Cityscape view of Salzburg, Austria

Music and Modern Languages & Cultures BA

School of Languages and Cultures

Department of Music

Apply for this course

You are viewing this course for 2021-22 entry. 2022-23 entry is also available.

Key details

Course description

A woman playing the cello and smiling

Perform, compose and write about music while developing high-level language skills and an understanding of different cultures.

Our curriculum and expertise span seven different areas: performance, composition, musicology, ethnomusicology, music psychology, musical industries, and music technology. We offer an impressive array of modules, with academic and practical study in most music genres, including classical, pop, jazz, folk and world music. You'll develop your skills as a musician and music researcher, and have the freedom to follow your own interests.

In your modern languages and cultures modules, you'll focus on one or two languages, choosing from French, German, Russian, Spanish, Dutch, Czech, Italian (available as a second language only), Catalan, Luxembourgish (available to study from the second year) or Portuguese.

You can take any language from beginner's level, and you can take French, German, Russian or Spanish post-A Level (or equivalent). As well as taking modules that focus on practical language skills, you'll also explore topics such as linguistics, literature, society, politics, history, philosophy and film studies.

You'll be required to take a minimum number of credits within both departments each year, but how you choose to divide your modules after this is up to you: split your modules evenly between music and modern languages and cultures, or choose to weight your degree in favour of one subject or the other.

You'll spend the third year of your course abroad. We have a wide range of destinations on offer, both within Europe and beyond: choose to study at a leading university, carry out an approved work placement, or in some cases take part in exciting volunteering opportunities. Please be aware that we do not offer a year abroad option in Italy.

Throughout your degree, you'll be studying in an environment dedicated to high-quality teaching, world-leading research, and innovative public engagement. We have cutting-edge facilities, including purpose-built music practice rooms, recording studios and music psychology labs.

Outside of your degree, there are many ways to develop your interests, insights and critical faculties. Opportunities include student-led reading groups, multiple ensembles, active student societies, and our University Concerts series, which hosts over 100 musical events and performances every year.

Dual and combined honours degrees

Modules

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

  • You can find a comprehensive list of all of our languages and cultures modules broken down by language on the School of Languages and Cultures website 
  • Examples of music modules on offer are below
Title: Music and Modern Languages & Cultures course structure
UCAS code: RW50
Years: 2021, 2022

The music modules for Combined Honours students are the same as those for BMus students except that there are no compulsory modules. You can choose to split your 120 credits per year equally 60:60 between your two subjects, or you can choose a ‘major/minor’ split of 80:40.

The part-time degree requires students to take 60 credits per year. The first year includes 40 credits of compulsory modules, followed by 30 credits in the second year. 

You'll also take modules in your dual departments as well as through guided module choice, which includes languages for all modules.

Music option modules:

History of Western Music

This module considers key moments in the history of Western music from the 1500s to the present day. Taking individual composers and works, it aims to introduce students to different approaches to the study of music history, the development of particular musical genres, and the impact of cultural, historical and geographical context on composers. In addition, the module will consider ways of writing about music, and the use of primary and secondary sources for informing critical discussions of the subject.

20 credits
Music of the World

As a foundation for more specialised studies in particular forms of music, this module introduces you to the study of music as a phenomenon common to all humanity, and cultivates your awareness of the many different things that music can be to people in different times and places.

You’ll develop a broad familiarity with a variety of musical styles and genres from around the world, acquiring both knowledge of music (the sounds and styles of the music itself) and knowledge about music (the social and cultural contexts in which the music functions). You’ll also develop skills in recognising features of musical sound organisation, representing them visually and describing them in words.

20 credits
Tonal Music Analysis and Criticism  

In this module you'll address the core skills of listening to, analysing, and writing critically about Western Classical music. With a focus on eighteenth-century “common practice” tonality, you will study harmony, counterpoint, melody, texture and form in preparation for analysing short pieces, and will learn to write about the music you hear as well as the notes you see on the page. Your work will also prepare you for future music modules.

10 credits
Technologies for Music

Whatever your musical interests, you cannot avoid music technologies - they are central to how we listen to, enjoy and study music. This module introduces you to several important and useful music technologies that will help you throughout your future studies. You will start by learning the essential principles of those technologies, before learning how they work in practice. By the end of the module, you will be versed in the basics of digital audio, sound recording, wave-editing, audio and MIDI, sound effects and plugins, file types and formats.

10 credits
Composition

In this module you will develop your composition skills, practice writing music in staff notation, and learn to write effectively for different instrumental and vocal forces. Drawing on the models of a diverse range of classical composers of the 20th and 21st centuries, we will focus on techniques for writing inventive melodies and rhythms, and employing wide-ranging approaches to harmony. The module aims to give you a foundation in composition and increase your confidence in preparation for further study.

20 credits
Performance

In this module you will develop the musical and intellectual abilities appropriate to solo performance. The theoretical background is considered, focusing on the aural and analytical skills essential to performance at an advanced level. An awareness of style and interpretation, as well as effective preparation and communication are built into teaching. You will receive one to one tuition in addition to attending whole class performance lectures.

20 credits
Composing Electronic Music

The lectures on this module introduce you to various forms of electronic music composition. Through creative practice, key principles of composition with technology are introduced and a number of broad genres are set in a historical and analytical context. A diverse range of software tools are used, further enhancing your digital skills. You will learn how to process and develop a range of recorded and synthetic sound material, before considering some of the various ways in which those materials may be used to compose electronic pieces. After making a number of short etudes throughout the first half of the module, you select one area in which to complete your own original work.

10 credits
Folk Music Participation

This module is based upon participation in and preparation for folk sessions hosted by the Department of Music. Through intensive preparation of challenging repertoire, as well as the skills to enable improvised participation, you will develop your understanding of the demands and pleasures of session practice, and your knowledge of the repertoires concerned (British folk traditions), and be encouraged to reflect upon the roles and responsibilities of individual participants within the group. You will also be required to attend a professional ensemble concert or concerts within the university concert series, or an equivalent online event.

10 credits
Music Psychology

In this module you will engage with some of the most provocative questions about musical thought and behaviour: What are the characteristics of the musical mind? Why do we feel emotions when listening to or performing music? How does music and music therapy influence our health and wellbeing? Can music make you smarter? The module is designed such that no prior formal musical or psychological training is necessary.

You will develop knowledge of the scientific methods used to study music from a psychological perspective, and how findings can inform applications in education, healthcare, and the creative industries.

10 credits
Popular Music Studies

This module provides an introduction to the academic study of popular music. You will explore the various definitions of 'popular music' in relation to their socio-cultural context, and investigate some of the major issues and debates of popular music studies.

Lecture materials and in-class tasks will engage with approaches to the analysis of popular music and media, issues of representation, and the relationship between popular musicians and their audiences. Assessments involve critical engagement with the themes of the module in relation to a popular music artist or piece of your choosing.

10 credits
Exploring Tonal Styles

This module builds core skills of hearing, describing and using tonal procedures in a range of Western musical styles. It extends MUS133 Tonal Music Analysis and Criticism by moving on from classical “common practice” to explore styles that use tonality in different ways.

We’ll explore styles like Medieval and Renaissance music, jazz and rock. You’ll produce analyses from written scores and recordings, and write examples and exercises in the appropriate styles. You’ll develop musicianship skills that prepare you for composition, analysis and performance work in subsequent years.

10 credits

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Learning and assessment

Learning

You'll learn through a mix of lectures, seminars and language classes. Language teaching is in small groups, so you'll get plenty of tailored support and will get to know your tutors well.

On the music side of your degree, our teaching ranges from academic to hands-on. You'll learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, interactive classes and tutorials, and you'll be expected to carry out independent study, assignments and instrument practice. Instrumental lessons are available in your first year and throughout the rest of your degree if you choose to take assessed performance modules.

We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

Learning support facilities and library opening hours

You'll be taught by world-leading experts in both departments.

In the Department of Music, our staff research directly informs the content of our degrees and we bring our expertise and ideas into all our teaching, so you’ll benefit from being introduced to the latest discoveries at the forefront of musical research.

Assessment

We use a range of assessment methods during your course. In the language programme you will be given regular homework assignments and take a mix of coursework and exam assessments at appropriate points over the academic year. You will be assessed on the core skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Our assessment methods vary across our courses and include taking sit-down exams, developing a portfolio, writing essays, taking part in group projects or giving individual presentations.

On the music side of the degree, a few of our modules include formal exams but the majority of your assessment is through coursework (for example essays, journals, compositions, recordings, group projects) and assessed performances.

Programme specification

This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

Find programme specification for this course

Entry requirements

With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

Standard offer
Access Sheffield offer

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
ABB
including Music or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + Grade 5 theory (ABRSM/Trinity) and typically including a modern foreign language

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
BBB
including Music/Music Technology (or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rocksholl) + Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity) & typically a modern foreign language

A Levels + additional qualifications | BBB, including Music or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + Grade 5 theory (ABRSM/Trinity) and typically including a modern foreign language + B in a relevant EPQ BBB, including Music or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + Grade 5 theory (ABRSM/Trinity) and typically including a modern foreign language + B in a relevant EPQ

International Baccalaureate | 33, including Higher Level Music or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + Grade 5 theory (ABRSM/Trinity) and typically with 5 in Higher Level in a modern foreign language 32 including 5 in Higher Level Music (or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool) + Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity) & typically a modern foreign language

BTEC | DDD in Music DDM in Music + an appropriate modern foreign language

Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher | AABBB + B, including Music or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + Grade 5 theory (ABRSM/Trinity) and typically including a modern foreign language ABBBB + B, including Music or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + Grade 5 theory (ABRSM/Trinity) and typically including a modern foreign language

Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | B + AB, including Music (or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + Grade 5 theory (ABRSM/Trinity) ) and typically including a modern foreign language B + BB, including Music (or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) +Grade 5 theory (ABRSM/Trinity) ) and typically including a modern foreign language

Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with Distinctions in 30 Level 3 credits, and Merits in 15 Level 3 credits. 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with Distinctions in 24 Level 3 credits, and Merits in 21 Level 3 credits.

Mature students - explore other routes for mature students

English language requirements

You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

Equivalent English language qualifications

Visa and immigration requirements

Other requirements
  • If you are not studying a modern foreign language, the department will consider other evidence of aptitude for language learning, such as a languages GCSE or, for non-native speakers of English, an English language qualification

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

School of Languages and Cultures

At the School of Languages and Cultures you'll develop your linguistic skills to a very high level and deepen your understanding of the cultural context of the countries where your languages are spoken.

We offer a particularly wide range of languages - Catalan, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Luxembourgish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Right from the start, you'll work with the school's top specialists and native speakers who will help you realise your linguistic potential. Language teaching is in small groups, so you'll get plenty of support tailored to your needs and get to know your tutors well.

We're a leading centre for modern languages and cultures research. Our work spans identity, gender, linguistics, politics, migration and literary studies. This research informs our teaching, helping you to develop a global understanding of language and languages across cultures and countries.

You'll be able to study optional modules either in your individual languages, or across the school so you'll acquire an in-depth understanding of your chosen languages and their cultures, and how they relate to other languages and cultures across modern languages disciplines.

Our student-run language societies organise multilingual events, trips and creative projects. There are opportunities to volunteer in the community and in schools, inspiring others to try new languages.

School of Languages and Cultures students are based in the Jessop West building at the heart of the University campus, close to the Diamond and the Information Commons. We share the Jessop West Building with the Department of History and the School of English.

School of Languages and Cultures

Department of Music

Day in the life: Music at Sheffield

Our departmental ethos combines high achievement with a sense of community and a shared passion for music. Our internationally recognised research informs our high-quality teaching and our student experience is second to none.

Sheffield is celebrated as one of the UK's leading music cities, with dozens of major venues from the City Hall and Crucible to the Leadmill and the Foundry, covering all music genres. This brings with it a host of opportunities for our students to get involved in professional music-making of the highest quality.

Department of Music students study at the heart of the campus in our Jessop Building, Soundhouse and performance facilities which are specially designed for cutting-edge research and teaching.

Facilities

Specially designed for music study, our £8.5m facilities provide the ideal environment for our diverse and cutting-edge teaching and research.

The University of Sheffield are proud to be an All-Steinway School, which places us among a select group of international education institutions. This accreditation means that you'll have access to pianos of the highest quality.

The Jessop Building houses study and rehearsal rooms, with dedicated specialist spaces including our historical instruments collection, ethnomusicology space and collection, music psychology lab and music technology lab.

The Soundhouse is our purpose-built facility for instrumental lessons, practice, small-scale rehearsals and sound recording, and houses the internationally-renowned University of Sheffield Sound Studios for recording and electroacoustic composition.

The University of Sheffield is also home to a suite of performance venues, including the beautiful 380-seater Firth Hall, set in the stunning Edwardian Grade II listed Firth Court and home to the University’s multi-genre Concert Series.

Department of Music

Why choose Sheffield?

The University of Sheffield

  A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings

  Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014

  No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017


School of Languages and Cultures

Top 10 in the Russell Group for research impact

Research Excellence Framework 2014

91% overall student satisfaction

National Student Survey 2019


Department of Music

Top 10 music department for research excellence in the UK

Research Excellence Framework 2014

2nd in the Russell Group for teaching on our course

National Student Survey 2020

93% of our students are in work or further study 6 months after graduation

UK UG, 2015-2017 Higher Education Survey

An All-Steinway School

The University of Sheffield is proud to be an All-Steinway School


Graduate careers

School of Languages and Cultures

Our graduates are excellent communicators, adaptable and culturally aware. They work in international development organisations, business and banking, translating and interpreting, intelligence services, journalism, teaching, publishing, and international sales and marketing. Many go on to further study.

Department of Music

The musical excellence and academic aptitude you develop on your course will make you highly valued by employers, whatever your chosen career path after university. You'll also develop valuable transferable skills such as time management, critical thinking and interpersonal communication.

There are lots of opportunities to get work experience. Hands-on projects are integrated into several academic modules and every year our Concerts team provides internships while the Careers Service can help you find placements. You can lead a music project or workshop in a local school through our student-led volunteering organisation Music in the City. All of these experiences will help you build a compelling CV.

Our graduates work with prestigious orchestras and music institutions within the UK and globally, in roles ranging from performing and conducting to administration and education. Sheffield music graduates have also forged successful careers in other fields, from audio programming to marketing and management.

Graduate job roles include: artist management, audio programming, composition, concerts coordination, instrument repair, marketing and communications, music research, music promotion, music therapy, orchestral management, professional performance, publishing, sound engineering, teaching.

John Student Profile

Working in the humanitarian sector, being a linguist is indispensable

John BA Modern Languages & Cultures

John completed a BA that included Spanish and Portuguese

Placement/study abroad

Year abroad

You will spend the third year of your degree studying or working overseas in one or two countries. This is your chance to immerse yourself in the culture of your chosen language(s), honing your language skills by living alongside native speakers.

Work experience

There are lots of opportunities to get work experience. Hands-on projects are integrated into several academic modules and every year our University Concerts team provides internships. Alternatively, you can work in schools to encourage language learning, or lead a music project or workshop through our student-led volunteering organisation Music in the City. All of these experiences will help you build a compelling CV.

Fees and funding

Fees

Additional costs

The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

Examples of what’s included and excluded

Funding your study

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

Additional funding

The Department of Music offers a number of scholarships. These can include scholarships in partnership with local music organisations, giving you a chance to gain advanced work experience within the music sector while studying. Alternatively, we can offer bursaries donated by alumni to help support you with your studies. Both single honours BMus students and dual honours students with music are eligible to apply. For a full list of scholarships and prizes available, please visit our fees and funding page.

Visit us

University open days

There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

Open days: book your place

Taster days

At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

Upcoming taster sessions

Applicant days

If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

Campus tours

Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Book your place on a campus tour

Apply for this course

Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
www.ucas.com

The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

Our student protection plan

Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

Explore this course:

    2021-2022