BMus | Undergraduate

Music

Entry year
2019
Entry requirements
BBB
Duration
3 years (Full Time)
UCAS code
W302
  • Overview

    The BMus in Music is designed for students who wish to develop a deep understanding of music in the broadest sense whilst honing their specialist skills to professional standards. Staff with international reputations in performance, composition and musicology provide training that enables young musicians fully to exploit their talents. The degree includes studies in musicianship, harmony, music history and a range of associated skills that provide a well-rounded set of transferable skills such as problem-solving, communication and teamwork. This ensures that graduates in music are equally employable in graduate jobs as they are in musical careers.

    Music Degree highlights

    QS World University Ranking recently placed Queen’s University Belfast in the top 50 universities worldwide for the performing arts.

    Global Opportunities

    • Students may opt to spend a semester studying abroad. The School has links with a number of international institutions including National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, University of Groningen, Escola Superior de Música e Artes do Espetáculo do Porto and Instituto Politecnico do Porto.

    Professional Accreditations

    • The School is an Avid Learning Partner and Avid-accredited courses in Pro Tools for music and audio production are embedded into the curriculum.

    Industry Links

    • The School benefits from strong industry partnerships including BBC NI, Ulster Orchestra, Opera NI, Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble, Cathedral Arts Festival, Moving on Music, Diatribe Records, DTS and Dolby.

    World Class Facilities

    • The Music Department at Queen’s is one of the best equipped in the UK. Our music degrees are housed in two striking buildings: the elegant, historical Music building; and the world-leading Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC). SARC contains the unique Sonic Lab, a concert hall with variable acoustics and facilities for immersion in 360-degree sound. The Music building houses the Harty Room, a concert hall that is regularly used for public performances. The department also houses state-of-the-art recording studios (for both ‘pop’ and ‘classical’ music), plus studios for surround sound and post production. There are also a large number of practice rooms, including three acoustically isolated rooms, and three suites of iMac computers.

    Internationally Renowned Experts

    • Many of our staff are leading international experts in their fields of research. Additionally, the School employs a number Industry Fellows – internationally renowned professionals in their fields of composition, performance, song-writing, sound engineering and music production.

    Student Experience

    • Northern Ireland has an exceptional track record for producing outstanding musical talent and has a unique identity within the global music industry. Belfast is the creative hub of the Northern Irish music industry and students on this programme will contribute to the vibrant musical life of both the University and the wider city.
    “The teaching I have received here has been amazing. In particular, one-on-one attention to the individual student has been important. Contact with groups such as the Ulster Orchestra, Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble and the Royal String Quartet has proven to be beneficial to my music performance and composition and has pushed
    me to reach my goal of being a performer one day myself."
    Hannah Murray, Third Year BMus Music (2017)

    EU Referendum

    Information on the implications of Brexit for prospective students.

  • Course content

    Course Structure

    Course ContentAs a basis for specialisation in performance, composition and musicology, students take modules in music history, harmony and analysis.
    Stage 1Stage 1 Includes five core modules: introduction to music, fundamental harmony, music in history, composing music and musicianship. Students choose one optional module from topics including: performance, ensemble performance, ethnomusicology, and a range of music technology modules.
    Stage 2Stage 2 includes two core modules in analysis and critical writing skills, plus four optional modules chosen from: performance, composition, improvisation, scoring and arranging, musicology (at least 3 modules offered), and a range of modules that focus on music technology.
    Stage 3At stage 3, students take at least one module in a music history special subject, plus a range of options that will include: composition, dissertation, musicology, performance, work placement, composing for screen. (Up to two optional modules may be in another subject).

    People teaching you

    Dr Simon Mawhinney
    Subject Lead - Music

    Music
    Simon Mawhinney is a composer who writes regularly for leading contemporary music performers across Europe. He teaches composition, performance, history and theory at undergraduate level. At postgraduate level he supervises work in composition (instrumental and computer music.)

    Contact Teaching Times

    Large Group Teaching6 (hours maximum)
    hours of lectures
    Medium Group Teaching6 (hours maximum)
    hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week
    Personal Study24 (hours maximum)
    22–24 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including guided study, composition, performance rehearsal, online activities, etc.
    Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial2 (hours maximum)
    hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week

    Learning and Teaching

    Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this courses are:

    • E-Learning technologies
      Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example: interactive group workshops; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; on-line assessment; opportunities to use software applications associated with design in practicals and project-based work etc.
    • Lectures
      Introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
    • Personal Tutor
      Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during Stages 1 and 2 who meets with them regularly during the year to support their academic development.
    • Practicals
      Provide opportunities for the development of technical skills and the application of theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts.
    • Self-directed study
      This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, performance practice, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback and assignment research and preparation is carried out.
    • Supervised projects
      In final year, all students take a ‘Professional Practice’ module which provides the opportunity to develop a body of artistic work in a professional context. Each individual or group will be assigned a member of staff to act as a mentor. Mentors and students will meet fortnightly to review work in progress and to discuss practical concerns.
    • Work placements
      Students have the opportunity to undertake a work placement in Year 3. This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity.

    Assessment

    Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:

    • The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module. Many Music modules are assessed solely through practical project work, continuous assessment or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Module Outline Document which is provided to all students at the beginning of each teaching semester.

    Feedback

    As students’ progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:

    • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
    • Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
    • Placement employer comments or references
    • Online or emailed comment.
    • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
    • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
    • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
    • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
    • Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.

    Facilities

    The Music Department at Queen’s is one of the best equipped in the UK. Our music degrees are housed in two striking buildings: the elegant, historical Music building and the world-leading Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC). SARC contains the unique Sonic Lab, a concert hall with variable acoustics and facilities for immersion in 360º sound. The Music building houses the Harty Room, a concert hall that is regularly used for public performances. The department also houses state of the art recording studios (for both ‘pop’ and ‘classical’ music), plus studios for surround sound and post production. There are also a large number of practice rooms, including three acoustically isolated rooms, and three suites of iMac computers.

    Ensembles include the Queen's University Symphony Orchestra, Queen's Big Band, Queen's Chamber Choir, QUBEnsemble, Queen's University Brass Band and Queen's Viol Consort.
    https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ael/Discover/PerformanceGroups/

    In addition to the facilities for organists and pianists, the School of Music has an extensive range of early keyboard instruments, orchestral instruments and percussion instruments.
    https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ael/Discover/facilities/PracticeRoomsandinstruments/

    Concert venues include the Harty Room, The Sonic Lab, McMordie Hall, Whitla Hall and Elmwood Hall.
    https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ael/Discover/facilities/concertvenues/

    The SARC building contains seven purpose-built studio spaces designed and acoustically treated by ARUP acoustics
    https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ael/Discover/facilities/studios/

    The School is one of the largest and best-equipped institutions in the UK working in the field of music and sound. Students have access to state-of-the-art audio resources including:

    The Sonic Lab: a unique performance space with variable acoustics, an acoustically transparent grid floor and 48 studio quality loudspeakers to facilitate three dimensional sound projection. The Sonic Lab is capable of projecting multichannel audio in a range of spatial formats including ambisonics and Dolby Atmos.

    Studios: The School has 10 studio spaces used for recording, mixing, sound design, composition, foley recording, audio post production and spatialisation. The studios feature a range of active monitoring from Genelec, PMC, ATC, Dynaudio and the larger studio spaces use large format digital mixing consoles from Studer, AMS-Neve and Avid. The School also has an extensive microphone collection including a range of popular models from Soundfield, Neumann, DPA, Schoeps, AKG, Sennheiser and Shure.

    Additionally, there are a range of study spaces, rehearsal spaces and teaching rooms distributed across our two buildings.
    https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ael/Discover/facilities/soniclab/SonicLabSpecs/

    Currently there are 48 loudspeakers in use in the lab. The house configuration is arranged in 4 layers:

    HIGH
    8 x Meyer UPM-1P
    Dolby Atmos configuration, arranged in two rows front to back. The loudspeakers hang from six of the nine overhead adjustable ceiling panels.

    MID HEIGHT
    15 x Meyer UPJ-1P
    3 x Meyer UMS-1P subwoofer
    Dolby Atmos configuration. The loudspeakers are suspended from the technical gantry approximately 7m above the ground floor.

    GROUND
    4 x Genelec 1038B
    4 x Genelec 1037B
    2 x Meyer UPJ-1P + Meyer UMS-1P sub
    The Genelecs are in an octophonic configuration plus two Meyer UPJ-1P/UMS-1P front centre and rear centre.

    BASEMENT
    8 x Meyer UPM-1P
    2 x Meyer X-800 subwoofer
    At lower ground level (4m below the grid floor).

    The loudspeaker system is managed using a QSC QSYS system (2 x Core 510i) with Dante input and 48 analogue outputs.

    A Studer Vista 5 console is located at the rear of the lab. The console is fitted with 3 I/O racks - one at the stage, one in the centre of the lab beside the console, and one at the basement level of the lab. The stage rack provides 32 mic/line analogue inputs and 8 analogue outputs; the centre rack provide 40 line analogue inputs and 8 analogue outputs; the basement rack provide 48 analogue outputs. Also attached to the Studer console is an Apple Mac Pro hosting a ProTools HD system. Connectivity is via an SSL Delta Link MADI interface for ProTools and an RME HDSPe MADI card.
    https://youtu.be/CAcyXUGdQJA

  • Entry Requirements

    Entrance requirements

    A level requirements
    BBB including A-level Music

    Where A-level Music is not offered then A-level grades BBB plus Grade VIII Theory of Music (ABRSM, Trinity-Guildhall or LCM (not Popular Music Theory)) would be acceptable. AS-level Music is not acceptable in lieu of A-level Music.
    Irish leaving certificate requirements
    H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Music.

    Where Higher Level Music is not offered then grades H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3 plus grade VIII Theory of Music (ABRSM,Trinity-Guildhall or LCM (not Popular Music Theory)) would be acceptable.
    Access/Foundation Course
    Certificate in Foundation Studies in Music with an average of 65%.
    International Baccalaureate Diploma
    32 points overall, including 6,5,5 at Higher Level, including Music
    BTEC Level 3 Extended/National Extended Diploma
    QCF Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits), with 100 credits at Distinction grade and 80 credits at Merit grade.

    RQF Level 3 BTEC National Extended Diploma (1080 Guided Learning Hours (GLH)), with at least 540 GLH at Distinction grade (minimum 240 GLH to be externally assessed) and 540 GLH at Merit grade.

    Extended Diploma/National Extended Diploma must be relevant.
    Graduate
    A minimum of a 2:2 Honours Degree, provided any subject requirement is also met
    Further information
    If an applicant has successfully completed a Grade VIII Practical Music examination this may be taken into account in August when deciding borderline cases. Applicants should indicate in the 'education' section of the UCAS application if they have, or intend to complete, a Grade VIII Practical examination, specifying the instrument and the awarding body.

    Selection Criteria

    In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.

    Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by individual University Schools. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.

    Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.

    For last year's intake, applicants for the BMus offering A-level/BTEC Level 3 qualifications must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C or better (to include English Language). Performance in any AS or A-level examinations already completed would also have been taken into account and the Selector checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.

    Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat candidates is set in terms of three A-levels and may be one grade higher than for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.

    Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.

    Applicants offering other qualifications, such as relevant Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, will also be considered.

    For applicants offering an HNC in Music, the current requirements are successful completion of this HNC with 8 Merits. For those offering a Higher National Diploma, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile but, to be eligible for an offer, the grades obtained in the first year of the HND must allow the overall offer to be achievable. A relevant HND in Music is required and offers for Stage 1 entry are currently conditional on successful completion of this HND with 9 Merits and 7 Passes overall. Applicants with sufficiently high grades in the first year of a relevant HND in Music may be considered for entry to Stage 2 and, where offers are made, these are currently conditional on successful completion of this HND with 12 Merits and 4 Passes overall, with Merits in specified units.

    The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of the BMus degree, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.

    A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.

    Candidates who have been made an offer will be invited to visit the School of Arts, English and Languages, and will be given an opportunity to demonstrate their performance skills.

    If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions Service (admissions@qub.ac.uk), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.

    Read more Read less

    International Students

    For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

    English Language Requirements

    An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

    • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
    • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

    International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes

    INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.

    These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.

    INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

  • Careers

    Career Prospects

    Introduction
    The programme prepares students for a wide range of possible career paths and graduates in Music at Queen’s have found success throughout the UK and internationally in both musical and non-musical careers including orchestral playing, opera singing, solo artist careers, performance, composition, teaching, media employment and arts administration. Others regularly move into a wide range of graduate employments such as accountancy, banking, publishing and marketing.

    Employment after the Course
    Graduates in Music at Queen’s have found success throughout the UK and internationally, in both musical and non-musical careers. Our graduates have worked as professional musicians in a wide range of specialisms, including orchestral playing, opera singing, solo artist careers, and composition. Many of our graduates have enjoyed successful careers in teaching and arts administration. Many graduates have used the distinctions of a Bmus from Queen’s to enter into non-music graduate careers.

    Alumni Success
    Colin Stark – member of Ulster Orchestra
    Niamh McGowan – Ulster Orchestra
    Chris Day, professional trombonist in Germany
    Eugene Montieth, conductor
    Marcella Walsh – singer, Scottish Opera
    Elaine Pelan – singer
    Nathan Morrison – singer
    David Stockard – performer and composer
    Paul McBride – school headmaster
    Kevin Donnelly – project manager for Trocaire projects in Africa

    Professional Opportunities
    The Stage 3 Work Placement course is an excellent opportunity for students to gain real-world employment experience. Some of the organisations our students have completed placements with include: The Mac, Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast Music Society, Fleming Fulton Special Needs School, JAM (Junior Academy of Music), and a large number of local secondary and primary schools.

    The programme prepares students for a wide range of possible career paths including performance, composition, teaching, media employment and arts administration. Music graduates regularly move into a wide range of graduate employments such as accountancy, banking, publishing and marketing. Companies and institutions currently employing our graduates include the BBC, UTV, The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, EDRON Academy (Mexico City), Weller Media Agency, Start Together Studios, PSAV, The Mac, Pi Communications, The Nerve Centre, Steven’s Institute of Technology, Trinity College Dublin, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University.

    Additional Awards Gained

    Ranked 7th in the UK for Student Satisfaction - Complete University Guide 2019

    Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

    Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills

    In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

  • Fees and Funding

    Tuition Fees

    Northern Ireland (NI) £4,275
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250
    Other (non-UK) EU £4,275
    International £16,400

    Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.

    Additional course costs

    All Students

    Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

    Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.

    If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.  

    Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.  

    Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

    If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

    Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

    There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

    Read more Read less

    Music costs

    The School is an Avid Learning Partner and optional courses providing Avid certification in the use of ProTools are available as part of the programme. The cost of these courses ranges from £20 to £90 per course.

    How do I fund my study?

    There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.

    Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.

    Scholarships

    Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.

    International Scholarships

    Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.

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    Careers

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  • Apply

    How and when to Apply

    How to Apply
    Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).  Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.

    When to Apply
    UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2019 from 1 September 2018.

    Advisory closing date: 15 January 2019 (18:00).

    Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

    Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

    The Institution code for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.

    Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/

    Apply via UCAS

    After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.

    Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students

    1. Applying through UCAS
      Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2019.
    2. Applying direct
      The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
    3. Applying through agents and partners
      The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.

    Download a prospectus

    Keywords(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

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