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Develop as a performer with stylistic awareness and an understanding of how to prepare for the concert platform.

Course description

  • Individual lessons with esteemed teachers plus regular interaction with peers and other musicians in classes and coachings
  • Develop your skills to the highest level whilst exploring repertoire in terms of performing style and historical context
  • Learn in a supportive environment with our own academic teaching staff combined with input from visiting international performers and teachers
  • Take advantage of the department’s distinctive interdisciplinary research environment and be part of a strong postgraduate community by taking modules from other specialist areas such as Composition, Musicology and Ethnomusicology.

The MA in Music Performance Studies at Sheffield University incorporates performance-based research skills into music performance and practice. The course gives students the opportunity to develop as performers with an informed knowledge of stylistic awareness and context when preparing for the concert platform.

In addition to preparing for a final public recital examination by intensive one-to-one lessons with specialist tutors, performance workshops and masterclasses, students learn advanced ensemble skills and have a choice of modules designed to help them develop as individual performers, such as Special Study in Performance and Communicating about Music and Music Research.

Sheffield University has a thriving Music Department and there are many opportunities for performers. The student concert series provides solo opportunities and there are links to external venues to gain further performance experience. The University music societies and Department run several orchestras and ensembles throughout the year that MA performance students can audition for and participate in.

Sheffield is an exciting place to study music performance and there is a wide choice of live events for students to attend. Within easy reach of other towns, Sheffield is also a perfect hub for a

musician to live, with fast and easy transport connections to the rest of the UK.

Many past MA students at Sheffield have graduated and entered the music profession. Whilst a large number are performing and teaching, others have stayed to continue their studies at PhD level, or taken up offers to further study at leading music conservatoires. The department aims to encourage and support each individual to achieve their own personal career aims.

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Core Modules

(90 credits total)

Research Techniques is a general introduction to research methods in music, with particular reference to: (1) bibliographical methods, library resources, on-line and hard-copy abstracts and indices; (2) manuscript sources, discographies, specialist sound/music libraries and other resources; (3) developing a research area; exploring references, following leads and evaluating sources; (4) music processing; (5) presentation skills; (6) current methods in survey/questionnaire/interview techniques; (7) careers skills; (8) professional development; (9) giving and receiving feedback; (10) reflective skills.

Advanced Ensemble Performance Skills aims to develop students’ ensemble performance skills to an advanced level by taking a critical and reflective perspective on one’s performance in an ensemble context, considering the role of musicians in accompaniment and chamber music settings, and by researching relevant aspects of ensemble performance related to repertoire, musical communication, and performance expression. This module has an extensive practical component with students working with other MA and UG students towards a 15-minute recital examination. There is also a 2000-word portfolio including a critical reflection on musical communication, the rehearsal process and the repertoire choices with reference to existing performances.

Your Recital work will be supported and supplemented by individual instrumental tuition. The module culminates in a 45-minute public recital demonstrating keen stylistic awareness, accomplished technical control, imaginative use of colour and texture. You will engage with the audience in expressing their interpretations of chosen repertoire at a professional standard.

Optional Modules

Group A

Students will take 45 credits from this group

Group B

Students will take 30 credits from this group


Individual instrumental or vocal tuition, seminars and individual tutorials.


You will be assessed by a recital at the end of the course, presentations and coursework.

How to Apply:

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

When you apply you will need to provide a portfolio of your performance work.

The portfolio will need to be a video and include two contrasting pieces of different styles and eras demonstrating your expressive and technical flexibility. Classical singers should choose works in two different languages. Musicians performing in a popular style may choose works from the same era but they should show sufficient contrast. The portfolio should be approximately 20 minutes in total.

Visit the MA Music Performance Studies page on the University of Sheffield website for more details!





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Recipient: University of Sheffield

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