This rewarding four-year degree follows the same study programme as our Music BA Honours degree, but includes an integrated year studying abroad in Europe, Australia or North or South America.
Study music at Newcastle and join a dynamic and pro-active community of music makers who are committed to valuing all music. This community will help you embrace your individual creativity, and you'll develop your critical thinking about music.
You can choose topics based on your interests such as music history, cultural theory, and essentials of music theory. We also offer optional vocationally oriented modules in music education and music enterprise.
If you wish to specialise in performance, your skills will be nurtured by our specialist performance tutors, who are experts in their craft, and run one-to-one tuition and group lessons.
We have links with a number of universities and conservatoires in Europe, Canada, North America and Australia.
- Berlin (Germany) – Humboldt-Universität
- Copenhagen (Denmark) – Royal Danish Academy of Music
- Dublin (Ireland) – Trinity College
- Göteborg (Sweden) – University of Gothenburg
- Graz (Austria) – Kunstuniversität Graz
- Helsinki (Finland) – Sibelius Academy
- Leuven (Belgium) – Katholieke Universiteit
- Limerick (Ireland) – Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, U. of Limerick
- Malmö (Sweden) – Malmö Academy of Music
- Odense (Denmark) – Syddansk Musikkonservatorium
- Oslo (Norway) – Norwegian Academy of Music
- Parma (Italy) – Conservatorio di Musica Arrigo Boito
- Perugia (Italy) – Conservatorio di Musica di Perugia
- Rostock (Germany) – Hochschule für Musik und Theater
- Salamanca (Spain) – Conservatorio Superior de Música
- Salzburg (Austria) – Universität Salzburg
- Utrecht (Netherlands) – Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht
- Dalhousie (Nova Scotia) – Dalhousie University
- Montreal (Quebec) – McGill University
- Montreal (Quebec) – Université de Montréal
- Montreal (Quebec) – Concordia University
- Waterloo (Ontario) – University of Waterloo
- Burlington (Vermont) – University of Vermont
- Indianapolis (Indiana) – Indiana University
- Urbana-Champaign (Illinois) – University of Illinois
- Adelaide – University of Adelaide
- Sydney – University of New South Wales
While many of our partner institutions teach in English, some teach in their native language and you can take the appropriate language modules in Stages 1 and 2.
Our partner institutions have their own strengths and specialisations. You can focus on:
- particular instruments
- composition in particular styles
Alternatively you may choose specialised programmes such as folk and traditional music, popular music, technology, musicology or church music.
Your course during COVID-19
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.
View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2021-22.
See our terms and conditions and student complaints information
Quality and ranking
- top 20 in the UK – The Complete University Guide 2022 (Music)
- top 20 in the UK - The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 (Music)
- top 20 in the UK - The Guardian University Guide 2022 (Music)
Modules and learning
The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.
Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage.
Our teaching is informed by research. Course content may change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.
Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.
Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.
To find out more please see our terms and conditions.
You'll study a range of modules that cover historical, cultural, theoretical and creative approaches. Modules range across music history, world musics, music theory and techniques, performance and composition (notated and electro-acoustic).
You’ll also take one compulsory cross-disciplinary module on writing about music, and developing academic and professional skills.
|Understanding Music History||20|
|Academic Practice for Music Studies||20|
Applicants intending to take modules in performance should have passed Associated Board Grade 8 or the equivalent or be of a similar standard.
Choose from a broad range of historical, cultural and practical options, and have the freedom to determine the balance between these different strands. Module choices include historical and cultural options such as Western music history and practical options such as composition and performance.
You'll spend this year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions. Please be aware that participation in this year abroad is normally subject to you achieving an average of 60% or more across the first three semesters of the programme.
Where you have not met the condition outlined above, you will be transferred to the Music BA Honours, programme code W300. The Degree Programme Director will confirm this transfer in each case.
You'll have opportunities to conduct independent work in two specialised areas of your choice. You'll complete a major specialist study and also a minor specialist study in a second area. You'll choose the remaining balance of modules from a range of historical, cultural and practical options offered by the world-leading research-active staff at our International Centre for Music Studies (ICMuS).
We base these figures and graphs on the most up-to-date information available to us. They combine data on the planned delivery and assessments of our courses in 2021-22 with data on the modules chosen by our students in 2020-21.
Teaching time is made up of:
- scheduled learning and teaching activities. These are timetabled activities with a member of staff present
- structured guided learning. These are activities developed by staff to support engagement with module learning. Students or groups of students undertake these activities without direct staff participation or supervision
Teaching and assessment
To bring out the best in you, we use different forms of teaching for the range of approaches to music we cover.
Some modules are based around lectures and seminars, with reading or listening assignments. Others modules have smaller specialised study groups.
Performance modules are often a combination of one-to-one tuition, group workshops and specialist masterclasses.
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
Assignments – written or fieldwork
Dissertation or research project
Examinations – practical or online
Skills and experience
If you want to study performance, you can showcase your skills as a solo performer or collaborate with fellow students and industry professionals in ensembles, concerts, recitals, gigs and our student-led Summer Music Festival. The city also has a great music scene.
Our outstanding rehearsal, performance and studio spaces are available 24/7, allowing your artistic talents to flourish.
You're able to develop business skills through:
- placements in arts administration and education
- opportunities to study abroad. We have links with universities and conservatoires in Europe, Canada, North America and Australia
You'll benefit from tuition by practising musicians with invaluable professional and industry experience.
Our research is at the heart of what we do, informing our teaching and shaping our creative and scholarly community. You'll complete a major specialist study in your final year, which could be:
- an original composition
- a dissertation or project on an area of interest
- an instrumental or vocal performance
Chat to a student
Newcastle stands out because of the sheer range of modules available, which results in a rich learning experience. If you want to broaden your horizons, this is the place to be!
Experience life in another country by studying abroad as part of your degree. You’ll be encouraged to embrace fun and challenging experiences, make connections with new communities and graduate as a globally aware professional, ready for your future.
You'll spend a year abroad as part of your degree in one of our partner institutions. We currently have links with English-speaking universities and conservatoires in North America and Canada. We also have links with a number of universities and conservatoires in Europe.
Facilities and environment
You'll be based in the School of Arts and Cultures, in the University's main campus.
You'll have access to outstanding specialist music facilities, including state of the art studios, rehearsal spaces, specialist tuition rooms, flexible study spaces, and a music skills suite.
Our professional recording and music production suites provide a space for:
- full band multi-track recording
- electro-acoustic composition multimedia work
- sound art installations
We have a range of portable recording equipment and tools designed for live electronics and technologically mediated live performance. These are accessible to all music students.
The spaces are accessible 24 hours a day and can be hired for private use.
You'll have access to a range of rehearsal spaces, including:
- 25 acoustically treated practice rooms
- five instrumental teaching rooms
- a large, acoustically isolated, ensemble/band practice room
- two large performance/rehearsal spaces (each seats up to 50 people)
- the University's King's Hall (seats 400 people)
Opportunities to perform
We offer a free professional concert series every Thursday lunchtime during term time, followed by a student performance where you have the chance to perform for, and listen to, your colleagues from all of our music degrees.
There is also a student-organised annual Summer Music Festival, showcasing our students' talents and giving you the chance to gain real-world experience of event management.
Our music students immerse themselves in Newcastle's thriving music scene which includes everything from high-profile venues like the Sage Gateshead, the O2 Academy and the City Hall, to more intimate local spots such as The Cluny, The Cumberland Arms and Bar Loco. It’s also home to the UK’s first co-operatively owned music venue, The Globe.
You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.
Peer mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have when starting university.
Join our network of confident and successful graduates who benefit from our well-established ties with arts institutions in the city, in the wider region and beyond, including:
- Sage Gateshead
- Royal Northern Sinfonia
- Samling Academy
- Opera North
Preparing you for career success
As well as academic excellence, we cultivate the highest professional and intellectual skills, preparing our graduates to succeed in whichever careers they choose.
Our graduates often become professional musicians, performers, composers, teachers, academics, music therapists, studio managers or sound engineers. Other opportunities include:
- arts administration
- music production
- music journalism
- music librarianship
- music publishing
The wide range of transferable skills music graduates develop means that you can easily move into other professions and graduate training routes. These include teaching, management, marketing, accountancy, law, events management, journalism, healthcare and IT.
We'll help enhance your employability through access to career-related training, both as part of the course and through extra-curricular activities. Modules in music enterprise and teaching music help build skills needed for your future career.
We work with a range of arts, music and creative organisations and businesses including artist management and development, music production, community arts, festival and event management, and music therapy. These provide our students with guest lectures, masterclasses and placement opportunities. Examples include:
- Nordoff Robbins
- PRS for Music
- Seven Stories
- Side by Side Arts
- Blank Studios
- Harambee Pasadia
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
Recognition of professional qualifications outside of the UK
From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.
Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
Through our PARTNERS programme, you could receive an offer up to three grades lower than the typical requirements, and get support throughout the application process. To apply through PARTNERS, you must be based in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria.
Entrance courses (INTO)
International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO.
This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.
- Download our admissions policy
- Find out more about unconditional offers
- Other policies related to admissions
If we feel you may be suitable for the course we will typically invite you to an Interview Day. These take place between December and April. If you are an international student living outside the UK, we may invite you to a Skype interview.
Our Interview Days are a very important part of the admissions process for our Music degrees. They give us a better sense of your individuality and strengths, and allow you to find out more about studying with us.
They consist of a short, informal audition as well as a sample lecture, student performances and a tour of our facilities.
Tuition fees and scholarships
Tuition fees for 2021 entry (per year)
Home Fee Students
International Fee Students
The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for home fee-paying students is set by the UK government.
As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.
You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).
The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.
For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.
If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.
Year abroad and additional costs
For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year.
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
Find out more about:
Open days and events
The situation with Covid-19 means that we're unable to hold Open Days on campus. However, you don’t have to visit in person to experience Newcastle.
From the comfort of your sofa you'll be able to:
• explore our beautiful campus
• find out about our vibrant city
• discover what students think about studying at Newcastle
You'll also have the opportunity to speak to academic staff and find out more about the subjects you're interested in.
How to apply
Apply through UCAS
To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:
- the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
- the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
- the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college
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.Apply through UCAS
Apply through an agent
International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.