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 speakers 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.

Click here to watch a sample lecture from the Course Leader, Dr Tom Attah, to get a feel for the course.

Note: We do not accept deferred entry for the BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance course.


We are proud to be academic sponsors of The Ivors Academy, the independent professional body for songwriters and composers in the UK.


Apply now

Please apply direct to the University for our BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance course using the links below.

Home applicants

Click here to apply via UCAS

International applicants

Click here to apply

If you need any assistance completing the form please contact the Admissions team at

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course details

What You'll Study

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.

Work Experience

Work experience covers a broad range of activities and students are encouraged to undertake work placements during their time at university. As well as guidance from the course team our Careers, Employability and Enterprise team offer support that enhances employability skills and underpins engagement with industry.


Recently, students have performed at notable Leeds music venues including the O2 Academy, Belgrave Social and Oporto, and collaborated and performed with the Royal Northern College of Music session orchestra. Students also worked with Skin from band Skunk Anansie and Chancellor of Leeds Arts University, who led a masterclass and provided valuable feedback to our students. Previous Industry Speakers have included: Emma Stakes (A&R, Nashville, New York), Kelsey Gill (X Factor), Liam Craig (Radio 1 airplay), Jason Bowld (Bullet for My Valentine), Scott Devine (international bass educator), Donavan Hepburn (ELO, Take That), and Joe Glossop (Tom Jones, Van Morrison, Laura Mvula). Students have also benefitted from previous masterclasses and talks from: Rockfield Studios, Monmouth, Jon Stewart, Sleeper, Imogen Heap (award winning singer, musician, song-writer, composer and record producer), Taz Modi (ambient and strings), Juice Aleem (rapper, writer), Magick Mountain, The Ivors Academy, Polydor Records, PRS, Damian Morgan (manager and promoter) Futuresound, Lins Wilson and Fran Stocks. 

Course Specification

Contact Hours and Teaching/Learning Methods

Undergraduate degree courses at Leeds Arts University are delivered and supported through a range of teaching and learning strategies. Courses are made up of modules, these are elements of study that are taught and assessed separately. Each module carries a clearly identified credit value, the accumulation of which will allow you to progress to the next level of the course. Around 100 hours of learning are expected for every ten credits of the course. Each level (year) of the course is made up of 120 credits and therefore requires 1200 hours of learning. Teaching is split over 2 semesters; each semester has 13 weeks of teaching and 2 weeks of assessment. 

For further information visit Undergraduate teaching & learning at Leeds Arts University.

Destination Careers

Graduates will be ready to pursue careers as artists, musical directors, and session, touring and theatrical musicians as well as arrangers, songwriters and producers. Graduates may also continue to postgraduate study. 

Entry Requirements

We’re looking for students with the best potential to succeed - irrespective of their background. That’s why we welcome a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Click here to view our entry requirements

Online Audition Guide

You will be asked to upload a video of a practical set piece performance to a suitable video sharing platform (YouTube, Vimeo or Weibo) for remote review. Click here for our Online Audition Guidance.

Tuition Fees and Other Costs

Tuition Fees

Our current fees are listed here

Other Costs

Further costs of study are related largely to the costs of materials and depend very much on how individual students choose to respond to University briefs.

The costs below are the result of asking our students to state how much they spend during the year and creating an average, as such they are indicative only.

Equipment and Materials

  • Level 4 (First Year)
    Books and/or academic, musical texts and subscriptions approximately £100; additional musical and academic consumables approximately £100; 1TB USB hard drive approximately £50 (you will be advised at induction week which is appropriate)
  • Level 5 (Second Year) 
    Books and/or academic, musical texts and subscriptions approximately £100; additional musical and academic consumables £100
  • Level 6 (Third Year)
    Books and/or academic, musical texts and online subscriptions approximately£100; additional musical and academic consumables £150

Although the University has good quality instruments, amplifiers, and microphones, we recommend that you invest in a reliable first-study instrument and a robust case or gig bag. Costs will vary depending on the brand and quality of instrument.

Computers and Digital Equipment

Teaching and learning are supported through access to some online events and learning materials. This might include visiting speakers or the chance to review lectures that have been recorded. The University also uses a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to support learning. There are a range of computer facilities across the University available to access Monday to Saturday including weekday evenings. If you are intending to buy a computer we suggest you wait until you start your course. You will quickly find out what you do and don’t need. The Course Team will be able to offer you advice on what to buy and where to purchase it from, based on your creative needs and budget.

Educational Visits and Off-Site Activities

Educational visits to enhance your experience may take place throughout the course and can range from a visit to a UK conference, exhibition or gallery, to a European or international study trip. All trips requiring a student financial contribution are optional and costs will always be kept as affordable as possible. We do not guarantee that we will run international visits. The decision is made annually based on availability, cost and the number of students required to make the trip viable.

We provide support for undergraduate students dependent upon their financial circumstances. Visit Undergraduate Finance for further information.

Terms & Conditions and Key Information

International Opportunities / Visiting and exchange students

We are delighted to welcome undergraduate visiting and exchange students from Europe and around the world who would like to spend a semester or a full academic year taking credits from our exciting range of courses. You will be fully integrated into the academic and social life of the University during a period of full-time supervised study and your credits transferred back to your home institution.

You can join us through programmes such as Erasmus+, individual university partnerships or as an independent applicant. Please see here for more information and how to apply.

Leeds Arts University students interested in spending some time overseas can find information on the international opportunities available during your course here.

Questions? Contact

3 Years
Study Mode
Full Time
Institution Name
Leeds Arts University
Institution Code
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Leeds Arts University

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"If you're a creative, versatile, imaginative and curious musician, and want to be part of a close-knit collaborative community, you should join us!"
Tom Attah, Course Leader
BA (Hons) Popular Music Performance