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Mathematics and Music BSc

(Full time) 2018 start

Mathematics and Music

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 to 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.

Course structure

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Calculus and Mathematical Analysis 10 credits
  • Numbers and Vectors 10 credits
  • Introductory Linear Algebra 10 credits
  • Modelling with Differential Equations 10 credits
  • Music Research Skills 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Introduction to Geometry 10 credits
  • Probability and Statistics I 10 credits
  • Understanding Music 20 credits
  • Music in History and Culture 20 credits
  • Composition 20 credits
  • Performance 20 credits
  • Ensemble Performance 20 credits
  • Sound, Technology, and Music 20 credits
  • Introduction to the Psychology of Music 20 credits
  • Financial Mathematics 1 15 credits
  • Probability and Statistics II 10 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • The Mathematics of Music 10 credits
  • Vector Calculus 15 credits

Optional modules

  • School Mathematics from an Advanced (Undergraduate) Perspective 10 credits
  • Real Analysis 15 credits
  • Groups and Vector Spaces 15 credits
  • Rings, Fields and Polynomials 10 credits
  • Mathematical Logic 1 10 credits
  • Geometry of Curves and Surfaces 10 credits
  • Discrete Mathematics 10 credits
  • Discrete Mathematics with Computation 15 credits
  • Linear Differential Equations and Transforms 15 credits
  • Nonlinear Differential Equations 10 credits
  • Special Relativity 10 credits
  • Financial Mathematics 2 10 credits
  • Financial Mathematics 3 10 credits
  • Numerical Analysis 10 credits
  • Numerical Analysis with Computation 15 credits
  • Fluid Dynamics 1 10 credits
  • Statistical Methods 10 credits
  • Statistical Modelling 10 credits
  • Environmental Statistics 10 credits
  • Introduction to Markov Processes 10 credits
  • Survival Analysis 10 credits
  • Mathematics into Schools 10 credits
  • Maths at Work 10 credits
  • Computational Mathematics 10 credits
  • Interpreting Music 20 credits
  • Composition 20 credits
  • Performance 20 credits
  • Ensemble Performance 20 credits
  • Notation and Editing 20 credits
  • Music Technology Skills and Techniques 20 credits
  • Music in Context A 20 credits
  • Music in Context B 20 credits
  • Music in Practice 20 credits
  • Music in Practice 20 credits
  • Music in Practice 20 credits
  • The Psychology of Listening and Performance 20 credits
  • Music Students into Schools 20 credits

Year 3

Optional modules

  • Combinatorial Optimisation 10 credits
  • Graph Algorithms and Complexity Theory 10 credits
  • Mathematics Education 10 credits
  • Real Analysis 15 credits
  • Groups and Vector Spaces 15 credits
  • Rings, Fields and Polynomials 10 credits
  • Mathematical Logic 1 10 credits
  • Geometry of Curves and Surfaces 10 credits
  • Discrete Mathematics 10 credits
  • Discrete Mathematics with Computation 15 credits
  • Nonlinear Differential Equations 10 credits
  • Special Relativity 10 credits
  • Financial Mathematics 2 10 credits
  • Financial Mathematics 3 10 credits
  • Numerical Analysis 10 credits
  • Numerical Analysis with Computation 15 credits
  • Fluid Dynamics 1 10 credits
  • Introduction to Optimisation 10 credits
  • Calculus of Variations 10 credits
  • Statistical Methods 10 credits
  • Statistical Modelling 10 credits
  • Environmental Statistics 10 credits
  • Introduction to Markov Processes 10 credits
  • Survival Analysis 10 credits
  • Computational Mathematics 10 credits
  • Project in Mathematics 20 credits
  • History of Mathematics 15 credits
  • Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics 20 credits
  • Graph Theory 15 credits
  • Number Theory 15 credits
  • Groups and Symmetry 15 credits
  • Proof and Computation 15 credits
  • Differential Geometry 15 credits
  • Models and Sets 15 credits
  • Combinatorics 15 credits
  • Coding Theory 15 credits
  • Algebras and Representations 15 credits
  • Metric Spaces 15 credits
  • Hilbert Spaces and Fourier Analysis 15 credits
  • Topology 15 credits
  • Transformation Geometry 15 credits
  • Hamiltonian Systems 15 credits
  • Mathematical Methods 15 credits
  • Linear and Non-Linear Waves 15 credits
  • Hydrodynamic Stability 15 credits
  • Quantum Mechanics 15 credits
  • Dynamical Systems 15 credits
  • Nonlinear Dynamics 15 credits
  • Analytic Solutions of Partial Differential Equations 15 credits
  • Introduction to Entropy in the Physical World 15 credits
  • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics 15 credits
  • Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics 15 credits
  • Numerical Methods 10 credits
  • Modern Numerical Methods 15 credits
  • Discrete Systems and Integrability 15 credits
  • Actuarial Mathematics 1 15 credits
  • Actuarial Mathematics 2 15 credits
  • Cosmology 10 credits
  • Mathematical Biology 15 credits
  • Evolutionary Modelling 15 credits
  • Fluid Dynamics 2 15 credits
  • Linear Regression and Robustness 15 credits
  • Statistical Theory 15 credits
  • Stochastic Financial Modelling 15 credits
  • Time Series 10 credits
  • Bayesian Statistics 10 credits
  • Generalised Linear Models 10 credits
  • Introduction to Statistics and DNA 10 credits
  • Analysing Music 40 credits
  • Special Study in Musicology A 20 credits
  • Special Study in Musicology B 20 credits
  • Dissertation 40 credits
  • Composition 40 credits
  • Performance Platform 20 credits
  • Ensemble Performance 20 credits
  • Applied Project 20 credits
  • Performance 40 credits
  • Editing and Source Studies 40 credits
  • Music Technology 40 credits
  • Music Psychology 40 credits

To find module level details follow this link (Opens new window)

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

You’ll be taught through lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical classes. You’ll enjoy extensive tutorial support and have freedom in your workload and options.


You’re assessed through a range of methods, including formal exams and in-course assessment.

Entry requirements

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).

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

Foundation year

If you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly to level one, you might consider studying a foundation year. We have formal links with the following foundation year programmes:

- University of Leeds International Foundation Year (IFY)

- Northern Consortium of UK Universities (NCUK)

- Study Group Leeds International Study Centre (LISC)

If you are applying from an alternative foundation year provider, please contact our admissions team to find out if your qualification is suitable for entry to our courses.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: See fees section below

International: £19,500 (per year)

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2017, the fee for 2017/18 will be £9,250. 

The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2018 will be confirmed in September 2017.

The fee is likely to increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% for 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in 2017 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans for the duration of their course. Read the full government statement

The UK government has also confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

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. 97% of our recent graduates went into employment or further study after graduating and the University 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.

Careers support

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

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.

Work placements

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.

Key facts

UCAS code:

3 years full time

Typical A level offer:
(specific subjects required)

UK/EU fees:
See fees section below
International fees:
£19,500 (per year)

Study abroad option:

Work placement option:

Course Terms and Conditions

Contact us:
School of Mathematics Undergraduate Admissions
+44 (0)113 343 5133/5131

Arafat Ariori

BSc Economics and Mathematics (Industrial)

"Economics is almost 100% essay based and maths is more about calculation homework and exams which is great because you get to develop skills in both areas."