The University of Southampton
EnglishPart of Humanities

QW33 BA English and Music (3 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

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.


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.

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

Innovation modules outside of your subject area

Learn a language

Year 1

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.

Students should choose up to four modules in each subject.


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)

ENGL2005Credit: 30
ENGL2012Credit: 15
ENGL2027Credit: 15
ENGL2051Credit: 30
ENGL2094Credit: 15
FILM2019Credit: 15
MUSI2011Credit: 15
MUSI2020Credit: 15
MUSI2093Credit: 15
MUSI2095Credit: 15
MUSI2114Credit: 15
MUSI2129Credit: 15
Semester Two

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

ENGL2001Credit: 15
ENGL2052Credit: 15
ENGL2061Credit: 30
ENGL2078Credit: 15
ENGL2079Credit: 30
ENGL2085Credit: 15
ENGL2089Credit: 30
ENGL2096Credit: 15
ENGL2097Credit: 15
PHIL2001Credit: 15
MUSI2011Credit: 15
MUSI2015Credit: 15
MUSI2024Credit: 15
MUSI2092Credit: 15
MUSI2123Credit: 15
MUSI2128Credit: 15

Year 3

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.

ENGLISH: If you wish to do an English dissertation (ENGL3016) 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 One

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

ENGL3003Credit: 30
ENGL3004Credit: 30
ENGL3015Credit: 15
ENGL3053Credit: 15
ENGL3056Credit: 30
GERM3016Credit: 15
ENGL2012Credit: 15
MUSI3003Credit: 30
MUSI3011Credit: 15
MUSI3012Credit: 15
MUSI3017Credit: 30
MUSI3019Credit: 15
MUSI3021Credit: 30
MUSI3100Credit: 15
MUSI3103Credit: 15
MUSI3120Credit: 15
MUSI3135Credit: 15
HUMA3015Credit: 15
Semester Two

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

ENGL3007Credit: 30
ENGL3044Credit: 30
ENGL3049Credit: 15
FILM3006Credit: 15
MUSI3003Credit: 30
MUSI3011Credit: 15
MUSI3012Credit: 15
MUSI3017Credit: 30
MUSI3021Credit: 30
MUSI3101Credit: 15
MUSI3128Credit: 15
MUSI3134Credit: 15

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

NameYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
BA English and Music2018Full-time£9,250£21,578
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.

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

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. £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.
OtherVocal and Instrumental Lessons. Specialist vocal and instrumental tuition for single and joint honors Music students taking performance modules is generally provided free at the point of delivery. When lessons happen away from Highfield Campus students are expected to cover the cost of travel to and from their lessons. Students are expected to cover the cost of travel to and from off-campus rehearsal, performance and music examination venues. Most of those we use are within walking distance of Highfield Campus. Students taking instrumental lessons are expected to own and maintain their own instruments, maintenance including the cost of repairs and of replacement parts (new strings, drumheads etc.). Students are strongly advised to arrange insurance for their instruments, covering all the usual risks including theft from places of residence and from university storerooms. Storage space for instruments is available in Music Department storerooms. Dozens of students have access to them: it is not possible to guarantee security. The university will accept no responsibility for loss or damage to instruments left in storerooms. Students taking performance modules will be given keys to practice rooms and storerooms. Keys must be returned on or before graduation day. Students will be charged £10.00 per replacement key in the event of loss. Jazz and pop students must buy and use their own ear protectors if asked to do so by a teacher. Hartley Library holds a very large collection of sheet music which students can borrow free of charge. Students who want or are advised by teachers to buy their own music, perhaps in order to mark it up, will be expected to cover the cost themselves. The Music Department has a large collection of keyboard instruments to which keyboard students are allowed free access. It owns a number of other instruments (piccolo trumpet, bass sax, basset horn etc.) which students can borrow on their teacher's recommendation. We do not charge for the use of them but do recommend that students make private insurance arrangements when taking them off campus, especially on tour. If not returned intact they must be replaced like for like at the student's expense or at their insurer's. Students may wish to hire professional accompanists to play with them in performance exams. Accompanists charge varying levels of fee (rarely more than £60.00 per exam accompaniment, including prior rehearsal) and students are expected to pay the fees themselves. Turner Sims -- the university concert hall -- makes 10 tickets for each of its own-promoted concerts available free of charge to Music on a first come, first served basis. (There are very rare exceptions: gala concerts intended to raise funds for Turner Sims for instance.) Monday and Friday lunchtime concerts in Turner Sims organised by the Music Department are free of charge both to Music students and to the wider public. External promoters hiring Turner Sims can charge what they like for admission to concerts. Student-run performing arts societies such as the University of Southampton Symphony Orchestra, JazzManix and Showstoppers (there are many others which Music students might like to join) are free to set their own membership subscriptions. The Music Department does not contribute directly towards the cost of running these societies. ACADEMIC MODULES Very few Music lecturers insist that students purchase specific set texts. Copies of set texts are made available in Hartley Library, if necessary in the reference-only "course collection" or on short-term loan. Students may wish to own copies of recommended books but are free to choose which to buy and which to borrow. Some lecturers prepare course handbooks for the modules they are teaching. These are generally made available free of charge to students taking the modules. For unusually bulky handbooks there may be a charge to pay -- never more than £10.00 per copy. Music software packages are available for licensed use at designated university computer workstations free of charge to Music students. Students who wish to install compatible software on their own computers will have to cover the cost themselves. Students using the university's Follow Me print service will be charged per page printed out, at rates listed here: Field trips are infrequent and almost always optional. When occasionally they do happen students involved may be expected to cover travel costs and to pay for admission to the venue(s) visited. Staff organizing trips make every effort to keep costs to a minimum, negotiating group and student discounts whenever possible. No one trip is likely to cost more than £20 total.

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

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

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Proportion of time spent in scheduled learning, teaching and independent study
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Scheduled learning & teaching study14%15%13%
Independent study86%85%87%
Placement study0%0%0%
Proportion of assessment by method
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Written exam assessment6%25%0%
Practical exam assessment31%13%4%
Coursework assessment63%62%96%

Study Locations

Avenue campus

Avenue campus

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

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