Performance PGDip

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
24 months part time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in Music or a related subject.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0
UK fees
£7,167 (total)
International fees
£16,000 (total)

Course overview

Student playing cello

Concentrate on your development as a performing musician by exploring solo, duo and ensemble work, and benefit from studying with our experienced specialist instrumental/vocal teachers to expand your technique and musicianship. This flexible course enables you to enhance your technical prowess, expand your repertoire and hone your interpretative strategies as a performer, alongside developing your critical skills in commenting on your own performances and those of others.

You’ll study with one of our expert professional instrumental/vocal teachers and perform a recital as the major part of your course. You’ll also choose one or two further modules offering opportunities to explore an extended work, undertake a distinctive applied performance study, present a second, shorter recital on a different instrument/voice from that of your main recital, or develop your understanding of relevant research methods and approaches in music to support your interpretation and discussion of performance.

Depending on which performance options you select, you may also have the chance to expand your studies by choosing an optional module in another area of music such as musicology, or the music industry. This course is ideal if you want to focus entirely on your performing interests by taking a smaller selection of modules than the more intensive MMus Performance course.

We have a variety of excellent facilities to support your learning, including rehearsal, performance and practice spaces, a lab for studying the psychology of music and studios for sound recording, software development and computer music composition.

Take a tour of our School

Join School rep, Georgie, on a tour of our building and its specialist facilities to get a feel for life as a student in the School.

We also have good working relationships with a range of prestigious arts organisations: we host BBC Radio 3 concerts, Leeds Lieder and the Leeds International Piano Competition, as well as enjoying a close partnership with Opera North and many others in a city with a thriving music and cultural scene.

Alternatively, you could choose to study for an MMus Performance qualification over 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time.

Course details

Performance modules will allow you to develop your performance skills in different contexts. Supported by instrumental or vocal lessons with a specialist teacher, you’ll take part in regular performance classes to develop your repertoire.

As well as the potential to focus on a single concerto, song-cycle or extended work of 20-30 minutes, you can prepare for a final recital of 40-50 minutes that you will perform near the end of the course. Applied Performance Studies will allow you to prepare and deliver a solo or ensemble project, and reflect upon the process in a written commentary.

You can choose to take a module in Researching Performance, which will build your understanding of relevant research methods and approaches in music to equip you with a broader range of skills through which you can interpret and discuss your and others’ performing activities and practices.

You’ll also have the chance to expand your studies by choosing from the optional modules offered across the School of Music, allowing you to explore musicology, composition, psychology of music and more. If you choose to study part time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year. If you opt for the MMus Performance qualification, you’ll take more modules overall.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Performance PGDip Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Performance PGDip Part Time in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Instrumental or Vocal Recital 60

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Issues in Musicology 30
Individual Project 30
Applied Research Methodologies 30
Composition Studies 30
Instrumental or Vocal Recital 30
Concerto/Song-Cycle/Extended Work 30
Aesthetic Theory 30
Electronic & Computer Music Practice 30
The Recording Industry Now 30
Case Studies in the Applied Psychology of Music 30

Learning and teaching

You’ll take instrumental and vocal lessons with our specialist teachers.

However, lessons can be organised with teachers from the surrounding area such as Opera North and the Royal Northern College of Music by individual arrangement.

Read about our instrumental and vocal teachers.

You’ll also attend seminars and tutorials. However, independent study is crucial, allowing you to hone your skills and explore your own creative approaches to performance.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Your performances will largely be assessed through your recitals, and you’ll also submit programme notes for each recital that you complete.

Depending upon your module choices, other modules may also assess you on project work, bibliographical exercises, essays and presentations.

Optional modules may also use specialist tasks such as compositions or critical editions.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in music or a related subject.

We may also consider relevant professional experience instead of formal musical qualifications, if you can demonstrate a good level of musical understanding or practical experience when you apply.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

We will consider applications from 1 October – 1 September.

However, we recommend you apply as early as possible, especially if you are planning to apply for external funding. You will usually be expected to have an offer of a place on a course before you apply for funding.

You may also need to leave time to make arrangements such as visa applications or relocating to Leeds.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you need

  • Your degree certificate and transcript, or a partial transcript if you’re still studying. Please provide official translations if applicable.

  • If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide evidence of your English language qualification.

  • A video recording of your performance that is up to 20 minutes of contrasting repertoire. Please also include programme information for the pieces performed in your video (you can provide a list of titles and composers for the repertoire performed, or you may wish to add captions to your video). The recording should be a true and accurate representation of your performing ability and should have been recorded within the last 6 months. In the recording we’ll expect you to demonstrate technical ability, thoughtful interpretation of the pieces, awareness of historical style, individual personality and flair. In this recording you should be demonstrating something of the style in which you feel you want to develop, and please make sure that your submission presents different aspects of your musicianship (e.g. tempo, key, style, language). If possible you can provide a link as part of your online application to a webpage or online drop box where your video recording can be accessed.

  • A personal statement in response to the questions asked in the supporting statement section of the application form.

  • If you are an international applicant and have previously studied in the UK on a Student Visa, please provide a copy of your Visa (and Residence Permit if applicable) to cover all the dates of your time in the UK, a copy of your CAS summary, and a copy of your completion/award certificate if applicable.

  • References may be requested.

  • Please note that there are some optional modules available as part of our courses for which new students may be required to provide an example of their work, audition, or liaise with the relevant Module Leader first in order to assess suitability for entry on to the optional module. Assessment for optional modules with pre-requisites is not part of the admissions process. Offer holders are normally contacted by the School of Music regarding optional modules in advance of their studies.

The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures receives very large numbers of high-quality applications and regrets that it cannot make offers to all of its applicants. Some particularly popular schools may have to reject many that hold the necessary academic qualifications.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Music

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions



UK: £7,167 (total)

International: £16,000 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Part-time fees
Fees for part-time courses are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Find out more about scholarships and funding opportunities available in the School of Music.

Career opportunities

This course will allow you to develop as a performer, improve your musical knowledge and gain critical, research and communication skills.

Graduates have pursued a range of careers in orchestral playing, solo performance, instrumental teaching, and arts administration. Several have also pursued further study at conservatoires in the UK and abroad, or research degrees at Leeds and other institutions.

You could also go on to study at PhD level.

We also offer additional support as you develop your career plans: the School of Music has an Alumni Mentoring Network, where students can be supported by past students as they start to plan their next steps.

Reach your potential

Hear more about the School and Faculty support you can access from our employability lead, Professor Karen Burland.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Student profile: Juan Daunesse

I enjoyed the freedom of choosing what I was going to perform in the different modules. The university offers performance opportunities too. I also enjoyed the feedback from my teachers before and after the examinations.
Find out more about Juan Daunesse's time at Leeds