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Music BMus Honours

  • UCAS code: W304
  • Full time
  • 4 years

Develop into an accomplished and confident musician and distinguish yourself by spending a year studying abroad.

You are currently viewing course information for entry year: 2024-25

Next start date:

  • September 2024

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £21600

Entry requirements and offers

  • A-Level: AAB
  • IB: 34 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21

Course overview

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

North America

  • 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:

  • performance
  • 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.


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Your course and study experience - disclaimers and terms and conditions  
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, for example in response to Covid-19.

View our Academic experience page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2023-24.

See our terms and conditions and student complaints information, which gives details of circumstances that may lead to changes to programmes, modules or University services.

Quality and ranking

Professional accreditation and recognition

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body.

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.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

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.

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.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Understanding Music History 20
Academic Practice for Music Studies 20
Optional Modules Credits
Studio Production 20
Introduction to Ethnomusicology 20
Introduction to Popular Music Studies 20
Performance Studies 1 20
Traditions of These Islands 20
Creative Projects 20
Essentials and Applications of Music Theory 20
Applications and Structures of Music Theory 20
Essentials and Structures of Music Theory 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.


Optional Modules Credits
Themes in Musical Modernism 20
Composing for Spaces and Places 20
Elements of Hip Hop 20
DJing Skills and Turntablism 20
Contemporary Musical Materials 20
Practising Music Analysis 20
Applied Song Writing and Composition (Folk and Modal Musics) 20
Case Studies in Early Music 20
Translation for Singing 20
Performance Studies 2 20
Contemporary Music Practice 2 20
Orchestration 20
Popular Music and Media 20
Folk Music Studies: Resources and Research Materials 20
Folk Ensemble 2 20
Music and Visual Culture 20
Music and Empire 20
Topics in Ethnomusicology 20
Professional Practice for Music 20
Community Music: Theory and Practice 20

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).


Compulsory modules

You are required to take one Major Specialist Study (shown in the optional list below):

Major Specialist Study: Composition (40 credits)
Major Specialist Study: Dissertation (40 credits)
Major Specialist Study: Performance (40 credits)
Major Specialist Study: Project (40 credits)


Optional Modules Credits
Themes in Musical Modernism 20
Composing for Spaces and Places 20
Elements of Hip Hop 20
DJing Skills and Turntablism 20
Contemporary Musical Materials 20
Practising Music Analysis 20
Applied Song Writing and Composition (Folk and Modal Musics) 20
Case Studies in Early Music 20
Translation for Singing 20
Contemporary Music Practice 2 20
Orchestration 20
Popular Music and Media 20
Folk Music Studies: Resources and Research Materials 20
Folk Ensemble 2 20
Music and Visual Culture 20
Music and Empire 20
Topics in Ethnomusicology 20
Professional Practice for Music 20
Community Music: Theory and Practice 20
Major Specialist Study: Composition 40
Major Specialist Study: Dissertation 40
Major Specialist Study: Performance 40
Major Specialist Study: Project 40
Minor Specialist Study: Composition 20
Minor Specialist Study: Dissertation 20
Minor Specialist Study: Performance 20
Minor Specialist Study: Project 20
Music, Politics and Policy 20
Richard Wagner and Wagnerism 20
Jazz Studies 20
Folk Music, Gender and Identity 20
Folk Ensemble 3 20
Teaching Music in Schools - socio-cultural contexts and approaches to practice 20
Music and Creative Industries Placement 20

You may (but are not required to) choose a Minor Specialist Study module from the following  list. This must be in a subject area that is substantially different to your major specialist study. 

Minor Specialist Study: Composition (20 credits)

Minor Specialist Study: Dissertation (20 credits)

Minor Specialist Study: Performance (20 credits)

Minor Specialist Study: Project (20 credits)

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

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.

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Assignments – written or fieldwork

  • Dissertation or research project

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Musical performance

  • Portfolio submission

Skills and experience

Practical skills

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 provide the ideal setting for your artistic talents to flourish.

Business skills

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.

Research skills

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


Study abroad

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.

Find out more about study abroad

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.

Rehearsal spaces

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 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.

Videos of student performance on our website

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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.

Your future

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:

  • 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.

Find out more about the careers our graduates choose

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Careers support

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
  • Generator
  • 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.

Visit our Careers Service website

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

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements and offers below apply to 2024 entry.

International Baccalaureate

Other UK and the Republic of Ireland qualifications

Contextual Offers

Through one of our contextual routes, you could receive an offer of up to three grades lower than the typical requirements.

What is a contextual offer? Find out more and if you’re eligible for this or our PARTNERS Programme supported entry route.

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

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. 

Find out more about International Pathway Courses

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University. 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.

Credit transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can allow you to convert existing relevant university-level knowledge, skills and experience into credits towards a qualification. Find out more about the RPL policy which may apply to this course.

Interview Days

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.

Find out more about interviews

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for 2024 entry (per year)

Qualification: BMus Honours

Home students

full time 4 years

Tuition fees (per year)


International students

full time 4 years

Tuition fees (per year)


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:

Open days and events

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.

Visit our International pages

Get in touch

By phone

Call us on +44 (0) 191 208 3333 and press option 1. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 10am until 4pm.

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You'll find our NCL chatbot in the bottom right of this page.


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