What can I do with a music degree?

Opting for a music degree can feel like a leap of faith: you are pursuing something you are passionate about, yet there is no obvious trajectory from degree to full-time employment, as there might be if you chose a vocational subject.

Each year, our students go on to follow a great range of career options. Those who want to pursue a career as professional performers invariably complete a fourth year at a conservatoire; those wishing to follow up an interest in musicology or composition might do a Master’s degree.

However, a large number of music students gain internships and paid jobs with orchestras or publishers, work with children, start laying foundations for careers in music production and music theatre, arts media or even opt for a career completely unrelated to music.

Music-related careers

We have asked some Bristol graduates to describe how they have pursued their professional lives after graduation, just to give some idea of the range of options available to you:

Other careers

Not all our graduates wish to pursue a career in music. Over the years, we have known very successful music students do law conversion courses, take jobs in the City, qualify as accountants, or choose to explore other branches of the arts.

Whether or not you intend to pursue a career in music after you graduate, a good arts degree from Bristol shows employers that you have:

  • intelligence;
  • openness to new ideas;
  • capacity for hard work;
  • creative flair and imagination;
  • a high standard of flexible professional skills, such as:
    • being able to deliver a confident public presentation;
    • preparing documents to a high standard of literacy, working well with other people;
    • carrying a major project through to completion.

The training you receive during your music degree here at the University of Bristol will give you a strong base from which to develop your professional career, in whichever direction you choose.

Further information

Find out more about music graduates on our Careers Service web pages

98% of Bristol Music graduates are in employment or further study 15 months after graduation

Source: Graduate Outcomes Survey

Everything I learnt through the degree programme, the extra-curricular opportunities and through living in a busy and vibrant city gave me the skills, qualifications and confidence to begin a career in the music industry immediately after graduating.

Mared (Music BA, 2019)
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