Guildhall School of Music and Drama Bmus

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Guildhall School of Music and Drama Bmus

Guildhall School of Music and Drama Bmus

Bachelor of Music Honours degree

Strings | Wind | Brass | Percussion | Keyboard | Vocal Studies | Composition | Electronic Music | Jazz | Early Instruments

Introduction to the programme

  • Four years full-time
  • 636 applications / 104 places*

*2015/16 data for indicative purposes only

Useful links

About the BMus programme

The BMus programme is centred around world-leading one-to-one tuition for performers, composers and electronic musicians. Its principal aim is to develop your ability as a practical musician.

At least two-thirds of the programme is focused on students’ Principal Study areas promoting personal and artistic development by providing at least 30 individual lessons a year with our renowned professorial staff. The programme also offers over 100 hours of additional lessons, including practical classes, chamber coaching, workshops and projects with high-profile conductors and artists, and opportunities to perform in some of the country’s finest venues.

From the start of the programme, you will be treated like a professional musician. Our students are given all the support and encouragement they need to prepare for life in the industry. They also get the chance to establish contacts and gain exposure via our partnerships with organisations such as the Barbican, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Academy of Ancient Music.

As you learn to work effectively and creatively with others, you will also be given plenty of time for individual study and reflection.

See our Principal Study pages for further information on instrument-specific tuition and performance opportunities. A Joint Principal Study pathway is available if you want to combine two areas of Principal Study.

The BMus course structure

Years 1 and 2

In addition to Principal Study and tutorial groups, students follow a small number of Academic Studies and Creative Learning electives. These will give you the essential building blocks you need as a musician, including analysis, aural and collaborative skills, harmony, history, jazz workshop and keyboard musicianship. In Year 1, you will also take a module in Professional Studies, which explores broader topics such as performance psychology, health and wellbeing, as well as improvisation and communication skills. And in Year 2, you will follow a module in conducting.

Years 3 and 4

In years 3 and 4, Principal Study continues to be the main focus. But now students can choose from over 20 electives from Academic Studies and Creative Learning (see below) to complete your studies. Those who achieve high-level results in Principal Study can take Advanced Principal Study and Advanced Ensemble to pursue their performance practice to an even greater degree.

Short Term Programme

We also have an undergraduate-level Short Term Programme, for those on a gap year or looking for study abroad. Running from September to February each year, the programme provides six months of intensive music tuition as a Guildhall School student, focused on Principal Study tuition and musicianship skills.

Principal Study

Principal Study and performance lie at the core of the learning experience at the Guildhall School.

Principal Study is available in:

Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophone

Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba


Guitar, Harp, Lute, Viols 


Piano, Fortepiano, Harpsichord

Early Instruments


Electronic Music

Jazz:  Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Piano, Guitar, Bass Guitar/Double Bass, Drums, Voice

Other instruments by negotiation.

Elective modules

(some available in Year 4 only):

  • Advanced aural
  • Advanced ensemble
  • Advanced keyboard musicianship
  • Advanced Kodaly musicianship
  • Advanced Principal Study
  • Adventures in neglected repertoire
  • Analysis
  • Body matters
  • Brass and wind arranging
  • Composition for media
  • Conducting
  • Counterpoint
  • Dramatised song and poetry
  • Electronic studio techniques
  • Historical Performance: principles and research
  • Interpretation through improvisation
  • Introduction to fugue
  • Introduction to music therapy
  • Jazz arranging
  • Jazz performance
  • Music administration
  • Music, philosophy and the arts
  • Opera and theatre
  • Orchestration
  • Personal research project
  • PianoWorks
  • Second study
  • Stylistic composition
  • Workshop skills