Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Physics and Music (BSc)

  • FW33

3 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

At Cardiff we offer a unique degree programme designed to meet the needs of an increasing number of students who combine music with science subjects at A-level and who wish to continue this combination through to degree level. It is run jointly by the School of Music and the School of Physics and Astronomy. The programme involves a substantial element of music in all three years but is biased towards the science side and leads to a BSc Honours degree.

Physics and Music

The links between music and physics are especially close at Cardiff, where for more than 30 years there have been strong research interests in the physics of musical instruments and involvement in electronic and computer music systems. Both schools have well-equipped electronic music studios, where much of the course experimental and composition work takes place.

Both the schools lie close to Cardiff’s civic centre – one of the finest in Europe. Few cities are better equipped than Cardiff to offer students a wide range of musical experience to back up their formal university education. St David’s Hall and the Wales Millennium Centre are two of the finest concert halls in Europe and features regular performances by local orchestras such as BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Welsh National Opera and are host to many national and international orchestras and renowned solo artists. The School of Music itself has a regular concert programme and the Sherman Theatre, Chapter Arts Centre, and the Motorpoint Arena provide further opportunities to experience both traditional and alternative artistic presentations.

Key Facts

UCAS Code FW33
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Accreditation Institute of Physics
Typical places available The School admits 120 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes
Typical applications received 550-600
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAA-ABB
Admissions Tutors

Dr Chris North, PHYSX

Dr Keith Chapin, MUSIC

Tel Number 029 2087 0537
Email address
School website

The BSc Physics and Music degree programme is designed to give a broad-based education in theoretical and experimental physics combined with knowledge of the practical and theoretical aspects of music. This programme of study will allow you to combine one third Music (40 credits) with two thirds Physics (80 credits) in each year of the programme.

You will cover the core Mathematics and Physics material throughout the three years of study. Most of the modules in Physics are prescribed, but in Music you have considerable choice from such areas as composition, performance, theory and analysis, ethnomusicology and music history. There is special tuition in studio techniques as well as the acoustical aspects of music and musical instruments. In addition there are practical sessions in Music and Physics and you are expected to take part in musicmaking.

In Physics, core knowledge and understanding is acquired via lectures, exercise classes, experimental laboratory classes, computing classes, tutorials and guided study. The first two years of the programme are designed to cover carefully chosen core material. These two years prepare students for their final year of study, which encompasses a wide range of contemporary subject material, some of which reflects research interests in the School. Throughout the delivery of the programme, wherever possible, recent research results are used to illustrate and illuminate the subject.

Tuition in Music involves a range of learning and teaching styles, including (but not limited to) lectures, small-group seminars and workshops, individual tutorials or solo instrumental tuition, ensemble instrumental tuition and practical rehearsals, and independent study. Supplementary resources are available through various channels, including Learning Central (the university’s Virtual Learning Environment) and from commercially available software for which the School holds licences. While students take fewer modules in Music, they have a greater choice, and can therefore opt for a greater focus on music theory, music history, composition or performance.

Typical A-level Offer

AAA-ABB, including Music, Physics and Mathematics

Consideration will be given to applicants who are not taking A-level Music but have Grade 8 Theory and Grade 8 Practical. Mathematics and Physics are required subjects at A-level.

Typical WBQ Offer  Not accepted as requires three compulsory subjects at A-level
Typical Int Bacc Offer  32 points, including 6 at Higher Level Music

Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here

Please find here further information about admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme.

A list of commonly accepted alternative entry qualifications and admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be read <here.

This programme gives students a sound training in Physics and Music in preparation for a wide variety of employment, including work in sound engineering, acoustics, the media (including composition for film/TV), the technical aspects of music and music theatre, industrial or academic research and development, education, and diverse areas requiring a pragmatic, numerate and analytical approach to problem solving, such as business and finance.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Keith Chapin (Music) 

Telephone: 029 208 70925 

Fax: Fax: +44(0)29 2087 4379 


School Website:

School Contact

Name: Dr Chris North (Physics) 

Telephone: 029 2087 0537 



School Website:

More information