Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications

School of Music

Virtual tour screenshot

BA Music

This Information is for 2017 entry onlyto see the information for 2016 entry please see this page

This exciting programme allows you to explore music through a variety of subject areas in performance, composition, history, theory, notation, music technology, aesthetics, analysis and psychology.

In your first year you’ll study core modules that introduce you to theoretical, historical and social aspects of music alongside music technology and the psychology of music. You’ll also choose to develop specialist knowledge and skills in areas such as composition, solo and ensemble performance.

Through music in performance, psychology or politics, you can explore ideas across periods and cultures. You could study topics as diverse as classical music, world percussion, film music or pop – and allow them to inform your own creativity.

Our world-leading researchers will guide you through self-directed project modules and the final-year dissertation, developing independence, team-working, and communication – skills which will enable you to pursue a career within or beyond music in the professional world.

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.


In your first year you’ll study core modules introducing you to the relationship between music and culture, theoretical elements, and aspects of music technology and psychology. You’ll also develop the skills you need to study music at university level, and can choose from composition, ensemble and solo performance. Throughout the degree, you will also have the chance to study discovery modules within the School or from across the University.

From there you’ll continue to choose topics that suit your interests over the next two years. Our Music in Context core modules are led by the research interests of our tutors, meaning you could study 20th century music or the relationship between music and national identity, among others. You will also build on your analytical skills in the Interpreting Music module. In addition, you can choose from a variety of modules which allow you to build on your composition and performance skills, technology, notation and editing, aesthetics or music psychology.

By your final year you will have developed your musical knowledge and abilities, choosing at least one major area of study, and demonstrating your research skills through a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

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 30 credits
  • Music Research Skills 10 credits
  • Introduction to the Sciences of Music 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Composition 20 credits
  • Performance 20 credits
  • Ensemble Performance 20 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Interpreting Music 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Composition 20 credits
  • Performance 20 credits
  • Ensemble Performance 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 in Schools 20 credits
  • Music in Context modules 20 credits

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation 40 credits

Optional modules

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

For more information on typical modules, read Music BA in programme 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

Academics in the School of Music are leading practitioners and researchers, carrying out world-leading research which directly informs their teaching.

To help you benefit from their expertise, a variety of learning and teaching methods are used. Depending on the modules you choose, these are likely to include lectures, seminars and tutorials, as well as online learning tasks, solo and ensemble rehearsals, studio time for composition and technology, and lab work in music psychology.

Independent study is also an important part of the degree, 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, and you’ll have access to our expert instrumental and vocal teachers if you are studying performance.

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.

Assessment

We use different types of assessment, depending on the modules you choose. You will complete exams and essays, but you may also be assessed through performances, 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 5 music theory and Grade 8 practical qualifications.

If you have taken Music, practical grades are not a requirement for this programme. However, if you want to study performance, you’ll need a minimum of ABRSM, Trinity Guildhall or Rockschool Grade 8 merit/grade 7 distinction (or demonstrate that you are of equivalent standard by the time you arrive in Leeds).

We always consider applicants with alternative profiles and experience. We also welcome applications from mature students, international students and those with a range of access qualifications.

Students taking the EPQ may also be made an alternative offer.

We typically interview all eligible applicants.

Alternate Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

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

BTEC

DDD in a music specialism, normally with ABRSM grade 5 (minimum) music theory.

Cambridge Pre-U

typically D3, M1, M1; 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 5 music theory and Grade 8 practical qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

35 overall (6 at higher level in Music)

Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

AAAABB; 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 5 music theory and Grade 8 practical qualifications.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AAAABB in Highers / AB at Advanced Higher and AABBB in Highers / A in Advanced Higher and AABBB in Highers. 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 5 music theory and Grade 8 practical qualifications.

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.

International

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.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

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 youre 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.

Next steps

Suitable candidates will be invited for interview as part of the selection process. Interviews 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. You’ll receive a written invitation to attend an interview at a specific date and time.

Admissions tutors will consider your experience, skills and knowledge in relation to the academic demands of the course. If you’re predicted grades lower than AAB, or don’t hold standard entry qualifications, the interview is particularly important for demonstrating your musical experience, skills and knowledge, and ability to talk about music critically.

Admissions policy

School of Music Undergraduate Admissions Policy

Fees

UK/EU: TBC

International: TBC

Fees are published in the September before the year of entry. They will be updated here after this date.

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.

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

A degree in Music will allow you to develop a wide range of subject knowledge and skills; you’ll also gain transferable skills that are very attractive to employers.

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.

Graduates from the School of Music have gone on to succeed in fields such as composing, (e.g. films such as Shaun the Sheep), performing (one of our graduates in Snarky Puppy recently won a Grammy), arts administration and education. Others work in business, media, management, law, music therapy and psychology. Many also progress to postgraduate study.

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

During your second year you’ll be able to apply to transfer to our BA Music (International) programme. This allows you to extend your degree by a year and spend your third year studying at one of our many partner universities worldwide.

It’s a great opportunity to enhance your CV and gain a new perspective on your studies, as well as deepening your cultural awareness through 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.

Work placements

You’ll have the option to extend your programme by a year to spend your third year working in the music industry. 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.

Internship opportunities have included placements with major music organisations such as Warner Music, English National Opera, and the Leeds International Concert Season, but you can also explore placements such as music therapy, education, orchestral or band management, in the UK or abroad. In recent years students have taken placements in organisations such as Faber Music, Grand Union Orchestra, and Scottish Opera. One graduate has recently opened the New York office of WilKatPR, following a placement with the company.

Read more about Year in Industry


 

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