Welcome to Music

Welcome from staff

Dr. Alinka Greasley, Associate Professor in Music Psychology and our former Admissions Tutor, welcomes you to the School of Music at Leeds.

Welcome from students

Charlie Heslop, a recent graduate from the School of Music, welcomes you.

Independent learning

Dr Martin Iddon talks about the differences between school and university study.

Charlie talks about what you can do to help yourself get the most out of university study.

Transferable skills

The School of Music makes good use of Leeds for Life, particularly through its personal tutoring system. We encourage you to think about the transferable skills you are developing during your studies so that when you graduate you know your strengths and capabilities and will secure employment quickly. Among other skills, our courses are designed to help you develop the following skills:

  • Critical thinking
  • Research Skills
  • Team working
  • Analytical skills
  • Independent working
  • Creative problem solving
  • Time Management
  • Communication Skills
  • Confidence
  • Professionalism

Making the grade

How you’ll learn in Music

Your learning at level 1 will include lectures, which will be supplemented by smaller seminars and online tasks, and group tutorials for Music Research skills, where you will start your involvement with independent research, normally guided by your personal tutor, with the benefit of the support of your peers. Performance modules will involve individual tuition or ensemble rehearsals, while in composition you will begin to work in the studio as well as with acoustic instruments. There’s also a wide range of assessment appropriate to different learning styles, including essays, practical performances, compositions, multiple-choice, written, and, listening exams.

For further information regarding the most current module content, please see the interviews below with current students and the online module catalogue.

You’ll be assigned a personal tutor who will meet with you individually at least 3 times in your first 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 an extensive programme of support for students offered through the Library’s Skills@Library programme.

Module Podcasts

Module leaders introduce you to the modules offered by the School of Music during your first year.

MUSS1020: Understanding Music

MUSS1030: Music in History and Culture

MUSS1110: Music Research Skills

MUSS1220: Composition

MUSS1320: Performance

MUSS1324: Ensemble Performance

MUSS1520: Introduction to the Sciences of Music

MUSS1811: Popular Music and the Press: Analysing the Rock Media

MUSS1813: The Best of Broadway

MUSS1824: Film Music: From Text to Interpretation

Making the most of contact time

Dr Martin Iddon talks about teaching hours and learning hours.

This video shows how your week will soon fill up if you take advantage of all of the opportunities on offer!

Martin talks about lectures and office hours.


Research in the School of Music is inspired by many cultures and forms of music, historically and geographically. We work as practitioners and theorists, creating research at the cutting edge which directly informs our teaching. Historical, social, cultural, critical, philosophical, psychological and technological research is brought to bear on the study of music in education, composition, performance and reception.

Research-led teaching

Research-led Teaching is something we pride ourselves in the School of Music.

As a student, you will experience it in three forms:

In most modules there is a direct link to research being undertaken by the tutor that informs the problems being set and the awareness of the key research debates in that area. The tutor’s own research provides cutting-edge understanding of the scholarly literature that you will be asked to consult. Teaching may also be based in rare primary sources used by the tutor in his own work, and therefore you will gain precious access to those sources and the tutor’s interpretations of them.

Even where a module does not link directly to the tutor’s research, the experience of being actively engaged in research shapes the way the lecturer sees the problem in question. This might be more accurately described as ‘teaching in an atmosphere of research’ (Lord Boyle, former VC).

Inquiry-based learning plays a significant role in the School’s research-led teaching; we pass on and train you in research methods as well as allowing research to inform teaching. All final year students (both single and joint honours) take an extended project of some kind, either a dissertation or long essay, where you get the chance to fully utilise the research techniques you have learnt.

Examples of modules where you will carry out your own research and experience research-led teaching

As well as your third year Dissertation, the School offers many opportunities for research work and for you to engage in research-led teaching:

A research project on a subject of your choosing, supervised by your personal tutor, as part of Music Research Skills.

Music in Context modules at Levels 2 and 3 are led by staff members teaching in their specialist research are, so it’s here that you might experience cutting-edge research in topics like ‘The Sixties’ or ‘Music and National Identity’

The opportunity to conduct your own empirical research in the Music Psychology module at Level 3.

To find out more about the kinds of research going on in the School please look at our website.

Discovery modules

As well as the compulsory and optional modules that make up your programme of study, you can choose something different to your main subject as a discovery module. Find out more about the Discovery Themes on the Broadening pages of the Leeds for Life website.