Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Schools
  3. School of Arts and Cultures
  4. Music
  5. Study with Us
  6. Undergraduate Qualifications

Undergraduate Qualifications

undergraduate module image

The Open University provides a wide range of opportunities to study music at undergraduate levels. Students studying music modules may be working towards a variety of qualifications, from the credit for passing a single course, up to a full degree within the BA (Honours) Music (R25) or BA (Honours) Arts and Humanities (R14) degree schemes. Follow this link for an overview of undergraduate qualifications which include Music.

Undergraduate Music Modules

  • A224 Inside Music

    This module focuses on understanding the principles of music, and the development of skills to put them into practice. It includes analysis of musical works and practical songwriting exercises as a means of learning about how music works. Song writing tasks are carried out using music notation software, which is provided to all students registered on the module. This course equips students with the musical skills required to study music at third level.

    A224 assumes basic music literacy– knowledge of pitches, rhythms, staves, key signatures etc. The level of music theory needed to start the course is roughly equivalent to Associated Board Grade 3, but students need to be aware that the material progresses beyond this level very quickly. Students who have taken TA212 The Technology of Music will have already learned the music-reading skills needed to start A224. Online preparatory material – An Introduction to Music Theory – is available, free of charge, on OpenLearn and it is strongly recommended to students progressing from AA100 and A105.

    This video features lecturer Robert Samuels in conversation with Karen Foley about studying music with the OU and focuses especially on Inside Music.

  • A232 Music, Sound and Technology (from September 2018)

    This module will explore the nature of musical sound and the way that technology can be used by the creative musician. You will be introduced to the skills needed for making recordings, and the module resources include software packages for analysing and editing recorded sound. You will study how the physics of sound underlie musical experience, and the acoustic properties of different instruments. The module aims to deepen your understanding of the nature of sound and to equip you better as a musician, whatever your background and musical interests.

  • A342 Central Questions in the Study of Music

    What does music mean? What does it do? These are the queries at the heart of A342, Central questions in the study of music. The module explores how music communicates meaning, and how it reflects and responds to its social circumstances, considering a wide array of pieces, practices, performances and ideas, and ranging across several historical eras and cultural contexts. A342 also offers an opportunity to engage with a number of fascinating areas of musical study, including film music, the practice of recording, creative approaches to music notation, and the history of western music.

  • The Practice of Music Making

    This Certificate, offered by Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in collaboration with the Music Department, is aimed at practising musicians engaged in degree-level study of music. Students may be active in any genre of music, and there is no specific level of technical attainment required to register. Students examine their own and other musical practices, methods of developing and improving technical and practical skills, and the cultural place and value of different performance contexts. The Certificate includes a residential school.

Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Modules with Music Components

Interdisciplinary modules including musical components do not assume prior musical knowledge, but make excellent choices to complement the modules specific to the Music Department. There is a significant music component in the following interdisciplinary modules:

  • AA100 The arts past and present includes units on the diva (looking at Madonna, Maria Callas, and the Concerto delle donne of Ferrara), Shostakovich (examining some of his chamber music), Victorian seaside music, and The Beach Boys and The Who.
  • A105 Voices, texts and material culture This module includes a range of musical topics including canons (focussing on Beethoven, Dvorak and John Adams), protest music, hymns, folk songs, and music in Victorian Manchester.

Request your prospectus

Request a prospectus icon

Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.

Request prospectus

Are you already an OU student?

Go to StudentHome