About the Course

Music has been part of the intellectual and cultural life of Oxford for more than eight centuries. Today, the 13 academic staff in the Faculty comprise Professors, Readers and Lecturers, all of whom have internationally distinguished reputations as musicologists, performers or composers. Their work is complemented by that of College Fellows and Lecturers, bringing the total staff number to about 30.

The large number of visiting speakers and performing ensembles adds further richness and enjoyment to the experience of being a music student here. The Faculty building includes practice rooms for solo, chamber and orchestral work; there is an electronic studio; and the library holdings of scores, recordings and books and other research materials are probably the most extensive in the UK. The world-famous Bate Collection of Musical Instruments is also housed within the building, and many of these historical instruments are available for use by students.

The Oxford course offers the advantage of a very broad base without compromising the possibility of increasing specialisation in one or more areas – from performance to history, composition to analysis – as the student proceeds. Combined with the rich opportunities for personal development which arise from the musical facilities and activities sustained throughout the collegiate University and the city, this course helps every student to graduate as a mature and well-rounded musician with an informed and lively sense of the contemporary study and practice of the subject.

The Music course lasts for three years, with formal university examinations at the end of the first and third years. In the first year, music history, analysis, techniques of composition and keyboard skills are core elements, with history remaining compulsory through to the third year. Candidates also choose two options from: performance, composition, your choice of an extended essay topic, and current issues in musicology. In the second and third years there are a number of options available, including: solo performance, original composition, dissertation, ethnomusicology, music theatre (etc.), and diverse other historical, theoretical, and practical subjects. Further details can be found at: www.music.ox.ac.uk. 

Tuition is by means of lectures organized by the Faculty of Music, and by tutorials (generally held in small groups) given by the Fellow in Music and other subject specialists. Financial assistance for those intending to take a performance exam is available from the Faculty for instrumental or vocal lessons.

Subject notes

To see the latest subject notes for Music - which contain information about our tutorial fellows, the admissions process and the course itself - please consult the below link.