overseas students or students from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man are subject to an annual increase.
Travel costs are low as most parts of the city are easily accessible on foot. The halls of residence, most residential areas and the city centre are a 10-15-minute walk from the campus.
Instrumental students must have their own instrument and any necessary accessories, which they will be expected to maintain to a professional playing standard at their own cost. The College requires that you have adequate personal instrument insurance.
You will need your own black concert dress as appropriate: dinner jacket, black bow tie, black/white shirt and smart black trousers or floor length black dress/skirt/black trousers and black top with smart black shoes. Shoulders must be covered – if your dress or top is strapless, you will need a cardigan. All clothing must be plain (no sparkles or glitter). You may also require alternative, non-black performance clothes for recitals.
Composition students may find it beneficial to have their own computer and will need an external hard-drive, a 32GB memory stick, peripheral cables and headphones. Notation software such as Sibelius will also be useful. We will offer further advice on purchasing recording and sonic manipulation software after you start you course. All departmental computers have a range of standard software.
Students are encouraged to attend as many College performances as possible and are eligible for free or discounted tickets.
We recommend too that you allow for the cost of purchasing and building your own sheet music library throughout your training.
As part of the Outreach Skills module, you are required to deliver a workshop for school children. Prior to this, you will need to undergo an enhanced DBS check. This currently costs £50 and is payable by the College. If you elect to undertake further outreach and/or teaching activity as part of your course, we advise that you register with the DBS Update service at your own cost (currently £13 per year).
The College strongly recommends that you join a relevant performer union such as ISM or MU, which offer student membership rates.
If you choose to undertake a self-directed and self-organised work placement as part of an optional module(s), you will be responsible for expenses incurred. You will also need to cover the costs of any external competitions you choose to enter during your studies. In the case of projects organised and run directly on behalf of the College, agreement will be reached beforehand about payment of costs.
Dissertations and composition/arrangement portfolios need to be submitted in hard-copy and you will need to cover the cost of printing and binding.
Students who are required to re-sit assessments may be expected to pay a resit fee.