About the Department of Music

The University of Southampton’s music department is a centre of exceptional research and teaching in musicology, ethnomusicology, performance, composition, music technology, music education and music business. We offer sector-leading courses at undergraduate, postgraduate taught and PhD levels.

Our students and staff are positive and proactive members of their diverse musical communities, both here in Southampton and around the world.

We work with partners such as the Darmstadt Summer Course, Verdi Festival Parma, the Alan Turing Institute, the National Trust, the London Sinfonietta and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. We also collaborate with organisations in our local community such as the Turner Sims concert hall and OperaUpClose.

We are home to the Centre for Music Education and Social Justice.

Music students perform an orchestral piece at Turner Sims concert hall
An orchestral performance at Turner Sims concert hall, on Highfield Campus.


Inclusivity, creativity and exploration drive performance culture at Southampton. We promote and support all genres equally.

Our students and staff perform many kinds of music, such as:

  • early music
  • jazz
  • musical theatre
  • opera
  • piano music
  • rock, pop, blues and folk

As an academic performance community with a long tradition of practice-based research, we strive for openness, innovation and curiosity when we make music together. We curate numerous performances in venues large and small, including our own Turner Sims concert hall.

Over 40 staff teach performance on our degree programmes. They play in professional orchestras, perform internationally with pop stars and leading opera singers, consult and perform at major festivals, appear on notable recordings and are frequently nominated for prestigious awards.

  • Watch our performance playlist

    Learn more about music performance at Southampton with our wide-ranging YouTube playlist.

Composition and music production

We are proud of the stylistic breadth and diversity of our composition staff.

They work in a wide range of creative fields, including:

  • jazz composition
  • electronic dance music
  • film, TV and video game scores
  • experimental concert pieces
  • multimedia work
  • performance art
  • multi-modal sound installations
  • pop opera
  • music theatre for children

We engage with music technology and innovate approaches to sound design across diverse areas, including:

  • environmental location recording
  • live electronics
  • user-interface design
  • musical information retrieval
  • sonification
  • low-memory synthesisers
  • artificial intelligence
  • machine learning in digital music making

Our studios and production rooms use industry-standard hardware and software, providing creative workspaces for staff and students to realise complex, professional audio projects.

Music scholarship

Southampton has long been considered one of Europe's leading centres for music research.

Our specialisms include:

  • gender, sexuality and queer studies
  • music education
  • global music histories
  • musical institutions
  • reception
  • sound studies
  • music and technology
  • opera and musical theatre
  • cultural economics
  • music analysis
  • critical organology
  • global popular music

Inclusivity, fairness and sustainability matter deeply to us as researchers, critics and activists.

Social justice and EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion)

We are home to the Centre for Music Education and Social Justice. We are committed to the study of, and advocacy for, equality in music education.

We seek to nurture undergraduate and postgraduate work on music and social justice in the classroom and our communities.

Our mission is to bring together music practitioners and local, national, and international partners to engage in conversations about social justice and work towards the alleviation of inequality, powerlessness and discrimination.

Through events such as talks, interactive concerts and workshops we support research that engages with music education from practical, pedagogical, therapeutic, theoretical and historical perspectives.

We seek to nurture undergraduate and postgraduate work on music and social justice in the classroom and our communities. Our students participate in community projects, and put their learning into action in music therapy, community music and music education modules.

Our courses


Learn more about our research, including the work of our Centre for Music Education and Social Justice.

Our research community

Our work cuts across many disciplines. Find out how music research contributes to the work of research centres and institutes across the University.


I am proud to lead such a diverse and wide-ranging department, where performance, composition and scholarship make new and sustainable musical worlds every day.
Head of Department
I’m fascinated by histories of musical culture, and enjoy sharing my passion with our students and learning from their own research.
Professor of Music
I explore music's role in healthcare and inclusive education, collaborating with different partners to build community music initiatives and promote civic engagement.
Programme Lead, MMus

Jobs at Southampton