"I loved the learning atmosphere; students are given free time and space to explore their musical inclinations."Joanne Yeoh, BA Music graduate
Our degree, taught by dedicated tutors and supported by outstanding facilities, provides you with the skills, knowledge and experience to thrive in the music industry and beyond.
You want to be a qualified, confident musician, able to hold your head high in the global, professional world of music making. You want to build experience as an informed performer, composer, music producer, music director or all of these, working in a specific field. Middlesex University is among the top six universities in the UK for graduate salaries.
You want to be as comfortable and adept in the recording studio, as conducting or performing with orchestral players from manuscript. You want to meet professionals and learn from them. You want to share their contacts and continuously refine your musical skills to bring yourself a unique and competitive edge. You want to learn to produce and mix music freely, without restrictions. You want to find out about the different ways in which the music world works, so as to establish ways to survive comfortably, whilst doing what you enjoy most.
The most successful practitioners are often those who have, for exactly the right reasons, decided to undergo a formal musical training, even if they feel they might be late starters. Tori Amos, Sheryl Crow, Michael Giacchino (composer for The Incredibles), Will Gregory (Goldfrapp), Elton John, Alicia Keys, Annie Lennox (Eurythmics), George Martin (The Beatles), Thomas Newman and Jocelyn Pook (film composers) were all classically trained. We want to help you to find yourself.
Music technology, studio music production, sound art, live computer sound transformation and its languages (from experts). Concepts in music history and contemporary music studies. What music is, how it is made. Harmony, counterpoint, instrumentation, orchestration and musicianship. Pastiche composition to learn to write and perform music convincingly from Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th-century musical periods. Music journalism. Music analysis (to learn the means and meaning of music).
Original music composition, music performance, instrumental lessons, extra keyboard lessons, singing (to familiarise you with new repertoires and to help you with score reading). Concerts. Music for Dance and Theatre (yes, working with undergraduate dancers and theatre directors). Community arts and music education (to learn how to share your skills with younger people and communities). Music for media (including film, game music and animated cartoons). There is a third year option called the 'Independent Project', in which you can propose a topic of your own and have the guidance of an allocated supervising tutor.
This module helps to ensure that you have a broad knowledge of the fascinating Western music repertoires from 1300 to 2000. It includes a focus on popular music 1920-2000.
This module strengthens your knowledge of and facility with the construction and notation of tonal and 12-note harmony (the 'chemistry' of pitch) and counterpoint (the craft of combining melodies effectively). Musicianship skills are also developed to enable you to write down what you hear (in real life or from your imagination). 'Skeleton scores' are used to help you to discern musical lines from complex textures and so develop an 'X-ray ear'. The module is supported by short keyboard lessons for non-pianists. Scores are analysed to begin to see the different ways in which voices and instruments can work together to make music.
With practical work to test understanding, and run by experts, this module introduces you to the world of electronic music production. Aspects of how technology is used to make, change, develop and enhance sound through production and performance. The aim is to enable you to engage with most available music technologies so that you can feel comfortable with synthesis, sequencing, microphones, recording, acoustics, psychoacoustics, compression, mixing, equalization and reverberation and editing, in the studio.
Through practical work, this module helps you to understand the complex relationship between original composition (in any style) and performance. There are lectures in instrumentation (learning about the families of instruments: woodwind, brass, percussion, other instruments and strings), orchestration, score presentation, form in music. Techniques for composing and directing different kinds of musical material are shared. Newly-composed and pre-existing materials are engaged with in collaborative surgeries. The module is backed up with instrumental lessons and/or composition tutorials.
Music can be dated according to its style, but what exactly is it about a music's style that ascribes it to particular periods and places? Skilled composers and performers today need to be very familiar with conveying musical styles convincingly, and able to jump confidently from one manner to another. A composer may need to write music persuasively for a media production set in 1764. A performer may need to adopt late Romantic performance styles for a computer game set in the 1930s. On this optional module you can work at composing and performing music in different styles, with guidance into understanding and using the techniques which were used at the time.
The relationship between music and culture can be obvious, but seemingly intangible when objectivised. This module shares with you, a range of theoretical frameworks including cultural studies and gender theory, (i) to free your understanding of the ways in which these domains have been constructed and (ii) to help you develop skills to analyse such forms.
The world of media today serves to guide audience perceptions. How does an artist work with the press? Run by an expert practitioner, this new, optional module shows you how to improve your interviewing skills; how to approach reviews, features, biographies, the web and how to produce promotional materials – this with a view to becoming a full-time music journalist, or to use these skills as part of a portfolio career. The fascinating history of music journalism is also covered.
Building on module MUS1060, you begin to put into further practice what you learned in year 1. You will decide whether you are principally a composer, principally a performer or both, and be guided in the production of a substantial portfolio of composition and/or a recital of older and new music, to high standards and with recordings. Ensemble performance, rehearsal and direction is covered together with an optional introduction to conducting.
If you would like to pursue an interest in music technology introduced in year 1, then this optional module gives you free rein to do so. This module takes electronic and computer music further, with practical investigations into the technical and aesthetic interrelationships between electronics and acoustic (mechanical) musical instruments. Through creative projects, you will respond to current issues and technical challenges in this rapidly changing field.
There are three (subjective) ways to understand music: as the composer/performer, as the audience or as the music 'itself' actually seems to be. You will be introduced to analytical techniques for 'dissecting' music, to bring new insights into its structure and functioning. These include Schenkerian, PC set, semiotic, structuralist and post-structuralist approaches. In this optional module, music is covered both in its own terms and in combination with other media.
Middlesex is a special place to study music in that while being a discrete subject, Music has close ties with dance and theatre Arts within the Performing Arts department. This gives you an advantage on this optional module, of developing your own, guided, collaborative composition and performance projects in dance choreography, theatre, operatic work or music theatre. You'll be guided by critical and contextual studies to share relevant theory and repertoire. Projects result in filmed work which can potentially be used as future, demonstration material to help to secure future work.
If there is a topic you would like to study which has not been included in your programme or if you would like to pursue a subject which you have already engaged with in greater depth, then you can propose an 'independent' project in this optional module and will be allocated a tutor best placed to support you. Past independent projects have included conducting a show in London, organizing a small music festival and developing online distribution strategies for music.
Do you want to be an imitator or a pioneer? This optional module is the final stage in the strand of performance and composition modules from Year 1. While first year develops theoretical skills and second year helps to develop practice, Year 3 focuses on guiding you into developing your own, individual voice as a performer and/or composer. You will work at solo and chamber ensemble pieces. There are opportunities for orchestral performance. Performers work towards a major recital (which can be public). Composers develop a portfolio of scores, with recordings which they have directed. There is no limit on the style in which you can perform or compose, though you will be challenged to demonstrate that you can engage professionally with the best of the last half-century of music making.
Notated scores are optional in this discretionary module which covers the history, aesthetics and developing practice of music for screen. This enables you to produce directly from the studio, or to use recordings of acoustic ('real') instruments (for which scores are needed). There are speed-crewing sessions with animation and TV production students. From an experienced tutor, you'll be taught how to synchronize music to picture, to 1/25th of a second accuracy, and the effects of this on your audience! Student work is often presented at preview cinemas in central London, which can attract attention. Middlesex has its own industry standard television production studio.
Many extraordinary things happened to music in the West during the second half of the 20th and early 21st centuries. This module presents specialist studies of extraordinary, groundbreaking works, genres, repertoires, composer-thinkers and their related, musicological theories. Modernism, post-modernism, neo-modernism are all covered.
In university, you have a duty to be aware of your surrounding community and to take the initiative to improve it in positive ways. This new, optional module enables you to affect constructively the musical development of a community or individual. Facilitation techniques are explored to help you to develop sophisticated, creative, interpersonal skills. The module is designed to help to set you up to start working professionally in the sector or to undertake further study e.g. via PGCE or a community music Master's degree.
There are two choirs: a main department Choir which can be joined by audition and puts on two concerts per year; and a Singer's Ensemble comprising all first-study vocalists. Students may also opt to join a number of ensembles which vary each year. Such groups include a guitar ensemble, Baroque string ensemble, popular music groups, a chamber ensemble and a big band. It is possible for students to join small, specialist jazz ensembles.
The music department profits from its ensembles in residence: currently the Allegri String Quartet and the Marmara Piano Trio, who perform and comment constructively on students' compositions.
Regular masterclasses compliment formal studies, giving you a wide range of viewpoints and experiences from industry professionals. Past masterclasses have included visits from established music industry specialists, concert pianists and music agency staff who can share their wealth of knowledge and experience.
You can find more information about this course in the programme specification.
Teaching is delivered by industry practitioners and expert researchers through lectures, workshops, tutorials and 'lab.' situations where you'll be working on your own or in teams while supervised by your tutor. You will need to organise yourself in the preparing of solo and group team projects: learning from experience as you make music.
There is scope for support in setting up internships through relationships with various music industry organisations, which Middlesex University has fostered.
Particular support for your learning includes:
A wide variety of assessment types is engaged with: writing, composing (portfolio production), performing (in-house and public concerts), making presentations (individual and group), through constructed web pages and online wikis, practical projects (individual and group), using video (e.g. documentaries) and audio (e.g. albums and podcasts). Verbal (live and podcasted) and written feedback is provided to you continuously, both before and after assessed work. It's important to take account of this as you develop. Most assessment is via coursework, though there are short, useful tests run for you through the year.
Typical offers for this course:
A Levels minimum two, maximum three subjects
Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma minimum two, maximum three subjects
Access to HE Diploma
Overall pass: must include 45 credits at level 3, of which all 45 must be at Merit or higher
The UCAS Tariff has changed for courses starting in September 2017. The points awarded to each qualification have been lowered in comparison to the previous UCAS Tariff. Our entry requirements are displayed as the grades you will require, however if you wish to find out the equivalent tariff points please use the UCAS calculator.
UK/EU and International students are eligible to apply for this course.
If you have achieved a qualification such as a foundation degree or HND, or have gained credit at another university, you may be able to enter a Middlesex University course in year two or three. For further information please visit our Transfer students page.
If you have relevant work experience, academic credit may be awarded towards your Middlesex University qualification. For further information please visit our Accreditation of Prior Learning page.
We accept the equivalent of the above qualifications from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the qualifications we accept from your country please visit the relevant Support in your country page.
If you are unsure about the suitability of your qualifications or would like help with your application, please contact your nearest Regional office for support.
You will not need a visa to study in the UK if you are a citizen of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. If you are a national of any other country you may need a visa to study in the UK. Please see our Visas and immigration page for further information.
You must have competence in English language to study with us. The most commonly accepted evidence of English language ability is IELTS 6.0 (with minimum 5.5 in all four components). Visit our English language requirements page for a full list of accepted English tests and qualifications. If you don't meet our minimum English language requirements, we offer an intensive Pre-sessional English course.
Successful candidates will be invited to audition and will be offered the opportunity to view the School and meet staff and students.
NB: Overseas candidates will be asked to submit a video submission for their audition.
Careers in music continue to grow with the expansion of the web. Music is an excellent choice of study because it combines science, technology, history, social studies, business and media. Your degree is an investment and statistics show that Middlesex students are among the highest graduate earners in the UK.
Careers in music are exciting and diverse. You could find yourself working in any of the following roles:
Advertising agent, music arranger, artist management, booking agencies, broadcast services (e.g. BBC), business consultancy, music for choreography, styling services, composers, computer services (e.g. digital studios), concert performance, digital and internet radio, distributed record labels, music distribution, education, event management, music festivals, music industry accountancy, music industry organisations (e.g. guilds, societies etc.), specialist music insurance, legal (music), music library services, music mastering and post-production, merchandising, music journalism, orchestral management, performer, PR companies, printers and music packaging, music production, publishers and affiliates, radio, record companies and labels, recording studios, royalty collection agencies, session musicians, session fixers (music contractors), sheet music suppliers, studio design and construction, video production and music web design.
"I really enjoyed my time at Middlesex University studying Music; the lecturers were always there to assist you with regular one-to-one tutorials and I really feel that I learned a lot from my time there."
"It was FABULOUS studying in London. This eventually became a stepping stone towards my future studies, providing me with the opportunity to attend and participate in music festivals - an experience one simply can't get in Malaysia.
"Studying at Middlesex University was definitely a door opener to opportunities in the UK. I loved the learning atmosphere, which was very different from back home in Malaysia. Students were given free time and space to explore their musical inclinations.
"When I returned to Malaysia, I was selected to participate in the prestigious Asian Youth Orchestra and travelled with the orchestra to Vietnam, Japan, Australia, Korea and Hong Kong. I was then lucky enough to perform alongside Hong Kong superstar Jacky Cheung in his Music Odyssey Tour 2002/03 which was a 40 concert tour around the world. The following year, I performed with Taiwanese heart-throb David Tao in his 2003 Soul Power Tour and in 2008 I was invited to play with another Hong Kong superstar, Alan Tam.
"I have received several awards since my time at Middlesex University. I was also selected to be included in Marquis Who's Who in the World 2012 edition and in the Malaysia Book of Records 2012. I am also a fully accredited examiner for the esteemed Trinity College Music London Examination board and I currently head the Music Department of Universiti Putra Malaysia."
Dr Brian Inglis
Lecturer in Music
Dr Fiorenzo Palermo
Lecturer in Music
Lecturer, BA Music Business and Arts Management
Dr Richard Osborne
Programme Leader BMus Popular Music
Lecturer, BMus Popular Music
Programme Co-Leader, BA Jazz
Programme Co-Leader, BA Jazz
Lecturer, BA Jazz
Lecturer, BA Jazz
Mario Anastasiades (Record Industry, Music Contracts), Shain Shapiro (International Music Marketing), Dr Kristine Wille (19th-century Music), Alan Mills MA (Composition and Musicanship), Daniel Miller
Laura O'Gorman (Piano)
Tanya Goldberg (Violin)
Sebastian Comberti (Cello)
Emma Williams (Flute)
Sarah Francis (Oboe)
Janet Hilton (Clarinet)
Tim Walker (Guitar)
Mark Oldfield (Voice)
Plus other instrumental staff according to instrumental needs.
Martino Tirimo (Hon. Professor of Piano), The Allegri String Quartet (Quartet in Residence), The London Firebird Orchestra (Orchestra in Residence)
Technicians and recording engineers
Based in The Grove you will have access to world-class facilities, including a concert hall, two performance halls, soundproofed practice rooms, pianos (including two Steinway grands), hybrid analogue-digital sound recording facilities, a recording studio, a mixing studio, music computer workstations and collaborative access to departments of dance, theatre, film, television, animation and computer games.