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QW33 BA English and Music (3 yrs)

‘You read widely, have a creative flair, and are ready to engage with new ideas. English and Music at Southampton offers you the opportunity to think about literature and music in unique and compelling ways’.

Introducing your degree

Like the sound of a degree that allows you a plethora of job opportunities in the music industry? Then the joint degree course in English and Music is for you. As a student you will have the opportunity to both study great works of literature and also engage with key concepts of music studies, in a unique and compelling course programme. This course prepares graduates for a career in music production, journalism, teaching, song writing, and film score composing.

Programme Overview

What is this?(More Information)This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

Programme Structure

• In your first year, you will take a balance of English and Music modules. Studying English you will explore the form and material context of different literary narratives, and debates in critical theory. In your Music modules you will consider different contexts for musical performance, and analyse your own performances to devise strategies for improving your work.

• In your second year you will choose from a wide range of English literary and musical topics from the medieval period to global hip hop.

• In your final year you will consolidate your knowledge and skills as a musician and independent researcher in literary studies by completing a dissertation on a topic of your choice in either of your main subjects.

In all three years you have the option to take 25% of your programme in another subject.

For further details, see the full course map under ‘Modules’.

View the programme specification document for this course

Key Facts

  • Purpose-built concert hall (Turner Sims) supporting the most extensive series of professional concerts and workshops of any UK university
  • Exceptionally diverse range of texts, topics, and approaches, including international writing, film studies, and creative writing
  • Many large-scale Students’ Union performing groups (orchestras, bands, choirs and theatre groups), in addition to music ensembles

Did you know?

You can take this programme with a year abroad at one of our 173 partner institutions in over 24 countries – use code QW34 when you apply through UCAS.

Education driven by research
Education driven by research

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
GCE A-level

AAB to ABB including Grades AB in English* and Music; and Grade 8 or demonstrated equivalent standard**

Applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will also be made an alternative offer one grade below the standard offer, conditional on an A grade in the EPQ.

*Whilst an A in English at A Level is usual, we also seriously consider candidates who perform strongly in other essay-based Humanities subjects. We may interview students without a Literature component in their A levels, due to the literary emphasis of our degree programmes. 

We accept all A levels except General Studies.

International Baccalaureate34 points, 17 at higher level, including 6 in higher level English* and Music; and Grade 8 or demonstrated equivalent standard** **Equivalence to Grade 8 is ascertained by the relevant Head of Study (Strings/Woodwind/Brass/Piano and Percussion/Early Music/Jazz and Pop/Vocal Studies) auditioning the student. This can be done in person or by sending a video web link (e.g. Youtube)
International applications

We welcome applications from international students. Helpful information on applying, meeting a University representative in your country, or improving your English language levels can be found on the International Office website. If English is not your first language you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for an overall IELTS score of 7.0 with not less than 7.0 in Reading and Writing, 6.5 in Listening and Speaking.

Alternative qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Scottish Highers). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard to an A level applicant. Contact us for further information on equivalencies for these qualifications and others not listed here.

Contextual Offers

Humanities supports contextual admission.  A typical offer for an applicant qualifying as contextual is BBB from 3 A levels or the equivalent from alternative qualifications.

Selection process:
Average applications per place:

Selection is normally based on actual or predicted grades plus the reference and personal statement on your UCAS application. Exceptionally we may ask you to come for an interview before making an offer.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content


Innovation modules outside of your subject area

Our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers you the chance to take optional modules outside of your chosen subject area. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future. Modules range from "Living and working on the web" to "Business skills for employability".

View the Curriculum Innovation modules for this course

Learn a language

Some of our courses also give you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level.

 View the language modules on offer for this course

Year 1

MUSIC: Students choose ANY four music modules

ENGLISH: Students must take a minimum of one module in semester one, mormally the double module ENGL1007 Narrative and Culture and one compulsory double module in semester two.  However, those wishing to take an alternative subject may replace Narrative and Culture with ENGL1004 Poetic Language or ENGL1085 Multimedia Old English, plus their chosen 15 credit alternative module in semester two.

Year 2

MUSIC: Students normally choose ANY four Music modules

ENGLISH: Students normally choose three (one double and two single) English modules.  However, you may if you wish, replace one optional, 15 credit, single module in each semester with an alternative subject.  One of these will replace the equivalent credits in English, and the other the equivalent credits in Music.

Year 3

ENGLISH: If you wish to do an English dissertation in semester two, you should also choose EITHER two single English modules OR one double English module to take in semester one. If you do not wish to take an English dissertation, you should choose one double English module in semester one and two single English modules in semester two.

You may, if you wish, replace one optional, 15 credit, single module in each semester with an alternative subject.  One of these will replace the equivalent credits in English, the other the equivalent credits in Music.

Semester Two

Any two, three or four Music modules (subject to pre-requisites and quotas)

Gender and Nationalism
Holocaust Literature
Writing Modern Ireland
Sweatshops, Sex Workers & Asylum Seekers: World Literature and Visual Culture after Globalisation
Poems, Books and Anthologies
Creative Writing in Schools
Radical England: From Shakespeare to Milton
Making Medieval Place
Love and Death in Africa’s Cities
Science and Nonsense
Writing Rural England
The Figure of the Child in Literature, Film and Culture
Images of Women 1890-1939
Money and Meaning in American Fiction
Early Modern Aliens: Immigration and its Discontents in History and Literature
Representing a New Republic: Writing the Early United States
The ‘Invention’ of English Literature, 1380–1720
Commerical Composition
Third Year Performance Tuition, Single Study
Third Year Ensemble Performance 1
Ensemble Performance 2
Composition Portfolio
Research Project
Jazz History
Love in the Renaissance: Chanson and Madrigal, 1500-1600
Composition Workshop B
Music Therapy 2: Beneath the Surface
Music and Rhetoric
Nineteenth Century German Song
Global Hip Hop
The Operas of Benjamin Britten
Culture at the Court of Charles II
Studio Techniques 1
Jazz Theory

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Career Opportunities

Students developing teaching skills
Students developing teaching skills

Studying English and Music at Southampton will help you acquire high-level critical thinking and communication skills that are essential to navigate your career. Our English and Music graduates have progressed to high-flying careers in broadcasting, performance, management and administration, teaching, composition, creative writing, and many other areas.

You will be developing and practising the skills required for a successful career from day one of the course. Over three years you will learn to

• write in different ways and for different formats
• reflect on your own performances and writing techniques
• argue your case
• make interesting and confident presentations
• work effectively both on your own and in groups
• identify and research areas that you think are important

These are all skills that are valued not just by us but by employers. As a student rep you might also take an active role in the governance of the department, of a student society, or of the Students' Union. English and Music also offers some opportunities for direct work experience.

• Find out more on our English and Music Careers and Employability pages

• Learn about the experience gained by our graduates during their time with us on the Alumni pages of our English and Music websites

• Read interesting employability facts about our English and Music degrees on our Employability Facts and Figures page

Learning & Assessment

Combining pleasure with learning
Combining pleasure with learning

An English and Music degree at Southampton provides you with an excellent education in literature, performance, and aural cultures. There are opportunities for creative writing, study abroad, as well as work experience in local schools. We are committed to providing a rich, rigorous, and above all enjoyable experience ensuring that you graduate as a confident, curious and independent self-starter equipped with the skills for a successful career.

• Research-led teaching by English and Music academics who are passionate about their subject

• Talks by visiting speakers from international universities and by successful professionals

• Specialist online learning resources for every module

• An exciting range of assessment methods including presentations, recitals, ensemble performances, portfolios, and dissertations, as well as essays and exams

• An academic advisor to provide regular and supportive advice, guidance and feedback on your progress

• Opportunities to visit Chawton House Library and the former home of Jane Austen, as well as visits to concerts, museums, and theatres

• Student and professional lunchtime concerts at Turner Sims

• Internships and writing workshops at the nationally-renowned Nuffield Theatre

• Opportunities to spend a semester, a year or a summer at one of our international partner universities in Asia, Europe, and the Americas to experience a new culture

• Placements in schools and colleges as part of your degree such as international writing in schools, and the student associates scheme


Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay for:

Printing and copyingWhere possible, coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently: A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour) Please note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy paymentservice by going to Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account You will be given a printing allowance of £1 per 7.5 ECTS ENGL towards the costs of printing lecture handouts and/or practical scripts. The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found at They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found at£0.05-1.00

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
PlacementsPlacements (including Study Abroad Programmes): Students on placement programmes can expect to cover costs for health and travel insurance, accommodation and living expenses; travel costs; visa costs. This will vary depending on which country you are travelling to. Specific details on what additional costs there will be are detailed in the individual module profiles which can be found under the modules tab of the programme details of your programme.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentIT - Computer discs or USB drives: Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device.
EquipmentIT - Software licenses: All software is provided
EquipmentIT - Hardware: It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Study Locations

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