Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

BMus Music (Performance) (2018 entry)

This Information is for 2018 entry only – to see the information for 2019 entry please go to the main Programme page

This exciting four-year degree allows you to specialise in performance and spend your third year studying in a conservatoire, music college or university abroad.

You’ll focus on solo and ensemble performance, but you’ll also study music from a variety of critical approaches. You can pursue your own interests by choosing optional modules, exploring areas such as the psychology of music, analysis, aesthetics, composition, musicology, notation and editing or music technology.

Through music in psychology or politics, from baroque to pop, you’ll be able to study music from different cultures and periods. At the same time, you’ll develop your practice as a creative and individual performer, enhanced by your experience at one of a range of institutions in Europe or elsewhere in the world.

You’ll develop a wide range of experience and valuable skills in a vibrant, diverse city with an exciting musical and cultural scene.

Specialist facilities

At the heart of the School of Music is the Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, a beautiful performance space which hosts a large and varied programme of concerts in term time. The entire concert programme is free to students.

The School of Music has its own purpose-built building complete with rehearsal, performance and practice spaces, a lab for studying the psychology of music and four lecture theatres. There are also studios for sound recording, software development and computer music composition – we have a wide range of professional recording equipment and up-to-date music software to help you with your studies. In addition, our instrument collection includes a specially commissioned gamelan, historic and modern keyboard instruments and a large selection of orchestral and world percussion.

Take a virtual tour of the School of Music

Music at Leeds

Leeds offers a fantastic variety of opportunities to get involved with music and performance that go far beyond the School of Music ensembles. You can also be involved in extra-curricular activities through the student union, or by creating your own ensembles or bands.

Leeds University Union Music Society (LUUMS) is one of the Union's largest societies and boasts eight ensembles, including orchestras, choruses, brass and wind bands; each one gives regular concerts and some go on tour. The campus hosts a diverse range of other musical societies, including Gospel Choir, Clothworkers Consort of Leeds, Opera Society, Music Theatre, Band Soc, Big Band, Electronic Music and DJ Societies. Find out more about Leeds University Union Clubs and Societies.

You could also get involved in cultural activities in the Leeds area, and perform in the city’s many venues such as clubs, pubs, churches, or the Town Hall.

Read more about city life in Leeds.

Throughout the programme, you’ll benefit from individual tuition from a specialist teacher in your instrumental/vocal lessons, and coaching in ensemble performance. In your first year you’ll study core modules that introduce you to theoretical, historical and social aspects of music; you can also choose from optional modules introducing you to composition, music technology or psychology, as well as discovery modules.

In your second year, half your time will be spent studying solo and ensemble performance which will prepare you for the following year, when you’ll study in a conservatoire, music college or university abroad. You’ll also develop in other areas, choosing from topics reflecting the diverse research interests of our tutors. In addition, you’ll choose options including notation and editing, analysis, aesthetics and criticism, musicology, music technology, composition and music psychology.

The year abroad can focus almost exclusively on intensive performance study. However, if you’re studying in English you may also choose some academic modules, and if you’re in Europe, you can improve your language skills.

When you return to Leeds for your final year, you’ll focus on specialist solo performance to prepare for a recital, and you’ll demonstrate the skills you’ve acquired when you produce a dissertation on a topic of your choice. It is possible to continue to choose from specialist studies, and you will have the chance to perform in the School’s ensembles.

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

  • Understanding Music 20 credits
  • Music in History and Culture 20 credits
  • Music Research Skills 20 credits
  • Performance 20 credits
  • Ensemble Performance 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Composition 20 credits
  • Sound, Technology, and Music 20 credits
  • Introduction to the Psychology of Music 20 credits

Discovery modules

  • Discovery modules 20 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Ensemble Performance 20 credits
  • Performance 40 credits
  • Music in Context 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Interpreting Music 20 credits
  • Composition 20 credits
  • Notation and Editing 20 credits
  • Aesthetics and Criticism 20 credits
  • Music Technology Skills and Techniques 20 credits
  • Music in Practice 20 credits
  • The Psychology of Listening and Performance 20 credits
  • Music Students into Schools 20 credits

Discovery modules

  • Discovery modules 20 credits

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Year Abroad 120 credits

Year 4

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation 40 credits
  • Performance 40 credits

Optional modules

  • Analysing Music 40 credits
  • Composition 40 credits
  • Ensemble Performance 20 credits
  • Applied Project 20 credits
  • Editing and Source Studies 40 credits
  • Contemporary Aesthetics 40 credits
  • Music Technology 40 credits
  • Music Psychology 40 credits
  • Special Studies in Musicology modules 20 credits

Discovery modules

  • Discovery modules 20 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Music (Performance) BMus in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Performance modules will include individual tuition, ensemble rehearsals, and performance classes, where you will have the expertise of a piano accompanist for rehearsal and performances, if you need one. You’ll have access to our expert instrumental and vocal teachers, but could choose to study with an alternative teacher off-campus if you wish.

Depending on the modules you choose, other teaching and learning methods are likely to include lectures, seminars and tutorials, as well as online learning tasks, studio time for composition, and lab work in music psychology. Independent study is also an important part of the degree, whether in practice and rehearsal or research and reading, since this is where you will develop your analytical and research skills. Our experienced technicians and tutors are on hand to help if you need them.

You’ll be assigned a personal tutor who will meet with you individually at least twice a year, and tutorial support for your other modules is always available on request. All staff have office hours where you can drop in and ask for help if you need it. There is extensive support for students offered through the library's skills programme.


We use different types of assessment, depending on the modules you choose. Performances are a vital element of your assessment, but we also use written and listening exams and essays, project work, composition portfolios, presentations, concert reviews and recordings.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB

Normally students will have taken Music, but if you have not (especially if it isn’t taught at your school or college), you should have at least one essay-based subject, as well as a minimum ABRSM Grade 8 Distinction practical qualification and evidence of musical literacy (e.g. Grade 5 music theory or equivalent).

Alternate Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

60 credits overall, with 45 credits at level 3 with an overall Distinction and no credits below Merit


DDD in a music specialism, with evidence of musical literacy.

Cambridge Pre-U

typically D3, M1, M1

International Baccalaureate

35 overall (6 at higher level in Music)

Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

(Leaving Certificate): H2 H2 H2 H2 H3 H3

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AAAABB in Highers / AB at Advanced Higher and AABBB in Highers / A in Advanced Higher and AABBB in Highers.

Other Qualifications

Apolytirion of Geniko Lykeio with Pan Hellenic exams: 18.5 overall normally including Music (equivalent music qualifications will be considered); including 17 in the English from the Pan Hellenic exams

Cypriot: pass in the Apolytirion with a minimum of 19 overall, including 19 in Music (other music qualifications will be considered) and 17 in English, plus at least one A level at grade B or above (or equivalent)

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

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.

Access to Leeds participants will receive a lower offer.


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

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 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.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU 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.


All applicants will be auditioned and interviewed if they have achieved ABRSM Grade 8 distinction (or equivalent – at least 87% in a practical exam) or if they achieve this within the application cycle.

Auditions usually take place between November and March during one of the post-application open days, meaning you’ll also have the chance to look around the School of Music and meet some staff and students.

Typically, auditions last approximately 20 minutes. You’ll be required to perform the following:

  • Two pieces or extracts of your choice of contrasting styles or periods on your first-study instrument or voice. Please prepare at least 8-10 minutes of music.
  • A prepared technical exercise or study, or a selection of scales/arpeggios (taking the Grade 8 syllabus as indicative where appropriate).

An experienced accompanist will be provided.
You’ll also be asked to talk briefly about your experience as a performer.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Undergraduate Admissions Policy 2019


UK/EU: See fees section below

International: £17,500 (per year)

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2019, the fee for 2019/20 will be £9,250. 

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in the 2019/20 academic year will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, youll 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

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 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.

Career opportunities

This degree will allow you to develop a wide range of subject knowledge and skills, focussing on performance. You’ll gain a solid background in academic study, and a wide range of transferable skills, which will enable you to pursue various career pathways. You’ll be a good communicator who is able to collaborate and work well in a team, but you’ll also be confident working independently. You’ll have the chance to develop analytical, research and organisational skills. The year abroad is a great opportunity to test your independence and will give you confidence in approaching new situations, as well as the chance to really concentrate on your performing activity.

The BMus degree is an excellent preparation for a career in performance, including further study (our graduates regularly attain places at music colleges in the UK or abroad), and many of our students are working in the profession, including singers with Opera North, string quartet and band members, conductors, arrangers and orchestral musicians.

However, because of the rigorous academic requirements of the degree, it’s possible to move into careers in areas such as law, business, education and management. One of our BMus tenor voice graduates is working as legal counsel for Manchester United Football Club!

We run a series of careers events every year in collaboration with the University Careers Centre to help you explore your options.

Read our Graduate profiles

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.

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.

Placement opportunities

Study abroad

If you progress successfully, and your application to an institution abroad is successful, you’ll apply to spend the third year of this degree studying in a conservatoire/music college/university at one of our partner institutions outside the UK.

It’s a great opportunity to develop your performance skills, explore another culture and develop personal skills that will stay with you for life. It will also look great on your CV, whether or not you choose to pursue a performance career after graduation.

Language classes are available during your first two years to prepare you to study in a non-English speaking country, though you may study in English if you prefer. We have a range of exchange programmes with conservatoires and music colleges in the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and other worldwide destinations.

See our current exchange institutions here

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