Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

BMus Music

UCAS code: W302

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Edinburgh College of Art

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing BMus Music

The BMus programme combines a distinctive foundation in composition, music history, and performance (including subsidised instrumental tuition) with the opportunity to specialise in third and fourth year in a wide range of areas within the discipline.

Edinburgh's Music programme is committed to developing traditional music skills and exploring new areas such as popular culture, electro-acoustic composition, film music and music psychology.

You will study the history and cultural context of a wide variety of different types of music and develop practical composition and performance skills. You will also have access to professional musicians and subsidised lessons.

Year 1

You will take courses in composition, performance and cultural/historical studies, and gain a solid foundation in all aspects of music. Compulsory courses include Composition, including stylistic work, Musicianship, Performance and Keyboard Skills. You will study additional music courses or an outside subject, and receive a bursary for tuition in up to two instruments.

Year 2

You will study Music and Ideas, exploring music history in its cultural contexts from the medieval to the modern, and Analysis. You will also deepen your study and practice of Composition, Style Studies and Performance and Keyboard Skills.

Year 3

All students take Research Methods in Music, a course which provides training in many aspects of music research. You will also be free to specialise in the areas of music that most interest you, with some restriction to ensure breadth.

You can select options in composition (both creative and in historical styles), performance and studio-based courses, a wide variety of specialist history topics, music psychology, acoustics and music in the community. You may also take up to 40 credits in courses outside of music, in either Year 3 or 4.

Year 4

You will select courses that build on your subject choices in third year. You will also undertake one or more of a 40-minute recital, a portfolio of compositions, a dissertation, or an edition.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2017/18)

Our facilities

The majority of teaching takes place within the Reid School of Music in Alison House, located within the University's Central Area, as well as Edinburgh College of Art. You will have access to the School's practice rooms and recording studios, as well as all the University's computing facilities and libraries.

The University is investing in the ECA estate and facilities to further develop our flexible, stimulating, supportive and sustainable learning and research environment for students and staff.

Further information is available on the ECA website.

Facilities and resources at ECA

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad through Erasmus or the University's international exchange programme.

Guaranteed study abroad funding for students required to complete a year abroad

How will I learn?

Most courses are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, practical classes and workshops. The small class sizes create an informal and supportive learning environment.

A feature of teaching at Edinburgh is project-based work in Years 1 and 2, where the year group will work together for a whole week to master one particular skill, for example writing for a resident ensemble such as The Edinburgh Quartet.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through coursework, exams, projects, portfolios and, in your final year, a dissertation, performance or portfolio of compositions (including the option of electro-acoustic compositions).

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2017/18)

The BMus Hons programme provides both the breadth and depth needed to pursue many professional careers in music. Recent graduates have gone on to successful careers in performance, teaching, composition, journalism, the culture industries and music therapy.

The Music Technology programme equips you for careers in the music and media industries, broadcasting or education, or for further advanced study. Graduates will be ready for careers in recording, broadcast media or the commercial music industries, or might develop a career as an artist, teacher or programmer.

The transferable skills developed in areas such as computer programming, mathematics and analytical writing also provide excellent preparation for a wide variety of non-musical careers.

MA (Hons) Music graduates will be ready for music-related careers in creative arts, education and media. Career options may include performance and composition; arts management; festival development, management and curation; and working in media and culture industries in film, television, radio, animation and the games industry. You will also be well placed to work in commerce and collaborate in community development.

Typical offer

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 39 points (grades 666 at HL).

Minimum entry requirements

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or ABBBB/AABB from S4-S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6. Higher Music at Grade A required. Advanced Higher Music recommended. National 5: English at Grade C and Mathematics or an approved science at Grade C.
  • A Levels: ABB including Music at Grade A. GCSEs: English at Grade C or 4 and Mathematics or an approved science at Grade C or 4. (Revised 08/03/2017 to provide more accurate information.)
  • IB: Award of Diploma with 34 points overall and grades 655 in HL subjects including Music at Grade 6. SL: English at 5 and Mathematics or an approved science at 4.

Additional requirements

Additional requirements

All applicants must have reached a standard equivalent to ABRSM Grade VII (in any recognised instrument or singing) and must be able to perform at this level at the time of entry.

In addition, all applicants are strongly recommended to have reached a standard equivalent to ABRSM Grade V in keyboard skills (on any recognised keyboard instrument) and to be able to perform at this level at the time of entry. Applicants who are not able to perform at this level in a keyboard skills entrance test will automatically be enrolled in an intensive keyboard skills course in order to reach the expected standard by the end of the first year of study.

ABRSM Grade 8 Theory is accepted in lieu of a school qualification in Music. You will not be interviewed.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

About English language requirements


For SQA and GCSE students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C or 4
  • IB Standard Level Grade 5

We may invite you to provide a short statement about your musical experience. This additional evidence (e.g. performance background or repertoire list) is important to us if you have not taken ABRSM grade exams, for example, and it provides an opportunity for you to express your own personal commitment to studying music at Edinburgh.


The Reid School of Music does not interview or hold auditions. We scrutinise your application and request further performance background information if we require it. This process ensures that we offer places to students who show the ability to meet our high standards, and that applicants from all backgrounds have the same opportunity to demonstrate their potential.

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BMus Music

Additional costs



For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding