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Course options

  • Qualification

    Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) - BA (Hons)

  • Location

    St Aidan's College

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    3 Years

Course summary

The course at Durham prides itself in combining the traditional and the modern in the study of music. The learning of techniques such as harmony, counterpoint and aural skills are juxtaposed with an investigation of the most up-to-date thinking in musicology, critical theory, composition (acoustic and electroacoustic), analysis, ethnomusicology and performance. Moreover, our teaching, essentially research-led, is enhanced by distinctive staff specialisations that include nineteenth- and twentieth-century British music, music of the Soviet Union, Korean and Indian music, popular music, music technology, conducting, cognitive musicology, early music and contemporary composition.**Year 1**In the first year you are expected to follow the same course, designed to introduce a broad range of disciplines and approaches. The course consists of six modules:Historical Studies 1EITHER Performance 1: Listening and Performing Practice Through History (with Recital)Musical Techniques (Harmony and Counterpoint)Composition 1: Twentieth Century InnovationsIntroduction to Ethnomusicology Analysis 1: Elements of Tonal Theory and PracticeEssential topics in music technology are spread over these compulsory modules, as are foundational research skills that will be needed in the later years.All Combined Honours students taking only one module in Music must take either Historical Studies 1 or Introduction to Ethnomusicology. If you take two or three modules in Music, you must take one of these musicological modules, and can add the other and/or one or two of the three ‘practice-based’ modules which are the prerequisites for the Year 2 modules in performance, composition, and other practical disciplines.**Year 2**In the second year, you will undertake one compulsory module – Historical Studies 2: The Twentieth Century – and choose five modules from a broad menu. As an alternative, you may choose to take a module in another department.Optional modules:Composition 2: New Directions in Art MusicCreative Music TechnologyPerformance 2: Practice as Research Advanced Musical Techniques Theory and Analysis Orchestration ConductingWorld Music TraditionsStudies in Popular MusicStudies in the History of OperaMusic and SciencePhilosophy, Music and Improvisation.**Year 3**The third-year of this course is structured around a compulsory double-weighted independent project, which can take the form of a musicological Dissertation, a composition portfolio, a techniques portfolio (pastiche compositions), or a 40-minute solo recital. All students are required to do one of these. In addition, you will choose four other modules, selecting from the list of third year modules (which in previous years has included the modules below) and the second year menu (above). Other possible options are to undertake a single-weighted project (again, a Dissertation, composition, techniques portfolio, or performance) and/or pursue a module in another department.We review course structures and core content (in light of e.g. external and student feedback) every year, and will publish finalised core requirements for 2022 entry from September 2021.**Study Abroad (Music)**As part of an extensive curriculum review we have created lots of exciting new opportunities for a year's study abroad for those on the BA (Hons) Music degree. Exchanges take place after the second year of the course with our partner institutions, which include the University of Oslo, the Sorbonne in Paris, La Sapienza in Rome, alongside many others.For more information on this course, please see our website.

Application deadline

15 January

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 22,500per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

Entry requirements

Choose a qualification

A level : AAB

General information on subjects/grades required for entry:To include Music A Level. ABRSM Grade VIII Theory will be accepted as an alternative to Music A Level alongside 3 other A Levels. Specific subjects excluded for entry:General Studies and Critical Thinking.Information:Applicants taking Science A Levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This refers only to English A Levels.


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University information

Durham University

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    Durham University, The Palatine Centre, Stockton Road, Durham, Durham, DH1 3LE, England

By inspiring students to do outstanding things at Durham, the university believes they will do outstanding things in the world.
Durham's famous cathedral and castle are at the heart of the city – and the heart of the university – forming a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Beyond studies, Durham offers a student experience and college life that is truly unique.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    3rd out of 87 2

  • Entry standards

    / Max 214
    203 100%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    70.0 70%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.22 84%



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