Reasons to choose the programme

An extraordinary place to study music: Edinburgh has a vibrant and inspirational music and arts scene. It's home to the world’s largest arts festival, and a world-class orchestra.
A unique combination of tradition and innovation: We put core musical skills at the heart of our work. We also seek to develop an innovative approach to contemporary musical practice.
Ranked among the best: The Reid School of Music is currently the Guardian University League Table’s top-placed institution in Scotland for the undergraduate study of music.
Access to leading creative thinkers: Our staff are world leaders in a wide range of musical areas.
Our four-year degree structure means that you will have the opportunity to gain an in-depth education in core music skills, before going on to tailor a study programme to suit your own interests.

Dee Isaacs talks about the programme
Edinburgh College of Art

You will engage primarily in the creative and expressive aspects of music developing your performance, composition, and musicianship skills, while also exploring the historical, social, cultural and psychological contexts of music.  


If you wish to combine practical musicianship with academic studies in music this is the degree for you.

On the BMus you will engage primarily in the creative and expressive aspects of music developing your performance, composition, and musicianship skills, while also exploring the historical, social, cultural and psychological contexts of music.

This degree will give you a broad base of specialist and transferable skills to enable a wide range of careers; developing your musical passions, as well as providing a foundation in analytical thinking, problem solving, leadership and presentation, co-operation and communication.

In first and second year, you will take courses in composition, performance, keyboard skills, historical studies, and music psychology that will advance both your practical musicianship and your academic understanding of music.

In third and fourth years, you will have the freedom to choose your pathway from a diverse range of courses including performance, musicology, composition, music psychology, film music, music in the community, music analysis, acoustics, options in Scottish traditional music, and a range of music history courses. In your fourth and final year, you undertake at least one significant course of independent supervised study: performance, dissertation, portfolio of compositions, edition, or creative practice music project. You will receive a bursary for vocal and/or instrumental tuition.


The skills that you will acquire on the BMus will equip you for a wide range of careers, both in the arts and in other areas. Many of our students undertake advanced study in performance, teaching or research. Our alumni include composers such as James MacMillan, Rebecca Saunders and Max Richter. Recent graduates have also gone on to successful careers in journalism, the culture industries, music therapy, and librarianship. Matt Peacock, for example, founded the Streetwise Opera charity and was made an MBE for services to music and homelessness in 2011.

How to apply and entrance requirements

If you'd like to study on an undergraduate programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh website, where you'll also be able to

  • see detailed entrance requirements for each programme on the Degree Finder
  • get information on what to expect after you apply
  • find out about fees
  • find out where to go for further advice and guidance

Take me to the University of Edinburgh website on how to apply for undergraduate study 

Email the Undergraduate Admissions Office:


Dee Isaacs



Tel: +44 (0)131 651 4097

Facilities and resources

Six purpose-built, acoustically-treated music studios, with tie-lines to a shared recording space.

Recording equipment is available to students through BookIt, the online booking system.

A huge variety of choirs, dance societies, musical theatre and film groups, orchestras, bands and world music groups.

On occasion the Reid School of Music loans audio equipment to outside organisations.

Seventeen practice rooms equipped with pianos, ideal for students requiring a private place for music practice.

Students have access to a variety of resources as well as several dedicated collections of musical instruments.

Information on the equipment available to students in the music studios and editing suites.

A 218-seat Victorian venue built in 1859. Used for regular orchestral and choral rehearsals and performances.

Located beneath Reid Concert Hall, this studio is built to record live performances in the venue.

Studio equipment and software tailored for music students to be able to record, edit, and experiment with their work.

The oldest purpose-built concert hall in Scotland, home to one of the most important historic musical instrument collections in the world.

Scholarships and bursaries

Access Awards

  • Deadline: Various deadlines
  • Eligibility: Based on criteria such as income, background and personal circumstances, and in some cases geographical area.

Eileen Cameron Music Prize

  • Deadline: No deadline: Awarded by nomination
  • Eligibility: Awarded to the final year student who has made the most outstanding contribution to the musical life of the faculty, the University of Edinburgh, or of the wider Edinburgh community.

Frederick Niecks Essay Prize

  • Value: Amount variable
  • Deadline: No deadline: Awarded by nomination
  • Eligibility: Open to any full-time undergraduate student in the Reid School of Music. Awarded to the best dissertation.

Gwen Clutterbuck & Leighton Scholarship

  • Value: £100 - £1000
  • Deadline: 19 Dec 2016 and 5 May 2017
  • Eligibility: Awarded to Music graduates, Music undergraduates who have passed the first examination, or for the BMus students for the purpose of travel and study abroad.

Hollins Organ Scholarship

  • Value: In the region of £500
  • Deadline:
  • Eligibility: Open for award annually to matriculated students in Music. Preference will be given to an organist preparing for the diplomas of Associateship and Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists.

Ian Pitt Memorial Prize

  • Deadline: No deadline: Awarded by nomination
  • Eligibility: Intended to commemorate the life and work of Ian Pitt-Watson (MA 1947, BD 1950) and awarded to an undergraduate who, as a member of Edinburgh University Musical Society, demonstrates an aptitude in the development and conducting of a choral ensemble.

J.S. Anderson Organ prize

  • Value: £1,000
  • Deadline:
  • Eligibility: For current full-time music students. Students wishing to enter the competition must present a programme of organ music lasting 35-40 minutes.

James Smart Memorial Organ Scholarship

  • Value: £1,000
  • Deadline:
  • Eligibility: Awarded to the 2nd year Undergraduate in Music who shows the greatest promise and all-round ability in organ/piano performance.

Janet Buckley Memorial Prize

  • Deadline: No deadline: Awarded by nomination
  • Eligibility: Award for final year Music student dealing with 'Early Music before 1750'.

John Robert Mackey Scholarship

  • Value: £500 per annum
  • Deadline:
  • Eligibility: Awarded on the basis of a competition to the first year undergraduate Music or Music Technology student who shows all-round excellence in piano performance.

Mrs Guthrie Watson Scholarship

  • Deadline: Closed on 30 May 2016
  • Eligibility: Awarded to the first year undergraduate in Music who achieves the best all-round academic performance in the May examinations.

Sir Thomas Beecham Scholarship

  • Deadline: Closed on 30 May 2016
  • Eligibility: Awarded annually, on the basis of the results of the end of year performance examinations, to the first year undergraduate in music who shows the greatest promise in instrumental performance (not including pianists and singers).

Sir Tovey Memorial Prize

  • Deadline:
  • Eligibility: Awarded annually on the basis of a competition to the undergraduate student in Music who shows the greatest promise in composition or in instrumental/vocal performance.


College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Office

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 3565