We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.


A world-class environment for study and research in the inspiring setting of a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Durham Music Department Ranked 3rd in the Complete University Guide 2016

The Department is pleased to announce that it has been ranked 3rd out of the UK's 74 music departments in the Complete University Guide 2016. The league table measures research excellence, employability, student satisfaction and entry standards. Full details can be viewed at:

Welcome to the Department of Music

At Durham, we strive to provide innovative, research-led teaching that will assist our students to achieve their full potential as thinking, creative musicians. Our undergraduate programme mixes foundational courses with a strong emphasis on developing independent research skills and increasing choice and flexibility as you progress. Our postgraduate programme offer opportunities for higher-level study with world-leading researchers.

A copy of the new Music Department Brochure can be viewed here.

The Department has internationally recognised research expertise in musicology, theory and analysis, ethnomusicology, music psychology, performance, composition, and music technology. Staff specialisms include renaissance music, the nineteenth-century symphony, theories of form, music in nineteenth-century Britain, Russian music, music and emotion, Korean sacred music and Indian classical music. The Department is located in a beautiful seventeenth-century building in Durham’s UNESCO World Heritage Site; we also have purpose-built practise facilities, up-to-date technological resources, and unique studio facilities for composition and audio-visual documentation.

Durham also enjoys a rich and vibrant musical life. The University boasts numerous choirs, orchestras, opera, jazz and early-music ensembles. The Department runs its own annual concert series, which attracts soloists from around the World. We also have a resident contemporary music group, Korean and African drumming groups, and a Javanese Gamelan.

The Music Department has a distinguished tradition of scholarship stretching back to the nineteenth century, but we pride ourselves on remaining a dynamic centre of creative and intellectual innovation. At Durham, students join a community of scholars who are passionate in the pursuit of excellence and keen to share their love of learning with others. It is our aim to nurture their talent and help them to realise their professional aspirations by providing them with a world-class education in a supportive and stimulating environment.

Professor Julian Horton
Head of Department


Murray Gold at the Music Department

18th October 2012, 10:00 to 11:00, Music School - Concert Room

Murray Gold, the Musical Director of Doctor Who since 2005, will be presenting a short talk about his work in TV, stage and film this Thursday. At 10am in the Music Department concert room, Murray will speak and then invite questions about his work and the commercial processes of composing for drama. All music students, and others, are encouraged to come along to what will be a wonderful and insightful hour!

14% of Durham Masters graduates progress to a higher degree.