Musicians at Somerville benefit from an active musical community, excellent facilities and world class teaching.

Your degree will include historical musicology and analysis, but you can also pursue your interests in composition, performance, recording and technology, ethnomusicology, community music, medieval music and manuscript study, and more. Applicants with a wide range of musical tastes and abilities are welcomed – our music students are encouraged to have multiple study interests. 


Teaching is supervised by the college’s Tutorial Fellow in Music, Professor Samantha Dieckmann, a leading expert in using music as a tool for peacebuilding and forging links between local communities. Tutorials will be arranged at other colleges for you to cover areas of expertise not taught by our own scholars, so you will be free to pursue any options for your Finals papers and personal research that you wish. 

The library has a well-stocked music collection including scores and recordings as well as many of the relevant texts for the course. There are multiple pianos available for practice and recital, and every music student will be provided with a digital piano in their room to aid in their studies. There is also a college music study room equipped with Sibelius. 

We provide funding towards instrumental or vocal lessons for all music students taking performance options as part of their course. In addition, the Margaret Irene Seymour Award is available and offers a substantial scholarship for instrumental or vocal lessons each year. Smaller grants can also be made for such purposes upon application. Organ scholarships are also available at the college, and our organ Scholars are provided with funding towards organ and/or conducting lessons.


We seek to admit up to 3 music students each year. Somerville’s musicians often choose to play a full role in the wider musical life of the college and University. You can access solo and ensemble performance opportunities through the active college Music Society, or audition for the Chapel Choir directed by William Dawes, a member of the Grammy Award-nominated vocal ensemble Stile Antico. There are also many student choirs, orchestras, wind bands and more around the University, both auditioned and un-auditioned.

Next Steps

While some students opt to continue in academia or study a performance course at a conservatoire, Oxford Music graduates learn a broad range of skills that makes them desirable employees in many fields including law, journalism, the civil service, publishing, and more.

Fellows and Lecturers
  • Esther Cavett

    Retaining Fee Lecturer; Senior Research Fellow, Kings College London
  • Samantha Dieckmann

    Fellow & Tutor in Music; Associate Professor in Music Faculty of Music
  • Owen Rees

    Senior Research Fellow; Professor of Music; Organist, Fellow and Tutor, The Queen's College
Where Next?