- 3 Years (Full time)
- Typical A-level offer
- AAB. We also welcome BTEC applicants with DDD
- UCAS code
Our BMus Music (Performance) course is designed to provide you with a performance-intensive experience within a university environment, while supporting you to pursue other areas of musical interest should you wish to do so.
The core of the course is based around performance and related matters, which sits alongside modules drawing 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 performer and 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. Alongside your performance specialism, you can choose optional modules from a broad range of areas – including aesthetics, analysis, contemporary composition, film music, the music business, musicology, music psychology, music technology and popular music – enabling you to shape your degree to fit your interests and ambitions.
You’ll take lessons with a visiting professional specialist, study with academics who are experts in their fields, and receive support from a dedicated technical team. 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 performance, wider musical and transferrable skills. You’ll have opportunities to work independently and collaboratively, using 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 is 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:
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 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:
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.
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.
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'll be able 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.
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.
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.
This course is designed to support your development as a performer within the context of an academic, research-intensive University School of Music, while enabling you to develop other musical interests through the selection of optional modules in other areas of music. Performance will be a core thread across your degree, and you’ll benefit from individual instrumental/vocal tuition from a specialist teacher throughout your course. You’ll take a minimum of one-third of your credits based around performance in each year of study, and have the opportunity to increase this proportion significantly as you progress through the course, depending on the modules you choose.
Alongside solo and collaborative performance opportunities, in the first year you’ll develop core skills in musical research and practice-research, engaging with multiple ways of understanding music in the context of your development as a performer. 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.
In the second year, you’ll continue to develop your solo and collaborative performance skills, as well as engaging with a specialist performance module exclusive to the BMus programme, drawing on the relevant expertise of School staff. There is a strong emphasis on the relationship between theory and practice, and you’ll start to think about how you understand and evidence your experience and developing expertise. 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 (including additional aspects of performance), depending on your focus and future goals. You might complete a work placement or international year between your second and final years of study.
The final year is based around two independent projects. You’ll present an extended recital that marks the culmination of your performance development, and produce an independent research project in 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 of your own choosing. As with the earlier years of study, you’ll be able to choose from optional modules in areas of music that complement your performance objectives, project work and the skills you are developing.
The course is designed to equip you with advanced performance skills alongside a range of other musical and transferrable skills, which were determined through consultation with our undergraduate students. In addition to performance, you’ll cultivate and hone critical, creative and communication skills and develop your cultural awareness and the facility 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.
Performance Studies (20 credits) – On this module, you’ll have one-to-one lessons on your first instrument/voice with a specialist teacher, attend and participate in performance classes, and learn about what performance means within an academic context. You’ll develop your performing abilities alongside an awareness of how performance might be approached in terms of repertoire selection, preparation and programming.
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
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, 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.
Performance (20 credits) – On this module you’ll have one-to-one lessons on your first instrument/voice with a specialist teacher, attend and participate in performance classes, and consider issues surrounding preparing for and giving performances, and working with other musicians and professionals. Through the module you’ll develop your performing abilities alongside skills in areas such as stagecraft, communication and expression, and consider the impact of factors like performance anxiety, choice of musical edition, and working with an accompanist.
Collaborative performance (20 credits) – On this module you’ll work with students from across our undergraduate body on a collaborative performance project. Depending on your instrument/voice, and the opportunities available in a given year, this might take the form of a large ensemble such as an orchestra or choir, or could involve participating in a smaller group such as a band, chamber ensemble, vocal group, or gamelan ensemble, under the direction or mentorship of an expert from within the School staff or a visiting specialist. The module supports the development of collaborative learning skills and confidence alongside further enhancement of your performing abilities.
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.
BMus Performance (20 credits) – This specialist module, only available to students on the BMus course, aims to broaden your development as a performer through consideration of critical matters that impact on performance. It seeks to broaden your understanding of how to enhance your work by focusing on related areas such as performance practice, offering you the chance to work with experts and reflect on your personal development.
Independent Research Project (40 credits) – This module allows you 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.
Advanced BMus Performance (40 credits) – On this module, you’ll craft and present an extended recital as the culmination of your performance studies.
Optional modules in each year of study are presented in ‘baskets’ from which you may choose up to two with no more than one from a 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.
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.
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’ll 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 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 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 (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.
A-level: AAB. We also welcome BTEC applicants with DDD Music
If these don't include A-level Music, we would normally expect an essay/discursive subject and evidence of Musical Literacy.
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.
Applicants must have achieved Grade 8 with Distinction or equivalent to be eligible to audition and interview for this programme – if you have not, please apply for the BA Music W300 as an alternative. If you are taking your Grade 8 during the coming application cycle and anticipate achieving a Distinction, please apply for W300 in the first instance and let us know once you have received your result. At this point, we can arrange an audition, and make an amended offer for the BMus Performance course if appropriate.
You will be asked to provide a video recording of the following:
GCSE: Usually 5 at A-C, including English at Grade C/4 or above
Other course specific tests:
As standard, we expect that you’ll have studied Music to A-level or equivalent. However, if you haven’t we may still be able to consider your application providing you have, as a minimum, ABRSM Grade 8 Distinction practical qualification and evidence of musical literacy (e.g. Grade 5 music theory or equivalent). You should also have studied A-level or equivalent at least one essay-based subject.
The Diploma must be in a relevant subject 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.
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.
35 overall (6 at higher level in Music)
(Leaving Certificate): H2 H2 H2 H2 H3 H3
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.
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).
UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma: Distinction.
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were 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
We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Music Undergraduate Admissions Team.
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.
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: To be confirmed
International: To be confirmed
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
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 are available on individual course pages.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 will be available on individual course pages from September 2023.
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.
Equipment and materials costs
Students on the BMus programme are required to take Performance modules, and 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).
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 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.
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.
University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023
School of Music Undergraduate Admissions
A degree in Music from the University of Leeds equips you with valuable subject knowledge, cultural and social awareness, and a strong balance of performance, wider 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:
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.
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.
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.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats 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 at the Careers website.
During your second year, you’ll have the opportunity to apply to transfer onto our BMus Music (Performance) (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.
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.
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:
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 Music students have recently completed include:
You can also find general information about work experience on the Careers website.
My year abroad has helped me to realise that I can actually continue my studies anywhere in the world, and I now have the drive to take my studies overseas after Leeds to see where else life takes me.Find out more about Patricia Yates's time at Leeds
As a percussionist with an interest in classical, jazz and world music I have been able to get involved in endless projects that have allowed me to explore all of the areas I am passionate about.Find out more about Jess Clarke's time at Leeds