The Telegraph ranks Top 10 UK universities for Music

Are you a keen music virtuoso who’s looking to further your talent and harmonious expertise? If the answer is yes, there’s no better time than now for you to consider all your options and get ready to apply for September 2017. While prestigious ranking bodies such as Times Higher Education, QS World University Rankings and The Complete University Guide are a great place to start for specific subject rankings, The Telegraph has just published a list of the Top 10 UK universities for music education.

Let’s take a look:


The University of Southampton (UOS) is in the top one percent of universities worldwide, renowned as a global centre for excellence in research and education, and as a founding member of the prestigious Russell Group.

Being among the largest and liveliest music departments in the country, home to some of the best music facilities – such as the recently refurbished Turner Sims Concert Hall– the university provides specialised support for all music students, and consistently achieves rates of student satisfaction well above 90 percent.

The programmes on offer are flexible and diverse – ranging from Hip Hop to Feminist Musicology, from Medieval Polyphony to Music Therapy and many more – allowing students to cater their degree to their specific needs. There is also an option for students to pursue a placement year abroad, allowing them to earn part of their degree at one of UOS’s many partner institutions.


The University of Surrey represents a top 5 UK higher education institution, named ‘Best University for Student Experience’ by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016, and currently ranking fourth in the Guardian University Guide 2016.

“Surrey offers both a three and four year course, the four year course includes a professional training placement year,” The Telegraph notes. “The course is also more structured than most, with first year comprising compulsory modules, which make up much of the other two years as well.

“The course covers musical history back to the 18th century across a variety of genres, along with opportunities for practical work and the possibility of spending one or two semesters abroad, helping students widen their experience,” The Telegraph concludes.


Being ranked University of the Year 2014 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, and consistently displaying an outstanding performance in global university league tables, the University of Birmingham has well and truly carved its name on the global higher education stage.

Birmingham’s music department is recognised as one of the most distinguished in the UK, with a history stretching back to 1905 – when Edward Elgar was appointed as the institution’s first music Professor – Birmingham now leads the field with the latest, cutting-edge developments in the practice and study of music.

The department boasts world-class facilities, with its £16 million Bramnall Music Building development offering students a first-rate learning environment, fully-equipped with the tools they need to master the art and technology of music.


The Royal Holloway is one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities, with 21 academic departments and schools spanning the arts and humanities, sciences, social sciences, management, economics and law.

“The course at Royal Holloway spans not only time but geography as well,” states The Telegraph. “The first year looks at the broad scope of music, allowing students to choose which aspects they are particularly interested in studying in more depth in the second and third years.

“With the option of performance, dissertation, or portfolio of compositions, Royal Holloway does well in catering to a wide range of people with different skills surrounding the subject of music, not just exceptional performers or composers.”



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Bristol, another member of the elite Russell Group, is one of the UK’s most successful universities, ranked within the top 40 higher education institutions in the QS World University Rankings 2015.

Bristol’s Music Department boasts an active research profile with a number of specialist fields, including western liturgical chant, musical politics and cultures of 19th and 20th-century Europe and Russia, contemporary opera, electroacoustics and music from the Middle East, ensuring all students can hone in on their passion, no matter what it may be.

The School’s cutting-edge facilities include an auditorium, recital rooms and recording studios, and a wide variety of on-campus, student-run ensembles allows students to pick up valuable skills from like-minded peers.


King’s College London (KCL) is the fourth-oldest university in the UK, and represents one of the top 20 universities in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings 2015.

“Location is just one of the benefits that makes King’s College’s music course so appealing,” writes The Telegraph. “Situated in the centre of one of the music capitals of the world, students are given the opportunity to take advantage of the myriad of connections to musical institutions, such as the Royal Academy of Music, and other London-based universities.

“With the opportunity to choose all of their modules, students are allowed to explore their musical interests in a city draped in musical history,” The Telegraph concludes.


The University of Cambridge has earned itself a reputation for being one of the world’s leading universities, consistently ranking within the top 5 of global league tables.

The Faculty of Music at Cambridge hosts 17 academic staff, nine affiliated lecturers, around 200 undergraduates and 75 undergraduate students, making it a tight-knit and diverse music community. As a highly-respected centre of excellence, its areas of expertise include medieval and renaissance music, nineteenth-century music, opera, popular music, ethnomusicology, performance studies, composition, and scientific approaches to music.

With its purpose-built University Music School, located at West Road, students have full access to some of the most elite and specialised facilities in the UK. It’s 500-seat Concert Hall houses both professional concerts and student music-making, granting Cambridge music students the unique opportunity to network with some of the most prolific performers in the industry.



It’s a beautiful day on campus. Thanks to @lyd_whitby for the photo of Whitworth Hall. #uom2016 #universityofmanchester #sun

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The University of Manchester is a global institution with a reputation for teaching, research, education and innovation that resonates around the world.

“From the city that produced some of the best British artists of the modern era, you would expect the university to offer a music course of a comparable calibre,” notes The Telegraph. “Although Manchester is most famous for its bands such as ‘Oasis’ and ‘Take That’, the course offers a much wider range of study from just modern musicians.

“The university also combines with the Royal Northern College of Music for students on a four-year joint course. These students work with experts from one of the most renowned music conservatoires in the country, situated just 300-yards from the university.”


Durham University represents a world top 100 university, seeking the highest distinction in research and scholarship, and thoroughly committed to education in a diverse range of fields.

Durham’s Music Department ranks second in the Complete University Guide for 2017, highlighting its recognised prestige in this particular field of study. The Department has internationally recognised research expertise in musicology, theory and analysis, ethnomusicology, music psychology, performance, composition, and music technology, meaning Durham’s music students receive instruction from some of the most respected and experienced professionals in the modern music business.

The Department has a distinguished tradition of scholarship stretching back to the nineteenth century, priding itself on remaining a dynamic centre of creative and intellectual innovation. The passion, artistry and sheer-talent seeping through every aspect of Durham’s music department is something that benefits students long into their career.


The University of Oxford is a leader in the global field of higher education, internationally recognised for excellence in both teaching and research, and representing the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

“The name ‘Oxford University’ promises a first-rate degree in whatever you study there,” writes The Telegraph. “The 800 years of musical history attached to the various colleges, coupled with the faculty being home to one of the largest collections of musical equipment and instruments in the world, and it becomes even less of a surprise that Oxford appears on another top 10.

“Along with the more practical aspects of the course, students are offered research opportunities from the year 800 right up to the modern era, making this one of the most rounded music courses on offer,” The Telegraph concludes.

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