The BA in Music is a wide-ranging course designed to develop a broad knowledge of music in historical, social, ideological, philosophical, practical, and technical contexts from the Western world and beyond, and from the Middle Ages to the present.
The historical and scholarly breadth of the Oxford Music degree is world-leading, and will help you develop the power of your intellect. Many music students are also excellent performers and/or aspiring composers, and both composition and performance can be chosen as part of the degree course, or they can be pursued purely for pleasure in the extremely lively, diverse, and high-quality musical life of Oxford, both town and gown. The Faculty of Music offers money towards the cost of performance lessons. The course provides excellent preparation for further studies, employment, and a life enriched by musical knowledge. There is more information on the Music Faculty website.
Applying to St Hugh’s
St Hugh’s admits four undergraduates a year to read Music. Successful candidates come from all kinds of schools, countries, and backgrounds but share a passion for music and a hunger for open-minded intellectual enquiry.
There are more details of what to expect from your St Hugh’s interview and links to further information from the Faculty of Music and the University on Professor Leach’s website.
How we teach you at St Hugh’s
You will attend lectures in the Faculty of Music and your College tutorials—small groups of one to six students—will be organized by Professor Elizabeth Eva Leach. You will be taught together with the students from Exeter College, which Professor Leach also oversees. Some of your tutorials will also be taught by Professor Leach, but to ensure that you are always taught by subject-specific experts at the highest level, given the breadth of the course tutes will be arranged with around a dozen additional lecturers and tutors from other Colleges each year.
Musical life and opportunities at St Hugh’s
St Hugh’s has the considerable advantage of offering accommodation on site for all three years of the Music course. Undergraduates reading Music are provided with a piano or electronic keyboard in their rooms; there are also two grand pianos, a Steinway and a Blüthner, and a harpsichord for general use. An organ scholarship and the Anna Haxworth Prize, an award given to the best musical performer among first-year students, are offered each year; neither is restricted to Music students. The Chapel has a non-auditioning choir that is open to all students. In addition, many St Hugh’s Music students perform in the choirs and orchestras of the University and its other Colleges.
Music students pursue a wide range of careers that can include performing, teaching, and further study. The Oxford Music degree requires the development of core Humanities skills in reading, writing, and critical thinking, making it also a fine preparation for law, banking, the civil service, arts administration, broadcasting, and politics.