Taught course

Music (Performance Studies)

The University of Manchester · School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Entry requirements

Applicants will be expected to hold a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree, or its overseas equivalent, in a relevant subject - normally Music, or with music as a substantial component of the programme. In exceptional circumstances we may consider appropriate professional experience as an alternative route to entry.

Months of entry


Course content

  • Develop the skills and knowledge to forge personally satisfying and socially impactful portfolio careers as performing artists, educators, entrepreneurs, and researchers.
  • Develop an advanced understanding of the interpretation of music through analysis, historical research, cultural critique, and performance.
  • Study at a Top 5 UK University for Music (Complete University Guide 2023).
  • Study in a city that is home to more professional music-making than any UK city outside of London, with three professional orchestras and internationally recognised institutions such as the BBC and Opera North.
  • Engage in cutting-edge artistic research in music performance.

The MusM Music (Performance) course will prepare you for a portfolio career in music performance in the rapidly diversifying post-pandemic music making scene. You will develop an advanced understanding of the interpretation of music and technical expertise, whether through analysis, historical research, cultural critique, artistic research or performance. You will develop as multifaceted musicians with pedagogical and professional skills, and also have the opportunity to engage in community music performance practices as socially conscious artists.

You will be able to choose units that best match your special interests and aspirations. Seminars allow for close collaboration between lecturers and students, with ample opportunity for you to present your own work and receive individual feedback. Discussion and debate form an important part of most course units.

You can also choose to take a placement unit where you will spend a minimum of 20 days over a period of up to 12 weeks with an arts and cultural organisation, business or service provider to gain valuable workplace experience.

Most taught course units are delivered via weekly seminars and/or tutorials. Full-time students take two 30-credit course units or equivalent per semester; part-time students take one.

Seminars feature a range of presentation formats and activities, including presentations by course tutors, student presentations, discussion and debate based on prepared reading or coursework tasks, and workshop-style activities.

Members of the academic staff are also available for individual consultations during designated office hours.

Alongside your taught units, you will have access to a range of non-assessed seminars, workshops and training sessions offered by the Graduate School.

All postgraduate students are expected to undertake their own programme of self-directed learning and skills acquisition. This may also involve wider reading, language work, computer training and attendance at research seminars in other parts of the University.

Information for international students

An overall grade of IELTS 6.5 with 6.5 in writing and no skill below 6.5 is required or equivalent English language qualification.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MusM
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

PGT Admissions Office