Leeds Arts University

Degree level: Undergraduate

Popular Music Performance

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

There are no boundaries between performance, production, and composition on this course. Versatile musicians - keen to develop professional delivery and technical skills - flourish at the University. Our students go on to achieve fulfilling and diverse careers in contemporary music. Performance, production, and composition are integral to this degree course. We recruit musicians to the principal studies of vocals, keyboard, guitar, bass guitar and drums, giving performers the confidence to create original music and thrive as working musicians. This dynamic course develops your musicianship through specialist 1:1 vocal/instrumental tuition, a range of band performances, and learning from diverse visiting musicians covering all styles of music. We boast purpose-built music facilities that simulate the industry, including a 240-seater auditorium, nine sound-proofed live rooms, and recording studios with elite mixing desks. Our experienced tutors and visiting industry professionals support and stimulate the development of your technical skills. You will be expected to clearly evidence your musical creativity, individuality, and originality through real-world experience and industry networks. Our students benefit from being in Leeds – a city steeped in musical history and host to an array of world-renowned performance venues. Our vibrant community facilitates working with other creatives such as writers, graphic designers, fine artists, visual communicators, photographers, fashion designers, animators, filmmakers, and creative advertisers. This is a unique opportunity to build crucial networks and an impressive musical portfolio from the outset of your professional life.

Course details


Year One – Fundamental concepts of popular music performance, production, and composition are introduced through practical music-making. Delivery is key, so you will participate in Ensemble Performance Workshops, perform on stage, in the recording studio, and as an individual, whilst receiving expert 1:1 guidance from experienced staff. The first year also integrates song-writing, arranging, stagecraft, music production, and entrepreneurial activity. Year Two – Alongside 1:1 vocal/instrumental tuition, you will respond to briefs that contribute to a portfolio of song writing, performances, recordings, and visual material. You will explore professional artist development, contracts, rights, finances, planning, professional presentation, and networking. Music is also explored in context, looking at popular music through history and ground-breaking events. Year Three – You will undertake a music-focused project which embodies your specialism and further develops your professional identity. Recognising your audience is critical as you implement analytical techniques and problem-solving skills that can be applied in many types of employment. By the end of this course, you will be equipped with skills for decision-making in complex professional, musical, and creative environments.

How to apply

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Our undergraduate minimum requirements are: - 112 UCAS points from any combination of A Levels/Extended Diploma/Foundation Diploma. One qualification should be in a relevant subject; or - BBC from three A Levels; or - A minimum of one Distinction and two Merits (DMM) from an Extended Diploma or a Merit from a UAL Extended Diploma; or - 112 UCAS points from a recognised Access to Higher Education course specialising in art and design with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3; or - An international equivalent to 112 UCAS points in a subject related to your proposed course of study. Please see our Information by Country pages for more information. All home applicants aged under 21 must have GCSE English at Grade 4/Grade C or above, or English Functional Skills Level 2 at Pass. International applicants must have a minimum IELTS overall score of 5.5, with no individual component below 5.5 (or recognised equivalent). Examples of Work For BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance you will need: - 112 UCAS points from any combination of A Levels/Diploma/Extended Diploma. One qualification should be in a relevant subject, this may be a Rockschool Level 3 Music Practitioner qualification. - A Level of performing ability equivalent to ABRSM/Rockschool/Trinity Grade 8 - Music theory understanding to Grade 5 level Performing ability and theoretical understanding will be assessed through a practical performance of (1) a set piece relative to a specific instrument or voice and (2) an original song, instrumental composition, or arrangement of an existing song that has been uploaded to a suitable video sharing platform (YouTube, Vimeo or Weibo) for remote review. English You’ll need to have passed GCSE English Language or English Literature at grade C/grade 4 or above, or English Functional Skills Level 2 at Pass. For mature students, an Access to Higher Education qualification in art and design will also be acceptable to demonstrate English language ability. For mature students who are unable to provide formal evidence of an appropriate standard of English, the University may request completion of its own English proficiency test. Foundation Diploma If you’re studying an accredited Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, you’ll need a minimum of 112 UCAS tariff points. This is collated from the Foundation Diploma plus your A level or Extended Diploma results. You’ll also need a GCSE grade A*-C/grade 4 or above in English Language, English Literature or equivalent (see above), or English Functional Skills Level 2 at Pass. Extended Diploma You’ll need a minimum of 1 Distinction and 2 Merits (DMM) from an Extended Diploma in a relevant subject or an overall Merit from a UAL Extended Diploma. You’ll also need a GCSE grade A*-C/grade 4 in English Language, English Literature or equivalent (see above), or English Functional Skills Level 2 at Pass. A-levels You’ll need 112 tariff points from your A level studies, typical grades required are BBC. One qualification should be in an art and design or related subject. You’ll also need a GCSE grade A*-C/grade 4 in English Language, English Literature or equivalent (see above), or English Functional Skills Level 2 at Pass. Access to Higher Education You’ll need to have passed a recognised Access to Higher Education course specialising in art and design with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3. A combination of pass, merit and distinction to total 112 tariff points. Scottish Higher Leeds Arts University welcomes applicants with the BTEC/Scottish Higher National Certificate (HNC). Please contact the university to confirm the specific entry requirements for your chosen course.

Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course


Unistats information

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The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
EU £17100 Year 1
International £17100 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Popular Music Performance at Leeds Arts University - UCAS