Introduction

Community Music at Aberdeen provides wonderful opportunities to develop alongside world-renowned composers, community musicians, educators, musicologists and researchers working in many genres, styles, periods and settings. You will benefit from a broad range of facilities and instruments, have unrivalled opportunities to grow in your chosen field, be part of the vibrant musical scene in north-east Scotland, and have options to specialise in teaching music or working with music in community settings.

This programme is studied on campus.

The programme is great fun! Fun, flexible and vocational. I’m leaving not only with the skills I need to work, but also the experience, confidence and contacts that will easily allow me to find a job.’

Beth Black, Graduate 2015

The BMus (Hons) Community Music programme is an established and innovative programme unique in Scotland. The programme prepares you for a flexible career as a musical practitioner who is able to work across a spectrum of community and educational settings, combining a wide range of community based, education and musical skills.

From the commencement of your specialist studies on the programme you will engage extensively in placement learning across settings of your own choosing and interest, allowing you to develop and define your personal identity as a community musician. In your fourth year you will have the opportunity to design and implement you own project with the full support of your peers, community partners, visiting specialists and the programme team.

‘All in all, this is an innovative course that seems to be growing in sophistication and strength, with exciting potential for interdisciplinary collaboration and development. The course provides students with a strong practical and theoretical foundation, and, most importantly, students come away with the confidence to move forward into society with the requisite knowledge and skills to become successful, reflective practitioners.’

Dr Georgia Pike, External Examiner

Convenor, Music Education Program, Australian National University

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
BMus
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
W390

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Performance 1 (MU1051) - 15 Credit Points

MU1051 is structured to develop, in tandem, students' individual instrumental/vocal and ensemble skills.

Entry to the course for non BMus students is by audition.

View detailed information about this course

Performance 2 (MU1551) - 15 Credit Points

MU1551 is structured to develop in tandem students individual instrumental/vocal and ensemble skills. Entry to the course by audition for non BMus students.

View detailed information about this course

Academic Writing for Education (AW1005)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

View detailed information about this course

Key Moments 1 (MU1035) - 15 Credit Points

This course covers five key moments from Western music history, giving students both a clear and broad grasp of the shape of musical, cultural and intellectual history along with much more detailed studies of individual musical works.

The coverage will not be encyclopaedic and will instead seek to help students develop a sense of a musical period through more engaged explorations of a small number of key musical works.

View detailed information about this course

Key Moments 2 (MU1535) - 15 Credit Points

This course covers five key moments from Western music history, giving students both a clear and broad grasp of the shape of musical, cultural and intellectual history along with much more detailed studies of individual musical works.The coverage will not be encyclopaedic and will instead seek to help students develop a sense of a musical period through more engaged explorations of a small number of key musical works.

View detailed information about this course

Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to Music Theory and Harmony (MU1037) - 15 Credit Points

This course will begin with the fundamentals and quickly move to a higher standard. Early weeks will cover key concepts such as note names, clefs, octaves and note values. This will lead on to governing concepts of Western tonal music - primary triads, cadences, chord progressions and basic voice leading. The course will progress on to the beginnings of more complex harmony, counterpoint and stylistic study. At all times these fundamentals will be accompanied by contextual information - both historical and cultural - aiming to create an initial appraisal of musicology and its place in musical study.

View detailed information about this course

Digital Musicianship: Music Making in the Digital Age (MU1538) - 15 Credit Points

Course topics will include the theory and practice of digital audio, aural awareness, and social and cultural issues related to digital audio, with extensive tutorials on basic audio hardware and software focusing on helping students establish a skill set required for the duration of their study and beyond.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice

Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Introduction to Musicology (MU2023) - 15 Credit Points

Students will explore a range of elementary issues in musicology relating to some of the following: music history, theory and analysis, sociology of music, psychology of music, aesthetics, ethnomusicology, world music, early music, opera, concert music, jazz, popular music, music in film and television, musical performance, composition, music technology and the economics of the music business.

The course will consider a range of music taking into account the kinds of methodologies and discourses in which this music is discussed.

View detailed information about this course

Analysing Music (MU2523) - 15 Credit Points

Students will develop a critical awareness of form and structure in music both aurally and by means of studying various approaches to musical analysis which will draw on a range of analytical methods and musical genres. The analysis of musical scores will be related to music as experienced aurally in performance.

View detailed information about this course

The Emerging Musical Practitioner (MU2528) - 15 Credit Points

Introduction to Music and Communities is designed to act as either a stand-alone option or as a pre-requisite for entry to the Music and Communities Programme in Year III. The course is designed to give an overview of the Music and Communities Profession and the skills (academic and practical) required to excel in the professional field. The course is delivered through a series of lectures and practical workshops designed to engage students in a variety of learning and teaching styles, peer learning and reflective practice

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Select at least two courses from the following:

  • Introduction to Conducting (MU2024)
  • Composition 1 (MU2025)
  • Performance 3 (MU2026)
  • Composition 2 (MU2525)
  • Introduction to Ethnomusicology (MU2901)
  • Performance 4 (MU2526)

Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points

Introduction to Conducting (MU2024) - 15 Credit Points

The course will be built around three areas of study:

- The history and development of Conducting- Development of core conducting skills (gesture, vocabulary, score preparation, rehearsal planning and performance) - Development of knowledge and understanding of Conducting as a vocation (The business)

The course content will be delivered through workshops that will engage students in academic reading and writing, practical skill building and research skills.

View detailed information about this course

Composition 1 (MU2025) - 15 Credit Points

This course will go into more detail on some of the ideas put forward in Introduction to Contemporary Composition (a year one course), but not exclusively. It (and its sister course Composition 2) will introduce compositional skills that are of importance to contemporary composers. These will include such styles/techniques as: modality, 12 tone technique, iso-rhythm and minimalism. Students will learn these techniques and assimilate them very quickly, being assessed on two pieces of compositional work over the half-session. Students will be required to regularly critique existing works using these techniques and this will be factored into the assessment process.

View detailed information about this course

Performance 3 (MU2026) - 15 Credit Points

Instrumental/vocal study: students work on a one-to-one basis (10 x 1 hour lessons) with a specialist instrumental/vocal instructor and participate in workshops and master classes where appropriate. Students can elect to split their studies between two instruments and/or voice.

Ensemble: requires attendance at least one ensemble managed by the Music Department.

As part of this course students are required to attend concerts from the Music Department Concert Series.

Students must have achieved a CGS award of C3 or higher in year 1 in order to be able to progress to this course in year 2.

View detailed information about this course

Composition 2 (MU2525) - 15 Credit Points

This course will go into more detail on some of the ideas put forward in Introduction to Contemporary Composition (a year one course), but not exclusively. It (and its sister course Composition 1) will introduce compositional skills that are of importance to contemporary composers. These will include such styles/techniques as: total serialism, hexachordal rotation, additive rhythmic processes and neo-tonality. Students will learn these techniques and assimilate them quickly, being assessed on two pieces of short work over the half-session. Students will be required to regularly critique existing works using these techniques and this will be factored into the assessment process.

View detailed information about this course

Performance 4 (MU2526) - 15 Credit Points

Instrumental/vocal study: students work on a one-to-one basis (10 x 1 hour lessons) with a specialist instrumental/vocal instructor and participate in workshops and master classes where appropriate. Students can elect to split their studies between two instruments and/or voice.

Ensemble: requires attendance at least one ensemble managed by the Music Department.

As part of this course students are required to attend concerts from the Music Department Concert Series.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to Ethnomusicology (MU2527) - 15 Credit Points

The course provides students with fundamental tools with which to conduct ethnomusicological fieldwork and analysis. These include a historical grounding in the subject, an introduction to field research, fieldwork methods including audio and video recording, fieldnotes, transcription and analysis, ethical considerations, and case studies of ethnomusicologists. Much of the course consists of seminars and workshops, which allow students to understand and engage with ethnomusicological concepts and theory before putting these into practice in peer-group contexts and then fieldwork. The course includes a strong practical element and fieldwork visits are made to musical events in the local community.

View detailed information about this course

Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Identifying Communities (MU301C) - 15 Credit Points

This course introduces music students to the idea of community, to key theoretical concepts used in describing and analysing communities and to methods of finding out about communities, including observation, interviews, creative engagement, community profiling and use of data. It provides opportunities to think about the role of the arts in creating and sustaining communities, and develops skills in devising and delivering appropriate musical inputs in community settings and ways of evaluating impact on individuals, groups and communities.

View detailed information about this course

Musicking and Communities 1 (MU301D) - 15 Credit Points

Practical Musicianship is a fully interactive course designed to develop students' musicianship skills whilst examining the pedagogy and resources required to transfer musicianship skills to participants in a diverse range of settings regardless of starting ability. Participatory music making, socio-cultural learning and experience of working in groups will be explored in this course.

View detailed information about this course

Composing and Communities (MU309A) - 15 Credit Points

Composition will consist of one or more discreet projects centred around a genre (eg piano work, piece for percussion ensemble) and/or taking inspiration from a particular body of work (eg Schoenberg and his legacy, impressionism). Students compose one or more pieces to make up a folio of compositions. The exact content varies from year to year according to the composers contributing to the course, and the opportunities for workshops involving visiting composers and performers. One of the projects will have direct relevance to a community setting of the student's choice.

View detailed information about this course

Working in Community Settings (MU351G) - 15 Credit Points

This course is designed to enable musicians to contribute effectively in community settings by ensuring that they understand the various organisational, legal and procedural requirements of the context. Students will be encouraged to compare a range of different organisational structures and roles in community settings and to develop skills in collaboration and partnership working, including understanding the value base and standards in use by key professions working in communities and the resultant challenges for multidisciplinary work. Students will reflect on their own experience in communities as part of their analysis of theory and practice of community work.

View detailed information about this course

Identity and the Community Musician (MU351F) - 15 Credit Points

The BMus (Hons) Community Music programme uniquely prepares students as informed and creative practitioners in the emerging field of Community Music. The compulsory suite of course for the BMus (Hons) Community Music programme are designed to fully complement and integrate with each other, bringing together academic and practical experiences. The student experience in each course is built around a participatory approach to learning and teaching, enabling students to fully engage with the stated learning outcomes. Teaching incorporates: contact time with lecturers (lectures, seminars and workshops), self-direct study and practical vocational experiences. Throughout the course students will be asked to undertake a variety of formative tasks including: self-directed research, reading and writing both descriptive and reflective, as well as practical vocational activities and online collaborations.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Select a further 45 credit points from courses in Music
Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

Professional Project - Practice (MU401J) - 30 Credit Points

The BMus (Hons) Community Music programme uniquely prepares students as informed and creative practitioners in the emerging field of Community Music. The compulsory suite of course for the BMus (Hons) Community Music programme are designed to fully complement and integrate with each other, bringing together academic and practical experiences. The student experience in each course is built around a participatory approach to learning and teaching, enabling students to fully engage with the stated learning outcomes. Teaching incorporates: contact time with lecturers (lectures, seminars and workshops), self-direct study and practical vocational experiences. Throughout the course students will be asked to undertake a variety of formative tasks including: self-directed research, reading and writing both descriptive and reflective, as well as practical vocational activities and online collaborations.

View detailed information about this course

Professional Project - Academic Commentary (MU401I) - 30 Credit Points

The BMus (Hons) Community Music programme uniquely prepares students as informed and creative practitioners in the emerging field of Community Music. The compulsory suite of course for the BMus (Hons) Community Music programme are designed to fully complement and integrate with each other, bringing together academic and practical experiences. The student experience in each course is built around a participatory approach to learning and teaching, enabling students to fully engage with the stated learning outcomes. Teaching incorporates: contact time with lecturers (lectures, seminars and workshops), self-direct study and practical vocational experiences. Throughout the course students will be asked to undertake a variety of formative tasks including: self-directed research, reading and writing both descriptive and reflective, as well as practical vocational activities and online collaborations.

View detailed information about this course

Musicking and Communities II (MU401H) - 15 Credit Points

The BMus (Hons) Community Music programme uniquely prepares students as informed and creative practitioners in the emerging field of Community Music. The compulsory suite of course for the BMus (Hons) Community Music programme are designed to fully complement and integrate with each other, bringing together academic and practical experiences. The student experience in each course is built around a participatory approach to learning and teaching, enabling students to fully engage with the stated learning outcomes. Teaching incorporates: contact time with lecturers (lectures, seminars and workshops), self-direct study and practical vocational experiences. Throughout the course students will be asked to undertake a variety of formative tasks including: self-directed research, reading and writing both descriptive and reflective, as well as practical vocational activities and online collaborations.

View detailed information about this course

Contributing to Community Development Through Musical Practice (MU401G) - 15 Credit Points

The BMus (Hons) Community Music programme uniquely prepares students as informed and creative practitioners in the emerging field of Community Music. The compulsory suite of course for the BMus (Hons) Community Music programme are designed to fully complement and integrate with each other, bringing together academic and practical experiences. The student experience in each course is built around a participatory approach to learning and teaching, enabling students to fully engage with the stated learning outcomes. Teaching incorporates: contact time with lecturers (lectures, seminars and workshops), self-direct study and practical vocational experiences. Throughout the course students will be asked to undertake a variety of formative tasks including: self-directed research, reading and writing both descriptive and reflective, as well as practical vocational activities and online collaborations

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Select a further 30 credit points from Music course(s) of choice.

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Further Information

View detailed learning and assessment information for this programme

How the programme is taught

The typical time spent in scheduled learning activities (lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals), independent self-study or placement is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

How the programme is assessed

The typical percentage of assessment methods broken down by written examination, coursework or practical exams is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

Year 1

Learning Method
scheduled: 58%
independent: 42%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 19%
coursework: 70%
practical: 11%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 10%
independent: 90%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 5%
coursework: 68%
practical: 27%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 25%
independent: 75%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 0%
coursework: 87%
practical: 13%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 12%
independent: 88%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 0%
coursework: 62%
practical: 38%

Why Study Community Music?

Choosing community music has enabled me to see and find a few of the many musical opportunities there are right at our own doorsteps. The skills and abilities I now have, such as being able to adapt, plan, organise, teach, communicate, and find information, have all been developed throughout the courses on offer. The lectures are always thought-provoking and often revolve around discussion and debates. This allows the atmosphere to be inclusive and very much a learning environment for all involved. Joy, Year IV  

Community music equips you with knowledge and skills to understand, underpin, carry out and evaluate your practice; to make music accessible to anyone and everyone. Without this degree, I would never have imagined that I could reach my dream of taking music abroad. Shannon, Year IV  

The small class sizes and the devotion of the lecturers allows so much room for development, and makes for a wonderful and care free learning environment where no question is too small to ask. I love the hands on, practical opportunities you gain from the degree, and I can't wait to see where the Community Music degree takes me. Iona, Year II    

The Community Music Programme gives you the freedom to focus on what interests you the most. You learn through doing and come away with skills that you can apply in settings you never imagined. Fiona, graduate 2015  

The programme teaches you the necessities for a community music professional in a relaxed and encouraging environment. It also gives you the opportunity to build up your skill set on the organizational and ‘non-music’ side of things. It’s great to have fun while learning. Tom, Graduate 2016  

The Music and Communities programme is filled with many opportunities you couldn’t even imagine! ‘Why not’ is now my favourite phrase. If you have any idea that involves music in the community, then this is the place for you. This was the best decision I have ever made. Samantha, Graduate 2016  

The Community Music programme gave me the opportunity to develop skills in settings which I would never have had the opportunity or courage to step foot in otherwise. It also allowed me to develop in areas which I already knew I loved, whilst providing a safe space to try new ideas and experience new ways of working through collaboration. Sorcha, Graduate 2017  

The programme provides the chance to apply music to communities that interest you. Great fun with great people. Why not? Laura, Graduate 2017  

 

Entry Requirements

MUSIC QUALIFICATIONS

Candidates should demonstrate musical attainment and potential. Candidates should have Grade VIII Associated Board (or equivalent) in their main instrument/voice or show great potential and intend to take Grade VIII. Musical skills are assessed at interview, at which competence on piano will need to be demonstrated. Further information about the interview process is available on the Music Department website. Applicants from outside the UK must also meet the above performance requirement.

ENTRY TO HONOURS PROGRAMMES

Students apply for entry to BMus Community Music programme during the second year of study. Entry to BMus with Honours depends on satisfactory progress during core study years prior to this. Entry to the BMus with Honours (Community Music) takes place after an interview and assessment of musicianship.

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Please note: entry requirements may differ for 2018 and 2019 entry.


Entry Requirements (2018 / 2019):

SCOTTISH QUALIFICATIONS (SQA)

Minimum 4H at BBBB - in four distinct disciplines. Music at Higher Grade A preferred.

GENERAL CERTIFICATE OF EDUCATION (GCE)

Minimum of 2 A Levels at BC, or 4 AS Levels at ABCC. Music - A Level minimum Grade B or AS Level minimum Grade A. Minimum of 3 additional GCSE passes.

IRISH LEAVING CERTIFICATE/ ARDTEISTIMEIREACHT

BBB at Higher Level

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE

30 points including at least a Grade 6 at Music at HL

Find out more


Further detailed entry requirements for Music degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) the tuition fee charged upon entry will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £14,600
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Unistats

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX