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BA (Honours) Music

On our music degree, you'll learn how music is created, study a wide range of styles, and unlock your own creativity. This degree will broaden and deepen your understanding of musical practices, encompassing western art music, jazz, popular music, and non-western musics. You'll develop the technical skills to analyse music in different styles, and the critical skills to discuss music in relation to its cultural contexts. You'll also acquire critical and reflective skills to develop your own musical practice. Add to that some expert guidance in the use of technology to create and record music, and you’ll not just gain a degree but a passionate pursuit.

“Studying music could transform your life. Now, as an OU student, you can focus in depth on key aspects of music in an innovative, up-to-the-minute single-honours degree course.”  John Rutter, Composer and Conductor

Key features of the course

  • Study a wide range of musical repertoires and practices, informed by world-leading research
  • Create, analyse, perform and study the social contexts of music
  • Develop practical music making and performance skills at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance  
  • Open to musicians working in any tradition and at any stage of their musical development
  • Relevant to a wide variety of musical and non-musical careers including teaching, arts administration, community music, and sound recording

Course Summary

+Shortlist Course

Degree

Degree

  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
Course code
R25
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
360
How long it takes
Part time – 6 years
Full time – 3 years
Time limit – 16 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • You’ll start Stage 1 with a broad introduction to the arts and humanities followed by up to two modules chosen from a variety of subjects.
  • At Stage 2, you’ll study two compulsory modules which will introduce you to the principles of music and using music technology.
  • Finally, at Stage 3, you’ll complete your degree with two compulsory modules exploring the impact of music in social contexts and the practice of music making.

Optional Access module – visit Am I ready? to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

In Stage 1, you will encounter a variety of musicians and musical works and practices alongside fascinating insights from across the arts and humanities. This broad foundation will help you develop the academic skills and confidence necessary for studying music at Stages 2 and 3.
ModulesCredits
You'll start your degree with:
The arts past and present (AA100)60
You'll complete Stage 1 with a choice of options, we recommend:
Voices, texts and material culture (A105)60
Alternatively, you can choose 60 credits from this list of modules.

If you plan to study French, German or Spanish as part of your degree, you should choose appropriate language modules.

Stage 2 (120 credits)

At Stage 2, you will engage closely with musical materials in audio and notated forms and use your study of these as the basis for creating your own music with the help of specialist computer software.
ModulesCredits
You'll study both of the following:
Inside music (A224)60
Music, sound and technology (A232)60

Stage 3 (120 credits)

At Stage 3, you will study music in a broad range of cultural and historical contexts, as well as developing critical and reflective skills to apply to your practice as a musician.
ModulesCredits
You'll study both of the following:
Central questions in the study of music (A342)60
The practice of music making (CTLU301)*60

*This module is offered in collaboration with the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. For further information see the Trinity Laban website and our Collaborative schemes website 


We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 21 March 2018.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Honours) Music uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • finding external/third party material online
  • working in a group with other students
  • working with specialist reading material such as musical manuscripts
  • undertaking practical work
  • using specialist software (for example the Sibelius music notation package).

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

If you’ve already completed some study at another university, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. Just tell us what you studied, where and when, and we’ll compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen course.

For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


Classification of your degree

On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you'll be awarded the BA (Honours) Music degree. You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 


Compare this course

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

Before starting Stage 2 of this degree you should have a knowledge of music theory equivalent to ABRSM Grade 3 level, as the modules begin at this level and progress to more advanced musical concepts and techniques. If you have not yet attained this level, you can reach it by studying the OU’s free online course, Introduction to music theory. When studying the Stage 3 module The practice of music making (a module offered by our partner institution Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance) you are expected to be actively involved in some form of practical collaborative music making for the duration of that module. You will also be required to attend a residential learning week at Trinity Laban in Greenwich, London. Students at any level of practical musical skill are welcome to take the module.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Counting previous study

You could save time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study towards this qualification if you have:

  • already studied at university level (even if you didn't finish your studies)
  • other professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

Find out more about credit transfer

Preparing for study with an Access module

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! The OU offers Access modules designed to introduce the subject area, build your confidence and prepare you for further study, and you may be eligible to study an Access module for free! You'll get:

  • a personal tutor providing regular feedback with one to one telephone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback.
For this qualification we recommend:

Arts and languages Access module

What you will study

This multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the arts and languages, and would like to develop both your subject knowledge and your study skills. It explores a range of subjects, including art history, English, English language studies, history, modern languages, and also touches on the areas of creative writing and religious studies.

View full details of Arts and languages Access module

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you.

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £2,928*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £5,856*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £17,568*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.


Skills for career development

Studying music will provide you with an adaptable set of skills that can lead in many directions and which are greatly valued by employers. Broadly summarised these are critical thinking, analysis, collaborative working, communication, and expertise in working with abstract structures and processes. You will sharpen your IT, writing, and independent thinking skills, and develop an ability to assimilate and evaluate relevant information when constructing an argument. These are key skills in complex organisations, and are highly sought after in the world beyond study – whether you’re already working, volunteering, or changing career.

Career relevance

Study of the arts and humanities requires an understanding of human activities in diverse cultural environments and historical contexts. The breadth of study and range of musical repertoire and practice explored, combined with clear thinking and communication, make the BA (Hons) Music relevant to a wide range of careers, including:

  • the cultural and creative industries
  • education
  • public administration, local government, the civil service, art institutions, and social services
  • advertising, journalism, publishing, and public relations
  • business, banking and retail
  • human resources
  • charities and campaigning

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):

  • musician
  • teacher - secondary/private
  • arts administrator
  • community music leader
  • music producer / sound designer 
  • sound recordist 
  • theatre stage manager
  • music therapist
  • event organiser 
  • journalist      
  • publisher      
  • public relations manager
  • media researcher
  • civil servant
  • marketing manager.

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, Prospects and Plan IT


Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 06/12/2018

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