Music is the language that connects us all and choosing to study it will unravel the intricacies of sound, emotion, and cultural expression.

If you choose music you’ll learn about theory, composition, and performance, unlocking a world of artistic expression and technical skill.

Beyond the joy of creating and appreciating music, you’ll develop a range of skills highly valued in diverse career paths. Whether you want to become a professional musician, composer, or music educator, or to explore careers in music production, technology, or business, a music education equips you with creativity, discipline, and adaptability. And in our modern world where multimedia and technology meet with traditional forms, it could also open doors to exciting careers in film scoring, sound engineering, or interactive media. 

The impact you could make
  • Contribute to the world of entertainment, providing joy, inspiration, and a sense of escapism through performances, recordings, and live shows.
  • Engage with local communities by organising concerts, workshops, and outreach programmes that bring people together.
  • Contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage, ensuring that unique musical traditions are passed down to future generations.
What you could study
  • Composition
  • Creative software skills
  • Folk music studies
  • Media composition skills
  • Music industry studies
  • Musical techniques
  • Performance studies
  • Studio recording technique

Study options

Options to study in this field include:


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Example module
"The performances, playing live with RNCM Orchestra, as well as the business aspect of music (Business of Music)."
Second year popular music student, Leeds Arts University
Example assignment
“Helping to put on the ACM music festival Winter Live was a big achievement.”
Second year music business student, ACM (The Academy of Contemporary Music)

Second year popular music student, Sheffield Hallam University

What I love about learning music production is hearing the outcome and being able to share with others.

Subjects it's useful to have studied first

Some music courses or apprenticeships will have requirements for previous qualifications in certain subjects. Entry requirements vary, so always check with the provider.

Five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above
including maths and English
Some courses may require you to have reached a certain level of proficiency in your chosen instrument
71% of students
studying music would recommend the subject to others
(UCAS subject guide survey 2023)
Hard skills you'll develop
  • Music technologies including virtual instruments
  • Technical aspects of playing one or more musical instruments
  • Learn music theory, including harmony, melody, rhythm, and form
  • Music production, including recording, mixing, and mastering techniques
Soft skills you'll develop
  • Reproduce musical elements by ear
  • Read and perform music on sight
  • Adaptability to different playing or composing contexts
  • Performance skills

Careers: Where it can take you

Find out more about your career prospects from studying music. The following information is based on a typical musician role.

Available jobs
13,367 vacancies in the past year
3.77% growth over next eight years
Average salary
Up to £56,376

What is a… music software developer?

Visionary souls, music software developers have a passion for both technology and music, inspiring them to create innovative digital tools that transform the landscape of music creation. Often with a background in computer science and a deep understanding of musical theory, they develop cutting-edge software applications that empower musicians, producers, and composers. Whether crafting intuitive Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs), virtual instruments, or groundbreaking music production apps, their work seamlessly merges technical precision with artistic expression. 

Getting in: Entry requirements

Find out more about what you'll need to study music at university or as an apprenticeship.

Average requirements for undergraduate degrees

Entry requirements differ between university and course, but this should give you a guide to what is usually expected from music applicants.

A levels
Scottish Highers
Audition and interview

Explore further

Go deeper into topics around music with the following:
  1. Wired4Music

    Music events, courses, jobs and opportunities for people aged 16-25 in London.
  2. Find out more about careers and courses in music

  3. Song Exploder

    This Netflix series is based on the popular podcast which digs deep into songwriters’ creative process.

Application advice

Whether it's personal statement tips or what to write in a cover letter for an application, our advice will help you get ahead in your music journey.
Skills, experiences, and interests to mention
  • Detail your musical background, including any instruments you play, genres you’re interested in, and any formal training or lessons you’ve taken.
  • Have you got performance experience? That could be in solo performances, ensemble settings, or taking part in musical events.
  • Share the musicians, composers, or genres that have inspired you.
  • Talk about any impactful concerts, performances, or musical events you’ve attended, and reflect on how these experiences have influenced your musical perspective.
  • If you’ve taken on leadership roles within musical groups or projects, that will show your ability to lead, organise, and collaborate with others.

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