Skip to main content


Average number of places available each year at Exeter College: 2

The Course

Students enrol in the Honour School of Music, a wide-ranging course designed to develop a broad knowledge of the history, analysis, techniques (i.e. composition in a variety of historical styles), aesthetics and philosophy of Western music (for further details see the Music Faculty. Although the focus of the course is academic, many students are dedicated performers and/or composers, since performance and composition are special options within the course in both first-year exams and Finals.

Lectures for all music students take place in the Music Faculty (on St Aldate’s Street) and the Examination Schools (on the High Street); tutorials also take place in the Faculty and are taken together with the students from St Hugh’s College, where Prof Leach also works.

Music at Exeter

Undergraduates reading music are provided with a piano or electronic keyboard in their rooms; there are also two grand pianos. The college’s vigorous musical life centres on the Music Society, open to and run by undergraduates and graduates. The society promotes a number of concerts and musical events each term, ranging from Renaissance polyphony to Romantic symphonies and from jazz to musicals. The Chapel Choir is one of the very best mixed-voice ensembles in Oxford. It sings in three services each week. In vacations it often goes on tour, in the UK and abroad. There are also several university orchestras, choruses and ensembles, for which students are encouraged to audition.


Undergraduates apply to the College in the first instance. Full details of what to expect in the Exeter music interview can be found here.


Some music graduates become teachers, and others develop performing careers. But studying music builds critical, analytical and technical skills which are a foundation for all sorts of other careers such as law, merchant banking, the civil service, arts administration and broadcasting.

Teaching and Research Staff

  • Professor Elizabeth Eva Leach, FBA – Stipendiary Lecturer in Music (Fellow of St Hugh’s College)
  • Dr Timothy Coombes – Stipendiary Lecturer in Music