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​This page provides an overview of options for those studying music. You will find useful insights into the range of options available to you, tips on how to enhance your degree through relevant work experience and links to subject specific vacancy sites. This information is by no means exhaustive and you are encouraged to undertake further research in order to inform your decision making.


Careers Gateway Roland Levinsky Building

Options with your subject

The following information is applicable to both undergraduates and post-graduates interested in entering the music profession. You will also find information on specific jobs related to this subject, occupations where your degree would be useful and how to get started if you are not too sure.

Your degree will open the door to many graduate jobs and careers, but the following areas are among the most popular pathways for music graduates. 
Music: where to start is a useful starting point, including information about jobs relating to your degree, main areas of employment, skills gained on your course, further study opportunities and useful contacts and resources.
Artists' Toolkit resources on supporting your career in the arts - funding, self-promotion, step-by-step guides and case studies from experienced professionals.
Skillset  information on careers across the whole creative industry includes C.V. advice. 

Job profiles

These job profiles contain information about what different jobs involve, qualifications and experience needed for them and useful information about professional bodies and vacancy sources:  
  • Case study

    Work experience

    If you want to use music directly you will need to get as much experience as you can alongside your degree. Try giving music lessons, or volunteering using some of the links below. And think hard about the context in which you wish to work i.e. will a career in the armed services suit you and give you a chance to play in an orchestra? Will you be able to teach and play part time? In addition to these links please try our links on voluntary work and work experience.

    Further study

    There are a number of Masters (MA/MSc) and Doctorate (PhD) opportunities in music. It is important to ask yourself what you hope to get out of your study. For help on this look at our further study page.

    Referral to other pages

    You might also like to refer to the Theatre and Dance subject pages information on how your degree can be used within a wider context.

    Further information and vacancy sources

    The following links include professional bodies associated with the sector and vacancy sources which can be used in your search for work experience and graduate jobs. Many of the vacancy sites below will also cater for students seeking placements. Remember that they are only a starting point, so you should also do your own web searches.
    Professional bodies
    Association of British Orchestras (ABO) trade association for professional orchestras in the UK.
    Association of Professional Recording Services (APRS) has an informative education and training section.
    Audio Engineering Society (AES) professional society concerned with audio technology. It has an education section containing a directory listing courses worldwide.
    British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors supports and protects the artistic, professional, commercial and copyright interests of songwriters, lyricists and composers of all genres of music and celebrates and encourages excellence in British music writing.
    British Recorded Music Industry (BPI) representative voice of the UK recorded music business.
    British Association for Music Therapy (BAMT) includes information on conferences, meetings and workshops, publications and music therapy training courses in the UK.  
    HPC (Health Professions Council) independent, UK-wide health regulator which includes music therapists.
    Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) UK’s professional body for musicians.
    Making Music represents and supports over 2,800 voluntary and amateur music groups throughout the UK.
    Musicians' Union represents over thirty thousand musicians working in all sectors of the music business.
    Vacancy sites 
    Arts Council England details current vacancies and opportunities in the arts community.
    Arts Hub subscription gives access to news, events or job bulletin only.

    Artsjobsonline  jobs throughout the UK and Ireland.
    Arts Matrix  regional agency for the continuing professional development (CPD) of artists and creative people.
    Careers in Music site where you’ll find valuable advice for getting into different areas of the business; useful addresses and contact details; recommended resources; specialist articles and features.
    Dartington promotes music in SW, runs workshops and summer schools, and an annual seminar, South West Sound.
    GERONTIUS advertises choral music jobs.
    IA&A (International Arts and Artists) international training and internship program that places international and post-graduates with arts and culture-related organisations in the United States. 

    Making Music networking opportunity for musicians, and good contact for local music groups.
    Music Jobs UK music industry's central point for music companies and music industry professionals.
    Music Week is the music industry's news service.
    Musical Chairs classical music jobs from around the world.

    Plymouth Music Zone local community music centre.
    Rhinegold selection of teaching, playing, management, administration and marketing jobs from every sector of the music industry.
    Sing Up Music Manifesto's National Singing Programme.
    Singers Pro directory of professional singers that lists auditions and singing jobs.
    Sound and Music promotes new music and is a membership organisation for anyone interested or involved in New Music.
    Spotlight directory suitable for artists with recognised training and /or professional performance experience. 
    Voluntary Arts Network includes a link to arts jobs pages and to Voluntary Arts England and more jobs.
    Working in the Music Industry online book
    Wren Music Devon’s folk and community arts development organisation.
    Youth Music provides a jobs section which contains links to projects throughout the UK. This now houses information and support for Music Leaders.
    Newspapers and journals
    Arts Industry magazine with news and jobs for the culture industry. 

    Arts Professional Online leading UK based publication for the arts and cultural industries. Subscription allows access to the full range of news, features and arts topics, and the website has a job section that lists all the vacancies that are advertised in the magazine.
    Music Week jobs subscription directory and online jobs.
    The Stage weekly publication (Thursday) or online database. 

    The Telegraph advertises music jobs in its Saturday edition.

    Sign up to our vacancy website Gradsouthwest to help with your job search, and visit our Job searching pages.

    If having read these pages you are still unclear about the possible career areas that you might be suited to, please visit the Need direction? pages, or come in and talk to a member of the Career Gateway team. An appointment with a Careers and Employability Adviser is also available.