Music BA (Hons)

Key information

Duration:
3 years full time
UCAS code:
W300
Start date:
September 2025

The most exciting things about my BA are the diversity of the students and the dedication of the staff. Experimentation and creativity are encouraged at every opportunity – I've felt supported to delve deeper into what inspires me.”

Julian Kindermann Music BA

Performing, composing, writing, debating – this course is geared towards the needs of the contemporary musician. There’s an emphasis on being able to thrive in different professional and industry contexts.

At Sussex, Music focuses on performance, composition and critical thinking. Designed to be expansive, this BA cuts across genres such as popular, classical, film, global and avant-garde. You’ll:

  • engage in various modes of creative practice, with an emphasis on diversity and international perspectives
  • have one-to-one instrumental lessons in your first year
  • attend masterclasses and concerts
  • enjoy 24/7 access to industry-standard facilities, including three studios, practice rooms, as well as the 350-seat auditorium and gigs stage with LX and live PA at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts
  • take electives from other subjects – from philosophy to law and modern languages – to open your mind to other disciplines and tailor your degree to your interests
  • have the opportunity to apply to study abroad or go on a placement to broaden your horizons.

You’ll learn from composers, performers and musicologists. There’s an emphasis on creativity and challenging assumptions. Our faculty combine practical musicianship skills with performing and writing music, arranging and music history.

You’ll also benefit from our connections with local music organisations. These include Glyndebourne, the world-class opera venue in the Sussex Downs near Lewes, and The Rose Hill, an independent music venue and creative hub run by artists and musicians in Brighton.

Some of our recent graduates have been signed to labels, made the BBC Radio 6 Music A-list, toured professionally, played at SXSW, released albums or composed music for advertising. Others have gone on to record labels, to Nordoff Robbins music therapy, or to jobs in film and game composition.

Check out a showcase of our Music students’ work

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described in this prospectus. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to government or regulatory requirements, or unanticipated staff changes, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are currently under review – please check back in early March 2024.

Modules

This is a single-honours course, allowing you to focus in depth on your core subject.

Find out about our types of undergraduate degrees, their structure, modules and credits

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Options

Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests. This list gives you a flavour of our options, which are kept under review and may change, for example in response to student feedback or the latest research.

While it’s our aim for students to take their preferred combinations of options, this can’t be guaranteed and will be subject to timetabling. Options may be grouped and if so, students will be able to choose a set number of options from the selection available in any particular group.

Explore modules from other subjects as part of your course

At Sussex, you can choose to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

As part of this degree, you explore subjects that are different to your course through electives and pathways that complement your main subject. Exploring different disciplines in three electives – one in Year 1 and two in Year 2 – helps enrich your learning experience.

Discover our electives

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Options

Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests. This list gives you a flavour of our options, which are kept under review and may change, for example in response to student feedback or the latest research.

While it’s our aim for students to take their preferred combinations of options, this can’t be guaranteed and will be subject to timetabling. Options may be grouped and if so, students will be able to choose a set number of options from the selection available in any particular group.

Explore modules from other subjects as part of your course

At Sussex, you can choose to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

As part of this degree, you explore subjects that are different to your course through electives and pathways that complement your main subject. Exploring different disciplines in three electives – one in Year 1 and two in Year 2 – helps enrich your learning experience.

Discover our electives

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you

If your application to study abroad is successful, you’ll have to meet the academic requirements at Sussex and also at the partner university. Find out more about studying abroad as a Sussex student

Placement (optional)

To help you gain experience and increase your employability, you can apply for an optional placement as part of your course. You’ll be responsible for applying for and securing your placement. Our dedicated careers team can provide you with information and advice. If you’re successful in obtaining a placement, this will form part of your course.

Find out more about placements and internships

Please note that if you’re receiving – or applying for – USA federal Direct Loan funds, you can’t transfer to the version of your course with an optional study abroad period in any country or optional placement in the USA if the number of credits for the placement/internship exceeds 25% of the total credits for your course. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

Options

You choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests. This list gives you a flavour of our options, which are kept under review and may change, for example in response to student feedback or the latest research.

While it’s our aim for students to take their preferred combinations of options, this can’t be guaranteed and will be subject to timetabling. Options may be grouped and if so, students will be able to choose a set number of options from the selection available in any particular group.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

The Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts at the University of Sussex

TEF 2023 silver

Silver

The student experience and student outcomes are typically very high quality.
This rating was awarded in 2023, for four years.
(Teaching Excellence Framework 2023)

Find out more about our approach to teaching and supporting you to thrive

Our staff

My research focuses on how we make music with new digital technologies. This work feeds equally into my teaching and my artistic practice at various international music festivals and conferences.
Professor Thor Magnusson
Professor of Future Music

Fees

Fees are not yet set for the academic year 2025/26 – please check back in September 2024. Note that your fees, once they’re set, may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Find out about our terms and conditions

Scholarships

Details of our scholarships are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2025/26.

Careers

Whether you choose a career in music or in other fields, we emphasise sustainability of practice to ensure you have a long and fulfilling career. During your studies, you’ll develop:

  • a toolkit of music knowledge, and skills in performance, composition, music tech, music for film and games and musicology 
  • transferable skills in project management, collaboration, research and analysis, networking, communicating with influence and working to briefs.

Our masterclass and workshop series ensures you learn from today’s leading music practitioners. Our visiting guest lecturers have included producers, mixing engineers, live sound engineers, performers, film composers and mastering engineers.

Many students use their final-year project as a springboard to launch their careers. Recent graduates have:

  • been signed to labels
  • made the BBC Radio 6 Music A-list
  • gone on to tour professionally
  • released albums
  • composed music for advertising.

Other graduates have gone on to jobs at record labels, at Nordoff Robbins music therapy, or in film and game composition. Some graduates have also developed their own musical enterprises.

(Music careers database)

Working while you study

Our Careers and Entrepreneurship team can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

The careers day opened my eyes to the many options a music graduate has and, thanks to the support of the staff, I feel prepared for my future career.”Lauren Sadler
Music BA
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