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Music BMus

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Overview

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Delivered in one of the musical capitals of the world, this highly personalised degree leads to advanced work in four areas: history of western music, ethnomusicology, performance and composition. Students interested in performance will benefit from our partnership with the Royal Academy of Music, while those interested in composition will enjoy our expert teaching and access to London’s rich contemporary music scene.

The course introduces all students to a broad range of theoretical and historical approaches to music, and will develop essential skills in critical thinking, expression and research.

Key benefits:

  • One of the most versatile and lively music departments in the UK.
  • Strong links with the Royal Academy of Music, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Hong Kong.
  • This degree offers you the opportunity to choose the types of modules that suit your interests.
  • Central location offers access to London’s rich music scene, alongside many libraries and cultural institutes.
  • Be part of an international group of students.
  • Choral and organ scholarships are available.

Key information

UCAS code W302

Duration Three years

Study mode Full-time

Course type Single honours

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of Music

Locations

 

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Music BMus

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Course detail

Description

Studying Music at King’s enables you to immerse yourself in the world of sound, stretching across the centuries and around the globe. Today, music is the most global cultural expression, 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, including compositional creativity, close reading of scores, aural training, contemporary critical theory, historical scholarship and ethnographic studies.

There is plenty of opportunity at King’s to participate in concerts and chamber music groups. You will have the opportunity to play a leading part in the College Orchestra and to sing in the departmental choir. Recitals take place throughout the year.

We offer you individual lessons at the Royal Academy of Music, if you have ABRSM Grade 8 in your instrument of study. 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.

Teaching

We think it is incredibly important that you receive close personal attention. We teach most modules through a mix of lectures and seminars or small tutorial groups of four or five. For lessons in Advanced Composition and in Performance you will be taught one-to-one. Our Department has an international reputation for its excellence in teaching and research and our staff aim to connect research and teaching, both in the classroom and at the many research seminars held in the Department.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Assessment

You are assessed through a variety of methods according to the subject matter and the level. These may typically include essays, examinations, portfolios, in-class assessments, recitals, dissertations or other forms of musical analysis. 

Location

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.

Structure

Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. Each year you will normally take modules totalling 120 credits.

Required Modules
You are required to take the following modules:
  • Issues and Topics in Music 1 (15 credits)
  • Issues and Topics in Music 2 (15 credits)
  • Issues and Topics in Music 3 (15 credits)
  • Issues and Topics in Music 4 (15 credits)
Optional Modules

You are also required to take 60 credits of optional modules that may typically include: 

  • Techniques of Composition 1 (15 credits)
  • Musical Analysis 1 (15 credits)                       
  • Musical Performance 1 (15 credits; ABRSM grade 8 in instrument of study required)
  • Aural Skills (15 credits)

You are also free to choose up to 30 of your 60 credits of optional modules from other Arts & Humanities departments (subject to availability).

Year 2

Required Modules

In your second year, there are no required modules. 

Optional Modules

You are required to take 120 credits from a range of optional modules, which may typically include:

  • Musical Analysis (15 credits)
  • Composition Studies (major) (30 credits)
  • Composition Studies (minor) (15 credits)
  • Techniques of Composition (15 credits)
  • Musical Performance 2 (15 credits)
  • A set of 15-credit modules on musicological and ethnomusicological topics that vary from year to year. Recent topics include Ethnographic Methods, Music in Medieval Paris, Post-War Jazz, Music in British Film and Italian Opera in the 19th Century. See department website for current offerings.

Please note: there are prerequisites for all performance and composition modules in Year 2.

You are also free to choose up to 30 of your 120 credits in modules offered by other departments at King’s or the music department at SOAS.

Study Abroad

You may apply to spend the second semester of this year studying abroad at one of our partner universities. Our current partner institutions include:

  • Hong Kong University
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • University of Melbourne

Year 3

Required Modules

There are no required modules in your third year.

Optional Modules

In your third year you can continue to pursue a broad programme or study two or three fields in-depth. You are required to take 120 credits from a list of options that may typically include:

  • Advanced Performance Studies (admission by audition) (45 credits, subject to change)
  • Advanced Free Composition (admission by portfolio) (45 credits, subject to change)
  • Dissertation (30 credits)
  • Musical Performance 3 (15 credits)
  • A set of 15-credit modules on musicological and ethnomusicological topics that vary from year to year. Recent topics include Topics in Latin American Music, Contemporary Musicology, Stravinsky, Sound Studies and Materiality in 19th-Century Music. See Department website or current offerings.

Please note: there are prerequisites for all performance and composition modules in Year 3.

You are also free to choose up to 30 of your 120 credits in modules offered by other departments at King’s or the music department at SOAS.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to- date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change.

Entry requirements

 

Required grades

AAB

Please note that A-level General Studies, Critical Thinking, Thinking Skills and Global Perspectives are not accepted by King's as one of your A-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.

Required grades

35 points overall (including TOK/EE) with three Higher Level subjects at 665

Required grades

45 Level 3 credits: 33 must be from units awarded at Distinction, with the remaining Level 3 credits at Merit

Required grades

D3 D3 M2

Combinations of Pre-U principal subjects and other qualifications (such as A-levels).

Required grades

Further information below

If you are taking the new RQF BTEC Nationals (2016), you will not be required to fulfil the module requirement stipulated above - you will only need to get the right overall grade. If you are taking the QCF BTEC Nationals (2010), you must achieve both the required overall grade and the specified module grades. If you are unsure which BTEC you are studying, your teacher or school/college counsellor should be able to tell you.

Required grades

Further information below

If you are taking the new RQF BTEC Nationals (2016), you will not be required to fulfil the module requirement stipulated above - you will only need to get the right overall grade. If you are taking the QCF BTEC Nationals (2010), you must achieve both the required overall grade and the specified module grades. If you are unsure which BTEC you are studying, your teacher or school/college counsellor should be able to tell you.

Required grades

Further information below

If you are taking the new RQF BTEC Nationals (2016), you will not be required to fulfil the module requirement stipulated above - you will only need to get the right overall grade. If you are taking the QCF BTEC Nationals (2010), you must achieve both the required overall grade and the specified module grades. If you are unsure which BTEC you are studying, your teacher or school/college counsellor should be able to tell you.

Required grades

80% overall

Required grades

Visit our admissions webpages to view our international entry requirements and English language entry requirements.

Required subjects

Music

Further information and other requirements

Entry requirements
A-level  AAB

Including Music, or AAB at A-Level in addition to a Grade 6 Pass in Music Theory (e.g. through ABRSM examinations or similar).

Please note that A-level General Studies, Critical Thinking, Thinking Skills and Global Perspectives are not accepted by King's as one of your A-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.

Students studying only two A levels

We are aware that some students at specialist musical schools and conservatoires are only able to study two A levels alongside their performance training. In such circumstances we may be able to consider a student for entry to the BMus programme, following an academic interview with our Admissions Tutor. We would recommend any student considering applying with this academic profile to contact the Admissions Office in advance of submitting their application to discuss their potential suitability for the programme.

Access to HE Diploma

D: 33 credits

M: 12 credits

P: 0 credits

Either: Access to Humanities Diploma (or similar subject) 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 Diploma (or similar subject) 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 6 Pass in Music Theory (e.g. through ABRSM examination or similar).

Cambridge Pre-U D3 D3 M2

including Music or 3 Pre-U principal subjects with grades D3 D3 M2 in addition to a Grade 6 Pass in Music Theory (e.g. through ABRSM examinations or similar).

Combinations of Pre-U principal subjects and other qualifications (such as A-levels) considered.

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 either A-level Music or in addition to Grade 6 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 A-level Music or in addition to Grade 6 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 A-level in Music or in addition to Grade 6 Pass in Music Theory (e.g. through ABRSM examinations or similar).
Scottish Highers & Advanced Highers  

AAB at Highers

and

AB at Advanced Highers

Either AAB at Higher in one sitting and AB at Advanced Higher including Advanced Higher Music, or AAB at Higher in one sitting and AB at Advanced Higher in addition to a Grade 6 Pass in Music Theory (e.g. through ABRSM examinations or similar).

Must be a combination of three Scottish Highers and two Scottish Advanced Highers. We do not count the Higher and Advanced Higher in the same subject.

International Baccalaureate 35 points

Including either HL 665 with HL Music, or HL 665 in addition to a Grade 6 Pass in Music Theory (e.g. through ABRSM examinations or similar).

Note the total point score of 35 includes TOK/EE.

Other International Qualifications   Visit our admissions webpages to view our international entry requirements.
English Language requirements  Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Practical Requirements

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 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.

Selection procedure

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.

Interviewing

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 who may offer a non-standard academic profile, or whose recent personal circumstances may have adversely affected their predictions.

Are all those made an offer interviewed?

No. The majority of decisions are made on the basis of information provided on the UCAS application form.

What form does the interview take?

Interviews will be with two members of the Music Department academic staff, one of whom will normally be the department Admissions Tutor. Interviews will be conducted on site, and in exceptional circumstances via Skype.

What is considered at interview?

The interview will focus on academic skills and interests. Interviewees will not be required to play an instrument or sing at interview.

Application deadline: January 15th 2020

Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees UK:

The UK tuition fee for the 2020-2021 academic year is currently £9,250 per year. This is based on the UK Government’s cap.

Full time tuition fees EU:

Students starting their programme in 2020/21 (September 2020) who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2021/22.

The UK tuition fee for the 2020-2021 academic year is currently £9,250 per year. This is based on the UK Government’s cap.

Full time tuition fees International:

The International tuition fee for the 2020-2021 academic year is £26,700 per year.

Please note that the International tuition fee is subject to annual increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

All International applicants to Undergraduate programmes are required to pay a deposit of £2,000 against their first year’s tuition fee. This deposit is payable when you firmly accept an unconditional offer to study with us, and will be offset against your tuition fees when you join King’s.

 

Additional costs/expenses

If you study abroad as part of your course, you will not be charged tuition fees by the host university (although some partners do charge a small administration fee for applying). Please see the Study Abroad webpages for details of the relevant partner universities.

 King’s will continue to invoice for a proportion of King's tuition fees.  At present these are as follows: 

  • Home students studying for a semester abroad will receive an invoice for £6,000 for King’s tuition fees for the year.
  • Overseas students studying or working for a full academic year abroad will receive an invoice for one third of the King's tuition fees for the year.

You should also budget to pay for the associated subsistence costs, such as travel, visas, accommodation and food as well as any vaccination/immunisations required by the country to which you are travelling. 

In addition to the costs above, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Stationary and personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 
  • Purchase/rental, maintenance and insurance of personal instruments 
  • Equipment and music (as required by tutors)
  • Accompanists' fees (if required)

For further information, please visit our fees and funding pages.

 

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Our former students can be found in schools all over the country, in British and American universities and conservatoires, working at the BBC, in arts management and as composers and conductors with an international reputation.

Career destinations

Amongst our recent graduates there is a freelance editor for Lexis Nexis, a house manager for a concert hall trust, an international production operations co-ordinator for a music company, a marketing assistant intern at London Symphony Orchestra, mathematics and music tutor for a tuition company, a freelance musician and a secondary school teacher.

Testimonials

Next steps

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