Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

Subject area: Music

Why choose Music at the University of Edinburgh?

  • Our music programmes are ranked among the best in the UK and we undertake more world-leading research in music than anyone else in Scotland.

  • The city of Edinburgh has a vibrant, exciting musical scene. With the largest arts festival in the world, a jazz and blues festival, a military tattoo and countless amateur musical societies, there are endless opportunities to hear and to make music.

  • Our staff are world leaders in a wide range of musical areas including musicology, musical acoustics and music technology, composition, improvisation and community music.

  • As part of Edinburgh College of Art, you will have access to world-class artists, designers, architects, art historians and film-makers as well as musicians and musical scholars offering unique opportunities for collaboration.

Study abroad

I really enjoyed my time at Edinburgh because of the flexibility of the degree. It enabled me to study a variety of courses that didn’t limit me to a specific discipline. The staff provided excellent feedback and were always keen to offer more support.

Victoria Carmichael BMus (Hons) Music graduate
Victoria Carmichael BMus (Hons) Music graduate

Music is a diverse and exciting subject area, constantly evolving and pushing at the boundaries between everyday life and art. At the University's Reid School of Music, we embrace that spirit of diversity, enabling the study of music in a variety of forms.

We offer programmes that cover exceptionally broad areas of musical study including compositional skills, music history and criticism, performance, popular culture, film music, community music and music psychology. You can opt for the more skills-orientated pathways offered by our BMus (Hons) programmes or our more culturally focused MA (Hons).

In Music, what you will study varies between programmes.

Find specific year by year study information on your chosen programme page.

Are there additional costs?


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.

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).

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.