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Study music abroad

An in-depth guide to studying music as an international student.

Music degrees abroad

Music is a hugely broad subject that offers a number of specialisms and can cover performance, composition, production and theory. It is a creative subject that will allow passionate students to explore different genres, gain practical skills, and develop their own musical interests.

You can study music at universities, art colleges or a conservatoire, which specialize in performance based study programs. Music programs are available all over the world, so by studying abroad you’ll have a huge number of options to choose from.

Studying music abroad is a popular option for international students because it can mean learning a new approach to music. Every country has it’s own musical traditions and heritage, which can give you a new and unique perspective you wouldn’t get by studying at home.

Music program structure

At undergraduate level you can study for a BA or a BMus (Bachelor of Music) over three or four years. BMus degrees often include more technical modules, with a concentration on performance, and BA programs can be more academic and theory focussed.

It’s possible to study music as a joint honours program with another subject, for example, music and English, or music and technology. If you choose to study at a liberal arts college, you can study music as a major or minor, alongside other subjects.

You can also study music at other levels including certificate, diploma, master’s and doctorate. At master’s level you can study for an MA or MMus over two or three years, and it’s also possible to earn a PhD in music which can take up to six years to complete.

Most music programs are taught through lectures, seminars and tutorials, but you also get individual tuition and workshops to develop your solo performance skills. Most universities give regular performances which you can take part in and some offer field trips to concerts. How you’ll be assessed will differ depending on the module, but they will usually include essays, exams and performances.

Music programs can cover a huge number of areas, genres and techniques, so the structure and content will never be the same, however here are some common modules you could study:

  • Music history
  • Music composition
  • Performance
  • Harmony and harmonic analysis
  • Orchestration
  • Music business
  • Music technology
  • Musicology
  • Music psychology

Types of music degrees

How to study music abroad

  1. Universities & programs

    Find the right program for you and your career aspirations

  2. Application assistance

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  3. Visa & embassy guidance

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  4. Enrollment & travel advice

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Music study abroad programs

Music undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in music

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    Music - BA
    Concord University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    18,186 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Music
  • false

    Music Education (Birth - Grade 12) - BMusEd
    Long Island University Post, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    35,736 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Music Education (Birth - Grade 12)
  • false

    Music Industry Studies - BSc
    Greenville University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    27,580 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Music Industry Studies
  • false

    Performance (Music Theatre) - BMus
    Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    30,134 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about Performance (Music Theatre)
  • false

    Music - BA
    University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    29,800 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about Music
See all bachelor's degrees in music

Certificate in music

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    Minding Music, Making Sound - Cert
    Vrije Amsterdam Summer School, Netherlands

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 month
    Tuition fees per year
    1,150 EUR
    Start date
    July, August
    Show program overview about Minding Music, Making Sound
  • false

    Music, Introduction to Commercial Jazz Music - Cert
    Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    14,200 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Music, Introduction to Commercial Jazz Music
See all undergraduate certificates in music

Diploma in music

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    Music Industry (Sound Production), Advanced - Dip
    RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    20,500 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Music Industry (Sound Production), Advanced
  • false

    Music Industry Arts and Performance - Dip
    Centennial College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    16,531 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Music Industry Arts and Performance
  • false

    Contemporary Music - Dip
    Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, New Zealand

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    10 months
    Tuition fees per year
    18,900 NZD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Contemporary Music
  • false

    Music Business Administration/Music Business Management - Dip
    Durham College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    28 months
    Tuition fees per year
    15,022 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Music Business Administration/Music Business Management
See all undergraduate diplomas in music

Pathway in music

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    Integrated Foundation of Music and Performing Arts - FD
    Bath Spa University, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    14,300 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Integrated Foundation of Music and Performing Arts
See all undergraduate pathways in music

Music graduate programs

Master's in music

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    Music Education - MSc
    Long Island University Post, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    44,100 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Music Education
  • false

    Music Education - MM
    Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    25,118 USD
    Start date
    August
    Show program overview about Music Education
  • false

    Music - MMus
    University of Newcastle, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    35,000 AUD
    Start date
    February, July, September
    Show program overview about Music
  • false

    Music - MMus
    University of Tasmania, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    36,422 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Music
  • false

    Music - MMus
    University of Waikato, New Zealand

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    33,670 NZD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Music
See all master's degrees in music

Doctorate in music

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    Music Education - PhD
    University of Southern Mississippi, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    10,770 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Music Education
  • false

    Music and Media - PhD
    University of Gloucestershire, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    13,200 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Music and Media
  • false

    Dance, Theatre and Music - PhD
    University of Chichester, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    13,950 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Dance, Theatre and Music
See all doctorates in music

Diploma in music

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    Music - PGDip
    University of Tasmania, Australia

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    31,516 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Music
  • false

    Music Industry Arts - OCDip
    Fanshawe College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    14 months
    Tuition fees per year
    18,136 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Music Industry Arts
See all postgraduate diplomas in music

Certificate in music

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    Music - PGCert
    University of Tasmania, Australia

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    6 months
    Tuition fees per year
    15,758 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Music
  • false

    Music - PGCert
    University of Central Arkansas, USA

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    9,648 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about Music
  • false

    Secondary Music - PGCert
    Bath Spa University, UK

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    13,300 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Secondary Music
See all postgraduate certificates in music

Future music careers

A music degree provides the perfect training for a wide range of careers both within and outside of the music industry. You will develop a number of transferable skills that employers value, including teamwork, communication and analytical skills.

Here are some of the most popular careers for music graduates:

  • Music producer
  • Music therapist
  • Orchestra musician
  • Music teacher
  • Orchestra administrator
  • Sound engineer/technician
  • Community arts worker
  • DJ

If you’re unsure what career path you want to follow after graduation, you can talk to the university’s career advice service. They can help you work out what roles might best suit you, and guide you on the best way to get your ideal job after graduation.