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Recommendations for Universities for a Music Degree

Hi,

I'm currently studying A-level Music, English Lit and Biology and my predicted grades are AAA

I want to do a Music degree but I am uncertain which Universities to apply for, I've looked at the league tables etc but I'm keen to get some real world views/recommendations regarding Universities/Courses

I like the look of Cambridge but realise that will be tough to get into.

Liverpool and Manchester offer a combined Music/Film Studies course which looks interesting but I'm not sure how strong their Music departments are, is anyone currently there or has recently left that can offer a view?

Then there are the likes of Birmingham and Southampton that have good reputations, again anyone able to offer a view?

Any other recommendations? I should add I'm not really interested in going to a conservatoire as I'm strong in music theory but less so in performance so don't think it's right for me!

Sorry for the rambling question, I'm just really uncertain where to apply!
(edited 1 year ago)
Newcastle offer a few music degrees (BMus and Classical/Contemporary BAs…) and have a great music department! i got an offer for the Popular & Contemporary course 2 years ago and it was my top choice, but then over lockdown i decided to apply for Musical Theatre instead. But if i was to do a Music degree it would definitely be there! I visited in person back in 2019 and they have 2 music blocks- one dedicated to the students practising, and the other with the lecturers offices etc… They have brilliant producing studios too and have cool optional modules like film/gaming music
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Uni23
Hi,

I'm currently studying A-level Music, English Lit and Biology and my predicted grades are AAA

I want to do a Music degree but I am uncertain which Universities to apply for, I've looked at the league tables etc but I'm keen to get some real world views/recommendations regarding Universities/Courses

I like the look of Cambridge but realise that will be tough to get into.

Liverpool and Manchester offer a combined Music/Film Studies course which looks interesting but I'm not sure how strong their Music departments are, is anyone currently there or has recently left that can offer a view?

Then there are the likes of Birmingham and Southampton that have good reputations, again anyone able to offer a view?

Any other recommendations? I should add I'm not really interested in going to a conservatoire as I'm strong in music theory but less so in performance so don't think it's right for me!

Sorry for the rambling question, I'm just really uncertain where to apply!

My daughter is in her first year studing BMus at Royal Holloway; part of the University of London. She got a scholarship and is principle of the 2nd Violin section. The campus is brilliant and the course is Nbr 6 in the country for music. It is the only uni that has a regus professor of music. It is also a Steinway College. The uni is based in Egham Surrey; about 45 minutes from Waterloo. Its located just off the M25, Jct 13 and not far from Staines, Windsor and Virginia Water. She has access to specialised teaching and is a member of the symphony orchestra. She has also joined a student run operatic society singing pieces from Operas, namely Mozart and Lieder from Schubert. She has played side by side with the Mozart Players. Halls of residence are great and the campus is nice and compact. If you get A* in Music and have done EPQ you will be allowed lower grades in the other subjects. If you play Oboe they will love you to death! Hope it works out for you. we tried Cambridge which you have to apply for right away but the course is very very academic and we were relieved to get turned down as my daughter would have hated it as she likes composition and performance. Her 1:1 violin tutor is asking her to learn Vaughan Williams "Lark Ascending" which is magical. The others we considered were Birmingham (Uni not conservatoire) Southampton and Sheffield. Hope this helps and good luck!
Reply 3
Original post by chazzamichaz
Newcastle offer a few music degrees (BMus and Classical/Contemporary BAs…) and have a great music department! i got an offer for the Popular & Contemporary course 2 years ago and it was my top choice, but then over lockdown i decided to apply for Musical Theatre instead. But if i was to do a Music degree it would definitely be there! I visited in person back in 2019 and they have 2 music blocks- one dedicated to the students practising, and the other with the lecturers offices etc… They have brilliant producing studios too and have cool optional modules like film/gaming music

Thanks, that does sound good, I’ll take a look at Newcastle!
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 4
Original post by petrometro1
My daughter is in her first year studing BMus at Royal Holloway; part of the University of London. She got a scholarship and is principle of the 2nd Violin section. The campus is brilliant and the course is Nbr 6 in the country for music. It is the only uni that has a regus professor of music. It is also a Steinway College. The uni is based in Egham Surrey; about 45 minutes from Waterloo. Its located just off the M25, Jct 13 and not far from Staines, Windsor and Virginia Water. She has access to specialised teaching and is a member of the symphony orchestra. She has also joined a student run operatic society singing pieces from Operas, namely Mozart and Lieder from Schubert. She has played side by side with the Mozart Players. Halls of residence are great and the campus is nice and compact. If you get A* in Music and have done EPQ you will be allowed lower grades in the other subjects. If you play Oboe they will love you to death! Hope it works out for you. we tried Cambridge which you have to apply for right away but the course is very very academic and we were relieved to get turned down as my daughter would have hated it as she likes composition and performance. Her 1:1 violin tutor is asking her to learn Vaughan Williams "Lark Ascending" which is magical. The others we considered were Birmingham (Uni not conservatoire) Southampton and Sheffield. Hope this helps and good luck!

Wow, your daughter sounds incredibly talented! My strengths are in theory and composition and my dream job would be composing for films and other media. I’m quite intimidated by the dedicated music schools as I’m not sure my instrument performance would be up to scratch, I’m grade 8 in singing but have much lower grades in guitar and piano, I’ve never even picked up an oboe but perhaps I’ll try it! Still your description of Royal Holloway sounds fantastic and it’s quite close to me so I’ll check it out! Thanks!
(edited 1 year ago)
No Problem. I know of people who took an undergraduate singing course at RH and ended up doing a post Grad at the Royal Academy. My daughter also likes theory and composition and RH offer course modules in film, production and even gaming. Go onto the website and book an open day. We did and never looked back. Incidentally may daughter is singing with her operatic society next Friday at the chapel in RH. Starts at 1930 and will probably end at 2030 without a break. Head towards the Egham bypass and then at the roundabout head up Egham Hill (A30) and the entrance is on the left right after the 2nd footbridge. I think its free with a retiring donation. Anyone studying at RH can apply for a music scholarship. You don't have to be studying music. Its worth £700 a year and is by audition of course. There is a singing scholarship as well as an orchestral one.
Original post by petrometro1
No Problem. I know of people who took an undergraduate singing course at RH and ended up doing a post Grad at the Royal Academy. My daughter also likes theory and composition and RH offer course modules in film, production and even gaming. Go onto the website and book an open day. We did and never looked back. Incidentally may daughter is singing with her operatic society next Friday at the chapel in RH. Starts at 1930 and will probably end at 2030 without a break. Head towards the Egham bypass and then at the roundabout head up Egham Hill (A30) and the entrance is on the left right after the 2nd footbridge. I think its free with a retiring donation. Anyone studying at RH can apply for a music scholarship. You don't have to be studying music. Its worth £700 a year and is by audition of course. There is a singing scholarship as well as an orchestral one.

https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/research-and-teaching/departments-and-schools/music/
Reply 7

Thank you so much! I’ve looked at the courses they do and they literally have the perfect course for me, I can’t believe I hadn’t seen that yet. I’m so glad I posted here now as this has gone straight to the top of my list!!!
Original post by Uni23
Hi,

I'm currently studying A-level Music, English Lit and Biology and my predicted grades are AAA

I want to do a Music degree but I am uncertain which Universities to apply for, I've looked at the league tables etc but I'm keen to get some real world views/recommendations regarding Universities/Courses

I like the look of Cambridge but realise that will be tough to get into.

Liverpool and Manchester offer a combined Music/Film Studies course which looks interesting but I'm not sure how strong their Music departments are, is anyone currently there or has recently left that can offer a view?

Then there are the likes of Birmingham and Southampton that have good reputations, again anyone able to offer a view?

Any other recommendations? I should add I'm not really interested in going to a conservatoire as I'm strong in music theory but less so in performance so don't think it's right for me!

Sorry for the rambling question, I'm just really uncertain where to apply!

Ooh hello, I've only just spotted this thread :biggrin: I didn't go to any of the unis you listed but will throw in my tuppence anyway :biggrin:

If you like the look of Cambridge, by all means go for it: just be realistic about it. By which I mean, don't get overattached or be like "it's Cambridge or nothing" - that kinda mentality is never health.

Manchester has more edge/prestige for music, unless things have radically changed since I applied - which is possible! Liverpool is particularly strong for popular music studies. Birmingham is very good and there are probably strong links with the conservatoire, which would make organising instrumental tuition more straightforward. In "my day" (2007-2010), Southampton was a really good place to go if you wanted to mix Western art music modules with popular music modules. It's probably the least prestigious one you've mentioned, but if you like it, go for it!

As for RHUL, I can't speak for the undergrad experience (I'm a PhD student there), but I'd def visit before firming it. Egham and Englefield Green are a bit dead, depending on where you currently live and what you're used to. If you like quiet, then it'll be no problem at all, but I personally would have struggled being an undergrad at RHUL - not least coz I'm not fit enough to hike up and down Egham Hill in the way undergrads have to :biggrin:
Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd
Ooh hello, I've only just spotted this thread :biggrin: I didn't go to any of the unis you listed but will throw in my tuppence anyway :biggrin:

If you like the look of Cambridge, by all means go for it: just be realistic about it. By which I mean, don't get overattached or be like "it's Cambridge or nothing" - that kinda mentality is never health.

Manchester has more edge/prestige for music, unless things have radically changed since I applied - which is possible! Liverpool is particularly strong for popular music studies. Birmingham is very good and there are probably strong links with the conservatoire, which would make organising instrumental tuition more straightforward. In "my day" (2007-2010), Southampton was a really good place to go if you wanted to mix Western art music modules with popular music modules. It's probably the least prestigious one you've mentioned, but if you like it, go for it!

As for RHUL, I can't speak for the undergrad experience (I'm a PhD student there), but I'd def visit before firming it. Egham and Englefield Green are a bit dead, depending on where you currently live and what you're used to. If you like quiet, then it'll be no problem at all, but I personally would have struggled being an undergrad at RHUL - not least coz I'm not fit enough to hike up and down Egham Hill in the way undergrads have to :biggrin:

Echo all of above. If you need another option Sussex have quite a lot of Film modules with their music degree. Cardiff also has a varied programme.
Original post by Uni23
Hi,

I'm currently studying A-level Music, English Lit and Biology and my predicted grades are AAA

I want to do a Music degree but I am uncertain which Universities to apply for, I've looked at the league tables etc but I'm keen to get some real world views/recommendations regarding Universities/Courses

I like the look of Cambridge but realise that will be tough to get into.

Liverpool and Manchester offer a combined Music/Film Studies course which looks interesting but I'm not sure how strong their Music departments are, is anyone currently there or has recently left that can offer a view?

Then there are the likes of Birmingham and Southampton that have good reputations, again anyone able to offer a view?

Any other recommendations? I should add I'm not really interested in going to a conservatoire as I'm strong in music theory but less so in performance so don't think it's right for me!

Sorry for the rambling question, I'm just really uncertain where to apply!

Hi there,

Unfortunatley I don't do music but I can offer you some insight into Southampton as a university annd city!

University of Southampton is a city university which means we have multiple campuses around the city. Our main campus is highfield which is where the music building is based. Highfield campus is full of coffe shops, food outlets and had some lovely green space right by the music building. We also have an on campus concert hall where students can perfrom as part of the music course. Southampton has over 200 societies, including performing arts, music and dacne societies - they also get to perform at the concert hall or at our on campus theartre. One paticular society that may appeal to you is the Wessex Films soceity - they're a student film making society and members can do anything from act to compose music :smile:

If you choose to live in halls you get a free bus which can be used to get between the different halls of residence, different campuses, to town and to our sports facilities. I lived in Glen Eyre halls in my first year - it was about 10-15 minute walk from campus and has a bus stop 2 minutes away to get into town. It also had lovely big green space and plenty of bbq areas which is perfect for the summer.

Southampton as a city is lively - there are lots of students from both University of Southampton and Solent University. We have West Quay shopping centre in Southampton which is large with lots of shops, restaurants, bowling and a cinema. The university is a short walk from Southampton common which is a lovely large green space with ponds, some sports equipment and a pub. Southampton is also a short train ride/drive from the New Forrest, Bournemouth and Portsmouth and has easy connections to London.

As you mentioned, University of Southampton does have a good reputation and although there are lots of different league tables, we are currently 2nd for Music on the Guardian university league table:smile:

My best advice would be to visit the universities and get a feel for them - some universities just feel right! I did my undergraduate here and I'm now doing my masters and when I first visited I just got a good feel for the university. I've been able to meet people from all over the UK and the world and have loved joining different societies throughout my time here.

I hope that has given you some helpful infomation about Southampton, please let me know if you would like any more infomation or if you have any questions.

Katie - University of Southampton Student Ambassador
MSc Occupational Therapy
(edited 1 year ago)

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