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Music

A very flexible course, with options in all 3 years, helping you to develop a range of academic and musical skills.
βŒ›οΈLast updated: July 5, 2020, 6:08 p.m.

Course Resources

Here are some general resources related to Music.

Overview

Overview πŸ”— This is the Music section of the University undergraduate prospectus. The most important information about the course is here, including entry requirements, course structure, and prerequisites.

Course Structure πŸ”— 🌟 This offers more detail about the course structure, and information about life at Oxford during term. The most important page is the undergrad prospectus πŸ”— 🌟, which gives a general overview of what studying Music at Oxford is like.

Alternative Prospectus πŸ”— This is an unofficial prospectus put together by the Oxford Student Union; it’s written based on students’ perspectives and gives a better sense of what the day-to-day experience as a Music student is like, compared to official materials.

More

Studying music at university is not solely for those looking to pursue professional careers in performance, composition or production. Whilst the skills needed for these professions are certainly fostered in the music course at Oxford, the emphasis is primarily on developing strong, transferable academic skills through the critical exploration of historical, cultural and sociological aspects of musicology. The course is divided up into Prelims (1st year with exams in the summer, that don’t count towards your final grade), and Final Honours School (FHS, which is studied over 2nd and 3rd years with exams at the end). The expansion of one’s technical skills relating to performance, composition and orchestration can also be part of this learning process should you choose. The variety of topics available within the music course - spanning all sorts of different areas from music psychology to the Renaissance madrigal - corresponds to a mixed approach within assessment which can include written and/or practical exams as well as written and/or practical coursework.

The number of contact hours within each week varies throughout the year depending on which modules are being studied etc. Typically, one might expect 3-4 lectures and 2-3 tutorials/seminars. This is in addition to frequent workshops and speaker-events. Typically music students also have instrumental lessons once a week (but this is not a requirement) and tend to participate in choirs, orchestras, ensembles, operas, musicals etc. It’s a busy but fulfilling lifestyle!

Application Resources

Admissions requirements πŸ”— The admissions requirements for Music are found on the university website. There are no written tests, but they may ask for some examples of written work.

Reading List πŸ”— 🌟 This is the reading list for the papers that first-years take. Don’t be intimidated by how long it is; the texts are intended to be worked through over the course of a full academic year, and honestly no one reads everything anyway.

FAQ πŸ”— 🌟 Some useful answers to common questions about the application process.

Oxford advice on interviews πŸ”— The Oxford website have their own section about interviews, but it should be kept in mind that these can vary greatly by subject.

InsideUni Music interview experiences πŸ”— 🌟 Current students talk about their interview experience, as well as sharing some tips. We’re biased, but we think they’re useful!

Image credit: Gonville and Caius by Akil Hashmi