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Course information

UCAS code

W302

Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

Length

3 years full-time, or up to 6 years part-time

Department

Music

Course overview

Rethink music study and practice through an exciting and diverse array of modules.

In the first year of your BMus Music programme you’ll develop your solo and ensemble performance skills and you’ll learn about contemporary composition. You’ll build a foundation of knowledge of Western art music and be introduced to debates on the music from our own time, and you’ll also explore the creative use of music technology.

In your second year, you’ll select from a large range of historical, contextual, technical or
creative modules, allowing you to continue performance studies and to further explore
contemporary composition, sonic arts, media composition, world music and jazz.

In your third year, you’ll have the opportunity to develop a substantial performance recital, portfolio of compositions or an individual creative project. You can also opt to take specialised modules in, for example, music teaching and workshop skills, gamelan, orchestration, fringe popular music, music psychology and audiovisual composition.

Why study BMus Music at Goldsmiths?

  • We're one of the largest university music departments in the UK, so you'll have access to a wide range of academics, including internationally established composers, performers and writers – their diversity of expertise makes this one of the most exciting undergraduate music degrees in the UK
  • There are professional and student-led recitals, concerts, workshops and other music events taking place every week, with opportunities to perform at Goldsmiths and in public venues
  • You'll have the opportunity to perform at our annual music festival PureGold, which celebrates the music created and performed at Goldsmiths
  • You'll be within easy reach of central London's many venues, concert halls, opera houses and research libraries, providing a great international focus
  • You'll be encouraged to construct a path of study that develops and explores the interrelationship between music as a creative and practical endeavour, and music as an intellectual study
  • We encourage ambition and independence, and will help you think about the kind of musician you want to be
  • Employers look for initiative-driven graduates who think critically about their actions, work well with others and adapt quickly to new ideas. This degree will help you develop these skills – sometimes without you noticing!

Individual vocal and instrumental tuition

Our location in London means that we're able to attract visiting instrumental and vocal teachers of the highest quality, with many of our staff also teaching at the major music conservatoires. We provide a generous allocation of tuition time. Our performance modules are supplemented with ensemble classes and workshops/masterclasses given by top professional musicians.

  • First-year BMus Music students are currently entitled to 12 hours of one-to-one tuition per year
  • Tuition is available to BMus Music students taking performance options in years two and three. The Music programme currently offers 14 hours of one-to-one tuition in year two and 17 hours in year three

If you don't opt for performance modules you aren't automatically entitled to individual lessons, but we can help make private arrangements with our visiting staff, at preferential rates.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Stephen Graham

What you'll study

Year 1 (credit level 4)

All BMus Music students take the following modules:

Module title Credits
  Approaches to Contemporary Music 15 credits
  Composition 30 credits
  Creative Music Technology 15 credits
  Western Art Music: 900-1900 30 credits

Year 2 (credit level 5)

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

You select modules to the value of 120 credits across the year, containing at least two from List A:

List A Module title Credits
  Aesthetics, Meaning and Culture 15 credits
  Mapping 20th-Century Music 15 credits
  Music of Africa and Asia 15 credits
  Romanticism and its Legacy 15 credits
  What is Jazz? 15 credits
  Music in Film 15 credits
  Classical Versus Common Music: London's Celebrity Culture (1700-1800) 15 credits
  Musicians, Commerce and Commodification 15 credits
  Russian Music in Context: Glinka to Stravinsky 15 credits
List B Module title Credits
  Performance: Styles and Contexts 30 credits
  Sonic Art Techniques 15 credits
  Techniques in Jazz and Popular Music 15 credits
  Techniques of Contemporary Composition 15 credits
  Composition: Creative Strategies 15 credits
  Sonic Arts Practice 15 credits
  Media Composition 15 credits
  Arranging in Jazz and Popular Music 15 credits

Year 3 (credit level 6)

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

You select modules to the value of 120 credits across the year, containing one or two from List C and the remainder from List D:

 

List C Module title Credits
  Advanced Performance 30 credits
  Research Essay 30 credits
  Creative Research Project 30 credits
  Composition portfolio 30 credits

 

List D Module title Credits
  Minimalism and Postminimalism 15 credits
  Soviet Music and Politics 15 credits
  Phonography 15 credits
  Performing South-East Asian Music 15 credits
  Creative Orchestration and Arrangement 15 credits
  Music Teaching Skills 15 credits
  Introduction to Audiovisual Composition 15 credits
  Music/Modernities 15 credits
  Live Electronics 15 credits
  Advanced Topics in Music History 15 credits
  Improvisation 15 credits
  Musical Structure and Understanding 15 credits
  Music Workshop Skills 15 credits
  Advanced Topics in Music and Screen Media 15 credits
  Psychological Approaches to Music 15 credits

Teaching style

This programme is taught through a mixture of scheduled teaching, including seminars, one-to-one tutorials and performance lessons, practical workshops and music studio sessions. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 10% scheduled learning, 90% independent learning

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework, examinations, group work, solo recitals, improvisation and group performances.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 65% coursework, 15% written exam, 20% practical
  • Year 2 - 77% coursework, 4% written exam, 19% practical
  • Year 3 - 78% coursework, 9% written exam, 13% practical

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2016/17. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices.

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Download the programme specification, for the 2018-19 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Additional Requirements

You should have an A-level in Music and be at a standard equivalent to Grade VIII ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) on your main instrument. Lower grades or a standard equivalent are accepted if you can demonstrate other strengths.

If your first language is not English, please check our English Language requirements.

Selection process

At interview you perform on your main instrument, and will be asked to demonstrate your understanding of a variety of technical and contextual issues relating to a range of music.

We try to meet as many applicants as possible, although it is not always feasible or necessary to interview everyone. We're looking for students who have the right blend of practical and creative skills, as well as knowledge, curiosity, enthusiasm and commitment. We aim to assess this by taking a holistic view of each applicant. We look at their experience, qualifications, abilities, references, as well as the confidence and assurance with which they present themselves at interview.

We may offer a place without an interview. If we do this, you are strongly encouraged to visit the department on one of our Open Days before responding to the offer. It's equally important for you to decide whether Goldsmiths is right for you.

Late applications

Please note that this course accepts applications until the UCAS main scheme closes at the end of June.

  

Fees & funding

Find out about our undergraduate tuition fees and funding opportunities.

Joe Brown Memorial Award

Second-year students are eligible to apply for an award of £1,000 towards final-year Creative Projects with an electronic component.

Alexander Ivashkin Scholarships

BMus Music students are eligible to apply for up to five scholarships in honour of Professor Ivashkin, worth £9,000 each.

Careers

Most of our graduates choose careers in fields related to their musical knowledge, including:

  • Teaching
  • Performing
  • Arts administration
  • Music librarianship
  • Publishing and retailing
  • Record companies and production
  • Technical work in radio or television

Statistically, music graduates demonstrate very good employment rates, because they are often highly trained in the kinds of transferable skills employers are seeking, such as individual motivation, team working and effective communication. You can find out more about the career options open to you after graduation on our Music careers page.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

What our students say

Sharon

"It really was the best decision I could have made at my stage of life."

"The three years went by so quickly. I have grown in confidence as a person and in my knowledge, understanding and appreciation of music. Lecturers are inspiring and really know their subject; they supported and encouraged me to succeed. There is an infectious thirst for learning at Goldsmiths; I will never forget my time there and remain friends with those I studied with. My degree at Goldsmiths has opened the door to fulfill my goal and I now teach as at secondary school in the Borough.

As a mature student I had no problem fitting in, I was never treated differently by either my peers of by the lecturers. I was always included for socials, birthday celebrations, I was a part of the cohort; I guess this depends on your outlook. I grew and developed as a university student should do when studying a degree. It really was the best decision I could have made at my stage of life. Now the wonder of 'what if I had done?', which had been with me since 1990, is no longer there. I now say, 'yep, I have done it, enjoyed it and my life has changed for it'."

Paul Englishby

Paul Englishby is an Emmy Award-winning composer who has written highly acclaimed scores for film, TV and theatre. His music ranges from dramatic orchestral to big band jazz. 

"I had a brilliant time at Goldsmiths; I wrote music for big band, the orchestra and choir, conducted a lot and played the piano in the evenings in hotels and bars to earn some money. The teaching was great, and I also felt there was an understanding of the individual's particular musical personality, which meant that I was encouraged to create outside the BMus course.

I learnt a great deal about collaboration with people working in other media. All of these skills I use in my work today. I wouldn't have the grounding or confidence had it not been for my time at Goldsmiths. I won an Emmy for my music for Page Eight, which was a lovely thing to get, particularly as I put a lot into the score and recorded it at Abbey Road with amazing musicians. We did everything to the highest production values, despite a modest budget, and the results emphasise the value of using musicians as opposed to samples and synthesizers."

Oscar

"There are so many resources at Goldsmiths that one can take advantage of."

"I came here to study composing and orchestration for film music and video game music and so far I’ve been challenged to think in directions I didn’t think I would. I’m doing a lot of stuff that I’m not really good at, which is very stimulating and inspiring, such as singing in a musical, working in a studio, conducting an orchestra and playing classical piano. Before I came to Goldsmiths I had been studying jazz drumming and piano and in my spare time composed a lot of jazz, fusion, progressive, orchestral film music and orchestral/electronic videogame music. I’ve also joined the basketball team to get some work outs, since I’m basically sitting on my butt the whole day writing, reading or playing music, if I’m not partying with my flatmates. There are so many resources at Goldsmiths that one can take advantage of, and I’m sure I’ve only yet to tap the surface of what my possibilities are at this diverse and resourceful university."

See more profiles for this programme