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This challenging course 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 study a module focused on researching performance and also have a choice of optional modules offered across the School of Music. You could study composition, musicology, 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.

Course content

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.

The core Researching Performance module will build your understanding of relevant research methods and approaches in music to equip you with a broader range of skills through which you can interpret and discuss your and others’ performing activities and practices. You’ll also have the chance to expand your studies by choosing from the optional modules offered across the School of Music, allowing you to explore musicology, composition, psychology of music 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.


Compulsory modules

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

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Individual Project
  • Issues in Musicology
  • Short Dissertation
  • Composition Studies
  • Aesthetic Theory
  • Electronic & Computer Music Practice
  • Electronic & Computer Music Contexts
  • Case Studies in the Applied Psychology of Music
  • Applied Research Methodologies


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, compositions or critical editions.

Applying, fees and funding

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

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

To find out more, 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.



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 audition, please send us a recording of your performance which is 20-30 minutes in length, including at least 2 or 3 contrasting works of music. We’ll expect you to demonstrate technical ability, thoughtful interpretation of the pieces, awareness of historical style, individual personality and flair. In this recording you should be demonstrating something of the style in which you feel you want to develop, and please make sure that your submission presents different aspects of your musicianship (e.g. tempo, key, style, language). The recording should be a true and accurate representation of your performing ability.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students.


  • UK/EU: £8,500 (total)
  • International: £20,000 (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.

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.

Visit the Performance MMus page on the University of Leeds website for more details!






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