Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

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Graduate Diploma

In this section:


Programme Manager: Dorien Schampaert
Email: music@leeds.ac.uk

The Graduate Diploma programme may be used as a stepping-stone from an undergraduate to a Master’s degree; it also stands as a creditable and respected award in its own right. The programme is suitable for International students who are not fully confident in spoken English or the UK education system, or UK graduates whose first degree was not in Music, but who nevertheless possess a high level of musical expertise as scholars and/or practitioners.

Candidates must take a total of 120 credits and pass 100 credits, of which at least 60 credits must be at level 3.

Because of the flexibility inherent in the programme, candidates should seek advice and approval from the Programme Manager regarding the prerequisite knowledge and/or qualifications for their module choices.

Entry requirements:

– Normally a degree or diploma in Music;
– or a degree in a subject other than Music and an A-level in Music or ABRSM grade 8 theory;
– or equivalent qualifications and/or professional experience will be considered in individual cases

Minimum English language requirements:

IELTs: At least 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component.

TOEFL (iBT): At least 83-87 (with a minimum of 18 in listening and reading, 20 in writing and 21 in speaking).

Pearson: At least 56.

Where language skill levels fall below the normal standard required, applicants may register for a summer language course

Aims and Objectives

By the end of this programme students should be able to demonstrate:

  • Advanced competence in a range of advanced musical skills (comprising methods and approaches appropriate to the scholarly study and practice of music)
  • A degree of intellectual confidence and independence of thought
  • Engage with wider debates in terms of critical or historical approaches to musicological topics
  • Demonstrate ability as an effective independent learner

Why Leeds?

The School is housed in extensive purpose-built premises. The large building contains rehearsal, performance and practice spaces, electronic studios (including state-of-the-art recording studios and Pro Tools suites), a Psychology of Music laboratory, two multimedia computer clusters, and four lecture theatres. Our collection of instruments includes a specially commissioned gamelan, several historic and modern keyboard instruments, and a wide range of orchestral and world percussion.

Postgraduate students in the School may have the opportunity to write pieces for LS2, the School’s contemporary-music ensemble.  Other opportunities often include competitions for the Clothworkers Consort of Leeds and Leeds University Union Music Society in addition to other opportunities offered by visiting musicians like Ian Pace and Eva Zoellner.

Leeds is a centre for music of all kinds—from orchestral to jazz, rock to reggae, hip hop to bhangra—with venues ranging from the Victorian Town Hall to the funky Wardrobe. The West Yorkshire Playhouse and the Grand Theatre host drama, opera and dance. The city is home to Opera North (with whom we have a collaborative partnership: DARE) and the Northern Ballet Theatre. The School of Music runs an international concert series, and the Town Hall also hosts an international concert programme.

Just ten minutes’ walk from the city centre, the University campus has shops, cafes, residences, and sports facilities, alongside lecture theatres, studios, and the excellent University library, with over 2.8 million items and a wide range of electronic resources. The University has one of the largest and most active UK Student Unions, with a shopping mall, bars, concert venues, and an award-winning nightclub. The Union runs newspapers, radio stations, and theatre companies, and over two hundred societies engaging in cultural, social, religious, political and sporting activities.

Course Structure

Students take the following compulsory module:

  • Music Research Skills (10 cr)

And choose a further 100 credits from the following optional modules:

20-40 credits from:

  • Music in History and Culture (30 cr)
  • Understanding Music (20 cr)
  • Interpreting Music (20 cr)

20-80 credits from:

  • Dissertation (40 cr)
  • Music in Context C (20 cr)
  • Music in Context D (20 cr)

The Level 3 music options (to take level 3 modules to 60 credits) include:

  • Composition (40 cr)
  • Music Psychology (40 cr)
  • Music Technology (40 cr)
  • Performance (40 cr)
  • Contemporary Aesthetics (40 cr)
  • Editing and Source Studies (40 cr)
  • Ensemble Performance (20 cr)
  • Applied Project (20 cr)

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