Music and Mathematics BSc

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
AAB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Mathematics and Music

Links between mathematics and music have been known since the time of Pythagoras. From the vibration of a guitar string and the analysis of a rhythmic pattern to the use of randomness in 20th-century experimental music, mathematics continues to impact music at every level. On this course, you’ll be provided with a thorough grounding in mathematics, music, and the deep connections between them.

Your time will be divided roughly equally between the School of Mathematics and the School of Music. The School of Music is home to internationally recognised scholars and composers, first-class resources, and extensive facilities. It also has a very active performance life, with a free lunchtime concert series and formal collaborations with external organisations such as Opera North. The School of Mathematics has extensive research interests, allowing you the freedom to study modules across statistics, applied mathematics and pure mathematics.

Course highlights

  • Our courses are shaped by our leading research in areas such as probability and financial mathematics, modern applied statistics, and analysis.

  • Access to modern facilities and computing equipment throughout the school, complemented by social areas, communal problem-solving spaces and quiet study rooms

  • Enjoy a programme of performances, concerts and cultural events throughout the year

  • Small tutorial groups to support the teaching, so you get regular feedback from the academic staff helping you solve any problems that you might have with a particular topic.

Specialist facilities

The School of Music has its own purpose-built facilities complete with rehearsal, performance, and practice spaces and lecture theatres. At the heart of the School is the Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, a beautiful performance space with a multi-channel sound system for the live projection of electronic music, comprising a large array of top-of-the-range Genelec loudspeakers. Our entire international concert series programme is free to students.

Enhancing your degree

This course offers you the opportunity to spend a year working in industry or studying at a university abroad, both of which provide valuable experience and help your personal development. Both of these schemes add an additional year to your course, taking the total course length to 4 years.

Course details

On this course, you will study in-depth modules in both subjects side by side, developing an appreciation for the ways mathematics and music complement and interact with one another. Your time will be divided roughly equally between modules from both subjects.

Discovery modules are available in all years of your degree, as long as you are taking enough credits of your own subject for that year.

Year one

During the first year, you will study key mathematics topics, including calculus, differential equations and linear algebra, plus you’ll have the option to study geometry or probability and statistics. In your studies in music, you will choose from options in areas such as composition, performance, music technology, music psychology, music history and theory, and will develop your awareness of the academic research skills necessary to study music at degree level.

Year two

Progressing into the second year, you’ll study the mathematics of music, vector calculus and a musicological topic in an area of staff specialism. You’ll have the freedom to study optional modules from a wide range in both subjects. In music, you could continue to develop your knowledge and understanding in areas continued from level 1, or explore new subjects such as aesthetics or opera in practice. In mathematics, modules are available across the major branches of the subject.

At the end of year two, you will have the opportunity to complete an industrial placement or study abroad, which will extend your degree by 12 months.

Year three

In your final year, you’ll have the chance to undertake a project, which could be focused on mathematics or music. You’ll have a great deal of independence in shaping your studies due to the variety of optional modules available to you, allowing you to specialise in your particular areas of interest.

See examples of recent projects on our Research-based degrees webpage.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Music and Mathematics BSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Calculus and Mathematical Analysis 10
Numbers and Vectors 10
Introductory Linear Algebra 10
Modelling with Differential Equations 10
Music Research Skills 20

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Introduction to Geometry 10
Interest Rates and Cashflow Modelling 15
Probability and Statistics I 10
Understanding Music 20
Composition 20
Sound, Technology, and Music 20

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
The Mathematics of Music 10
Vector Calculus 15

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Towards the Future: Skills in Context 20
Groups and Vector Spaces 15
Rings and Polynomials 10
Logic with Computation 15
Linear Differential Equations and Transforms 15
Numerical Analysis 10
Mathematics into Schools 10
Music, Culture, Politics: the Long Sixties 20
Music and Culture in Late Seventeenth-Century London 20
Ensemble Performance 20
Music in Practice 20
Opera North: Opera in Practice 20

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Mathematics Education 20
Groups and Vector Spaces 15
Introduction to Optimisation 10
Environmental Statistics 10
History of Mathematics 15
Graph Theory 15
Coding Theory 15
Analysing Music 20
Music and Postcolonial Politics 20
Music as Performance: People, Bodies and Instruments 20
Dissertation 40
Editing and Source Studies 20

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

You’ll be taught through lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical classes. You’ll enjoy extensive tutorial support and have freedom in your workload and options.

We offer a variety of welcoming spaces to study and socialise with your fellow students. There’s a café, social and group study areas, a library and a seminar room, as well as a Research Visitors Centre and a Mathematics Active Learning Lab.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.

You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


We use different types of assessment, depending on the modules you choose. You will complete exams and essays, but you may also be assessed through performances, project work, composition portfolios, presentations, concert reviews and recordings.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB including Music and grade A in Mathematics.

Where an A-Level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-Level at the stated grade.

As standard, we expect that you’ll have studied Music to A level or equivalent. However, if you haven’t we may still be able to consider your application providing you have, as a minimum, ABRSM Grade 8 practical qualification and evidence of musical literacy (e.g. Grade 5 music theory or equivalent). You should also have studied A level or equivalent at least one essay-based subject.

GCSE: You must also have GCSE English at grade C (4) or above (or equivalent). We will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.

Other course specific tests:

Extended Project Qualification and International Project Qualification: Whilst we recognise the value of these qualifications and the effort and enthusiasm that applicants put into them, we do not currently include them as part of our offer-making. We do, however, encourage you to provide further information on your project in your personal statement.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Normally only accepted in combination with grade A in A Level Mathematics or equivalent.


BTEC qualifications in relevant disciplines are considered in combination with other qualifications, including grade A in A-level mathematics, or equivalent

Cambridge Pre-U

D3/M1/M1 or D2/M1/M2, including Music, and where the first grade quoted is in Mathematics.

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall with 17 at Higher Level including 6 in Higher Level Mathematics (Mathematics: Analytics and Approaches is preferred).

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H1 in Mathematics, H2 grades in three other subjects including Music, and H3 grades in two further subject in your Irish Leaving Certificate. If you have not taken Music at Higher Level (especially if it isn't taught at your school or college), you should have at least one essay-based subject, as well as a minimum ABRSM Grade 5 music theory and Grade 8 practical qualifications.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Suitable combinations of Scottish Higher and Advanced Highers are acceptable. A typical offer is AAABB including Advanced Higher Music and grade A in Advanced Higher Mathematics. If you have not taken Music (especially if it isn’t taught at your school or college), you should have at least one essay-based subject, as well as a minimum ABRSM Grade 5 music theory and Grade 8 practical qualifications.

Other Qualifications

We also welcome applications from students on the Northern Consortium UK International Foundation Year programme, the University of Leeds International Foundation Year, and other foundation years with a high mathematical content.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: ABC including A in Mathematics, B in Music, and C in a third A-level, plus successful completion of Access to Leeds scheme.

If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year. We offer a Studies in Science with a Foundation Year BSc for students without a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £24,750 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Scholarships are available.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

We may consider applications submitted after the deadline. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed on UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.

Read our guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Offer Holder events

Suitable applicants will be invited to an Offer Holder event which is not mandatory, but for which we strongly encourage attendance, as this gives you the opportunity to meet our staff and students, explore the School and University and find out more about your course.

After you apply we will send you a link to book your place on the Offer Holder event, but please let us know as soon as possible if you cannot attend, so your place can be allocated to another applicant.

If you have non-standard qualifications, or when there is no evidence of recent mathematical study, a 30-minute interview and/or a 90-minute test covering the core A-level Mathematics syllabus may be part of the selection procedure. This is to ensure that the course is suitable for you and that your current studies have prepared you for the curriculum at Leeds. If you are unable to attend, a telephone or Skype interview may be arranged. For further information, read our admissions policy.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Music

Contact us

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Admissions


Career opportunities

The study of Music will allow you to develop a wide range of subject knowledge and skills; you’ll also gain transferable skills which are very attractive to employers. You’ll be a good communicator who is able to collaborate and work well in a team, but you’ll also be confident working independently. You’ll have the chance to develop analytical, research and organisational skills. Likewise, mathematical skills such as logical thinking and the numerical, analytical and problem-solving abilities you will develop are highly valued in virtually all areas of life.

Graduates from the School of Music have gone on to succeed in fields such as composing (eg films such as Shaun the Sheep), performing (one of our graduates is part of Grammy award-winning group Snarky Puppy), arts administration and education. Others work in business, media, management, law, music therapy and psychology, and the specific skillset developed through this course may also open up sectors such as financial services, IT, software design and teaching.

Many of our graduates progress to postgraduate study either at Leeds or elsewhere. We run a series of careers events every year in collaboration with the University’s Careers Centre to help you explore your options.

Careers support

At Leeds we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.

You will be supported throughout your studies by our dedicated Employability team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.

You will also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country. Visit our Careers and employability page to find out more.

There are also plenty of exciting ways you can volunteer during your time at Leeds. Find out more at the Leeds University Union website.

Study abroad and work placements

During your second year you’ll be able to apply to transfer to our BSc Maths and Music (International) programme. This allows you to extend your degree by a year and spend your third year studying at one of our many partner universities worldwide.

It’s a great opportunity to enhance your CV and gain a new perspective on your studies, as well as deepening your cultural awareness through more varied experience. In addition to being a highlight of your degree, it can give you real confidence in a competitive job market.

Find out more about studying abroad.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

An industrial placement year is a great way to help you decide what kind of career you might like when you graduate. As well as giving you the opportunity to develop your skills, you’ll gain a real insight into working life in a particular company or sector.

It’s a great opportunity to gain valuable experience and contacts – and some students go on to work for their placement companies after they graduate.

Placement opportunities have included work with major music organisations such as Warner Music, English National Opera, and the Leeds International Concert Season, but you can also explore placements such as music therapy, education, orchestral or band management, in the UK or abroad.

In recent years students have taken placements in organisations such as Faber Music, Grand Union Orchestra, and Scottish Opera.