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Careers and employability

Did you know?

94% of University of Manchester graduates are working or studying after six months.

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey - 2016

Our graduates tell us that our varied course units, supportive tutors, performance opportunities, stimulating environment and strong community were all crucial in developing the skills and experiences needed for their careers.

Graduate destinations

The department at Manchester has an impressive record for producing top-level professionals in a wide range of fields, many of whom have gone on to outstanding international careers in the music profession and beyond.

We attract bright, eager students and provide a learning environment that nurtures independently minded, confident graduates who make a difference to their field. Since 2010, our graduates’ career destinations include: 

  • Associate Conductor, Hallé Orchestra
  • Digital Content Producer, BBC
  • VoiceLab Manager, Southbank Centre
  • Music Supervisor, PlayNetwork
  • Composer, Faber Music
  • Marketing & Communications Officer, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Researcher, Reef Television

Find out more from our recent graduates

Performance and conducting

The department has a strong reputation for producing professional performers as soloists and major ensembles, nationally and internationally, and the list of professional ensembles Manchester graduates work with is impressively long: it includes several symphony orchestras (the Hallé, the BBC Orchestras, Manchester Camerata, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, CBSO and the orchestras of Bournemouth, Ulster, Reykjavik and Tucson); opera companies (Royal Opera House, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Glyndebourne, Carl Rosa Opera), early music groups (Orchestra of the Renaissance, Gabrieli Ensemble, Monteverdi Choir, Rose Consort of Viols, English Baroque Soloists), choirs (BBC and Swingle Singers) string quartets (Brodsky, Sorrel, Bingham, Bridge, Archinto, Rivoli), brass bands, jazz bands and popular music groups. 

Further study

With our strengths in performance and conducting, many students who are both musically and academically excellent choose our undergraduate courses as a platform for postgraduate training at one of the leading conservatoires. Others choose music-based postgraduate courses (Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Composition, Community Music, Music Therapy) while a number of others pursue professional qualifications in areas such as law and accountancy.


A Music degree from Manchester provides excellent training for a host of careers, both within and outside of Music: it doesn’t limit you – feedback from companies such as RBS shows that employers particularly value our Music graduates for their ability to think quickly and to connect with a wide-range of people.

In fact, Music is one of the most dynamic subject areas you can choose to study at university. Music students have to be dedicated, self-motivated, excellent team players, creative, original, willing to improvise, cope with pressure – to perform when it matters – to develop highly nuanced emotional intelligence, to communicate with a wide-range of people from varied social and cultural backgrounds, to use technology in innovative ways, to apply analytical models to complex sensory phenomenon, to be self-critical and to show commercial and entrepreneurial awareness.

Career paths

It is estimated that approximately two thirds of graduate-level careers are open to students and graduates of any degree subject. That’s because employers recognise the value of the transferable skills gained from both your course and activities done in your own time. This means there are many potential careers for you to choose from. A Music degree from Manchester can equip you with an enormous range of skills. Beyond the music and the creative industries, our graduates’ career paths include: 

  • Accountancy
  • Advertising
  • Armed services
  • Banking and finance
  • Civil service
  • Computing
  • Healthcare
  • Human resources
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Librarianship
  • Medicine
  • Publishing
  • Senior administration and management
  • Social work 

I'm so glad I chose Manchester. The lecturers are so approachable and interested in the students' individual interests and welfare. The year groups mix really well and get involved in lots of activities together, so that there's a real feeling of belonging. Performance means a great deal to me and I don't think anywhere else would have offered me so many varied opportunities. The department is friendly, supportive and full of musical life.

Sophie Price / MusB