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English Literature/Music

Cardiff University
3 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available

About this program

English Literature/Music

The School of Music and the School of English, Communication and Philosophy offer challenging courses of modules in each subject. The flexibility of the course allows you to specialise and develop your own interests, while acquiring a solid, broad-based education and developing transferable skills. English Literature at Cardiff University offers access to the whole span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century. Nor is the curriculum restricted to the printed word – we are intrigued by the connections between literature and film, art, music, history, language, and popular culture, and our teaching reflects these interests.

After a grounding in your first year, you are free to follow a traditional course covering multiple periods and genres or to build a more distinctive mix of modules combining literary study with analysis of other cultural forms.

Home to the arts, Cardiff is a great location for the study of music in the UK. The city has a professional opera company, Welsh National Opera, and a professional symphony orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The School of Music enjoys a fruitful relationship with both organisations that allows, for instance, students to attend dress rehearsals and buy cut-price tickets for concerts. 

As a joint honours student, you will find that often there are complementary issues and perspectives as well as skills and that link subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research. You will spend a similar amount of time on each subject, benefiting from developing your music understanding and skills while studying the fascinating and challenging subject of English Literature.

You are expected to have gained or shown evidence of working towards Grade 8 in one or more instruments or voice at the time of your application. You may be considered if you are not taking A-level Music but have (or are working towards) Grade 7/8 Theory and are studying appropriate Humanities subjects at A-level.

We do not routinely interview applicants for this programme. Applicants with a non-traditional qualification may be invited to attend an informal interview in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy which will have a bearing on the selection decision.

Admission requirements

Typical A level offer

ABB-BBB. Must include Music, and Creative Writing, English Language and Literature, or English Literature. Applicants without an A-level in Music will be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine appropriate levels of music performance and theory skills (such as Grade 6/7 Music Theory). Where skill levels cannot be determined by alternative qualifications, you may be invited to audition.

Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

English language requirements


Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.


At least 90 overall with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

At least 62 overall with a minimum of 59 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits. III: at least a Pass in all components.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2022/23 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.

Year one

Core modules

  • Critical Reading and Critical Writing
  • Ways of Reading

Optional modules

  • Composition 1A
  • Elements of Tonal Music 1
  • The Full Works
  • From Page to Stage: Dramaturgy in Musical Theatre
  • Composition 1B
  • Elements of Tonal Music 2
  • Ethnomusicology 1: Music in Human Life
  • Rewinding Pop
  • Practical Musicianship 1
  • Repertoire Studies
  • Practical Portfolio I
  • Drama: Stage and Page
  • Star-cross'd Lovers: the Politics of Desire
  • Transforming Visions: Text and Image
  • Transgressive Bodies in Medieval Literature

Year two

  • Opera Worlds
  • The Business of Music 1
  • Composition 2A
  • Ethnomusicology 2: Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Orchestration
  • Performance Practice and Organology: the Long Eighteenth Century, 1700-1830
  • Reading Film Sound
  • Music in France Since 1900
  • Tonal Common Practice: Styles and Techniques
  • Music Sounded Out
  • Studio Techniques 1: Midi and Synthesisers
  • Formal Functions in the Classical Tradition
  • Composition 2B
  • The Business of Music 2
  • Analysing 20th Century Music
  • Practical Portfolio 2
  • Practical Musicianship 2
  • Style and Genre
  • Medieval Arthurian Literature
  • Modernist Fictions
  • Children's Literature: Form and Function
  • Introduction to Romantic Poetry
  • African-American Literature
  • Imaginary Journeys: More to Huxley
  • Modernism and the City
  • Gothic Fiction: The Romantic Age
  • Dickens in Many Media
  • Object Women in Literature and Film
  • Renaissance Poetry, Prose and Drama: The Principal Genres, Issues and Authors
  • Second-generation Romantic Poets
  • Gothic Fiction: The Victorians
  • Contemporary British Fictions
  • Philosophy and Literature
  • Victorian Realism(s)
  • Shakespeare’s Worlds
  • Philosophy of Mind

Year three

  • Women in 19th Century Music
  • Challenging Tradition: Counterpoint from Bartok to Bartsch
  • Ensemble
  • Studio Techniques 2: Audio and Hard Disk Recording
  • Nineteenth Century Italian Opera
  • Performance Practice and Organology the Long Seventeenth Century, 1550-1700
  • Jazz, Culture and Politics
  • Practical Portfolio 3
  • Dissertation
  • Composition 3
  • Project in Music Analysis
  • Project in Ethnomusicology
  • The Graphic Memoir
  • The Illustrated Book
  • Literature and Science
  • Decadent Men, 1890s-1910s: Wilde to Forster
  • Dissertation
  • Modern Drama: Page, Stage, Screen
  • Utopia: Suffrage to Cyberpunk
  • Poetry in the Making: Modern Literary Manuscripts
  • Postcolonial Theory
  • Medieval Romance: Monsters and Magic
  • American Poetry after Modernism
  • The American Short Story
  • Apocalypse Then and Now
  • Representing Race in Contemporary America
  • Experimental Early Modern Drama
  • Visuality, Culture and Technology
  • Activist Poetry: Protest, Dissent, Resistance
  • Contemporary British Political Drama
  • Visions of the Future: Climate Change & Fiction
  • Encounters With Oil in Literature and Film
  • Romantic Circles: Collaboration, Radicalism and Creativity 1770–1830
  • Medieval Misfits

Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, please visit the university website.


Tuition fees for UK and Ireland Students

  • Year one £9,000
  • Year two £9,000
  • Year three £9,000

Tuition fees for International Students

  • Year one £19,200
  • Year two £19,200
  • Year three £19,200

For more information about tuition fee, please visit the university website.


What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’, such as:

  • Asking the right questions of complex texts
  • Identifying and applying relevant data
  • Critical skills (reasoning, evaluating evidence, problem-solving, relating theory to practice)
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Coping with uncertainty/complexity
  • Creativity and innovative thinking
  • Computer literacy
  • Leadership, teamwork and self-management
  • Identifying, recording and communicating your relevant career attainments

Career paths

Our annual series of talks on Careers in Music offer a great chance to meet professionals active in a range of fields such as performance, music education, music journalism, arts and artist management, production and licensing, and composing for media.

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About this institute

Cardiff University

Founded in 1883, Cardiff University combines a prestigious heritage with impressive modern facilities, on one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK. As part of the Russell Group, our students benefit from our outstanding research quality and reputation, while...

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Contact info

Cardiff University

CF10 3AT Cardiff

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