Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

Degree Programme Specification 2019/2020

BMus Music / BMus Music with Honours

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. This information is created when new programmes are established and is only updated periodically as programmes are formally reviewed. It is therefore only accurate on the date of last revision.
Awarding institution: The University of Edinburgh
Teaching institution: The University of Edinburgh
Programme accredited by: n/a
Final award:

BMus Hons.

(BMus Ordinary at exit after three years)

Programme title: BMus Music with Honours
UCAS code: W302
Relevant QAA subject benchmarking group(s): MUSIC
Postholder with overall responsibility for QA: NIKKI MORAN
Date of production/revision: 11/10/17

External summary

Music is a creative and a performing art, the subject of cultural, historical and analytical study and a scientific phenomenon.  All these, and many other aspects of the subject, are studied in the Edinburgh BMus (Hons.) degree course which seeks to combine maximum breadth in the first two years with a wide choice of specialist topics in the final two.  The programme seeks to teach the more traditional skills of music higher education to the highest standard in parallel with the most radical of creative, technological and social experimentation.  Music stands at an intellectual, scientific and creative crossroads: a divergence of pathways leading directly to areas such as physics, technology, informatics, psychology, psychobiology, cognitive science, visual arts, design, community arts and creative arts therapies.  In the belief that music has a key role to play in the cultural, social and economic life of the contemporary world the programme offers a holistic music education which equips students to deal intelligently, practically, creatively and empathetically with the old and the new, the familiar and the “other”.

Educational aims of programme

More specifically, the BMus Music programme aims to provide students with the ability to act knowledgably and with confidence in acting, contributing, innovating and experimenting creatively within the discipline, whether performing, composing, discussing or otherwise involved with music creation, performance and understanding.  

In the light of this the more specific aims of the programme are:

  • To engage with the materials of musical composition by analysing works by past and contemporary composers, by writing music in the styles of some of these composers, and by the act of free composition.
  • To explore musical repertoires and their cultural contexts in society past and present.
  • To enhance the student’s musical performance by individual lessons and performance seminars and by encouraging collective performance.
  • To develop musical creativity through composition and intellectual creativity through engaging with music theory and criticism.
  • To investigate the scientific and acoustic principles underlying music and the instruments on which it is performed.

To explore music’s role in various community contexts and its capacity for therapeutic good.

Programme outcomes: Knowledge and understanding

Students explore specific Western and non-Western repertories and bring a wide range of approaches to this study: aural, historical, analytical, critical, ethnographic, social, physical and technological.  Through these students learn to understand the theory and practice of music. Students also study the texts and artefacts through which music and musical performances are preserved, learning to interrogate them in various ways. In compositional studies students learn to understand the theory and practice of specific Western repertories, to imitate them and to use them as a stimulus for their own creativity.  In scientific studies such as acoustics and music technology, students gain knowledge and understanding of the physical basis of sound, of musical instruments and of electronic sound synthesis.

Programme outcomes: Graduate attributes - Skills and abilities in research and enquiry

By engaging with and completing the degree in Music, graduates will be able to:

  • identify the key elements of a problem and locate and bring together the information and practical techniques necessary to address it;
  • research and develop a critical argument using a variety of written, visual and audio materials;
  • use information from a variety of sources, including books, music scores, periodicals, technical manuals and online resources;
  • consider and investigate the cultural and social contexts of creative practice;
  • understand how creative practice can be informed by critical and research-led enquiry, and how research and enquiry can be informed by creative practice;
understand music from a compositional point of view as well as a historical and technical perspective – composition having long being recognised in British universities as an intellectual activity of the highest order.

Programme outcomes: Graduate attributes - Skills and abilities in personal and intellectual autonomy

By engaging with and completing the degree in Music, graduates will be able to:

  • plan, implement and document a creative, scholarly or technical project;
  • conceive an artistic project, in terms of its processes and outcomes;
  • conceptualise and apply concepts to written and practical work;
  • work in an autonomous, self-directed manner, developing the practices of reflection and life-long learning;
  • develop an awareness of the nature of innovation, creativity and originality;
  • respond positively and creatively to criticism and feedback, while maintaining confidence in their own abilities;
  • develop an understanding of the variety of contexts within which individual thought and practice operate.

Programme outcomes: Graduate attributes - Skills and abilities in communication

By engaging with and completing the degree in Music, graduates will be able to:

  • communicate effectively with other people, using audible, graphic, verbal and written means;
  • select the appropriate means and style of communication, in order to put ideas across effectively to specialist and non-specialist communities;
  • plan, implement and document a creative, scholarly or technical project, in collaboration with others from the same or different disciplines.
  • produce effective documentation for creative projects, to allow other users access to the outcomes;
  • present creative work in a manner which is appropriate and engaging.

Programme outcomes: Graduate attributes - Skills and abilities in personal effectiveness

By engaging with and completing the degree in Music, graduates will be able to:

  • understand the roles and responsibilities of individuals within a group project;
  • manage time, and work effectively and realistically to schedules and deadlines;
  • develop an awareness of personal strengths and areas for development; examine assumptions critically in the light of evidence.

Programme outcomes: Technical/practical skills

By engaging with and completing the degree in Music, graduates will be able to:

  • gain a wide knowledge and practical experience of some of the most significant musical works;
  • be able to read and interpret musical scores and, where relevant, perform from them;
  • gain experience in musical analysis and in relating musical works to historical context;
  • in project work, gain experience in performance, in interpretation and improvisation, and in musical team work
  • develop materials into well-formed and coherent musical structures;
  • develop the ability to compose idiomatically for groups of voices, voice and piano, for string quartet and for other ensembles
  • develop the relationship between musical creation and performance, including the ability to communicate musical intentions clearly, economically and unambiguously to performers;
  • use general IT skills.

Programme structure and features

The programme is taken over four years, of which the first two non-honours years lay a broad foundation in technical and creative skills in a largely fixed programme of study, with the option of taking 40 credits in a subject outside of the programme in the second year. The final two honours years provide advanced study in music technology, while also allowing students to choose from a range of options offered to all BMus students. Students have the possibility of exiting with a BMus-Music Technology Ordinary degree at the end of the third year.

PROGRAMME OF STUDY:

YEAR 1

Compulsory courses

You must take these 3 courses

Code

Course Name

Credits

MUSI08048

Performance and keyboard 1

20

MUSI08067

Composition 1

20

MUSI08066

Musicianship 1

  20

Courses from School A – Music 1Bmus- Level 8 Select between 0 and 60 credits form the following courses MUSI08053 Music 2D: theory and practice of Music technology 20 MUSI08054 sound recording 20 MUSI08063 Ways of listening 20 MUSI08068 Music 1B- instruments, culture and technology 20 MUSI08069 Music 1A – Psychology of Music 20 PHYS08021 Musical Acoustics 20

Select a minimum of 0 credits and maximum of 60 credits from "Level 8 courses in Schedules A to Q, T and W", as available

Year 2

COMPULSORY COURSES

This year has 6 compulsory course(s) and no optional courses

MUSI08029 Style Studies 2 20 MUSI08049 Performance and Keyboard 2 - 20 MUSI08060 Music2A – music and ideas from the Middle Ages to Viennese Classicism - 20 MUSI08061 Music 2B- music and ideas Romanticism to the Late 20th Century – 20 MUSI08030 Composition 2 – 20 MUSI08070 Music Analysis 2 - 20 To progress into Junior Honours, students must obtain an average of 40% and pass at least 200 credits by the completion of the August examination diet at the end of their second year.

Please note that there is no opportunity to transfer into Senior Honours at the end of the Third Ordinary year.

Year 3

Students are permitted to take 40 credits across Year 3 and Year 4 in an outside subject (Traditional Music & Traditional Song courses from the Scottish Ethnology department are not considered as outside subjects).

COMPULSORY COURSES This year has 1 compulsory course.

Code

Course Name

Period

Credits

MUSI10066

Research Methods in Music

As available

20

COURSE OPTIONS Group A Select 100 credits in this group

Select between 0 credits and maximum of 100 credits from Music Level 9 and 10 courses Some of the courses have compulsory prerequisite courses as an early qualification.

Code

Course Name

Credits

MUSI10013

History of Instruments

20

MUSI10077

Musical Instruments

20

OR

Code

Course Name

Credits

MUSI10020

Applied Keyboard Skills

20

MUSI10001

Counterpoint 3

20

MUSI10002

Harmony 3

20

MUSI10019

Keyboard Skills

20

OR

Code

Course Name

Credits

MUSI10072

Film Music post-1950

20

MUSI10075

Film Music to 1950

20

MUSI10081

Music and State Socialism in the Twentieth Century

20

MUSI10071

Special History in Music: A Century of Rhythm

20

MUSI10082

Special History in Music: Arnold Schoenberg and the Emancipation of Music

20

MUSI10074

Special History in Music: Bach's Instrumental Music

20

MUSI10009

Special History in Music: Music in Christian Worship

20

MUSI10050

Special History in Music: Wagner – Music, Philosophy and Culture

20

OR

Code

Course Name

Credits

MUSI10062

Algorithmic Composition and Signal Processing

20

MUSI10036

Composition 3

40

MUSI10042

Electroacoustic Composition 3

40

MUSI10004

Orchestration 3

20

OR

Code

Course Name

Credits

MUSI10038

Music in the Community 3

40

MUSI10067

Music and Human Communication

20

MUSI10080

Psychology of Music

20

SCET10022

Traditional Music - The Modern Day and Recent Past

20

SCET10023

Traditional Music - The Historical Dimension

20

SCET10025

Traditional Song: Gaelic

20

SCET10024

Traditional Song: Scots

20

MUSI10073

The Kodaly Approach to Music Education

20

OR Select a minimum of 0 credits and maximum of 40 credits from "Level 9 and 10 courses in Schedules A to Q, T and W" as available

Year 4 (Honours)

This year has no compulsory courses.

COURSE OPTIONS Courses from Music Bmus- Level 10

Select exactly 40 credits from the following list of courses, as available:

Code

Course Name

Credits

MUSI10037

Composition 4

40

MUSI10016

Dissertation in Music

40

MUSI10021

Recital

40

 

 

 

AND

Group A Select exactly 80 credits from these collections Some of these courses have pre-requisites Select between 40 and 80 credits from "Music Level 9 and 10 courses", as available OR

Code

Course Name

Credits

SCET10022

Traditional Music - The Modern Day and Recent Past

20

SCET10023

Traditional Music - The Historical Dimension

20

SCET10025

Traditional Song: Gaelic

20

SCET10024

Traditional Song: Scots

20

OR Select a minimum of 0 credits and maximum of 40 credits from "Level 9 and 10 courses in Schedules A to Q, T and W", as available.

Teaching and learning methods and strategies

Teaching and Learning strategies employed at the University of Edinburgh consist of a variety of different methods appropriate to the programme aims. The graduate attributes listed above are met through a teaching and learning framework (detailed below) which is appropriate to the level and content of the course.

Courses are taught in a mixture of lectures, seminars, demonstrations, and practical sessions.  There is a wide range of facilities, including Electronic Music Studios, practice rooms, and instrument loan.  The Reid School of Music also provides financial assistance with the costs of expert instrumental tuition for students’ specialist instruments (or voice), as well as providing suggestions for appropriate tutors in Edinburgh. The Reid Music Library, situated in the Main Library, is an exceptionally fine general music library of some 85,000 volumes (20,000 books, 65,000 scores and over 8,500 sound recordings) containing many rarities and valuable first editions.  There are also important collections in the National Library of Scotland.  Archives of material relating to Scots culture, including all types of traditional Scottish music, are housed in the research centre of Celtic and Scottish Studies in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, which also houses the John Levy Archive of mainly religious and court music from South Asia and the Far East.  Students also have access to the Reid Concert Hall and St Cecila’s Hall Museums of Instruments, housing fine collections of historic instruments used for teaching, research and performance.

Students in all years for the programme are encouraged to attend and participate in research seminars and the wide range of performances, concerts and workshops by visiting musicians arranged by the Reid School of Music throughout academic year, and also those opportunities for practice and performance available within the wider University and the city of Edinburgh’s creative culture.

Teaching and Learning Activities

In All years

Lectures

Tutorials, including practical skills tutorials

Demonstrations and practical workshops

Project weeks – including creative projects (e.g. composition, improvisation), research projects (e.g. Wagner week), practical/performance projects

Teaching and learning workload

You will learn through a mixture of scheduled teaching and independent study. Some programmes also offer work placements.

At Edinburgh we use a range of teaching and learning methods including lectures, tutorials, practical laboratory sessions, technical workshops and studio critiques.

The typical workload for a student on this programme is outlined in the table below, however the actual time you spend on each type of activity will depend on what courses you choose to study.

The typical workload for a student on this programme for each year of study
Start yearTime in scheduled teaching (%)Time in independant study (%)Time on placement (%)
Year 121790
Year 219810
Year 316804
Year 411890

Assessment methods and strategies

Assessment methods are diverse and vary in accordance with each course; in Music Technology courses, assessment is based around a series of practical submissions, prepared in personal practice and/or the studios, supplemented by written reports and commentaries.  Assessment often takes the form of formative work which provides the student with on-going feedback as well as summative assessment which is submitted for credit.

In All Years there will be:  

Course work: portfolio submissions (e.g. of compositions); practical performances, and submission of performance notes and your performance diary

Practical skills exams

Creative project work submissions (recordings, compositions, sound designs)

Essay submissions

Class Tests

Written Examinations (seen and unseen)

Assessment method balance

You will be assessed through a variety of methods. These might include written or practical exams or coursework such as essays, projects, group work or presentations.

The typical assessment methods for a student on this programme are outlined below, however the balance between written exams, practical exams and coursework will vary depending on what courses you choose to study.

The typical assessment methods for a student on this programme for each year of study
Start yearAssessment by written exams (%)Assessment by practical exams (%)Assessment by coursework (%)
Year 1271558
Year 2331453
Year 353758
Year 402773

Career opportunities

Edinburgh music graduates work at the highest international level in composition, performance, recording, conducting, academic life, music teaching, music therapy and a whole range of other careers including instrument makers.

Other items

Music is a rounded discipline whose component sub-disciplines should complement each other in a holistic manner. This has always been a significant part of the Edinburgh ethos and is encouraged through excellent library, studio and IT provision, through the presence of two internationally-famous collections of musical instruments, through better-than-average provision of concert halls and practice rooms and through the encouraging of student music-making both within the course and outside it. Music has a number of international links with universities in other countries (US, Canada in particular but also Australia, Germany, Greece and Spain) and students may spend their third year of an honours BMus studying at one of several overseas universities.

There are other features which are particular to the Edinburgh BMus programme and give it its distinctive character.  The close relationship which Music has long enjoyed with the School of Physics and Astronomy, and that more recently enjoyed with ESALA and the discipline of Architecture, make available a wider pool of expertise.  Our pioneering courses in Music in the Community allow students to do valuable work in the wider community and to see how music can function is a variety of social, educational and therapeutic contexts.