History students in a seminar

History and Music BA

Department of History

Department of Music

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    You are viewing this course for 2022-23 entry. 2023-24 entry is also available.

    Key details

    Course description

    2 performers on stage

    Develop your skills in performance and composition, and your academic knowledge of music, while exploring the great events, extraordinary documents and remarkable people that have shaped our culture and society.

    You'll study past societies from the late Roman through to the modern period, focusing on political, social and cultural themes. You'll be engaged in real research from the beginning of your course, learning to exercise independent judgement, to be critical of accepted opinion and to construct effective arguments.

    Our music 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.

    As a dual honours student, you'll divide your studies between the Department of History and the Department of Music. 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 history and music or choose to weight your degree in favour of one subject or the other.

    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

    The University of Sheffield is an All-Steinway School. This accreditation enables students to access pianos of the highest quality and places the University among a select group of international education institutions.

    Modules

    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

    Title: History and Music BA course structure
    UCAS code: VW13
    Years: 2022, 2023

    For history, the first year programme is designed to help you to make the transition from studying History at school or college to studying it at degree level. Building your confidence and broadening your knowledge.

    It introduces you to core academic skills and provides a solid grounding in historical study and research, giving you the foundations you'll need to deepen your understanding of historical events and processes throughout your degree and setting you off on the path to becoming an independent historian.

    Our first year history option modules introduce you to our main areas of teaching and research and give you insight into what you can study in the coming years, so that you can better shape your degree to your individual interests.

    You will take one core module and have 40 credits available to use on option modules.

    For music, you select from the following options.

    History core module:

    History Workshop

    What does it take to be a historian? In this module, you will study the process of historical research, learning discipline-specific methods and essential study and writing skills through close engagement with a historical text (usually a work of narrative non-fiction) linked to your tutor's research interests. You will develop skills in critical reading, historiography, essay writing, bibliographic techniques, and reflection.

    The assessment for this module is aimed at giving you a strong foundation in the skills you will need throughout your degree and beyond: critical reading and writing, bibliographic techniques, and the ability to reflect on and articulate your skills as a historian.

    20 credits

    History option module examples:

    Empire: From the Ancient World to the Middle Ages

    Covering the period from the 4th century BC to the 15th century AD, this module invites students to explore the ancient and medieval worlds through the lens of 'empire'. It provides an introduction to ancient and medieval types of empire, their contacts with and legacies to each other, and the connectedness between East and West in this period. Using a wealth of primary evidence and drawing on corresponding historiographical debates, students explore what it meant to live in ancient and medieval empires, what kind of social, cultural and religious encounters they engendered, and whether there was any space for resistance.

    20 credits
    Land of Liberty? Rights in the USA, 1776-2016

    In 1776, the Declaration of Independence proclaimed that men were created with 'certain unalienable rights'. Yet the new United States denied those rights to large swathes of its people. Examining themes which resonate powerfully today, this module explores American history as a struggle over how rights have been defined and debated, expanded and contracted, and secured and denied. Linking the history of ideas to the efforts of ordinary people, we will look at debates over liberty and slavery, democracy and disenfranchisement, capital and labour, integration and
    segregation, gender and sexuality, nationalism and internationalism, and conservatism and liberalism.

    20 credits
    Paths from Antiquity to Modernity

    The aim of this module is to introduce you to the broad structures of Western history from the end of the Roman Empire to the present day. It provides students intending to take History Single or Dual Honours degree modules with a common framework for the more detailed modules that you will be studying at Levels Two and Three. At the same time, it provides non-historians with a fundamental appraisal of the shape of the past, to which courses in other departments will readily relate. Our aim is to equip you with an understanding of the periodisation of western history and of the major transitions in the process of modernisation. In the process, you will become more critically aware of the essential conceptual tools that modern historians readily use to analyse the past. The module aims to provide the essential training in the skills and methods needed for University level historical study.

    20 credits
    The 'Disenchantment' of Early Modern Europe, c. 1570-1770

    This module explores the fundamental shifts in mental attitudes and public behaviour that occurred in Europe between the age of the Reformation and the age of the Enlightenment. The central focus of the course will be the examination of the supernatural - religious beliefs, but also witchcraft and magic. You will explore the changing ways in which beliefs impinged on people's lives at various social levels. You will also have an opportunity to study the impact on people's world views of such changes as rising literacy, urbanisation, state formation and new discoveries about the natural world. All these will be investigated in the institutional contexts of state and church and the ways in which they sought to channel and mould beliefs and behaviour. This module enables you to understand how the early modern period is distinctive from and links medieval and later modern historical studies.

    20 credits
    The Making of the Twentieth Century

    This module considers the twentieth century as a time that transformed the social and political order in the world, calling into question the role of the European powers in global contexts, and dramatically reorienting the relationship between states and societies. You will engage with case studies representing key themes in twentieth-century global history: imperialism and the processes of decolonisation; the challenges of building the postcolonial nation; revolutions and the emergence of new states; war, genocide and conflict; and the institutions of international order.

    In addressing these themes, The Making of the Twentieth Century has a particular aim of counteracting prevailing tendencies towards Eurocentrism.  You will gain a considerable body of knowledge on the histories of Asia, Africa and Latin America especially.  At the same time, emphasis is placed on the empirical and theoretical grounds upon which competing interpretations rest in order to encourage you to develop critical awareness of the character of historical analysis.  More generally, this module aims to develop analytical, conceptual and literary skills through class discussion and written assignments.  Communication skills will also be emphasised in weekly seminars that will allow specific issues to be discussed in more depth, often with reference to primary source material.  Above all, the module seeks to stimulate an interest in history and an appreciation of cultural diversity.

    20 credits
    The Transformation of the United Kingdom, 1800 to the Present

    This module explores the central political, social, economic, cultural and diplomatic developments that have transformed Britain since 1800. Unlike most of its European neighbours, Britain did not experience dramatic moments of revolution, constitution-building, invasion or military defeat; indeed the belief that the nation was set on a course of gradual evolutionary progress was central to many versions of British identity. This course examines how, when and why change occurred in Britain. Key themes include the transition to mass democracy; the impact of industrialisation; shifts in social relationships based on class, gender and ethnicity; and the rise and fall of Britain as an imperial power.

    20 credits

    Music option module examples:

    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

    Whatever kind of music study you decide to specialise in, you’ll do it better if you see it in the context of music as a phenomenon common to all humanity. You’ll understand what’s different about your own chosen field but also how the music you love derives from diverse cultural sources.In this module we examine how any music uses specific ways of organising sound to serve particular cultural purposes. You’ll learn to recognise and describe diverse musical styles, research them through scholarly sources, present an analysis using appropriate audio-visual technology, and take control of the transferable skills you’re developing.

    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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

    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 interactive lectures and lively discussion-based seminars. Research is central to the student experience here in Sheffield and all our teaching is informed by the latest findings.

    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 History, our internationally renowned tutors offer modules spanning four thousand years and criss-crossing continents, allowing you to explore great events, extraordinary documents, remarkable people.

    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

    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

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    AAB
    typically including History or Classical Civilisation and Music (or grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity))

    A Levels + additional qualifications ABB typically including History and Music (or grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockshool) + grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity)) + B in a relavnt EPQ

    International Baccalaureate 34, typically with 5 in Higher Level History and Music (or grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity))

    BTEC Extended Diploma DD in Music + A at A Level typically in History or Classical Civilisation

    Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced Highers AAABB + AB typically in History and Music (or grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity))

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AA, typically in History or Classical Civilisation and Music (or grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity))

    Access to HE Diploma 60 credits overall in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 36 credits at Distinction (to include History units) and 9 credits at Merit

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    ABB
    typically including History or Classical Civilisation and Music (or grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity))

    A Levels + additional qualifications ABB typically including History and Music (or grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockshool) + grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity)) + B in a relavnt EPQ

    International Baccalaureate 33, typically with 5 in Higher Level History and Music (or grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity))

    BTEC Extended Diploma DD in Music + B at A Level typically in History or Classical Civilisation

    Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced Highers AABBB + AB typically in History and Music (or grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity))

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AB, typically in History or Classical Civilisation and Music (or grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity))

    Access to HE Diploma 60 credits overall in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 30 credits at Distinction (to include History units) and 15 credits at Merit

    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 qualifications | UK and EU/international

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

    Department of History

    As a history student at Sheffield, you'll develop your understanding of the past in a friendly and supportive environment.

    Our internationally-renowned tutors offer modules spanning four thousand years and criss-crossing continents - allowing you to explore great events, extraordinary documents, remarkable people, and long-lasting transformations, from the ancient period to the modern day and across the globe.

    You can tailor your course to suit you, discovering the areas of history that most inspire you most while preparing for the future you want with opportunities like studying abroad, work placements and volunteering.

    Department of History 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 School of English and the School of Languages and Cultures.

    Department of History

    Department of Music

    Our department 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. We timetable teaching across the whole of our campus. Teaching may take place in a student's home.

    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 2022
    QS World University Rankings

      92 per cent of our research is rated in the highest two categories
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      No 1 Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

    Department of History

    UK top 10 for History

    The Times and the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

    3rd in the UK for world-leading research

    Research Excellence Framework 2014


    Department of Music

    Top 10 music department for research excellence in the UK

    Research Excellence Framework 2014

    An All-Steinway School

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

    2nd in the Russell Group for academic support

    National Student Survey 2021


    Graduate careers

    Department of History

    Our history graduates are highly skilled in research, critical reasoning and communication. You'll be able to think and write coherently, to put specific matters in a broader context, and to summarise complex ideas in a discerning and creative way.

    Our graduates have gone on to become successful lawyers, marketing executives, civil servants, accountants, management consultants, university lecturers, archivists, librarians and workers in museums, tourism and the heritage industry.

    So, however you choose to use your degree, the combination of academic excellence and personal skills developed and demonstrated on your course will make you stand out in an increasingly competitive graduate world.

    Companies that have employed our graduates include Accenture, Ernst and Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and DLA Piper. You'll also find our graduates in organisations ranging from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to the Imperial War Museum and the National Archives, to BBC online and The Guardian.

    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.

    Placements and study abroad

    Work experience

    There are lots of opportunities to get work experience, with hands-on projects integrated into several of our academic modules and every year our University Concerts team provides internships. Alternatively, you can lead a music project or workshop in a local school through our student-led volunteering organisation Music in the City

    In History you can undertake a work placement with a heritage or culture organisation and join our student-led volunteering organisations History in the City and take part in activities that bring history to new audiences within the local community. All of these experiences will help you build a compelling CV.

    You can also study our courses with the Degree with Employment Experience option. This allows you to apply for a placement year during your degree where you'll gain valuable experience and improve your employability.

    Study abroad

    There are opportunities to study abroad for a semester or a year, as part of a three or four-year degree programme. We have exchange agreements with universities in the USA, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Singapore and throughout Europe.

    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 busarys 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

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    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

    2022-2023