w344 - Folk and Traditional Music BA

Folk and Traditional Music BA Honours

UCAS Code: W344 (full time: 3 Years)

Course Overview

This unique degree programme focuses on the traditional music and song of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

Student with instrument

At a Glance


UCAS Institution Name and Code

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Degree Awarded
BA Honours

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Course Duration
3 Years

Entry Requirements Icon

Entry Requirements
A Level: AAB-BBB
IB: 32-34 points

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Performance is important throughout the degree, and national and international artists teach as regular and guest tutors on this degree.

You'll also study the social and cultural context of traditional and folk music and how music helps to construct identity and culture.

You can also choose to enhance your employability and develop career skills through modules in music enterprise and music teaching.

We have a partnership with Sage Gateshead. Some of the teaching, and all the final-year performance recitals, take place there.

Highlights of this degree

Listen to our music

You can also listen to other performances by students and staff at the International Centre for Music Studies at Newcastle University on the School website.


Compare this course

See how this course compares with others for topics such as student satisfaction, fees and costs and prospects after graduation using the Unistats Key Information Set.

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Course Details

Modules for 2017 entry

Please note

The module and/or programme information below is for 2017 entry. Our teaching is informed by research and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, student feedback, or insufficient numbers of students interested (in an optional module). To find out more read our terms and conditions.

Module/programme information for 2018 entry will be published here as soon as it is available (end of May 2018).

Our degrees are divided into Stages. Each Stage lasts for an academic year and you need to complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each Stage. Further information, including the credit value of the module, is available in each of the module descriptions below.

Stages 1

Compulsory modules

Optional modules

You take one module from the following list:

You will take two modules from the following list. This will normally be MUS1050 and one other:

You may take modules, totalling 20 or 40 credits, in a foreign language, but only with approval of the Degree Programme Director. Alternative arrangements are in place if you wish to start learning a new language from scratch. You should note that opting out of MUS1020 will disqualify you from taking notated composition options (MUS2041, MUS2017) at stage 2, or notated contemporary or historical composition as a specialist study

In the event of you electing to take 20 or 40 credits in a foreign language, the compulsory modules listed above may not be dropped, and at least one module must be taken from the list comprising MUS1010, MUS1020 and MUS1050.

Stage 2

Compulsory modules

Optional modules

You choose at least one module from the following list:

You choose at least one module from the following list:

You choose at least one module from the following list:

The following optional module is available for one year only during 2017/18 and is being run as part of the School of Arts and Cultures programme of events relating to the Freedom City 2017 festival. A proposal of study will be required (c.200 words) to be able to apply to undertake this module:

You then choose additional modules from the lists above to make your credits total 120.

If you achieve a Stage 1 average of 60 per cent or more, it is possible to spend one semester on an Erasmus exchange, studying folk music at one of our partner institutions abroad. This usually takes place in semester 2.

Work Placement (optional)

You can apply to spend 9 to 12 months on an optional work placement between Stages 2 and 3. You can apply to spend your placement year with any organisation and will receive University support to do so. It will extend your degree by a year and is subject to availability. It isn't available if you're spending a year studying abroad. Find out more about Work Placements.

Intercalating Year Abroad (optional)

If you wish to spend a year abroad as part of your degree you can do so in consultation with and at the discretion of the Degree Programme Director in a partner institution. This is mutually exclusive with the option in stage 2 for an Erasmus semester abroad, and is also subject to a threshold of at least 60% in the overall stage-one average.

Stage 3

Optional modules

You choose one of the following Major Specialist Study modules:

*MUS3012 and MUS3014 are only available if you have successfully completed the relevant pre-requisite modules with a mark of 60% or higher.

You may also opt for a Minor Specialist Study, which must be in a subject area that is substantially different to your Major Specialist Study. You may wish to further develop the various "in Practice" ensemble options from stage 2 as either a specialist study performance or project.

*MUS3016 is only available if you have successfully completed the relevant prerequisite modules with a mark of 60% or higher.

You choose further optional modules from the list below, to make your credits total 120. 

    Entry Requirements

    All candidates are considered on an individual basis.

    If your qualifications are not listed here, please see our additional entry requirements web pages to find out which other qualifications are considered. 

    The entrance requirements below apply to 2018 entry.

    Undergraduate Admissions Policy

    See our 2018 Admissions Policy (PDF: 185 KB).

    See further policies related to admission.


    Folk and Traditional Music careers

    Our students have been extremely successful in gaining employment and now count amongst some of the leading performers in the UK and internationally.

    Many other students have gone on to other careers including arts administration, broadcasting, teaching, development, charitable work, scholarship, composition and production.

    The employability of our graduates is really important to us and you will have access to lots of opportunities to boost your personal and professional development. Our student-led Summer Music Festival gives you real world experience of event management and the opportunity to showcase your classical music performance skills in front of a paying audience. The music enterprise option provides you with the knowledge you need to start a business in the cultural sector

    Our degrees teach you how to be confident, practical, hard working and dedicated. Our graduates go on to careers in a wide range of backgrounds, some becoming professional musicians or closely linked to the music sector, and others taking the skills they have developed and applying them in other careers, such as education, business, media, healthcare, marketing, finance or IT.

    Studying music at university is both intellectually and musically demanding, and it is one of the most varied and diverse degree subjects available. It requires you to engage in a broad range of practical and intellectual activities including performance, composition, improvisation, data analysis, research and critical intellectual enquiry.

    Music graduates therefore develop a wide range of key skills through both the academic and practical content of their degree, which opens a wide variety of opportunities.

    Teamwork and initiative are fostered through participation in music ensembles, and communication skills through performance, presentations and written work.

    Flexibility, self-discipline and good time management are all required to attain high technical standards and to balance the demands of study, practice and performance. This wide range of transferable skills means that music graduates can easily move into the career or training pathways that are open to graduates of any discipline; for example:

    • management
    • accountancy
    • law
    • events management
    • journalism
    • IT

    Graduates who want to use their music degree in their work often progress to become self-employed musicians, performers, composers, teachers, academics, music therapists, studio managers or sound engineers.

    Other opportunities include specialist magazine journalism, music librarianship or music publishing.

    Many musicians enter careers that seek graduates of any discipline but offer the opportunity to use the specific skills developed in their studies. Possible occupations include arts administrator, community arts worker, museum curator or film/video production.

    Find out more about the career options for Music from Prospects: The UK's Official Careers Website.

    What our graduates go on to do: employment and further study choices

    See what our recent graduates went on to do and view graduate destinations statistics. These statistics are based on what graduates were doing on a specific date, approximately six months after graduation. Take a look at the most recent data available for our graduates.

    The destination data is available in varying levels, beginning with the University and moving through Faculty and School down to individual course reports. This final level may give you some useful ideas about possible options after your course or a course you are considering.

    Careers and employability at Newcastle

    Newcastle University consistently has one of the best records for graduate employment in the UK.

    95% of our 2016 UK-domiciled graduates progressed to employment or further study within six months of graduating.

    Of our graduates who entered employment more than three quarters (78%) achieved a professional or managerial position.

    We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through an initiative called ncl+. This enables you to develop personal, employability and enterprise skills and to give you the edge in the employment market after you graduate.

    Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers.

    Fees & Funding



    Applying to Newcastle University through UCAS

    To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

    UCAS codes for Newcastle University

    • institution name - NEWC
    • institution code - N21

    UCAS buzzword

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    If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.

    Making your application

    On the UCAS website you can also find out more about:

    Application decisions and enquiries

    Find out more about our admissions process and who to contact if you need help with your application.