There are lots of different types of music degrees that specialise in all kinds of areas within music and sound. Lots of institutions will combine areas and specialisms, however there are a few ways of categorising the main areas of study.
Undergraduate music degrees mainly fall within three classifications:
BMus – Bachelor of Music
BA – Bachelor of Arts
BSc – Bachelor of Science
Within these classifications, there are a number of specialist areas, such as music performance degrees. These are further categorised, amongst classical music study, popular music, and musical theatre specialisms. For entry onto these degree courses, generally there is a requirement of Grade 7-8 standard for classical study, and demonstrable ability in an audition setting for both classical and other performance areas. Usually A level grades or equivalent will be a condition of entry for all types of music degree courses, however performance-focused degrees may be more lenient if there is a high level of skill and potential in a candidate performance. Often studying a performing arts degree at a conservatoire is a popular option for classical undergraduate and postgraduate courses alike. A guide to conservatoires in the UK can be found at: Choosing a conservatoire course.
Music performance graduate career pathways vary from all sorts of live entertainment work, to teaching, music journalism, or attaining a position in an institution such as an orchestra or house band.
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Music composition degrees again are further categorised by genre, such as classical, pop and songwriting, sound design, and writing music for games, film and TV. Depending on how technology-led these are, some composition courses may fall under BSc rather than BA or BMus, with less of an emphasis being placed on more ‘traditional’ musicianship or performance-based skills and more on the methodology and creation process and innovating techniques.
Music technology degrees are often BSc courses, but can still fall under BA and BMus titles. Specialisms in music technology can include the study of acoustics, music production, live sound engineering, and recording studio engineering. Career paths from music technology degrees often overlap with the other areas and include live entertainment, engineering for broadcast, post-production in film and TV, as well as more technical audio installation/building work centred around acoustic engineering.
A full list of information and music universities, conservatoires and educational institutions and their undergraduate music degrees in the UK can be found at: https://www.ucas.com/explore/subjects/music
Postgraduate music degree courses tend to be more specialised in their subject areas, and options available can include:
PgDip – Postgraduate Diploma
PgCert – Postgraduate Certificate
MA – Master of Arts
MMus – Master of Music
MSc – Master of Science
The Postgraduate Diploma and Certificate are great options for those pursuing a qualification leading to a career in music education. These are shorter and less involved than Masters level degrees, which are longer and involve significant amounts of academic research as well as a dissertation.
Further disciplines often pursued at Masters level music include conducting, musicology, sonic art, research, music history and ethnology.
Whether you’re hoping to start an undergraduate music degree, or are approaching the end of an MA, PlayScore 2 is a valuable addition to any musicians’ toolkit. The app can be used for a multitude of purposes, including interactive playback, digitising your sheet music collection and converting sheet music to other formats, as well as helping you practice. With PlayScore 2 assisting you to work quickly and easily with your scores, you can concentrate on the other elements of your music study, and on moving into your career as a working musician.