Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

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In this section:

Why study music?

The most obvious reason for studying music is because you love it! Music is one of the most important and powerful means of human expression. Through performance, composition, psychology, technology, and critical and historical study we are able to express our creativity, intellect and emotions. We can engage with a range of societies and cultures, both contemporary and historical, and develop skills in working with and understanding others. If you are enthusiastic about studying any aspect of music, you will find the courses at Leeds challenging, enjoyable and rewarding. Students at Leeds are dedicated to music and have achieved many successes as musicians. They include: winning the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival Young Composers’ Competition and the BBC Young Folk Awards, reaching the finals in the national Musicians’ Benevolent Fund Songwriting Awards, appearing in the Music Week Commercial Pop Top 30 charts, reaching number 1 in the Club Chart Breakers listings, and winning a Grammy.  One of our graduates (Ilan Eshkeri) has even had his music–The Snowman and the Snowdog–played in space!

Aside from offering an enjoyable and fulfilling academic experience, a degree in music offers a natural pathway to a career as a musician, but also offers skills that will be valued by prospective employers in other fields such as business and law.  The study and performance of music develops independent thinking, and a range of analytical and communication skills that are highly valued in the professional world you will enter after university.

Studying music at Leeds

Studying Music at Leeds is a stimulating and challenging experience. All cultural perspectives and types of music interest us and are seen as valuable and important. Even though no one degree programme can cover everything, this ethos is central to our approach to teaching, and is reflected in both the breadth and range of our provision, and in the size and diversity of our staff. We work as practitioners and theorists, creating world-leading research which directly informs our teaching. Historical, social, cultural, critical, philosophical, psychological, and technological research is brought to bear on the study of music in education, composition, performance and reception. We not only have internationally-recognised expertise in the academic study of music but also make music, write about it in the press, give interviews in the media, develop new music technology and engage with some of the most profound and influential philosophical, religious and political ideas. Our research, concert series, performances, and compositions have regional, national and international reach and dissemination.

Our student body is just as diverse. Undergraduates from degree courses interact to create performances, compositions and projects that cross boundaries and reflect the level of music’s importance in contemporary life. As well as our four undergraduate programmes, a BSc course is available in Music, Multimedia and Electronics (jointly delivered with the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering). Students can choose to take music as a joint honours course with a large range of subjects in the arts, sciences, and modern languages. If you study on the BMus, you will spend a year abroad at an international conservatoire or college of music. MArts/BArts, BA Music or BA Music with Enterprise students can also choose to spend a year abroad at a variety of institutions or spend a year working in the music industry.

While you’re considering your options, why not take a look at our Undergraduate Brochure (available on the Downloads menu) or come to one of our Open Days  – an opportunity to tour the facilities, learn in detail about the courses offered by the School, and to talk to staff and students.

Why choose Leeds?

The School is housed in extensive purpose-built premises. The large building contains rehearsal, performance and practice spaces, a Psychology of Music laboratory, and four lecture theatres.  There are studios for sound recording, software development and computer music composition. A wide selection of professional recording equipment and the latest music software is available for students to use and our facilities are supported by a dedicated team of technicians.  Our collection of instruments includes a specially commissioned gamelan, several historic and modern keyboard instruments, and a wide range of orchestral and world percussion.

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 (with all events free for students), 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 libraries, with over 3 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.

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