Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code


Entry requirements

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


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



Course overview

From contemporary to classical, electronic to acoustic, this degree explores a diverse range of musics across performance, composition and research.

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 historical knowledge 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
  Performance: Techniques and Repertoire 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
  Outsider Sound and Fringe Aesthetics 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 - 68% coursework, 12% written exam, 20% practical
  • Year 2 - 81% coursework, 19% practical
  • Year 3 - 88% coursework, 12% practical

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2017/18. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about how this information is calculated.

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 2019-20 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
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

Additional requirements

You should have an A-level or BTEC 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 and other academic qualifications are accepted if you can demonstrate other strengths. For example, if you have a lower grade or no formal grades, but can nevertheless demonstrate substantial experience in music performance or composition, we will still be able to consider your application.

International qualifications

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 (or equivalent English language qualification) 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.

Selection process

Candidates will be invited to an applicant day. This allows us to meet potential students and find out more about their interests and abilities.

If you're invited to an applicant day, you'll be required to perform on your main instrument and/or bring examples of your creative work.

We're looking for students who have the right blend of practical, creative and critical skills.

If you can't attend an applicant day we will invite you to submit a portfolio of work.

Fees & funding

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2019/20 academic year.

  • Home/EU - full-time: £9250
  • Home/EU - part-time: £4625
  • International - full-time: £15810

If your fees are not listed here, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

If you're an international student interested in studying part-time, please contact our Admissions Team to find out if you're eligible.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

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.

Music Performance Scholarship
BMus Music students are eligible for our Music Performance Scholarship worth £9,000.

We offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, and our careers service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies. Find out more about funding your studies with us.


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

Nathaniel Coke

I had a fantastic time at Goldsmiths, met fantastic students, and was tutored by some of the world's finest musicians who had managed to turn my life around in the most positive way.

I made a decision to set out on a new journey from being a professional bassist to start learning piano, months prior to filling out my UCAS. Goldsmiths gave me the chance to study piano despite having no prior piano training and now, I have become an advanced pianist with a wide range of repertoire from Baroque and Classical to Jazz and Bebop. My piano technique, reading, conducting, musical knowledge and musicianship have drastically improved over my three years at Goldsmiths. I had a fantastic time at Goldsmiths, met fantastic students, and was tutored by some of the world's finest musicians who had managed to turn my life around in the most positive way.