Music Performance Postgraduate Diploma 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry postgrad banner new

About the course

In 2015 we were awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for ‘world-leading work to promote, produce and present contemporary music to an international audience'. This represents one of the most coveted distinctions in UK Higher Education.

You will join a thriving community of postgraduate musicians receiving regular individual tuition from staff who are recognised nationally and internationally in their chosen specialisms, and by a team of part-time instrumental and vocal teachers from regional and national orchestras, many of whom are distinguished solo performers.

There are many opportunities to take part in directed ensembles, amongst which are the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Big Band, Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Brass Band, Choir, Chamber Choir, Opera Group, New Music Ensemble, Early Music Ensemble, Folk Group, Samba Band, South Asian Arts Ensemble, Blues Group, Improvisation Group, and A Cappella Choir, as well as various chamber music ensembles.

You will also have many opportunities to experience and perform music, including weekly student concerts, and recitals and masterclasses. Recent guests include Emma Kirkby (voice), Martin Roscoe (piano), Wissam Boustany (flute), Jah Wobble (pop ensembles), Lore Lixenberg (voice), John Scott Whiteley (organ), Snake Davis (saxophone), The Clerks, Ensemble 360.

You will be based in the Creative Arts Building with its purpose-built facilities with access to the well-resourced Music Library, and be able to experience recent developments in new music at first hand at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival based at the University.

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


1 year full-time

Entry requirements

•  Admission is available to Honours graduates in Music and holders of graduate diplomas in Music. You should have achieved a standard of vocal or instrumental performance equivalent to that of the LRSM Performers' Diploma.

•  Your application should be supported by references from 2 referees, at least one of whom should have knowledge of your current abilities within music. Applicants will be auditioned.


Admissions Tutor
Tel: 01484 471336/472375

Places available:


(this number may be subject to change)

Huddersfield, HD1 3DH

Apply now Book on an Open Day or Study Fair Order a prospectus Ask a question

Course content

You take 3 core modules:


You make a detailed study of a programme of recital pieces chosen in consultation with your individual teacher. Together with your teacher you devise a study scheme to develop appropriate technical abilities and consider in detail issues of interpretation and methods of presentation. Lessons will also include discussion of interpretative and technical issues arising from the reading of a wider repertory than that required purely for assessment. Assessment is by means of two recitals, the first in January and the second in June/July (30% and 70% respectively).

Performance Studies

You participate in a series of lectures and seminars that aim to develop critical thinking and analytical methods, discussing critical issues confronting all performers. These enable you to develop independent and original interpretative approaches to your performance and to articulate these clearly. You perform in front of other students from a combination of courses (Year 3 undergraduate, PGDip, MRes) in workshops and are encouraged to make constructive criticism of your own and others’ performances, giving you the opportunity to develop skills in communicating your musical ideas. Masterclasses and research fora by professional performers at the forefront of their fields aim to deepen your awareness of finer details of performance style. Assessment is through a 20–25 minute seminar or lecture-recital (33%), a 1,500 word learning journal (25%) and a 2,500 word portfolio (42%).

Applied Performance

You explore and assess critically ways in which your previous and current performance skills can be developed and applied in new situations, and/or extended through the acquisition of additional complementary performance skills. With the guidance of the Course Leader, you select two areas of applied performance that will take you on this developmental journey from a range of electives that will be offered each year (from such topics as chamber music, directed ensembles, keyboard skills and others), dependent on staff availability. Teaching is by means of lectures and workshops and assessment by two 20-minute performances (each 35%) and a 3,000 word portfolio (30%).

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

Career opportunities

The subject-specific skills you develop will enhance your intellectual self-confidence and capacity for a career within or outside the music world.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching takes the form of lectures, seminars and one-to-one tuition with your tutor, and individual practical tuition from visiting instrumental or vocal teachers.

You will be required to perform to an advanced standard across a range of styles and repertoire. Additionally, essays will be submitted which relate to the repertoire being performed.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (either written and/or verbal) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the only University where 100% of the teaching staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

• permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.


You'll have access to a great range of equipment and [facilities:http://] including 26 practice rooms, two large piano practice rooms, an early music studio and a dedicated performance venue. You'll also find four pop performance rooms and two concert venues - St Paul's Hall and the Phipps Concert Hall. The Phipps Hall in the Creative Arts Building seats 120 and is linked to the main Pro-Tools recording studio as well as three 5.1 composition studios with two live rooms with the capability to record from the concert hall.

CREATIVE ARTS BUILDING (CAB) The centrepiece of Music and Music Technology is the Creative Arts Building, a £15m, purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility which opened in July 2008. The building has a spacious, glass-enclosed, four-storey atrium which is used for informal concerts, displays of student work, installations, and as a meeting place for students from various disciplines. The music teaching facilities in the CAB include: • The Phipps Concert Hall - performance and rehearsal space with two grand pianos (including Steinway D) and professional-quality recording studio attached. It also houses a 26 stop, two manual tracker action organ
 • four 'smart classrooms' fitted with cutting-edge audio/video hardware and software
 • one 25-seat PC lab and two 24-seat Mac labs
 • 26 practice rooms
 • one large ensemble and four chamber/pop ensemble rehearsal rooms
 • two large piano practice rooms
 • two percussion practice rooms
 • organ practice room
 • extensive instrument collection
 • early music studio
 • a range of Music Technology studios and workstations.

 Housed within the Creative Arts Building, the Phipps Concert Hall is a flexible, multi-purpose space used for concerts, teaching, and rehearsals. It seats 120, contains two grand pianos (including a new Steinway D) and is attached to a professional-quality recording studio. With adjustable acoustic curtains, the Hall is particularly well suited for multi-channel electroacoustic music. The Phipps Hall also contains a 26-stop, two-manual tracker action organ built by the firm of JW Walker. A very generous gift of Mr Michael Phipps, the organ was designed as an historic copy of a late 17th Century North German instrument, taking as its inspiration the famous Arp Schnitger organ at Steinkirchen. The organ is tuned to unequal temperament (Valotti).

ST PAUL'S HALL St Paul's Hall is a beautifully converted Georgian church built in 1829 that now provides a venue for a range of concerts by student soloists, ensembles and guest artists in the Music Department's annual Concerts Series. In November each year the Hall also hosts many of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival events – the Festival's home is at the University of Huddersfield. The church, which was renovated into a concert hall in 1980, seats 400 and houses a 3-manual 41-stop tracker-action recital organ (1977), two concert grand pianos, and a recording studio, together with outstanding lighting and sound-projection systems.

 The music library, renovated in September 2008, houses a wide range of scores, recordings and videos, including extensive performing materials for solo, chamber, and ensemble music. It maintains print and digital subscriptions to all major music periodicals. The library includes listening stations, PCs, and four group listening rooms. It is particularly notable for its extensive collection of scores and recordings of 20th and 21st Century music and is constantly being expanded in response to requests by staff and students. The library also houses the immense resources of the [British Music Collection ] which will be further expanded by a £1.4m Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

INSTRUMENT COLLECTION There is an extensive collection of musical instruments, all of which are available for use by undergraduate, postgraduate and research students. These include:
 • over 70 pianos
 • all standard orchestral instruments
 • extensive Percussion Studio, enabling the department to undertake most styles of music and to cover the percussion requirements for the University Orchestra, Wind Band, Brass Band, New Music Ensemble, Big Band, as well as the Percussion Ensemble. There is also an extensive library of percussion music consisting of solos, tutor books, compilations, ensemble material and recording Early music instruments including:
 • 2-manual French harpsichord, a copy of an original by Pascal Taskin (1764)
 • 1-manual French harpsichord, a copy of an original by Albert Delin (1750)
 • 1-manual Flemish harpsichord, a copy of an original by Moermans (1584)
 • two Baroque violins, Baroque viola, Baroque cello, and a set of Baroque bows
 • viols: two treble, two tenor, two bass
 • recorders: Renaissance consort from descant to great bass; various Baroque recorders
 • crumhorns - a consort
 • cornett and four sackbuts built by Meinl of Germany - one alto, two tenor and one bass
 • Renaissance flute
 • Baroque guitar
 • Renaissance and Baroque lutes
 • Three practice continuo organs • Extensive pop music resources, including drum kits, keyboards and amplifiers.

How much will it cost me?

In 2017/18, the full-time tuition fee for UK and EU postgraduate students at the University of Huddersfield will generally be £5,100 (see Fees and Finance for exceptions). Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are interested in studying with us on a part-time basis, please visit our Fees and Finance pages for part-time fee information.

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.


In 2016/17, the tuition fee for UK and EU postgraduate students at the University of Huddersfield will generally be £4,950 (see Fees and Finance for exceptions). Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, please see Fees and Finance.

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.

Other information

The University offers a lively musical atmosphere and the opportunity for performance is extremely varied. We are home to the internationally renowned Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and every November you have the opportunity to catch up with all that's up to date in this field of music. The programme always features the world's leading composers and performers, and you have the opportunity to take part either as a performer with a departmental ensemble or gain work experience in administration, front of house or technical assistance and stewarding.

Regular classical, pop and music technology performances take place throughout the year, either by student performers or visiting artists. Recent visitors have included pianists Martin Roscoe and Peter Hill, the Rose Consort of Viols, Baroque ensemble Les Contre Sujets, saxophonist Snake Davis, clarinettist Chris Swann, soprano Lynne Dawson and jazz trumpeter Steve Waterman. In September 2010 Ensemble 360 was appointed Ensemble-in-Residence and musicians awarded honorary doctorates by the University include the late Huddersfield alumnus and LSO trumpeter Rod Franks, and pioneering DJ and electronic musician Ritchie Hawtin.

Huddersfield has a varied and active concerts scene, and is also close to Leeds, Manchester, Bradford, Sheffield, within easy access to both large-scale and smaller performance venues.

How to apply

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant. For more information see the Research section of our website.

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