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BMus in Music

Course Description
Course Content
Entry Requirements

Music   The study of Music encompasses music-making, music history, composition, analysis of compositional techniques, music technology and ethnomusicology. The School of Creative Arts at Queen's has a rich tradition of high quality teaching and research in all these areas.

The BMus allows students to specialise in one or more of Musicology, Composition, Music Technology and Performance, all taught by staff who are experts in the area.   Students may also take up to one third of their modules (effectively a Minor) in another subject. 

Performance Programme

The Performance programme at Queen's is designed to enable talented musicians to develop their technical and interpretative skills through a carefully designed and challenging curriculum.

There are two performance options available to BMus and BSc Music Technology and Sonic Arts students, which can be followed by enrolling on either Performance 1 or Performance Workshop 1.

Performance 1 is suited to vocalists/instrumentalists working in Western art music performance (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and contemporary classical) and entails individual lessons with a performance tutor, enrolment in an optional module (one of Chamber Ensemble, Piano Accompaniment, or Keyboard Skills), and weekly attendance at a one-hour Performance Platform. Enrolment on Performance 1 is dependent on the outcome of a Performance Evaluation, which takes place during Welcome Week in September.  All components of the Performance Evaluation must be of a Grade 8 standard or above.

Performance Workshop 1 is suited to vocalists/instrumentalists wishing to perform in ensembles working in and across traditional, popular, jazz, folk, improvisational, experimental, and avant-garde performance. The module entails a two-hour weekly workshop, group lessons with performance tutors, and attendance at concerts, seminars, and masterclasses by visiting artists. 

Music As a basis for specialisation in performance, instrumental and electroacoustic composition and musicology, students take modules in music history, harmony and analysis which support the development of a thorough understanding of core areas of music.

Level 1
Level 1 includes Fundamental Harmony and Repertory modules covering Classical, Romantic and 20th-century music with options such as Performance, Composition, Music Technology and up to two modules in another subject such as Ethnomusicology.

Level 2
Level 2 includes a further Repertory module (Music before 1750) and Classical Analysis. Optional modules include:

Music Technology
Orchestral Studies
Traditional Irish Music
Writing About Music
and up to two modules in another subject

Level 3
Level 3 provides the opportunity to focus on Composition, Performance, Dissertation, and a wide range of historical modules including:

American Popular Song 1860-1940
Bach's Choral Works
Beethoven's Late Works
Mozart's Operas
Opera in England from Purcell to Handel
The Beatles
The History of Electronic Music
Traditional Irish Music

Types of assessment on the programme include written exams, recitals, composition portfolios, dissertations and projects, listening tests, learning journals and weekly exercises.

BBB including A-level Music grade B. 
Grade VIII Theory of Music (ABRSM, Trinity-Guildhall or LCM (not Popular Music Theory)) is acceptable in lieu of A-level Music. 
AS-level Music is not acceptable in lieu of A-level Music.

Irish Leaving Certificate 
B2B2B2B2CC/B2B2B2B2B2 including Higher Level grade B2 in Music. 
Grade VIII Theory of Music (ABRSM, Trinity-Guildhall or LCM (not Popular Music Theory)) is acceptable in lieu of Higher Level Music.

Further Information
Applicants should indicate in the ‘education’ section of the UCAS application the highest grade achieved in Practical and Theory Music examinations as well as any such exams they intend to complete. If an applicant has completed Grade VIII Practical this may be taken into account in August in deciding borderline cases.

For students whose first language is not English
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information on other acceptable English Language qualifications is available here

If you are an international student and you do not meet the English Language requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will develop the language skills you need to progress. INTO Queen's University Belfast is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses. For a full list click here

Studying for a BMus degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions.  Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline. 

BMus graduates have found employment in many different fields within music.  These include performance, composition, teaching, academia, arts administration, music therapy, journalism, broadcasting and publishing.

Due to the diverse range of skills developed on the BMus, graduates are also highly sought after in professions unrelated to music. Recent graduates have embarked on careers in fields as varied as finance, public relations, and charity work overseas. Many students also apply the skills they develop through the degree entrepreneurially to create their own work opportunities and the University runs a number of extra-curricular programmes in entrepreneurship.


Placement Employers


Our past students have gained work placement with organisations such as:


  • Arts Council of Northern Ireland
  • Ulster Orchestra
  • Wallace High School


Graduate Careers and Achievements


Our graduates have gone into a diverse range of careers, including the following:


  • Jim Samson, Professor of Music, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Gráinne Hambly, Irish harpist
  • Carol McGonnell, clarinetist
  • Deirdre Gribbin, composer
  • Marie-Claire Doris, Producer at BBC
  • Noreen McFarland, Education and Outreach Officer, Ulster Orchestra
  • Karen Diamond, NI Music Therapy Trust
  • Angela Haley, Events and Conferencing Manager, Eventus
  • Caroline Simpson, Online Marketing Executive, i3


Course Documents


Student Work


Students performing at their recital concerts: