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Mathematics and Music With a Year Abroad

Cardiff University
Program overview
4 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
17,700 GBP
Start dates
17,700 GBP
September 2020

September 2021

Program description

Mathematics and Music With a Year Abroad

This Joint Honours degree program enables students to combine the study of Music and Mathematics with an adventure-packed year studying at one of our partner universities abroad.

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

This four-year course allows you to spend the third year broadening your horizons by studying abroad.

This course will provide you with a sound basis of knowledge, understanding and skills in the main areas of mathematics, alongside experience of a range of musical disciplines, including performance, composition, historical and critical musicology, ethnomusicology and acoustics.

You will develop an ease with abstract mathematical concepts, logical argument and deductive reasoning, as well as a portfolio of skills associated with literate musicianship.

Later in the course you can study appropriate advanced mathematical topics and at least one area of musical specialisation.

Graduates from this course have moved into music-specific areas such as performance and composition, postgraduate study in mathematics and music and various roles needing a numerate or analytical approach.

Cardiff is a great place for the study of music in the UK, as home to Welsh National Opera and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. School of Music students can attend dress rehearsals and buy cut-price tickets for concerts.

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.

Distinctive features

Year abroad - On this degree you will have the exciting opportunity to study at a university abroad for one year. You will learn while you travel and experience the practices and culture of a different country.

Fully-funded instrumental tuition - Your instrumental tuition is fully funded by the School of Music on your principal study instrument if you are studying a Practical Musicianship module.

Work placement opportunities - Your Business of Music modules offer a short work placement, composition workshops, performance masterclasses, the University concert series, the John Bird lectures presented by visiting academics, and careers talks providing many opportunities for you to engage with active music professionals.

Student support - In addition to having your very own personal Math tutor at the start of the first year, you will also have access to weekly tutorials, supervised computer laboratories and daily drop-in sessions for one-to-one support.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September.

Admission requirements

Typical A level offer

AAB - ABB, including an A in Mathematics and B in Music. Please note Critical Thinking and General Studies will not be accepted.

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ 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.

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

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Program content

  • Elementary Differential Equations
  • Foundations of Mathematics I
  • Foundations of Mathematics II
  • Linear Algebra I
  • Composition 1A
  • Ethnomusicology 1: Music in Human Life
  • Elements of Tonal Music 1
  • The Full Works
  • Elfennau 1
  • Composition 1B
  • A History of Popular Music
  • Elements of Tonal Music 2
  • From Page to Stage: Dramaturgy in Musical Theatre
  • Composing the Landscape
  • Elfennau 2
  • Practical Musicianship 1
  • Repertoire Studies
  • Cerddoriaeth Ymarferol I
  • Calculus of Several Variables
  • Complex Analysis
  • Series and Transforms
  • Linear Algebra II
  • Modelling with Differential Equations
  • Real Analysis
  • Analysing 20th Century Music
  • Studio Techniques 1: Midi and Synthesisers
  • Formal Functions in the Classical Tradition
  • Orchestration
  • The Business of Music 1
  • Performance Practice and Organology: the Long Eighteenth Century, 1700-1830
  • Harmonic Practice, 1725-1870
  • Reading Film Sound
  • Music in France Since 1900
  • Ethnomusicology 2: Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • The Business of Music 2
  • Contrapuntal Practice, 1725-1870
  • British Art Music from c.1900
  • Issues in Popular Music
  • Opera Worlds
  • Composition 2
  • Music Sounded Out: Interpreting Oral and Recorded Genres and Forms
  • Practical Musicianship 2
  • Practical Musicianship 2B
  • Practical Contribution Portfolio 2
  • Cerddoriaeth Ymarferol II
  • Study Abroad
  • Complex Function Theory
  • Combinatorics
  • Introduction to Functional and Fourier Analysis
  • Coding Theory
  • Ordinary Differential Equations
  • Theoretical and Computational Partial Differential Equations
  • Methods of Applied Mathematics
  • Game Theory
  • Mathematical Methods for Data Mining
  • Practical Musicianship 3 (Ensemble)
  • The Birth of Modernism
  • Studio Techniques 2: Audio and Hard Disk Recording
  • 20th Century Contrapuntal Practice
  • Nineteenth Century Italian Opera
  • The Cultures of Beethoven
  • Wagner and Romantic Opera
  • Performance Practice and Organology the Long Seventeenth Century, 1550-1700
  • Jazz, Culture and Politics
  • Fugue
  • Aural Cultures from the Phonograph to the Smartphone
  • Dissertation
  • Project in Music Analysis
  • Practical Musicianship 4 (Performance)
  • Composition 4
  • Project in Ethnomusicology
  • Practical Contribution Portfolio 3
  • Traethawd
  • Cerddoriaeth Ymarferol IV (Perfformiad)

Tuition fees

Tuition Fees for UK and EU students is £9,000

Tuition Fees for students from outside the EU is £17,700

Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, 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:

  • Advanced literacy
  • Computer literacy
  • Applying logical and analytic thinking to problems
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Coping with uncertainty/complexity
  • Creativity and innovative thinking
  • Leadership, teamwork and self-management, embedded in practical musical activities
  • Identifying, recording and communicating your relevant career attainments
  • Maturity and self-confidence from spending a year studying abroad

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About this institute

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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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