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Music, BA

University of Leeds, the United Kingdom

University of Leeds

Study options for this course

The award How you will study Study duration Course start Domestic course fees International course fees
BAFull-time3 yearsSeptemberGBP 9250 per yearGBP 17500 per year
BAPart-time6 yearsSeptemberGBP 9250 per yearfind out

About Music, BA - at University of Leeds

This exciting programme allows you to explore music through a variety of subject areas in musicology, performance, composition, 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 can also choose to develop specialist knowledge and skills in areas such as composition, solo and ensemble performance.

Through study in musical performance, psychology or musicology, you can explore ideas across periods and cultures. You could study topics as diverse as classical music, world percussion, film music, jazz 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.

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

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.

  • Course content

    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 and you'll develop the skills you need to study music at university level. You can choose from aspects of music technology or pyschology, 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 core musicology the relationship between music and politics, culture, or religion, among other specialist topics. 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, analysis, 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 an independent research project 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, 20 credits
    Music Research Skills, 20 credits
    Studies in a Digital Age (Music), 5 credits

      Optional modules

      Composition, 20 credits
      Performance, 20 credits
      Ensemble Performance, 20 credits
      Sound, Technology and Music, 20 credits
      Introduction to Music Psychology, 20 credits

      (If students select only 40 credits from the list above, they may not take both Performance and Ensemble Performance)

        Discovery modules

        Discovery Modules, 20 credits

          Year 2

          Compulsory modules

          Music in Context, 20 credits

            Optional modules

            Interpreting Music, 20 credits
            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

              Discovery modules

              Discovery 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
                  Special Studies in Musicology modules, 20 credits

                  For more information on typical modules, read Music BA in the course catalogue.

                    Discovery modules

                    Discovery Modules, 20 credits

                      For more information on typical modules, read Music BA Full Time in the course catalogue

                      For more information on typical modules, read Music BA Part Time 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

                      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.

                      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. 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, fees and applying

                      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 practical qualification and evidence of musical literacy (e.g. Grade 5 music theory or equivalent).

                      • 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. That's 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.

                      • Study abroad and work placements

                        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.

                        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

                    Entry requirements for this course

                    Contact University of Leeds to find course entry requirements.

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