BMus (Hons) Composition

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Degree level: Undergraduate
UCAS Conservatoires
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Course summary

This course provides 30 hours of individual specialist tuition with your personal composition teacher per year (increasing to 35 in year four), which is far more than is typically offered by academic university music courses. You are also allocated an additional five hours tuition for a support study of your choice. Our priority is to provide the perfect preparation for a successful career in diverse areas of composition. We pay care and attention to treating musicians as artists and entrepreneurs, and aim to prepare students for the opportunities and challenges presented by the future of the profession, with the intention that they leave us as employable music professionals. In addition to benefiting from individual tuition, and group composition classes you will enjoy a range of activities designed to develop your artistry, musical fluency and personal and professional awareness. We have an emphasis on practice based learning, and you will benefit from masterclasses with esteemed visiting composers, composition workshops and public concerts with professional soloists, ensembles and orchestras, as well as time and space to develop your own ideas and performances, with tutor feedback in our experimental work space, the Lab. You will find yourself with numerous opportunities to compose and perform in many diverse contexts, and we support and encourage contemporary classical music in concert halls, experimental and conceptual work, projects in alternative spaces, electronic music (live as well as recorded and acousmatic), popular music, jazz, theatre music, and media/film music. From day one, you have the chance to tailor your studies to your individual interests. The Composition Department works very closely with other creative departments and we run numerous projects in collaboration with acting, jazz and music technology. This is an exciting time in our long history – you will be among the first students to benefit from our brand new facilities, including five public performance spaces, seven industry standard recording studios, around 70 practice rooms and Birmingham's only dedicated jazz venue. We have invested £57 million into 9,000 sq m of purpose designed state-of-the-art teaching and performance facilities, which will be the first of its kind in the digital age.

Course details

Principal study options

During the application and audition process, you must select which instrument(s) you wish to specialise in for the duration of your course. On this course, you can choose from the following options:

Single specialism

Only one instrument is studied. It may be possible to study a further instrument formatively, but this will not contribute towards the qualification.

Instrument/specialisms

For all courses, you must select at least one specialism from the 'primary' list. For those studying primary/secondary pathways, two instruments may be selected – one from the 'primary' list and one from the 'secondary' list. Joint pathway students may select any two instruments from either list.

Primary instrument/specialism

  • Composition

How to apply

Application deadlines

If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:

1 October

*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!

*If you are an international applicant, or you are applying for a postgraduate course, or are choosing certain assessment locations, the 'on time' deadline may be later in the year - please contact the conservatoire directly.

Application codes

You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.

Course code301F
Institution code B34
Campus nameMain Site
Campus code-

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

QualificationOfferFurther information
UCAS Tariff 32 points
A level EE A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A/S Levels (as long in a different subject) A-Levels or Level 3 equivalents.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) PPP
Access to HE Diploma Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3. Arts, Media and Publishing subjects preferred but other subjects also considered
Scottish Higher Achieve a minimum of 32 tariff points achieved in either five Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers. Where only Highers have been taken a minimum of grades DDDDD is required. Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers.
AS Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 32 pts
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 32 pts
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 32 pts
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (first teaching from September 2016) Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 32 pts
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate (first teaching from September 2016) Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 32 pts
Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) PPP
Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF) Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 32 pts
Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 32 pts
Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 32 pts
Pearson BTEC Certificate (QCF) Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 32 pts
Scottish Advanced Higher Achieve a minimum of 32 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers. Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades DDD • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers).
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB Diploma will be accepted
Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015) " Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 32 pts
Extended Project Must be in a topic related to the degree subject being applied for Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 32 pts
Leaving Certificate - Higher Level (Ireland) (first awarded in 2017) Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 32 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects. achieved in five Higher level subjects. This must include English Language taken at either Ordinary Level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level minimum grade H1/H7 (or A-D / A1-D3 up to and including 2016
Leaving Certificate - Ordinary Level (Ireland) (first awarded in 2017) See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
GCSE/National 4/National 5 GCSE passes in 5 subjects grade C/4 or above must include English Language. Acceptable equivalents:- City and Guilds Level 2 Certificates in Adult Numeracy/ Adult Literacy - Adult Literacy Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2 - English Key Skills level 2 - Communication English Language at grade C/4 Scottish Intermediate 2 Scottish Credit Standard Grade Scottish National 5 Must have been achieved at the point of application.
HNC (BTEC) Pass with 120 credits at Level 4 Must be in a music related pathway May be considered for advanced entry onto the second year of the degree. Subject to satisfactory comparability of modular content at level 4. A transcript will be required and successful audition.
HND (BTEC) Pass with 240 credits at Level 5 Must be in a music related pathway May be considered for advanced entry onto the third year of the degree. Subject to satisfactory comparability of modular content at level 4 and level 5. A transcript will be required.
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma PPP
OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 32 pts
OCR Cambridge Technical Subsidiary Diploma Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 32 pts
OCR Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 32 pts
OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 32 pts
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 32 pts
OCR Cambridge Technical Certificate Considered with a maximum of 2 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 32 pts

Additional entry requirements

Admission tests

Audition

Interview

Institutions Own Test (IOT)

Institutions Own Test. For applicants who audition in the UK. Candidates will be required to demonstrate general musical knowledge and musicianship skills, including harmony and aural.

Institutions Own Test (IOT)

Music Test. For applicants who audition in the UK. Candidates will be required to demonstrate general musical knowledge and musicianship skills, including harmony and aural.


Assessment locations

In the event of a successful assessment, applicants may be invited for a further interview prior to being made an offer.

Remote assessment recordings may be accepted in the event that you cannot attend an assessment in person.

Single specialism assessment

LocationOn-time FeeLate Fee
Birmingham Conservatoire£75£75
By Recording (EU applicants outside the UK only)£75£75
China (Hong Kong) Performers only /local fee££
China (Mainland) Performers only /local fee££
Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) Performers only /local fee£75£75
Singapore Performers only /local fee£75£75
Taiwan (Taipei) Performers only /local fee££

Joint principal specialism assessment

LocationOn-time FeeLate Fee
Birmingham Conservatoire£105£105
By Recording (EU applicants outside the UK only)£105£105
China (Hong Kong) Performers only /local fee££
China (Mainland) Performers only /local fee££
Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) Performers only /local fee£105£105
Singapore Performers only /local fee£105£105
Taiwan (Taipei) Performers only /local fee££

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1

Additional fee information

Home/EU - Equivalent or lower qualifications fees £11,590 Students studying Equivalent or Lower Qualification in higher education are assessed to see whether they are looking to study at the same level to a qualification they already hold or at a lower level to a qualification they already hold. Students categorised as studying for an ELQ at the Birmingham Conservatoire will be charged a tuition fee rate that is higher than the standard published rates. This is because in 2008 the government announced that it would no longer provide funding to support universities teaching students who were classed as ELQ status.
BMus (Hons) Composition at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire - UCAS