Music BMus

2025-26 entry
Department of Music

Taught by world-leading academics, we offer a diverse and flexible range of modules, inspiring you to become the musician you want to be. We provide creative experiences within a range of musical industries to help you establish your professional career.

Key details

Explore this course:

    Course description

    Students on stage

    Become an independent musician and music researcher, find your creative voice and take your first steps towards forging a rewarding, international career.

    A music degree from Sheffield is about supporting you to become the musician you want to be. Taught by world-leading academics, you’ll study everything from performance, composition and musicology, to ethnomusicology, music psychology, musical industries and technology.

    You’ll learn to listen, perform, think and write critically about music of multiple genres, delve into the histories and cultural contexts of music both at home and from around the world, and have the chance to receive compositional training in both instrumental and music technology software.

    Together we embrace all music genres and perspectives on music, encouraging you to develop your skills as an independent musician and music researcher.

    Culminating in a final year project, taught over a full academic year in group sessions and regular tutorials, this degree will help establish a portfolio of work that will help you find success in a range of careers.

    Why study this course?

    • 18 hours of instrumental tuition - learn from one of our distinguished professional teachers in the first year, whether or not you choose to take a performance module.
    • Work in Music - gain practical industry experience while you learn with our 'Work in Music' module, and build a network of professionals who can advise you on your career.
    • Become a Sheffield Made Musician - enjoy the city’s vibrant music scene that gave birth to the likes of Self Esteem, PULP and Arctic Monkeys. Feed off this inspiring musical heritage, and collaborate with our regional industry partners.
    • Creative experiences - opportunities include student-led reading groups, multiple ensembles, active student societies, masterclasses and our dynamic musical event series.

    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

    We're revising the curriculum of this course for this year of entry and are in the process of confirming the modules. The information on this page gives you an idea of the areas we expect the course to cover. There may be changes before you start. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Title: Music BMus course structure EVEN YEARS 2024-25
    UCAS code: W302
    Years: 2024
    Year one

    You'll have the option to choose modules in other departments through guided module choice, which includes languages for all modules.

    Core 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 in a Global Context

    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

    Nowadays, most forms of music-related study involve music technologies. This module introduces you to a range of pertinent technologies, focussing around using computer in four key areas; sound recording, editing, transformation and representation, and a more general approach to computing required to complete tasks in many music modules. In each case, you will experience some of the many ways in which specific technologies serve many different music disciplines. You will go onto learn the essential principals of those technologies, before learning how they work in practice. By the end of the module, you will be versed in basics of digital audio, microphone choices and placement, sound recording techniques, wave-editing, MIDI, sound effect and plugins, file types and format, digital transcription and scoring and visual representation of sound. You will engage with University systems and through period of reflection complete a portfolio that contextualises your transferable skills.

    10 credits

    Optional modules:

    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
    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
    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
    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

    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.

    Learning and assessment

    Learning

    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

    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

    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

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    AAB; ABB
    AAB including Music; ABB + Grade 8 in either Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool/LCME or equivalent) or Performance (ABRSM/ARSM) + Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity/LCME)

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    ABB including Music + B in a relevant EPQ
    International Baccalaureate
    34 with 5 in Higher Level Music; 33 + Grade 8 in either Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool/LCME or equivalent) or Performance (ABRSM/ARSM) + Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity/LCME)
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    DDD in Music
    BTEC Diploma
    DD + A in A Level Music; DD in Music + A at A Level
    Scottish Highers
    AAAAB including Music; AAABB + Grade 8 in either Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool/LCME or equivalent) or Performance (ABRSM/ARSM) + Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity/LCME)
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    B + AA including Music; B + AB + Grade 8 in either Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool/LCME or equivalent) or Performance (ABRSM/ARSM) + Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity/LCME)
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in Music, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 36 at Distinction and 9 at Merit
    Other requirements
    • Music Technology is acceptable in lieu of Music (except for BTEC)

    Access Sheffield offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    ABB; BBB
    ABB including Music; BBB + Grade 8 in either Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool/LCME or equivalent) or Performance (ABRSM/ARSM) + Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity/LCME)

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    ABB including Music + B in a relevant EPQ
    International Baccalaureate
    33 with 5 in Higher Level Music; 33 + Grade 8 in either Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool/LCME or equivalent) or Performance (ABRSM/ARSM) + Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity/LCME)
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    DDD in Music
    BTEC Diploma
    DD + B in A Level Music; DD in Music + B at A Level
    Scottish Highers
    AAABB including Music; AABBB + Grade 8 in either Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool/LCME or equivalent) or Performance (ABRSM/ARSM) + Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity/LCME)
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    B + AB including Music; B + BB + Grade 8 in either Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool/LCME or equivalent) or Performance (ABRSM/ARSM/LCME) + Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity)
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in Music, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit
    Other requirements
    • Music Technology is acceptable in lieu of Music (except for BTEC)

    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 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for an International Foundation Year in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

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

    Graduate careers

    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.

    Conductor of orchestra

    Say yes to every music making opportunity you can while at university, even if it’s something a little out of your comfort zone

    George Morton BMus Music, MMus Composition and Performance

    Our degrees and activities attract students who are interested in an eclectic mix of music, with many going onto varied careers. George studied the undergraduate BMus music course and went onto study MMus Composition and Performance. He now works as a freelance conductor and orchestrator.

    Indian music instruments

    My career - music teaching and performance

    Joss Mann-Hazell BMus Music

    During the BMus undergraduate course, Joss was introduced to the world of North Indian Classical Music. He now uses these skills during a teaching training course, and shares why studying music at Sheffield helped in forging his musical career.

    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.

    You can also enjoy events from University of Sheffield Concerts which hosts concerts and masterclasses from touring professional musicians throughout the year.

    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.

    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

      Number one in the Russell Group
    National Student Survey 2023 (based on aggregate responses)

      92 per cent of our research is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      Top 50 in the most international universities rankings
    Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023

      Number one Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023, 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

      Number one for teaching quality, Students' Union and clubs/societies
    StudentCrowd 2023 University Awards

      A top 20 university targeted by employers
    The Graduate Market in 2023, High Fliers report


    Department of Music

    1st in the Russell Group for teaching on our courses

    National Student Survey 2022

    3rd in the UK for music

    The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

    Ranked 6th nationally for the quality of our research environment

    Research Excellence Framework 2021

    An All-Steinway School

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

    Student profiles

     Phoebe N Mckernon profile picture

    The support and encouragement to find your own musical voice from the staff you will get is amazing

    Phoebe N Mckernon BMus

    Phoebe shares her experience of studying and living in Sheffield, as well as her recent success at being chosen to perform at the Harp on Wight Festival on the Isle of Wight.

    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.

    Available music scholarships and prizes

    Placements and study abroad

    Placements

    You may have the opportunity to add an optional placement year as part of your course, converting the three year course to a four-year Degree with Placement Year. 

    A placement year will help you to:

    • gain an insight into possible careers
    • develop a range of transferable skills
    • build a professional network
    • get a feel for what you do and don’t like doing
    • add valuable work experience to your CV
    • gain experience of applying for jobs and interview practice
    • apply elements of academic learning in the workplace

    There are other opportunities to get work experience, with hand-on projects integrated into several of our academic modules. In addition, you could lead activities with local schools through our student-led volunteer organisation, Music in the City, or release music through our department record label, Octagon Records. The University of Sheffield Concert Series also offers internships training you in music management skills.

    All of these experiences will help you build a compelling CV.

    Study abroad

    Spending time abroad during your degree is a great way to explore different cultures, gain a new perspective and experience a life-changing opportunity that you will never forget. 

    You can apply to extend this course with a year abroad, usually between the second and third year. We have over 250 University partners worldwide. Popular destinations include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. 

    Find out more on the Global Opportunities website.

    Visit

    University open days

    We host five open days each year, usually in June, July, September, October and November. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

    Open days: book your place

    Subject tasters

    If you’re considering your post-16 options, our interactive subject tasters are for you. There are a wide range of subjects to choose from and you can attend sessions online or on campus.

    Upcoming taster sessions

    Offer holder days

    If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our offer holder days, which take place between February and April. These open 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

    Our weekly guided tours show you what Sheffield has to offer - both on campus and beyond. You can extend your visit with tours of our city, accommodation or sport facilities.

    Campus tour: book your place

    Apply

    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.

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

    2025-2026

    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.

    Taught by world-leading academics, we offer a diverse and flexible range of modules, inspiring you to become the musician you want to be. We provide creative experiences within a range of musical industries to help you establish your professional career.