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Course content

This flexible programme will allow you to expand your repertoire and hone your skills as a performer; whilst you can focus entirely upon performance-based modules if you prefer, there are also options in other areas of musical study should you wish to explore those. This 120-credit programme is a smaller version of the 180-credit MMus Performance programme, and can be studied over 1 year full time, or 2 years part time.

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 also have a choice of optional modules offered across the School of Music 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.

Alternatively, you could choose to study for an MMus Performance qualification over 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time.

Course content

The performance modules 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 the potential to focus on a single concerto, song-cycle or extended work of 20-30 minutes, you can prepare for a final recital of 40-50 minutes that you will perform near the end of the programme. Applied Performance Studies will allow you to prepare and deliver a solo or ensemble project, and reflect upon the process in a written commentary.

You’ll also have the chance to expand your studies if you wish. The Professional Studies module builds your understanding of research methods in music, and you can also choose from optional modules offered across the School of Music, allowing you to explore musicology, composition, psychology of music, aesthetics 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 MMus Performance qualification, you’ll take more modules overall.

Course structure

Optional modules

  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Professional Studies 30 credits
  • Short Dissertation 30 credits
  • Composition Studies 30 credits
  • Instrumental or Vocal Recital 30 credits
  • Concerto/Song-Cycle/Extended Work 30 credits
  • Applied Performance Studies 30 credits
  • Instrumental or Vocal Recital 60 credits
  • Editing and Archival Studies 30 credits
  • Issues in Critical Musicology 30 credits
  • Aesthetic Theory 30 credits
  • Computer Music Practice 30 credits
  • Computer Music Contexts 30 credits
  • Case Studies in the Applied Psychology of Music 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Performance PGDip Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Performance PGDip Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll take instrumental and vocal lessons with our specialist teachers. However, lessons can be organised with teachers from the surrounding area such as Opera North and the Royal Northern College of Music by individual arrangement.

Read about our instrumental and vocal teachers on our opportunities page.

You’ll also attend seminars and tutorials. However, independent study is crucial, allowing you to hone your skills and explore your own creative approaches to performance.


Your performances will largely be assessed through your recitals, and you’ll also submit programme notes for each recital that you complete. Depending upon your module choices, other modules may also assess you on project work, bibliographical exercises, essays and presentations. Optional modules may also use specialist tasks such as compositions or critical editions.

Career opportunities

This programme will allow you to develop as a performer, improve your musical knowledge and gain critical, research and communication skills.

Graduates have pursued a range of careers in orchestral playing, solo performance, instrumental teaching, and arts administration. Several have also pursued further study at conservatoires in the UK and abroad, or research degrees at Leeds and other institutions.

We also offer additional support as you develop your career plans: the School of Music boasts a unique Alumni Mentoring Network, where students can be supported by past students as they start to plan their next steps.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

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.

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




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