The University of Southampton

QW34 BA English and Music (with Year Abroad) (4 years)

‘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

Earn a degree in English and Music while having the opportunity to learn a new language and study abroad. Study is split between both English and Music subjects, with a third year spent studying abroad. Ideal for those with a creative disposition, modules on this four year course include: Poetic Language, Transformations in Twentieth-Century Music, Dangerous Readings, Song writing and The American Musical.


  • An innovative interdisciplinary programme that explores the resonances between performance and writing practices in literary and musical contexts
  • Taught by world-class researchers who will enable you to explore the relationship between the two disciplines through the study of such aspects as the lyric, opera, musical and film
  • Cultural and historical literary contexts and musical topics including song writing, travel writing, piracy, jazz, law, rock music, sexuality, Haydn and money
  • A range of learning experiences, including one-to-one tutorials, conducting, performance tuition, creative writing workshops, school placements, drama workshops, as well as lectures and seminars
  • The purpose-built Turner Sims concert hall supports the most extensive series of professional concerts and workshops of any UK university
  • Opportunities for language learning and study abroad

Visit the English and Music websites to learn more about the departments.

View the programme specification document for this course

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’.


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

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
GCE A-level

AAB including Grades AB in English Literature (or a related subject*) 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.

We accept all A levels except General Studies.

International Baccalaureate34 points, 17 at higher level, including 6 in higher level English Literature (or a related subject*) and Music; and Grade 8 or demonstrated equivalent standard**


*A related subject includes History, English Language and Literature, English Language, or Drama and Theatre Studies. We may interview students without a Literature component in their A levels, due to the literary emphasis of our degree programmes.

**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 in other qualifications approved by the University to an A level applicant. Contact us for further information on equivalencies for these qualifications and others not listed here.

Contextual Offers


The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students who flagged in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme.

A typical contextual offer is ABB from three A levels including Grades AB in English Literature (or a related subject*) and Music; and Grade 8 or demonstrated equivalent standard**, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Please see our contextual admission pages for more information.


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 2

The following is an indicative list of available optional modules, which are subject to change each academic year. Please note in some instances modules have limited spaces available.

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.

Semester One

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

Children's Literature
Modern Drama since World War II
Themes in Mid-Nineteenth Century American Literature
Images of Africa in Literature and Culture
Objects of Desire
Literatures of Islands and Oceans
19th Century Novel
Nuclear explosions, genetic engineering and climate change: How literature has held the sciences to account since 1945
Film Adaptation: Culture and Context
Visions of Beowulf: new encounters with Anglo-Saxon culture
Creative Writing after Modernism
Money and Meaning in American Fiction
Tales of Travel c.1000-1650: Idylls, Utopias, Monsters, and Cannibals
The Figure of the Child in Literature, Film and Culture
The Enlightenment Body
From Black and White to Colour: A Screen History of ‘Race’, Gender and Sexuality in Post-War Britain
Women Writers Remixed ca. 1850—1915
Introduction to Film Studies (Film module for non-Film Students)
Music at the North Italian Courts
Second Year Performance Tuition, Single Study
Second Year Ensemble Performance 1
Composition Workshop A
Introduction to Music Technology
Music Therapy 1: Fundamentals
Global Hip Hop
Schubert after Schubert
The Operas of Benjamin Britten
How the Arts Work: a practical introduction to cultural economics

Year 3

Year 4

The following is an indicative list of available optional modules, which are subject to change each academic year. Please note in some instances modules have limited spaces available.

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).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

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.

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 stationary items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
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.
EquipmentLaboratory Equipment and Materials: All laboratory equipment and materials are provided. IT Computer Discs or USB drives: Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device. Software Licenses: All software is provided. Hardware: It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
Printing and copyingWhere possible, coursework such as essays; projects; 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 payment service 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. The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service.
PlacementsStudents 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.

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

Career Opportunities

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

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


Study Locations

Student life

Avenue campus

Only a few minutes walk from Highfield Campus, Avenue campus provides ...Find out more

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