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Our music course presents a coherent, modular degree programme, which allows each student to follow their individual approach to an ever-increasing field. Situated in central London, one of the musical capitals of the world, our course leads to advanced work in six areas: history of western music, ethnomusicology, performance, free composition, study of recorded music, music psychology.
UCAS code W302
Duration Three years
Study mode Full-time
Course type Single honours
Awarding institution King's College London
Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities
Department Department of Music
Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements
General Studies and Critical Thinking - College policy: Please note that AS/A level General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted by King's as one of your A or AS levels. However, if offered the grade achieved may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has just fallen short of the conditions of their offer.
A levels: Either AAB at A-Level including grade A in Music, or AAB at A-Level in addition to a Grade 8 Pass in Music Theory (e.g. through ABRSM examinations or similar).
Access to HE Diploma: Either: Access to Humanities (or similar) Diploma including study of Music at Level 3 with 45 Level 3 credits: 33 Level 3 credits must be from units awarded at Distinction, with the remaining Level 3 credits awarded at Merit. Supplementary information and achievement, e.g marks for certain credits/subjects, may be required depending on course content.
Or: Access to Humanities (or similar) Diploma at Level 3 with 45 Level 3 credits: 33 Level 3 credits must be from units awarded at Distinction, with the remaining Level 3 credits at Merit, in addition to a Grade 8 Pass in Music Theory (e.g. through ABRSM examination or similar).
Cambridge Pre-U: Either 3 Pre-U principal subjects with grades D3 D3 M2 including grade D3 in Music, or 3 Pre-U principal subjects with grades D3 D3 M2 in addition to a Grade 8 Pass in Music Theory (e.g. through ABRSM examinations or similar).
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF from 2010): Either DDM with eleven Distinctions and two A levels at grades AB or DDM with ten Distinctions and two A levels at grades AA, including grade A in Music or in addition to Grade 8 Pass in Music Theory (e.g. through ABRSM examinations or similar).
BTEC Level 3 Diploma (QCF from 2010): Either DM with six Distinctions and two A levels at grades AB or DM with four Distinctions and two A levels at grades AA, including either grade A in Music or in addition to Grade 8 Pass in Music Theory (e.g. through ABRSM examinations or similar).
BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (QCF from 2010): Either D with four modules at Distinction and two A levels at grades AB or M and two A levels at grades AA, including either grade A in Music or in addition to Grade 8 Pass in Music Theory (e.g. through ABRSM examinations or similar).
Scottish Highers & Advanced Highers: Either AAABB in Highers and AB at Advanced Higher including A in Advanced Higher Music, or AAABB in Highers and AB at Advanced Higher in addition to a Grade 8 Pass in Music Theory (e.g. through ABRSM examinations or similar).
International Baccalaureate: Either 35 points and HL 665 including HL6 in Music, or 35 points and HL 665 in addition to a Grade 8 Pass in Music Theory (e.g. through ABRSM examinations or similar).
We value practical skills highly and offer many performance opportunities. Candidates wishing to pursue performance as a formal part of their studies and to receive individual tuition at the Royal Academy of Music will hold ABRSM Grade 8 in their main instrument by the time they arrive at King’s. Keyboard skills (at ABRSM Grade 5) will be an advantage, especially in Techniques, Analysis, Composition and Aural Training.
If ABRSM exams are not being taken, then we will consider equivalent qualifications. For example:
* Trinity College London Music Grade Exams
* London College of Music graded exams
* Similar graded music examinations from other countries
Graded exams are strongly preferred but if they are not available, we will consider a reference from the applicant’s Music Tutor commenting on their level of performance with reference to the ABRSM framework .
Musical and Academic: We look for applicants with an enthusiasm for reading, debating or writing which shows signs of an enquiring and critical attitude in the appreciation of cultural, scientific, and artistic issues. We welcome applicants who have participated in musical master-classes or summer schools, or have attended the junior departments of conservatoires or specialist music schools. We look for applicants who show potential and achievement as a performer, composer, or music thinker and can demonstrate an awareness of what the study of music at a university department involves. We want to attract applicants with some knowledge of foreign languages, evidence of acquaintance with some of the standard repertoire through study and/or performance, a good musical ear, and the ability to write about music and cultural issues.
We look for applicants who have participated as fully as possible in school, college or community life, e.g. membership of orchestras, choirs, musical ensembles, music clubs, giving instrumental tuition, and participation in theatrical productions, dance performances, visual art exhibitions, poetry readings, and festivals.
General: We are keen to attract applicants who have varied extra-curricular interests and enjoy active participation in areas such as sport, travelling, outdoor activities, crafts, and community work.
Are interviews offered? Yes Are all applicants interviewed? No. We interview a select number of candidates whose qualifications and experience indicate that they are of borderline standard when considered alongside our standard requirements, or whose recent personal circumstances may have adversely affected their predictions. Are all those made an offer interviewed? No. The majority of admissions decisions are made on basis of information provided on UCAS application form. What form does it take? 20 minute interview with Admissions Tutor and one other member of staff. What is considered at interview? Communication skills in musical analysis, historical, compositional and performance issues, depending on the student’s interests and strengths. Enthusiasm for an interdisciplinary programme. Exploring aspects of interviewee’s UCAS application form, particularly the Personal Statement.
Application deadline: January 15th 2016
35 points overall with three Higher Level subjects at 665
45 Level 3 credits: 33 must be from units awarded at Distinction, with the remaining Level 3 credits at Merit
D3 D3 M2
Further information below
Ranging from eleventh-century monastic culture to recent sound installations, from London to Paris, Vienna, Italy, the US, Turkey, India and Brazil, from Bach to the Beatles, from Jazz to Opera, from Musical Analysis to Advanced Performance and Free Composition, studying Music at King’s enables you to encounter the world of sound up close and as part of a network that stretches across the centuries and across the globe. Today Music is the most global cultural commodity, and we pride ourselves not only on the range and diversity of the modules we offer, but also on the diversity of the approaches we employ, combining compositional creativity, close reading of scores, aural training, contemporary critical theory and historical scholarship, ethnographic and scientific studies.
In the first year the choice of modules is limited, creating a broadly based foundation for later study. You will come to know and cherish music in all its fascinating forms. In the second year you can choose the types of modules that suit your interest, including modules outside the department. In the third year you can continue to pursue a broadly based programme or study two or three fields in-depth.
A particular strength of the department is that it offers you individual lessons at the Royal Academy of Music. In your first year you will study with an Academy postgraduate student. Depending on your performance level, you may be able to subsequently change to an Academy professor. There is ample opportunity at King's or the Academy to participate in concerts and chamber music groups and receive first-rate coaching. Our students play a leading part in the College Orchestra and sing in the Departmental choir. Recitals take place throughout the year.
The department attaches great importance to the personal attention it gives to each student. Modules in music history involve lectures and seminars or tutorials. Others consist largely of seminars, with students making presentations followed by group discussion. A few modules are taught through small tutorial groups of four or five. Lessons in Advanced Composition and in Performance are taught one-to-one. We have an effective personal tutor system and a staff-student committee. The Department of Music has an international reputation for its excellence in teaching and research. Staff aim to connect research and teaching, both in the classroom and at the many research seminars held in the Department.
The course lasts three years. You are assessed through a variety of methods according to the subject matter and the level. These may include essays, examinations, portfolios, in-class assessments, recitals, dissertations or other forms of musical analysis. The first year aims to ground your studies in a range of periods and approaches rarely encountered at school level, while in the second and third year you choose from a wide range of options, allowing you to develop your own specialism. Final-year students have the opportunity to design their own research project through the dissertation module, supported by a designated supervisor and workshops.
London is a city of music. We are fortunate to be located in a beautiful building overlooking the River Thames at the heart of its arts district. You will have easy access to London’s endless live music offerings at the South Bank arts complex, at the Barbican Centre, at London opera houses and the innumerable music clubs and concert venues. Within 20 minutes’ walk of the Music Department are the West End Theatres, Cinemas and Art Galleries. The Maughan Library with its extensive music holdings will be at your disposal as well as the Senate House Library of the University of London.
Currently, students study a choice of optional modules. King's reviews its options on a regular basis, in order to continue to offer innovative and exciting programmes and this list is therefore subject to change. Please check here for updates, or contact the Department website for further advice. Throughout the three years of the programme, there is also the opportunity for students to take modules at the Royal Academy of Music as well as a certain number of modules in other Departments and thus profit from the excellent academic resources offered at King's.
You take 120 credits of optional modules from the list.
There are no core modules.
Here is an indicative sample of optional modules that were available in 2015. Please note that these are subject to change for 2016 entry and will be updated in due course.
Techniques of Composition I
Issues & Topics in Music History
Music and Globalisation since 1900
Writing About Music
Musical PerformanceMusical AnalysisTechniques of Composition (E.G. Fugue)Composition StudiesHistory of Music modules- in any one academic session, several of the following will be offered:
Introduction to Medieval Music I & IIWestern Music & RaceKeyboard Music from JS Bach to BeethovenWagnerThe Symphony from Berlioz to MahlerNarrative & Lyricism in 19th-century SongMusical Modernism since 1945Music & Worship in England 1470-1605 Performance PracticeEarly Renaissance Music, 1420-1520Post-War JazzItalian Opera in the 19th Century
You can take 120 credits from the modules list below as well as from second year modules not already taken (see list in Year 2).
Advanced Performance Studies (admission by audition)
Musical Performance III
Techniques of Composition III
Advanced Free Composition (admission by portfolio)
History of music modules- in any one academic session, several of the following will be on offer:
Sacred Continental Polyphony between Josquin & Monteverdi
Music & Society in France 1789-1870
Mozart in Vienna
The Beethoven Myth
Opera and Reason
Origins of Twentieth Century Music
Gender and Sexuality in Indian Music
Introduction to 20th-century Opera
The Philosophy & Psychology of Musical Perception
Musical Quality & Musical Taste
The Broadway Musical from Showboat to West Side Story
"The Music department provides a wide range of modules for students to choose on. It is a great opportunity as a music student here to have links to Royal Academy of Music where we get our vocal and instrumental lessons."
"I was also attracted at an open day by the obvious friendly and tight-knit feeling in the department; an impression which did not let me down when I became part of the department."
In the heart of London
Discover the advantages of studying at one of the top 20 universities in the world and take a look at our central London campuses.
Full time tuition fees - Home/EU
£9,000 p.a. (2016/17)*
Full time tuition fees - Overseas
£21,750 p.a. (2016/17)**
For further undergraduate funding information, please visit our fees and funding webpages.
*This tuition fee may be subject to annual increases.
**This tuition fee is subject to annual increases.
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