Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications

School of Music

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MMus Performance

This challenging programme will allow you to expand your repertoire and hone your skills as a performer, while giving you the confidence to apply critical approaches to the study of music and its performance.

You’ll work with our experienced and talented specialist teachers to develop your repertoire. You’ll learn to interpret music sensitively, injecting your own personality without neglecting the historical style of each work. Not only will you perform regularly throughout the year, but you’ll work towards your own recitals and work on your own solo or ensemble project.

To put your performance into context, you’ll also have a choice of optional modules offered across the School of Music. You could study composition, musicology, aesthetics, psychology of music and more to explore how performance can shape and be shaped by other forms of musical research and practice.

We have a variety of excellent facilities to support your learning, including rehearsal, performance and practice spaces, a lab for studying the psychology of music and studios for sound recording, software development and computer music composition. We also have good working relationships with a range of prestigious arts organisations: we host BBC Radio 3 concerts, Leeds Lieder and the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, as well as enjoying a close partnership with Opera North and many others in a city with a thriving music and cultural scene.

Take a virtual tour of the School of Music.

You could also choose to study for a Postgraduate Diploma qualification over 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time.

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

As well as focusing on a single concerto, song-cycle or extended work of 20-30 minutes, you’ll prepare for a final recital of 40-50 minutes that you’ll perform near the end of the programme. In addition, you’ll prepare for a solo or ensemble project and reflect on the process of preparing and then giving a performance.

You’ll also have the chance to expand your studies. The core Professional Studies module will build your understanding of research methods in music to equip you with a broader range of skills. Then you’ll choose from the optional modules offered across the School of Music, allowing you to explore musicology, composition, psychology of music, aesthetics and more.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

If you opt for the PGDip qualification, you’ll take fewer modules overall.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Professional Studies 30 credits
  • Concerto/Song-Cycle/Extended Work 30 credits
  • Instrumental or Vocal Recital 60 credits

Optional modules

  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Short Dissertation 30 credits
  • Composition Studies 30 credits
  • Editing and Archival Studies 30 credits
  • Issues in Critical Musicology 30 credits
  • Aesthetic Theory 30 credits
  • Computer Music Practice 30 credits
  • Computer Music Contexts 30 credits
  • Case Studies in the Applied Psychology of Music 30 credits

Learning and teaching

You’ll take instrumental and vocal lessons with our specialist teachers. However, lessons can be organised with teachers from the surrounding area such as Opera North and the Royal Northern College of Music by individual arrangement.

Read about our instrumental and vocal teachers on our opportunities page.

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


Your performance will largely be assessed through your recitals, and you’ll also submit programme notes for each recital you complete. Other modules may also assess you on project work, bibliographical exercises, essays and presentations. Optional modules may use specialist tasks such as compositions or critical editions.

Entry requirements

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

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

English language requirements

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

Improve your English

If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

  • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
  • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

How to apply

We will consider applications from 1 October – 1 September.

However, we recommend you apply as early as possible, especially if you are planning to apply for external funding. You will usually be expected to have an offer of a place on a programme before you apply for funding. You may also need to leave time to make arrangements such as visa applications or relocating to Leeds.

This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you need

Your degree certificate and transcript, or a partial transcript if you’re still studying.

Two academic references.

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

If you want to take a module in composition, please submit a recent composition (if score, no larger than A4) and recordings if you have them. These can include links to websites, Dropbox, Soundcloud, or similar.

A repertoire list of works studied over the last two years and any details of performances, masterclasses, chamber music or orchestral experience that might be relevant.

A copy (or draft) of an undergraduate dissertation, or an essay in English of around 2,000 words, on a musical topic.

If you don’t live in the UK and can’t attend Leeds for an interview, please send us an authenticated recording of 20-30 minutes of you performing two or three contrasting works of music. We’ll expect you to demonstrate technical ability, thoughtful interpretation of the pieces, awareness of historical style and individual personality and flair.

Admissions policy

School of Music Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: £6,750 (total)

International: £16,250 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

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

If you study the PGDip qualification, you’ll pay two-thirds of the MA fees overall.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more 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 may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

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

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

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

Careers support

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

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

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