UCAS Code: W300
Typical Entry Requirements
A Level: A*AA
International Baccalaureate: 42 points, with 776 at Higher level
Essential Subjects: A Level/IB Higher Level Music. ABRSM Grade 8 Theory at Merit or above may be accepted as a substitute, along with three other A Levels or equivalent
Applicants offering A Levels are not usually required to obtain an A* specifically in Music, although this is nevertheless encouraged.
Desirable Subjects: No grades or other piano qualifications are required, although it is helpful to have some keyboard proficiency, given that Music students are required to take a course in Tonal Skills during the first year of the Tripos in which practical tests at the keyboard are conducted. Many Music students are exceptionally good in other areas of music, however, and if you do not have advanced keyboard skills that should not deter you from applying.
Submitted Work: Candidates are required to send samples of recent work. Ideally, we would like to see one or more representative essays or other written work (for example, a marked assignment) ideally on a topic related to music, along with harmony/counterpoint exercises and/or original compositions. We understand, however, that some students receive little technical training so may not be able to submit materials in the latter category; in such cases we evaluate candidates on their other skills as well as their general potential.
At-interview Assessment: Two written tests of approximately 45 minutes each. For the first, you will be given a short musicological essay to read, and you will then be invited to answer a number of questions about it. For the second, you will be asked to analyse a piece of music or an excerpt thereof. Your tests may be discussed with you during your interview with the Music team.
Those invited for interview will have one interview with the Director and the Sub-Director of Studies in Music. The aim of the interview, which will last about 40 minutes, is to find out more about your motivation and your aptitude for the course you have chosen. Your at-interview assessments may be discussed with you during your interview.
We conduct our interviews in a friendly and relaxed manner, and we hope you will not feel daunted by the prospect of attending one. Although the interviewers will want to discuss technical issues with you, no special preparation is necessary. You can expect questions about your musical and general educational background, about the history and analysis of music, and about other matters relevant to the study of music.
Individuals or small groups can be shown the music facilities at St John's by prior arrangement; it is also possible to meet a member of the Music team to discuss your application should you wish to do so. Requests should be addressed to the Admissions Office at St John's in the first instance.
Visits to the Faculty of Music can also be arranged; please contact the Faculty Secretary, Faculty of Music, 11 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DP; tel: 01223 761309.