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Frequently asked questions

1. I haven’t taken A level music but I have ABRSM grade 8 theory; can I still apply to Cambridge?
2. I study music technology instead of music; can I still apply to Cambridge?
3. Do I have to have Grade 5 piano? What if I haven’t studied harmony and counterpoint?
4. Do you provide instrumental tuition?
5. How many practice rooms are there?
6. I’m interested in a Choral or Organ Award, when do I need to apply?
7. I’m interested in an instrumental Award, do I apply for this with my UCAS form?
8. Will I get to perform as part of the course?
9. Which college should I apply for?
10. Will my choice of college affect my chances of getting in?
11. I’m over 21. Does that make a difference?
12. What if I have a disability?

13. Are there any additional costs associated with course?

 

I haven’t taken A level music but I have ABRSM grade 8 theory; can I still apply to Cambridge?
Yes. All colleges will consider an application with Grade 8 theory instead of A level music.

I study music technology instead of music; can I still apply to Cambridge?
Not normally. Because of the nature of our curriculum, we are happy to accept A level Music Technology as a supplement to A level Music, but not as a substitute for it. However, individual colleges assess each application on its merits, and those responsible for admissions are always willing to discuss special circumstances.

Do I have to have Grade 5 piano? What if I haven’t studied harmony and counterpoint?
Our teaching takes account of individual abilities, and for this reason we don’t impose absolute requirements. Some ability to play the piano is helpful, and if you have the option to take A level Harmony and Counterpoint elements we would recommend that you do so. All this will increase your preparedness for our programme but neither is an absolute requirement.

Do you provide instrumental tuition?
Colleges provide support for individual instrumental and vocal lessons, though the level of support can vary from college to college. You should contact the college you are interested in applying to about this. Extra support in the form of bursaries is also sometimes available and instrumental award holders are given extra tuition too.

How many practice rooms are there?
The Faculty doesn’t have designated practice rooms because these facilities are provided by colleges. However, Faculty teaching rooms (including the large recital room and the concert hall) can be booked for individual or group rehearsals when not in use for other purposes.

I’m interested in a Choral or Organ Award, when do I need to apply for this?
The deadline for Choral and Organ Award applications is earlier than the UCAS deadline. All the information about applications and deadlines is given on the Music Awards pages. Applicants also need to submit a UCAS application form by the 15th October deadline.

I’m interested in an instrumental Award, do I apply for this with my UCAS form?
No. Applications for the instrumental awards scheme are dealt with after applications for an academic place have been considered and offers have been made. If you receive an offer and would like to apply you will find application information on the Instrumental Awards pages.

Which college should I apply for?
Choosing a college is primarily a matter of personal preference. You may wish to consider aspects of the colleges such as the number of Music students they admit, their history or location, or the particular facilities they offer. Whichever college you choose, you will still receive the same standard of teaching and support.

Will my choice of college affect my chances of getting in?
Some colleges attract many more applications than others. But the colleges all look for the same basic characteristics in a successful applicant, and there is a pooling system. As a result, when a college can’t accept a strong application, it is passed to another college that can.

Will I get to perform as part of the course?
Yes, if you choose to. You can offer performance as part of your assessment in all three years of the course. However, even if you don’t opt for this, performing can take up a lot of your time here. There is a huge number of music societies and ensembles active in the university, with at least one concert taking place somewhere virtually every night, so you will never be without the opportunity to perform.

I’m over 21. Does that make a difference?
We welcome mature students, and four of the colleges specialise in admitting students like you. The University undergraduate admissions pages have specific information for Mature Students.

What if I have a disability?
Like any other student, you can thrive here. Every effort will be made to provide a suitable and supportive learning environment for you. The Disability Resource Centre (DRC) is an essential first point of contact. They can provide you with advice on the accessibility of colleges in relation to the Music Faculty, and information on the support available to you; they may even be able to put you in touch with a student who has a disability similar to yours, so that you can find out about their experiences here. We recommend that you disclose your disability in your UCAS application so that you can be contacted to arrange any special requirements for interviews.

Are there any additional costs associated with course?
There are no compulsory additional costs for the course beyond a single study score for Analysis in the first year, typically costing in the region of £10.  Students who take performance options are guaranteed financial support for lessons through the Colleges to minimum levels as follows: 1st year - £420; 2nd year - £540; 3rd year - £700.  Music books and scores are available in the libraries in Cambridge (in the Faculty, Colleges, and in the University Library).  Students typically buy a few copies of books and study scores to have to hand when needed.  Purchases depend on the preferences of the individual student and the holdings of individual College libraries but do not normally exceed £100 per annum.  Support for optional purchases is available through book grants provided by individual Colleges.

 

 

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