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. This course provides 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.
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.
Our industrial placement scheme gives you the opportunity to gain work experience in an industry relevant to your degree and interests. Our students often describe this industrial experience as an invaluable part of their degree and one which stands them in good stead for their future careers.
The study abroad year enables you to gain insight into the study of music and mathematics at one of our partner universities overseas. Many students have found this to be extremely worthwhile in helping broaden their horizons in terms of learning about a new culture and improving their foreign language skills.
In 2015, the School of Mathematics went through a major refurbishment to provide our students with a variety of new study environments. The School now offers social areas, group study areas, a library and a seminar room, where you can interact with other students, as well as a Research Visitors Centre and a Mathematics Active Learning Lab.
Your time will be divided roughly equally between modules from mathematics and music.
Year 1: In mathematics you will study key topics, including calculus, differential equations and linear algebra, plus you'll have the option to study geometry or probability and statistics. Your studies in music will develop your awareness of the academic research skills necessary to study music at degree level. You'll have optional modules in music from which to choose.
Year 2: You'll study the mathematics of music, vector calculus and music in context, as well as your optional modules that you select. You'll have the freedom to study optional modules from a wide range in both subjects. Your music studies could explore the psychology of listening and performance or interpreting music. In mathematics, modules are available across the major branches of the subject.
Year 3: You'll 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.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
A-level: AAB including music and A in mathematics
We always require at least grade A in A-level mathematics. In all cases, the first grade quoted is the mathematics A-level.
We don't accept general studies or critical thinking but may take account of these at the confirmation stage.
Though most applicants study A-Level Music, we will consider other subjects in lieu of music (especially if not taught at an applicant's school/college) where the applicant is taking at least one essay-based subject at A-Level and has theory (minimum grade 5 ABRSM) and practical (minimum grade 8) music qualifications.
Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.
GCSE: You must also have GCSE english at grade C or above (or equivalent).
A mathematics and music degree can take you down many career paths into some of the highest paid and most satisfying roles in employment. Leeds mathematics graduates are extremely well placed for employment after their degree. The University of Leeds is the 5th most targeted in the UK by graduate recruiters, according to High Fliers' The Graduate Market in 2017 report.
In virtually all areas of life, mathematical skills are highly valued. The numerical, analytical and problem solving skills you will develop, as well as your specialist subject knowledge and your ability to think logically, are highly valued across sectors, including financial services, IT, software design, engineering, and teaching. This course also allows you to develop the transferable skills that employers seek, particularly your communication skills which studying music can help you improve.
Throughout your degree we will make sure that you have the support and opportunity to develop the skills and experience you'll need to make the most of your career choices.
Our industrial placement scheme helps you gain valuable work experience that can help you stand out from the crowd. You could also secure a part-time job that you can feature on your CV through the students' union's Joblink.
Our study abroad scheme allows you to experience another culture and develop life skills, which many employers value. The students' union also provides volunteering opportunities which can help you in your personal development.
We teach problem-solving and high level thinking at all stages of your degree. We also provide modules that are specifically designed to boost your employability. The second year module 'maths at work' engages you in group-based project. At the start of the module, you'll undertake a skills audit, then prepare a CV, research a company for a mock interview, and participate in an interview workshop. Depending on the nature of your specific project, you may produce a report for a client or deliver a piece of software or webpage. Throughout the module, you'll develop team work, communication, and presentation skills.
If you're considering a career in teaching, you can gain experience of working in a local school or college through either our 'music students into schools' or 'mathematics into schools' modules. You'll prepare teaching materials, deliver mathematics or music activities through lessons or a club, and organise a project that shows students how exciting the subject you're teaching can be.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Study abroad and work placements
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
Spending a year living and studying in another country is a unique experience. Unlike the passing tourist, you have the chance to totally immerse yourself in another culture. You will gain unforgettable experiences and memories that you will draw upon in your working and personal life for years to come. In addition to this, the proven ability to live and work in an international context is an asset that many employers actively seek.
On this course, your year abroad adds an additional year to your studies. During your year abroad, you will study mathematics and music at your host institution.
Students who spend a year in Europe through the ERASMUS programme also receive a maintenance grant for their year away and pay a reduced tuition fee for the year abroad.
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.
The industrial placement ('Year in Industry') scheme provides you with the opportunity to experience salaried work before you graduate. Employers actively seek graduates who already have work experience and it can make all the difference in interviews.
On this course, your industrial placement adds an additional year to your studies.
An industrial placement will boost your self-confidence, not only in your chosen subject area, but in the marketplace generally. You will be able to choose from a range of mathematics or music-related organisations in which to work. In previous years, students have worked at many prestigious companies.
During your industrial placement you will have an industrial supervisor from within the company, plus an academic supervisor who will keep in touch throughout your placement.
If you are not sure right now whether or not an industrial placement is right for you, don't worry - you will not have to start applying for placements until the beginning of your second year.
Related coursesMusic BA
Music and Philosophy BA
Mathematical Studies BSc