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The University of Southampton
MusicPart of Humanities

Careers & Employability

Southampton graduates are outstandingly successful in a diverse array of fields both within and outside music. In the 2016/17 DHLE survey 100% of Southampton Music students were either in employment or further study 6 months after graduation

Careers in Music

A music degree ensures you will leave university with the skills to compete in the job market. Your degree is not solely about learning how to play an instrument or researching a prolific musician – music is at the forefront of changing cultures, changing trends and evolving societies. Music students at Southampton develop valuable transferable skills in research, analysis, communication, time and project management, alongside attributes such as determination and confidence.

Music is an essential component of technology and media – in video games, film and TV, apps and websites, recording and production, and performance. Advances in these fields have resulted in an evolving workplace for musicians, and experts say that over the next ten years, jobs in art, music, culture and entertainment will grow twice as fast as jobs in engineering. In such a multi-dimensional and diverse field, there are many career options open to music graduates.

Our students have chosen a wide range of careers, including teaching, music therapy, venue/artist management, marketing, music administration, performance, composition, recording industry, production, sales and retail, consultancy, and further education (including PhDs and MMus qualifications).

Our student profile page includes some of our recent graduates who are now working in a diverse array of fields

Through our Careers and Employability service, students are given guidance and support throughout their studies and including post-studies for up to three years after graduation.

Employability during your studies

We understand that Music is a competitive industry. We also understand that it might seem daunting to pursue a career outside of Music with a Music degree. For these reasons we've created a 'The Profession of Music' module, a practical course which has been specifically created to detail the wide variety of jobs available to Music graduates, how to enter them and what kind of experience you'll need.

We offer many other ways for you to develop your employability alongside your degree programme. Paid internships at the Turner Sims concert hall and in conjunction with the Department of Music’s Showcase initiative provide opportunities to develop arts administration skills, and the university’s Ambassador scheme furnishes school placements. Performing societies such as the university orchestra, Jazzmanix, or the Rock and Metal Music Society provide further outlets for creativity, and many music students take administrative or artistic leadership roles that help develop valuable skills such as team working and fundraising. You may want to gain work experience in a field unrelated to music, and the university's Excel placement scheme provides 4–12 week placements over Easter and summer.

Performance opportunities in the department, from workshops to lecture demonstrations, and concerts in the Turner Sims and other local venues help you to develop your professional performance skills and portfolio: 


Employability Events

Our careers service, Career Destinations, offers an extensive calendar of events to support our students in finding placements and graduate work. An in-house team of graduate recruiters and specialist careers advisers enable us to run a variety of activities from careers fairs, to business simulation workshops and mock interviews.

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities has its own ‘Mission Employable’ initiatives, which include an Employability module, HUMA1036, for all first-year students in the Faculty. There is also a Peer Mentoring Scheme run by our students, a VIP Alumni Scheme, and an External Advisory Board to encourage employers to become more involved with Humanities students while they are still in education.

The Music Department runs employability events specifically tailored to careers in music. Representatives of various industries and businesses attend – such as Carnival Cruises, film and TV composition, performance – to talk to students about potential avenues for future employment.



Photo of Josh Sneesby
From leading James Corden’s vocal warm ups, to maintaining an open sound when performing eight shows a week in the West End, I use the skills I developed in my degree every day.
Josh SneesbyBA Music
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