Typical Offers: 

A-Level: A*AA; IB: 40 - 42 points, 7, 7, 6 at Higher Level

Robinson College has a thriving musical life involving a wide range of students, a regular concert series each term, an excellent chapel choir, as well as a variety of orchestral and choral concerts, a rock band, musicals, and much more. Recent performances at Robinson have included Duruflé's Requiem, two of Bach’s Brandenburg concertos, Schumann’s Piano Quartet and a new symphony by a current Robinson student. The Chapel is a beautiful place for performing and listening to music, and contains one of the finest organs in Cambridge (a Frobenius) as well as a superb Steinway piano, a Rubio harpsichord and a Renaissance-style chamber organ. There are practice rooms and a recital room, a drum kit, and students reading Music are provided with pianos or electric pianos in their rooms. The college is also highly unusual in having a fully equipped purpose-built theatre. Finally, Robinson is extremely close to the Music Faculty, which has its advantages in terms of getting to 9am lectures!

If you come to Cambridge to read music, the courses that you can take each year are the same whichever college you are in, and all the lectures and end-of-year exams are organised centrally by the Music Faculty. However, most of the actual work you do is organised by the Director of Studies at your college. This includes the small-group weekly tutorials (called 'supervisions') in which each student's work is individually discussed, and which can vary in style from one college to another.

The music course has just been revised and now reflects a wider range of ways to approach music – and a greater variety of kinds of music from around the world – than ever before.  In all three years there are options for students may choose to study performance on an instrument or voice, to learn and develop their skills in composition, to study music in its historical and social contexts – from plainchant to hiphop, from Monteverdi to Macmillan – to learn and refine basic techniques of Western harmony and counterpoint, to study the psychology of music perception, the aesthetics of music (and much more...) 

Subject Requirements

Essential: Music at A Level, or a distinction in ABRSM Grade 8 Theory.

Highly Desirable: No other particular subject is required. Students from a science background should continue to practice their essay-writing skills. 

Find more Music requirements information on the Cambridge Admissions website

Written Work

Applicants are asked to submit some school coursework in advance of their interview; one or two essays (on music and/or other humanities subjects such as History, English, Politics) and one or two harmony exercises or compositions (whether pastiche or original).

Admission Tests

On the day of the online interview, it is arranged for applicants sit a one-hour test comprising brief exercises in harmony, two-part writing and the opening of an essay. In addition, they are given some brief passages of music and writing to look over while waiting for their interview.

Director(s) of Studies - Dr Jeremy Thurlow

Teaching Fellows

We have two distinguished senior members who contribute to the musical life of the college:

Mr Simon Brown is the Director of Chapel Music and works intensively with the choir throughout the year.

Professor John Rink heads the Faculty’s new Research Centre devoted to the study and practice of musical performance (CMPCP) and often teaches Robinson students in related courses.

Music Prospectus

Further information

Faculty of Music website – Prospective student information

Outreach opportunities at the Faculty of Music

Music (Information from the Cambridge Admissions website)

For incoming 1st year students, the following reading list will be helpful: Music Reading List

Last updated September 2022