BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)

We are still accepting applications for September 2021 through UCAS Conservatoires, although this may change at short notice as places fill up.

Book Online Open Day

Study BA (Hons) Music (Jazz) at Leeds Conservatoire

Leeds Conservatoire's jazz degree was the first in the UK, and over the last 50 years we've become a leading authority in jazz across the UK and Europe.

 


Jazz POD-24.jpg

Course Overview

Forward thinking

Our course was the first Jazz degree to be established in Europe. Led by Programme Leader, Jamil Sheriff, and supported by a host of renowned jazz musicians, this highly collaborative curriculum will shape you into a forward-thinking, creative artist grounded in the tradition but with a hunger to take music to new dimensions.

Improvisation

Improvisation is the very essence of jazz, and a way of life at Leeds Conservatoire. We provide a uniquely supportive and collaborative space in which you can explore, experiment and create your own unique sound.

A culture of collaboration

You’ll play with jazz musicians from all backgrounds, from raw talent to polished, and from progressive to purist. You’ll also benefit from working alongside students from other pathways, collaborating with producers, sound engineers, composers and entrepreneurs on your own independent projects.

Specialise

As well as one-to-one tuition with experts in your specialism, you will form innovative ensembles, develop composition, musicology and critical listening skills, and receive expert advice and instruction from illustrious performers, composers and music industry professionals.

Recent guests have included Mark Turner, Clarence Penn, Nikki Iles, Maria Argiro, Leila Martial, Tim Garland, Champian Fulton, Aaron Parks and Eric Harland.

Career destinations

Graduates from Jazz degrees at Leeds Conservatoire have gone on to a wide variety of careers including Recording Artists, Band Leaders, Composers, and Performers. Find out more in our Alumni section.

“The environment of Leeds Conservatoire personifies what jazz education is about. Collaboration, trying something different and pushing yourself to be the best musician you can be.”
– Matthew Richardson, Jazz graduate

What you will study 

The BA (Hons) Music (Jazz) modules focus on developing you as a professional musician through one-to-one tuition, ensemble study and creative projects. The professional studies strand will develop your core business skills, and other optional modules will introduce additional cross-genre opportunities. See our module specifications page for detailed module specification documents.

Specialist Study 1

Through one-to-one tuition and small group work you will learn and develop the fundamentals of composition or instrumental/vocal performance, as well as developing existing skills in technique and musicianship and building your specialist composition or performance skills.

Specialist Group Study 1

You will develop a strong foundation in ensemble performance and/or composition. Issues of style and repertoire will be discussed and taught, alongside a developing awareness of rehearsal etiquette and good practice. Composers will be specifically composing for group ensembles.

Creative Project

You will choose from the project menu and have the opportunity to collaborate with students and tutors from other pathways. Previous projects have included Generation Big Band, Indian Rhythms, arranging large ensemble music for concerts, delivering jazz workshops in schools and Sound Painting.

Contextual Studies 1

You will develop aural, analytical, and transcription skills and key historical and cultural concepts necessary to evaluate and contextualise jazz repertoire. Topics include notation and analytical methods, forms and variations, rhythm and poly-rhythm, harmonic pattern and progression, stylistic arrangement and technology and its impact.

Professional Studies 1

Working in the Creative Industries

You will be introduced to the professional framework and mechanisms of the creative industries, focusing on developing your project management skills and understanding the legal and commercial issues likely to impact on your future employability. You will also develop your core information, digital and media literacies.

Specialist Study 2

You will further develop your understanding of the techniques and skills of musical composition/performance, showing a technical command in their execution. You will realise and develop your emerging musical voice and perform with appropriate expression, creativity and presentation, or apply these skills to your compositions.

Specialist Group Study 2

You will be expected to take responsibility for your contribution to both the rehearsal process and performance in addition to demonstrating greater technical command in regard to the range of skills appropriate to the chosen musical idiom. Composers will be specifically composing and/or arranging for group ensembles.

Contextual Studies 2

You will further enhance your aural, analytical, and transcription skills, knowledge of repertoire, style and context as applied to making and creating music. Topics include compositional techniques, with reception and environment evaluated in greater detail, such as jazz and identity and jazz as art music.

You will also choose one of the below options to study:

  • Introduction to Music Technology
  • Songwriting
  • Music for the Moving Image
  • Collaborative Composition
  • Music and Ideology
  • Performance with Electronics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Arranging and Orchestration
  • Musical Direction
Professional Studies 2

You will choose one of the below options to study:

  • Business Start-up
  • Working with Music in the Community
  • Instrumental Music Tuition
  • Self-Promotion & Music Marketing
  • Structure & Functions of the Film Music Industry
  • Concerts & Touring
  • Artistic Management
Specialist Study 3

Performers will deliver a stylistically informed performance with a command of appropriate musical and repertoire skills, leading to the presentation of a public performance. Composers will have the opportunity to compose ambitious pieces and to have a highly developed awareness of your compositional identity and to be able to apply this in a consistent and focused manner.

Final Project

This module is designed to offer students flexibility in their final year by providing opportunity to delve deeper into a specialism specific to their course and interests.

Contextual Studies 3

You will study one of the below options: 

  • Computer-Based Composition
  • Software Environments for Performance & Sound Creation
  • Electroacoustic Composition
  • Composition and Production for Film and TV
  • Composed Theatre
  • Extended Improvisation
  • Intercultural Music
  • Emerging Music Models
Professional Studies 3

You will study one of the below options:

  • Live Music Management
  • Community Music Project
  • Music Journalism
  • Business Leadership & Ethics
  • Film Music: Aesthetics & Narrative Function

These module specifications are for applicants choosing to start their course in the 2020/21 academic year. In compliance with University of Hull regulations, the conservatoire retains the right to make minor amendments and improvements to course, programme and module content year on year. This may result in minor changes to these specifications by September 2020.

Tori Freestone (Credit Rob Blackham)

Image by Rob Blackham

Alumni Profile

Tori Freestone

Course Studied: BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)
Year of Graduation: 1995

Multi-instrumentalist Tori Freestone has performed at the forefront of the UK improvised music scene for over a decade as both a sidewoman and highly regarded bandleader.

Meet our alumni

Course Tutors

Jamil Sheriff
Jamil SheriffProgramme Leader: Jazz

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)

Read more
Lauren KinsellaPrincipal Lecturer: Jazz

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)

Read more
David Newton Jazz Pianist Tutor Leeds College of Music
David NewtonPrincipal Lecturer: Jazz

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)

Read more

Entry requirements, fees & applying

Course Facts

Course Type: Undergraduate, Single Honours
Duration: 3 years
Study Mode: Full Time
Start date: September 2021
Validated by: University of Hull

Course Key Information Document 2020/21

Entry Requirements

Academic entry requirements:

96 UCAS tariff points from level 3 studies or equivalent, which normally include A Level Music or a BTEC Extended Diploma in a Music-related subject.

A minimum of three GCSEs including English Language at Grade C / Grade 4 or above or equivalent international qualification, eg IELTS 6.0 (5.5 in each component).

Other entry requirements:

a. Performance standard (assessed at audition)

Performers are expected to demonstrate at audition a playing/singing standard of Grade 8 (commensurate with ABRSM, London College of Music, Trinity College, Rock School (as appropriate for the pathway)).

Composers/songwriters are expected to demonstrate at audition a playing/singing standard of Grade 6 (commensurate with ABRSM, London College of Music, Trinity College, Rock School (as appropriate for the pathway)).

b. Musical theory standard (assessed at audition)

Applicants’ understanding of applied music theory will be assessed at audition where they will be asked questions about the theoretical elements of the pieces they have played to ensure that they are suitable for the course.

Read full entry requirements

Audition Information

UK applicants to certain courses at Leeds Conservatoire will need to audition, interview or submit a portfolio of work. 

Please note that owing to current social distancing guidelines, we are asking all applicants to submit audition materials online this year, rather than attend in-person events.

Find more information and course-specific audition guides for UK applicants and International Applicants.

How To Apply

Apply via: UCAS Conservatoires
UCAS Code: 403F
UCAS Institution Code: L31
Application Deadline: Although the UCAS Conservatoires equal consideration (‘on time’) deadline was 1 October 2020, we are still accepting applications and you are still able to make an application through UCAS Conservatoires.

Read our step-by-step application guide

 

Fees & Funding
International Applicants

If you are an international applicant, visit our dedicated International section of the website for information on:

  • How To Apply
  • Auditions
  • International Entry Requirements
  • Fees & Funding
“JazzLeeds love hearing jazz students studying at Leeds Conservatoire. Students have played at our festivals, our evening and Sunday afternoon gigs and as support slots to our international performances. We also have something called a ‘College Collection’ in April/May which features six bands comprising final year students.”
– Steve Crocker, JazzLeeds
Facilities

We have over 70 teaching rooms, practice rooms and bespoke ensemble rehearsal spaces that are all open until 3am. Our library and jazz archive contain over 10,000 CDs, 8,000 LPs and 18,000 items of printed music, and we’re an All-Steinway School, meaning that 95% of our pianos come from the Steinway family.

Find out more
LCOM-EDGE-OVERLAYS LCOM-EDGE-OVERLAYS
Online Open Days

Find out what it’s like to study at Leeds Conservatoire by coming along to one of our Online Open Days.

As well as talks specific to the courses you're interested in, you can also chat to members of our Student Support Team about your application, support for students with disabilities, tuition fees and more.

Book your place
Classical POD-7.jpg

Combined Honours

Jazz can also be taken as part of a Combined Honours degree. We are the only UK conservatoire to offer this type of combined degree where throughout all three years you will take specialist study modules in your first pathway and specialist group study in your second.

Combined Honours degrees featuring Jazz are:

Find out more
Jazz POD-27.jpg

BA (Hons) with Foundation Year

If you know that conservatoire study is for you, but you don’t think that you’ll meet the academic or musical entry requirements, our four-year courses are an excellent opportunity to start studying your degree while you focus on your musical development.

An extra year of access to our creative and collaborative environment, excellent facilities, expert staff and rich performance opportunities will build your confidence as a conservatoire musician.

Find out more
One week ahead of our Postgraduate Online Open Evening, we're going LIVE on Facebook with Patsy Gilbert (@PGtipss)… https://t.co/UBBN6fDiNN
UoH-Logo.png (2) tef small.png QAA logo Conservatoires UK logo Partner_1.png AEC logo Roland logo prs-keychange-logo_red-blue_pantone-c (fine to use).png Luminate_Education_Group_Logo (small).png