Music BA

Year of entry

2025 course information

Open Days 2024

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
AAB. We also welcome BTEC applicants with DDD (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBB at A level or DMM at BTEC, and a pass in the Access to Leeds module
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Music ba

Our BA Music is a flexible course that enables you to shape your learning around the areas of music that interest and excite you.

The course draws on musics from a range of genres, styles, cultural and social contexts, and geographic locations to explore key concepts, theories and approaches. You’ll develop your skills as a creative, critical and reflective thinker, gaining the tools and experience needed to be an independent worker and musician, ready for life after university. You can personalise your course by choosing optional modules from a broad range of areas – including aesthetics, analysis, contemporary composition, film music, the music business, musicology, music psychology, music technology, performance (solo and collaborative) and popular music – enabling you to shape your degree to fit your interests and ambitions.

You’ll study with academics who are experts in their fields, receive support from a dedicated technical team, and take lessons with a visiting professional specialist if you study solo performance. Across your course, you’ll engage with the latest musical research, explore a range of theoretical, creative and practical aspects of music, and develop a set of valuable musical and transferrable skills. You’ll have opportunities to work independently and collaboratively, developing and applying your skills and knowledge in contexts that extend beyond the university environment. All these elements combine to provide you with an exciting and dynamic educational experience that’s unique to Leeds.

We are one of the largest schools of music in the country, which means you’ll benefit from the impressive range of specialisms within our curriculum, reflecting our ethos that music is music, regardless of genre or style. We attract a diverse body of students from across the UK and internationally, which gives the School a vibrant community and culture. Decolonisation, equality and inclusivity are embedded within our curriculum, so all our students can feel a sense of belonging in the School and can thrive on their course, no matter what their background and musical experience.

In the recent national Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) exercise, 93% of our research was considered to be ‘internationally excellent’ or better in terms of its originality, significance and rigour, with 56% rated as ‘world leading’ – the highest classification. Each of these measures places us within the top 10 Schools of Music in the country based on the REF 2021 results for the subject area. Our staff expertise feeds directly into our curriculum, with specialisms including:

  • Applied music psychology
  • Black, popular, independent and global musical cultures
  • Contemporary and experimental composition
  • Electronic and computer music
  • Film music
  • Historical musicology
  • Music analysis
  • Music and wellbeing
  • Music industry and management
  • Music technology in theory and practice
  • Musical aesthetics and postcolonialism
  • Opera
  • Performance and performance practice
  • Practice research in music and the arts
  • Science and technology studies

We work closely with our students, particularly through our active Student Staff Partnership Forum, to ensure that we offer the best possible experience to everyone studying in the School of Music. Our Industrial Advisory Board – an invited body of professionals from across the professional music sector, including several alumni – actively supports the ongoing development of our courses to ensure they deliver the skills and opportunities our students need to prepare them for life after university.

The School of Music is part of a strong musical community at the University of Leeds, and there are numerous Leeds University Union (LUU) clubs and societies that offer opportunities to get involved in music and performance activities. The Leeds University Union Music Society (LUUMS) is one of the Union’s largest societies and boasts ten ensembles including orchestras, choirs, brass and wind ensembles, and a composers’ collective. LUUMS is linked to the School of Music as our departmental society, and the School and LUUMS work closely on social events and the promotion of musical opportunities. School of Music students also often participate in other campus-based ensembles, including the Clothworkers Consort of Leeds (led by School of Music staff members) and Student Union performance societies, such as:

  • The LUU Big Band
  • Various musical theatre, opera and pantomime groups
  • Societies focused on jazz and blues, folk, and pop music
  • A cappella (unaccompanied) singing
  • Electronic music and DJing

The Clothworkers Concert Hall in the School of Music hosts our diverse International Concert Series, and the Students’ Union runs regular gigs and its long-standing Friday evening club night, ‘Fruity’. Beyond the University campus, the city of Leeds provides numerous opportunities to engage with a wide variety of musics at venues including:

  • Leeds First Direct Arena, a fixture on the national touring circuit for leading artists and bands
  • Leeds Grand Theatre, which routinely presents touring West End musicals, comedy and other shows, and is the home of Opera North (a partner of the University) and Northern Ballet
  • Leeds Playhouse, which presents a range of stage musicals and other theatrical productions, several of which then tour nationally
  • Leeds Town Hall, home to the Leeds International Concert Season (LICS), which usually features a wide range of international orchestras within its programming. LICS also run various chamber music series at venues including Holy Trinity Church, Leeds Cathedral, and The Venue at Leeds Conservatoire
  • O2 Academy Leeds hosts a range of popular-music events including its regular ‘Indie Thursdays’ and ‘PROJEKT’ club nights
  • Seven Arts, an independent arts space and a not-for-profit Community Interest Company that presents a range of jazz, popular and light musics within its diverse programme
  • The Brudenell Social Club, which hosts events most nights of the week and covers a wide range of musical genres

All these elements combine to make studying Music at the University of Leeds a distinctive and memorable experience that actively supports our students to pursue careers or future study within and beyond music.

Specialist facilities

The School of Music provides you with dedicated, purpose-built facilities complete with rehearsal, performance and practice spaces, computer clusters, a lab for studying the psychology of music, and dedicated learning and teaching spaces. There are also studios for sound recording, software development and computer-music composition, supplemented by a wide range of specialist software and recording equipment to help you with your studies.

At the heart of our School is the Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, a beautiful performance space that hosts a large and varied programme of concerts in term time. As a student in the School, you can attend events in the International Concert Series programme free of charge. The spacious Clothworkers Foyer is the School’s social hub, and doubles as a venue for popular music and informal performances, including the LUUMS ‘Friday Feature’ series.

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 were the first Russell Group university to have All-Steinway status. Over £700,000 was invested in the pianos – a combination of uprights, baby grands and concert grands – and all 29 pianos in the School are Steinways. Our instrument collection also includes a specially commissioned gamelan, historic and modern keyboard instruments and a large selection of orchestral and world percussion.

Course details

This flexible course gives you a strong grounding in music, while enabling you to develop expertise in your specific interests through the selection of optional modules in various areas of music.

Year 1

During your first year, you’ll gain and develop core skills in musical research and practice-research, engage with multiple ways of thinking about and understanding music, and work collaboratively to develop your musicianship and reflect on your relationship with music. You’ll also choose from a range of modules that focus on specific areas of music, allowing you to shape the course around your own interests or explore new areas.

Year 2

In the second year, you’ll continue to develop your skills, applying your learning in new contexts. There is a strong emphasis on the relationship between theory and practice, and you’ll consider how you understand and evidence your experience and expertise in different contexts. You’ll be able to take optional modules in areas of music that might connect with or differ from those taken in the first year, depending on your focus and future goals. You might complete a work placement or international year between your second and final years of study.

Year 3

The final year is centred around an independent project, enabling you to pursue a musical topic of your own choosing. Your research project can take the form of an extended essay or a practice-research project (in performance, composition, music technology, musicology, or another aspect of musical practice), enabling you to focus on a research topic that you want to pursue. Alongside this, you’ll take a module designed to support the transition from university to life beyond graduation, on which you’ll carry out a collaborative project based on an external brief. As with the earlier years of study, you’ll also choose optional modules in areas of music that complement your project work and the skills you are developing, based on your specific interests.

The course is designed to equip you with a broad range of advanced musical and transferrable skills, which were determined through consultation with our undergraduate students. You’ll cultivate and hone critical, creative and communication skills and develop your cultural awareness and ability to make connections across disciplinary areas and contexts. You’ll strengthen personal attributes, including confidence, self-reflection and resilience, and problem-solving skills such as adaptability and initiative. Through your degree, you’ll learn to adopt a professional mindset and approach, and have opportunities to demonstrate these qualities through collaborative, independent and extended projects.

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

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information and a list of typical modules available on this course, please read BA Music in the course catalogue.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Music and Society (20 credits) – This module supports the development of research and practice-research skills and sets you on the way to being a critical and creative thinker. Rather than offering a chronological overview of music history, the module provides a thematic exploration of music in historical and contemporary, Western and global contexts (including the specific and diverse musical culture of Leeds), and consideration of how musical practice reflects and shapes society. The development of academic research skills is integrated into this exploration, enabling you to thoroughly engage with the topics covered, and to understand and address the challenges and arguments they present.

Materials of Music (20 credits) – This module brings music theory into the twenty-first century. You’ll encounter materials of music and music theory from across the globe in their cultural contexts – from jazz, popular music, and world musics (such as North Indian classical music and Indonesian gamelan) to Western art music. The module does not assume familiarity with Western notation and harmony. Instead, you’ll develop your listening skills to put theory into practice by learning the fundamentals of improvisation across a variety of musical traditions.

Collaborative Performance (20 credits) – This module supports the development of collaborative learning skills, confidence, and your understanding of music’s relationship to your wellbeing. You’ll participate in a School of Music ensemble, though won’t necessarily use your first instrument/voice. Rather than focusing on performance quality, learning is based on the cultivation of the skills necessary for successful group working, such as preparation, professionalism, flexibility and communication. Through group performance, you’ll also engage with questions of responsibility and opportunity, and the ethics of collaborative activity.

Optional modules in areas of music such as (each 20 credits):

  • Contemporary Composition
  • Film Music
  • Music Business
  • Music Psychology
  • Music Technology
  • Performance
  • Popular Music

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Researching Music (20 credits) – Music is a multi-disciplinary subject, and musical research employs a diverse range of methods. On this module, members of staff draw on their own research projects to support your development of musicological (text-based, archival, analytical), practice-based (creative practice as research, applied research) and empirical (questionnaires, focus groups, interviews) research techniques, leading to you creating a proposal for your own research project.

Towards the Future: Skills in Context (20 credits) – This module aims to provide you with an opportunity to think about the ways in which your knowledge and expertise can be applied outside your university studies. You’ll be supported to secure an opportunity to volunteer or work in an external context, such as school education, or with a charity or community group. Alternatively, you could use experiences you are gaining through engagement with the Students’ Union or other on-campus activities. You’ll be encouraged to consider the relevance of your academic studies and skills beyond Higher Education, and reflect on how framing your studies within an external context can inform your learning and academic practice. The module will support you to reflect on your personal skills development and the ethical implications of working with external partners.

You must take one module (each 20 credits) in a defined area of musicological study based on staff specialisms. These may include modules in areas such as:

  • Music and Cultural Identities
  • Music and Politics
  • Opera Studies
  • Popular Music
  • Postcolonialism

Optional modules in areas of music such as (each 20 credits):

  • Aesthetics
  • Collaborative Performance
  • Contemporary Composition
  • Film Music
  • Music Business
  • Music Psychology
  • Music Technology
  • Notation Studies
  • Performance

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Independent Research Project (40 credits) – This module gives you the chance to explore an area of music of your own choosing. You’ll identify and apply appropriate research methods to contextualise and answer your research questions through either a portfolio of practice (eg a performance, compositions or orchestrations, something in the area of music technology, musicology, a recording project, etc.) with contextual materials, or an extended dissertation. Whichever approach you choose, you’ll work with a supervisor who will offer you guidance as you devise, manage and produce your independent project.

Music Beyond Graduation (20 credits) – This module provides you with an opportunity to examine the ways in which expertise in music can be applied beyond your studies. You’ll be encouraged to consider the relevance of your academic studies and skills beyond Higher Education and to reflect on how framing your studies within an external context can inform your learning and academic practice. You’ll work in a small group on a project commission, responding to a brief provided by either an external partner or an academic researcher. The nature of the outputs will depend on the specific needs of each project and may involve research and analysis, curating an exhibition or event, creating online resources, or developing a project plan for a musical intervention.

Optional modules in areas of music such as (each 20 credits):

  • Collaborative Performance
  • Contemporary Composition
  • Critical Theory
  • Music Analysis
  • Music Business
  • Musicology
  • Music Psychology
  • Music Technology
  • Performance

Optional modules in each year of study are presented in ‘baskets’ from which you may choose up to three modules, with no more than two from a single basket. Very few modules have pre-requisites, meaning that as you progress through your degree you can craft your own path that aligns with your musical interests and ambitions.

Learning and teaching

Academics in the School of Music are experts in their fields, and their activities inform their teaching directly. We use a range of inclusive, active and student-centred approaches to learning and teaching to engage you in your course and support you to develop your knowledge, understanding, and skills. Depending on the modules you choose, your learning and teaching methods may include rehearsals and performance classes, taught and self-directed sessions in studios and computer clusters, and workshops and practice-based sessions, as well as lectures, seminars, tutorials and other small-group learning classes. You may also have one-to-one instrumental/vocal lessons with a specialist teacher as part of the performance modules.

Taught sessions are only a part of university learning, and on many of our modules you’ll be supplied with online learning resources designed to work in tandem with classroom sessions. Some modules may require you to engage with videos, podcasts, readings or other activities before class sessions, with some of the classroom time devoted to debate, discussion and deeper learning based on how students have interpreted the online materials. Your learning experience will offer opportunities for collaboration – a key aspect of music and the arts – and peer learning, as well as fostering a culture of reflection and self-awareness. Independent study is also an important part of your course, and you’ll develop your critical, creative and research skills through time spent in the University Library, practice rooms and studios, depending on your module choices.

We support your learning in several ways. Resources are made available through our virtual learning environment, Minerva, you can seek assistance as required from our experienced technical staff and your Academic Personal Tutor, and there is extensive support for students offered through the academic skills programme at the University Library. Additionally, all staff have office hours when they are available should you have questions, or if you need to ask for help. We also work closely with the University’s Language Centre to ensure that international students are fully supported and able to thrive on our courses.


Elements of local fieldwork may be embedded in a range of modules that take you outside teaching spaces as part of the learning experience. The second-year module Towards the Future: Skills in Context requires you to undertake work or volunteering activity, starting the connection between your studies and life beyond university. You might also undertake fieldwork through module activities such as sound recording in external locations, composition sessions designed to capture and work with sounds in natural environments, performance activities in off-campus venues, or trips to local music and performance venues to inform understanding of management, acoustics or other aspects of music.

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 (e.g. 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, think critically and creatively, move as far beyond your comfort zone as you can, and 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. We also welcome BTEC applicants with DDD

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. This would typically be ABB + A in the EPQ for students taking A-levels, for example.

We typically interview all eligible applicants for this programme; this is typically an online interview.

We're committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background. We consider alternative profiles and experience as long as you can demonstrate that you're suitable for the programme. We welcome applications from mature students and entry requirements can be flexible in these cases.

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

D2, M2, M2 or D3, M1, M2 or D2, M1, M3.

Pre-U qualifications will also be accepted in combination with other qualifications such as A-levels.

International Baccalaureate

35 overall (6 at higher level in Music)

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2 H2 H2 H2 H3 H3.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers, or A in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers, or AAAABB in Highers.

Welsh Baccalaureate

We can consider the Individual Project Element of the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate, and offer ABB for example + Distinction in the IP, (instead of AAB).

Other Qualifications

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma: Distinction.

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 a contextual 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 contextual admissions.

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

This course is designed for students whose backgrounds mean they are less likely to attend university (also known as widening participation backgrounds) and who do not currently meet admissions criteria for direct entry to a degree.

The course will give you the opportunity to be taught by academic staff and provides intensive support to enable your development of academic skills and knowledge. On successful completion of your foundation year, you will progress to your chosen degree course. Find out more about the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Music Undergraduate Admissions Team.

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: £26,500 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 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 UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

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.

Additional cost information

Equipment and materials costs

If you are enrolled on optional Performance modules, you’ll continue to be liable for covering ongoing costs of insuring and maintaining your own instrument and buying instrument-specific materials such as reeds, strings, etc. These costs are variable depending on the type of instrument and the nature of the maintenance required. You’ll have access to a good supply of sheet music that is available in the University libraries. Additional sheet music required for Performance modules can usually be ordered through the library; however, for final-year recitals, you might need to purchase your own repertoire (costs for this are variable).

All specialist software required for your programme can be accessed through our Computer Clusters and Studios. Some optional Music Technology modules require the use of a (non-programmable) scientific calculator (approximate cost: up to £10).

Reading materials

You’ll have access to a good supply of books, academic journals, periodicals, etc., that are available in the University libraries. You’ll also have online access to an extensive range of reading resources. You might decide, however, to purchase required books that are recommended on your programme.

Study trips and placements

There may also be the opportunity for optional study trips and individual projects / placements. Costs will depend on the project / placement undertaken, and on the nature and location of each trip.

There may be general additional costs related to being a student at the University of Leeds – you can read more about this here.

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 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.

Read our guidance about applying.

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 musical experience, skills and knowledge, and ability to talk about music critically.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Music

Contact us

School of Music Undergraduate Admissions


Career opportunities

A degree in Music from the University of Leeds equips you with valuable subject knowledge, cultural and social awareness, and a strong balance of musical and transferrable skills. We worked with our undergraduate students to identify a skillset that all our graduates will develop across their courses, and we continue to review these attributes with the student body and our Industrial Advisory Board to ensure they meet the needs of students as they leave university.

Skills such as communication, leadership, time and resource management, and the ability to work independently and collaboratively are particularly attractive to employers, and you’ll also be able to demonstrate the flexibility, resilience and confidence needed to adapt to new situations and environments. Your musical knowledge will bring your critical, creative, research and problem-solving abilities to the fore, and you’ll be able to articulate how the experience gained through your degree has prepared you for whatever comes next, be that work or further study.

Our courses equip our graduates to work in a wide range of areas within the music industry, including:

  • Performing
  • Composing
  • Teaching, lecturing and coaching
  • Arts, artist, project and event management
  • PR
  • Creative production
  • Theatrical stage direction and musical direction
  • Music supervision
  • Music publishing and copyright
  • Marketing and digital marketing
  • Arts research
  • Music therapy

Our graduates also use the skills developed through their Music degree to pursue careers in other sectors, including business, chartered surveying, data management, healthcare, law, management and media, and many progress to postgraduate study in Music or a related discipline, including continuing to Masters study here at Leeds.

Careers support

Skill development is built into our courses, so you start becoming more employable from the moment you begin your studies, and your degree is designed to help you recognise your skills and understand how you demonstrate them. Reflection on and understanding of your skillset is one of the learning outcomes for your course, meaning we will support you to be able to demonstrate these things by the time you graduate.

As you progress through your degree, you’ll have additional opportunities to develop your skillset and your CV, such as supporting your fellow students and the School community by being a peer mentor, becoming a course representative and participating in our Student Staff Partnership Forum on behalf of your cohort, or applying to be our School Undergraduate Representative and working with School and Faculty staff and the Students’ Union to drive the School and University forward.

Reach your potential

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

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. You’ll also have access to the University’s MyCareer portal and have opportunities to discuss your personal and professional development with your Academic Personal Tutor. We run careers events every year in collaboration with our Faculty Employability Team and encourage all our students to attend to develop their awareness of the opportunities that exist beyond graduation, even if they are not yet sure what they want to do after their degree. Alongside this, the Careers Centre provide a range of support and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

During your second year, you’ll have the opportunity to apply to transfer onto our BA Music (International) variant and extend your degree by a year, spending your third year studying at one of our many partner universities worldwide. The University has over 300 University exchange partnerships worldwide, including many of the world’s top-ranking institutions in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, East and South-East Asia, South Africa and Latin America.

The University also has a ‘Horizon Year Abroad’ scheme with selected partner institutions in Africa, Asia and Latin America. On the Horizon scheme the focus is on developing linguistic and intercultural competencies, and you’re not limited to taking modules in your degree subject.

Enhance your learning

Hear from our students about the rewarding and life changing experience that they were able to access by studying abroad.

Studying abroad is a great opportunity to enhance your CV and gain a new perspective on your studies, as well as deepening your cultural awareness through a 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

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and enhance your employability. You’ll have the opportunity to extend your programme by doing a work placement year between your second and final years of study, working with one or more organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK or overseas. 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.

An industrial placement could be the opportunity you need to impress potential employers. It can also give you the chance to learn more about working in the music sector (though you can do a work placement in any area – it does not have to relate to music), discover the sorts of opportunities and pathways that exist, and improve your chances of identifying and securing the career you want.

There are lots of benefits of doing a work placement year, including:

  • gaining invaluable insight into working as a professional in your chosen sector
  • building professional contacts within your chosen field
  • advancing the learning and skills cultivated through your degree by putting them into practice beyond your studies
  • improving your employability through development of your skills and experience, and enhancement of your CV
  • increasing your confidence, self-belief and resilience
  • transfering onto our BA Music (Industrial) variant, demonstrating your added experience to future employers and making your degree stand out

The work placement scheme is managed by our dedicated Faculty Employability team, who can support you to find the right placement to suit you and your future career goals. Examples of placements BA Music students have recently completed include:

  • Digital and Composer Assistant at Westpier Music Ltd
  • Product Test Placement Student at DiGiCo (UK) Limited
  • Events Assistant at Saffron Hall
  • Teaching Assistant at Tracart, Barcelona (Spain)
  • Concerts placement at Manchester Camerata
  • Junior Promotor (PR/Marketing) at Hot Vox

You can also find general information about work experience on the Careers website.

Student profile: Charlotte Richardson

I gained so much worthwhile experience from my placement at Handel & Hendrix in London, from the basics of working in an office environment, to teaching children and running a weekly concert series.
Find out more about Charlotte Richardson's time at Leeds

Student profile: Alex Lewis

I would highly recommend students to study this course. The modules are fantastic and diverse, with plenty of options for performance based or academic subjects.
Find out more about Alex Lewis's time at Leeds