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Course Overview

Our undergraduate course is designed to introduce you not just to a broad range of the world’s greatest music, but also to a wide variety of ways of thinking about and understanding music. In your first year you’ll receive an important foundation for the later stages of your course, giving you a thorough grounding in the techniques and history of the Western musical tradition.

Students reading Music are supervised singly or in small groups by the Director of Studies in Music and his colleagues, according to their subject specialism. These weekly sessions are designed to support and complement the instruction offered by the Music Faculty, which provides a wide range of lectures together with some practical classes in Aural.

As you progress through the course, you have increasing freedom to specialise in different kinds of music or approaches to it, ranging from medieval music to the blues, and from advanced analysis to the science of music. Though the course has a strong academic component, you can take performance and composition as a part of it, and there are many opportunities to work on your own specialised projects under expert staff direction in almost any area.

Find out more about the course here.

The Benefits of Music at Fitzwilliam College

The College has five members of music staff, excellent performance and practice facilities, and the largest college music library in Cambridge.

Fitzwilliam provides a wide range of opportunities for instrumentalists and singers of all varieties and interests. The College Music Society organises frequent concerts, which take place in the outstanding 240-seat Auditorium (which houses a Steinway grand piano, a three-manual digital organ, a two-manual Goble harpsichord and a harmonium), or in the Chapel, where there is a fine two-manual Peter Collins organ and a Bechstein grand piano.

The College offers numerous music scholarships, including organ, piano, piano accompaniment, strings, saxophone, voice and conducting, and all music Scholars are members of the Music Society Committee.

The most prominent ensemble in the College's musical life is the Chapel Choir, which performs both at weekly Chapel services and at other functions. Other Fitzwilliam ensembles include the long-established Fitz Barbershop (men) and Sirens (women) vocal ensembles, the CU 'Fitz' Swing Band and a number of rock bands. There is also a strong tradition of music theatre in the College: Fitzwilliam Chamber Opera (founded 2007) is Cambridge's only permanent college-based opera company, and has given productions of Purcell, Handel and Mozart, as well as a number of new music world premieres. Fitzwilliam’s practice facilities are among the best in the University, including a band room and four dedicated music practice rooms, with a further pianos and harpsichords available in other spaces.

The musical life of Fitzwilliam is enriched by friendly co-operation with the music societies of the other 'Hill' Colleges, with whom we share the intercollegiate Orchestra on the Hill.

Facts and Figures

Average intake each year: 2-3

Typical A Level offer: A*AA

Typical IB offer: 40 – 42 points with 776 at Higher Level

We may modify offers to take account of individual circumstances.

Essential subjects: A Level/IB Higher Level Music (ABRSM Grade 8 Theory may be accepted instead of A Level, or equivalent, Music)

Application Process

Applicants are required to submit two pieces of recent written work as part of their application.

Director of Studies

Mr Francis Knights

Headshot of Mr Francis Knights

Find Out More

Every year, the College runs an Arts and Humanities Taster Day for Year 12 (England and Wales), S5 (Scotland), Year 13 (Northern Ireland) or equivalent students. More information will be available in the autumn.

If you want to find out about our open days or visiting the College, see here.