Oxford Music: Overview and Entrance Requirements

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The music programme at Oxford University provides a comprehensive and immersive exploration of music’s diverse facets. Through reading, listening, performing, and composing, students engage with music in its various forms, both acoustic and electronic. They also collaborate with renowned professionals and local communities. The curriculum delves into intricate analyses of musical pieces and their interplay with genres and contexts.

The course encompasses a wide range of musical genres and contexts. This includes Western classical, popular, and cultural music, as well as community-based musical expressions. A distinctive feature is the examination of these musical traditions within social/cultural frameworks, shedding light on historical influences. 

With a history of over 800 years in music education, Oxford boasts a faculty of accomplished musicologists, performers, and composers. As a result, a dynamic learning environment is fostered.

Students actively participate in performance and composition workshops. Furthermore, they contribute to various musical ensembles within the faculty and college settings. The programme also benefits from exceptional facilities. This includes practice rooms, recording studios, music library, and access to historical musical instruments. 

The flexible curriculum also allows students to progressively specialise in performance, composition, music history, sociology, psychology, or education. Furthermore, graduates emerge as well-rounded musicians equipped with a contemporary understanding of music’s significance within society at large.

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UCAS CodeW300
Minimum Entrance Requirements A-levels – AAAAdvanced Highers – AA/AABIB –  38 (including core points) with 666 at HL     
Admission Test for Music at OxfordMusic Performance Test
Recording for Auditioning: Submit a video recording audition of up to 5 minutes performing on their chosen instrument or voice in advance of their interview. 
Subject Requirements for Music at OxfordMusic A-level or Music Theory Grade 7 or above is Essential.
Extras things admission tutors look forWritten Work: Three Pieces
Two teacher-marked essays from any subject. Each of the two essays should be around 1500 words. 
One or two examples of teacher-marked harmony and counterpoint
If you wish, you may also submit one or two short examples of the original composition. Compositions may be in any genre
Submission deadline: 10 November 2023
Duration3 years (BA)
Admissions StatisticsInterviewed:  94%
Successful: 47%
What is Music at Oxford?Music at Oxford is a comprehensive programme that encompasses reading, performing, composing, and analysing music across genres and cultures. 
It also offers students exposure to diverse musical contexts and social influences. The course features distinguished faculty, access to state-of-the-art facilities, including historical instruments and recording studios, and active engagement in musical ensembles. 
Ultimately, the programme cultivates well-rounded musicians with a deep understanding of music’s role in contemporary society.
Oxford Colleges that offer MusicChrist Church, Exeter College, Hertford College, Jesus College, Keble College, Lady Margaret Hall, Lincoln College, Magdalen College, Merton College, New College, Oriel College, Pembroke College, The Queen’s College, St Anne’s College, St, Catherine’s College, St Hilda’s College, St Hugh’s College, St John’s College, St Peter’s College, Somerville College, Trinity College, University College, Worcester College
Structure of the Music Course at OxfordYear 1 
Six subjects are taken (two chosen from a list of Options) – Two written papers and three ‘take-away’ papers for compulsory subjects. 
The assessment for the two options will take the form of a written paper, practical examination, recital and portfolio of compositions. There will also be an essay or take-away paper depending on the option chosen.
Year 2 & 3
Eight subjects are taken (six chosen from a list of Options) – Two written examinations and a combination of take-away papers, portfolio submissions, recitals and practical tests, depending on the options chosen.
Common Careers after Oxford Music courseThe varied nature of the course enables students to develop highly desirable skills in areas such as:
Self-Management, Creativity, Data Analysis, Performance, Teamwork, Problem-Solving, Communication
All of which makes graduates an attractive prospect for potential employers.

Teaching, performance and arts administration are among the popular destinations for Music graduates, but others include broadcasting, publishing, law, politics and the Civil Service.
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