Music and Music Psychology MArts, BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
4 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
AAB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBB at A level and a pass in the Access to Leeds module
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Music and Music Psychology MArts, BA

This course gives you the opportunity to gain an understanding of concepts within the specialist field of music psychology whilst also developing your skills and knowledge in the practical and theoretical aspects of music.

You’ll be introduced to the concepts, key theories and principles of the psychology of music as well as their applications in a variety of contexts. You’ll also gain an insight into the historical and cultural influences and impacts of music. Our range of optional modules will give you the freedom to explore a broad range of other subject areas, from performance to composition, aesthetics to music technology.

Whether you’re interested in music education, performance, therapy, technology, or applied fields such as marketing, consumer behaviour and film music, you’ll gain an insight into the ways in which people hear, interpret and respond to music.

This is an integrated Masters course, meaning you’ll undertake three years of undergraduate study, with the fourth year taught at postgraduate level, converting your undergraduate degree to a postgraduate one.

Specialist facilities

At the heart of the School of Music is the Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, a beautiful performance space which hosts a large and varied programme of concerts in term time. The entire concert programme is free to students.

The School of Music has its own purpose-built building complete with rehearsal, performance and practice spaces, a lab for studying the psychology of music and four lecture theatres. There are also studios for sound recording, software development and computer music composition – we have a wide range of professional recording equipment and up-to-date music software to help you with your studies. In addition, our instrument collection includes a specially commissioned gamelan, historic and modern keyboard instruments and a large selection of orchestral and world percussion.

Music at Leeds

Leeds offers a fantastic variety of opportunities to get involved with music and performance that go far beyond the School of Music ensembles. You can also be involved in extra-curricular activities through the students’ union, or by creating your own ensembles or bands.

Leeds University Union Music Society (LUUMS) is one of the Union's largest societies and boasts ten ensembles, including orchestras, choruses, brass and wind bands; each one gives regular concerts and some go on tour. The campus hosts a diverse range of other musical societies, including Gospel Choir, Clothworkers Consort of Leeds, Opera Society, Music Theatre, Band Soc, Big Band, Electronic Music and DJ Societies. Find out more about Leeds University Union clubs and societies.

You could also get involved in cultural activities in the Leeds area and perform in the city’s many venues such as clubs, pubs, churches, or the Town Hall.

Read more about city life in Leeds.

Course details

Core modules in your first year will introduce you to music psychology, examine the role music has played in society and culture over time and look at different approaches to studying and interpreting music; you’ll also choose from optional modules that allow you to develop skills in composition, performance or music technology.

Watch student Stephanie’s video submission as part of the assessment for the core module: 'Introduction to the Psychology of Music'.

In the following year, you’ll look at how psychological research and theories have been used to explain different emotional responses to music, listening, performance and other musical behaviours. Our Music in Context core module will introduce you to an area of musicology that you choose from the range on offer, related to the research interests of our staff. Optional modules will give you the chance to develop your musical skills in fields such as performance, analysis, composition, music technology, and aesthetics.

In the third year, you’ll build your understanding of the different research techniques in music psychology, and you’ll design, conduct and analyse empirical projects of your own. You’ll also choose from optional modules to develop your musical interests and specialisms.

Your final year will involve postgraduate-level study and you’ll apply your knowledge of music psychology to a series of case studies in key fields such as education, therapy, advertising and technology, and you can continue an area of special interest in your choice of optional module. You’ll also investigate a specific topic in-depth when you complete your own major research project.

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 Music and Music Psychology MArts, BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Understanding Music 20
Music in History and Culture 20
Music Research Skills 20
Introduction to the Psychology of Music 20

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

Module Name Credits
Composition 20
Performance 20
Ensemble Performance 20
Sound, Technology, and Music 20
Introduction to the Music Business 10

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
The Psychology of Listening and Performance 20

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Interpreting Music 20
Music in the Judeo-Christian Tradition 20
British Music and National Identity 20
Music, Culture, Politics: the Long Sixties 20
The Tools of Music Making 20
Music and Culture in Late Seventeenth-Century London 20
Duke Ellington and the Twentieth-Century Jazz Environment 20
Composition 20
Performance 20
Ensemble Performance 20
Aesthetics and Criticism 20
Music Technology Skills and Techniques 20
Film-Score Creation and Production 20
Opera North: Opera in Practice 20
Studies in Conducting 20
Marketing for Musicians 20
Synthesizer Ensemble 20
Towards the Future: Skills in Context 20

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Music Psychology 40
Researching Music Psychology 40

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Analysing Music 20
The Supernatural in Opera 20
Music and Postcolonial Politics 20
Music as Performance: People, Bodies and Instruments 20
Dissertation 40
Composition 40
Ensemble Performance 20
Applied Project 20
Editing and Source Studies 20
Editing and Source Studies 40
Contemporary Aesthetics 20
Music Technology 40
Music in the Real World 20

Year 4 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Integrated Masters Dissertation 60
Case Studies in the Applied Psychology of Music 30

Year 4 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Issues in Musicology 30
Short Dissertation 30
Applied Research Methodologies 30
Composition Studies 30
Instrumental or Vocal Recital 30
Applied Performance Studies 30
Aesthetic Theory 30
Music, Wellbeing and its Evaluation 30
Audience Engagement and Impact 30

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

You'll study among leading practitioners and researchers, who are carrying out research which directly informs their teaching.

To help you benefit from their expertise, a variety of learning and teaching methods are used. Depending on the modules you choose, these are likely to include lectures, seminars and tutorials, as well as online learning tasks, solo and ensemble rehearsals, studio time for composition and technology, and lab work in music psychology.

Independent study is also an important part of the degree, since this is where you will develop your analytical and research skills. Our experienced technicians and tutors are on hand to help if you need them, and you’ll have access to our expert instrumental and vocal teachers if you are studying performance.

You’ll be assigned a personal tutor who will meet with you individually at least twice a year, and tutorial support for your other modules is always available on request. All staff have office hours where you can drop in and ask for help if you need it. There is extensive of support for students offered through the library's skills programme.

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.


We use a variety of assessment methods, each of which is chosen to best measure your achievement of a module’s learning outcomes and associated skills, so you and we can understand and support your progress and development. Depending on the modules you choose, you are likely to encounter a mix of written assignments (eg essays, reports, reviews, reflective logs), creative outputs and portfolios (eg compositions, technology projects, recordings, notation assignments), recitals and performances, presentations, project work, and online assessments. Some assignments will be completed individually, some collaboratively, and some may require elements of group working leading to individual submissions.

You might be given a brief, question or problem to be addressed, or you may have scope to determine your own question or approach under the guidance of a member of staff. You’ll be given clear instructions regarding the assessment requirements and criteria, and you’ll receive feedback on your work to support your learning as you progress through your course. Assessments will usually require you to synthesise and evaluate learning from multiple taught sessions and learning resources (eg a module’s lectures, seminars, set readings and other online resources), and you should think of your course as a whole, and apply your learning across your modules. Creative and practical work may offer you the chance to take risks and experiment with new ideas and concepts, and in all cases we encourage you to challenge yourself, to think critically and creatively, to move as far beyond your comfort zone as you can, and to reflect on your working process and achievement.

Our assessments are designed to be fair and inclusive, to engage you intellectually and to help prepare you for life beyond University through the development of relevant skills, knowledge and experience.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB normally including Music and/or Psychology.

If these don't include A level Music, we would normally expect an essay/discursive subject and evidence of Musical Literacy.

GCSE: usually 5 at A-C, including English at Grade C/4 or above

Other course specific tests:

If you have taken Music, practical grades are not a requirement for this programme. However, if you want to study performance, you’ll need a minimum of ABRSM, Trinity Guildhall or Rockschool Grade 8 merit/grade 7 distinction (or demonstrate that you are of equivalent standard, by the time you arrive in Leeds).

Students taking the EPQ may also be made an alternative offer.

We typically interview all eligible applicants.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

in Music with 60 credits overall, with at least 45 credits at level 3 to include 30 credits at Distinction and 15 at Merit


DDD in a music specialism, with evidence of musical literacy.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M1, M2

International Baccalaureate

35 overall (6 at higher level in Music)

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

(Leaving Certificate): H2 H2 H2 H2 H3 H3.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AABBB (including AB at advanced level) OR AAABB (including A at Advanced level). For applicants just undertaking the higher level, grades of AAAABB will be required.

Other Qualifications

Apolytirion of Geniko Lykeio with Pan Hellenic exams: 18.5 overall normally including Music (equivalent music qualifications will be considered); including 17 in the English from the Pan Hellenic exams

Cypriot: pass in the Apolytirion with a minimum of 19 overall, including 19 in Music (other music qualifications will be considered) and 17 in English, plus at least one A level at grade B or above (or equivalent)

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

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

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £24,000 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

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 about additional costs.

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 is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

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.

Next steps

Suitable candidates will be invited for an online interview as part of the selection process. Interviews usually take place between November and March.

Admissions tutors will consider your experience, skills and knowledge in relation to the academic demands of the course. If you’re predicted grades lower than AAB, or don’t hold standard entry qualifications, the interview is particularly important for demonstrating your experience, skills and knowledge, and ability to talk about music and/or psychology critically.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Music

Contact us

School of Music Undergraduate Admissions


Career opportunities

A degree in Music and Music Psychology will allow you to develop a wide range of subject knowledge and skills; you’ll also gain transferable skills that are very attractive to employers.

You’ll be a good communicator who is able to collaborate and work well in a team, but you’ll also be confident working independently. You’ll have the chance to develop analytical, research and organisational skills.

Graduates from the School of Music have gone on to succeed in fields such as music education, music therapy, arts administration, and clinical psychology. Others work in business, media, management, and law. This degree will be excellent preparation for doctoral study in the field of music psychology.

We run a series of careers events every year in collaboration with the University Careers Centre to help you explore your options.

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.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

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.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

During your second year you’ll be able to apply to transfer to our MArts/BArts Music and Music Psychology (International) programme. This allows you to extend your degree by a year and spend your third year studying at one of our many partner universities worldwide.

It’s a great opportunity to enhance your CV and gain a new perspective on your studies, as well as deepening your cultural awareness through more varied experience. In addition to being a highlight of your degree, it can give you real confidence in a competitive job market.

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

You’ll have the option to extend your programme by a year to spend your third year working in the music industry. It’s a great opportunity to gain valuable experience and contacts – and some students go on to work for their placement companies after they graduate.

We have established internship opportunities with major music organisations such as Warner Music, English National Opera, and the Leeds International Concert Season, but you can also explore placements such as music therapy, education, orchestral or band management, in the UK or abroad.

In recent years students have taken placements in organisations such as Faber Music, Grand Union Orchestra, and Scottish Opera. One graduate has recently opened the New York office of WilKatPR, following a placement with the company.

Read more about the Year in Industry.

Student profile: Betsy Cheng

I wished to become a music therapist and I think the programme has been really helpful to build up my knowledge. Leeds was my first choice due to the quality of the Music Psychology programme.
Find out more about Betsy Cheng's time at Leeds