Music Performance Postgraduate Diploma

2019-20 (also available for 2018-19 and 2017-18)

2018-19 (also available for 2019-20 and 2017-18)

2018-19 (also available for 2017-18)

Take your music performance and experience to the next level, on our challenging and inspiring Performance Postgraduate Diploma

Start date

17 September 2018


1 year full-time

Places available (subject to change)


Phone contact: +44 (0)1484 472375

About the course

We're proud to have been awarded The Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2015 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.

We have a thriving community of postgraduate musicians who receive 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.

You’ll have many opportunities to perform by taking 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, Blues Group, Improvisation Group, and A Cappella Choir, as well as various chamber music ensembles.

Our Live Music at the University of Huddersfield series features a range of weekly student concerts, as well as recitals and masterclasses by guest artists. Recent visitors have included Emma Kirkby (voice), Garth Knox (viola), Anton Lyakhovsky (piano), Neil Heyde (cello), Richard Haynes (clarinet), Jah Wobble (pop ensembles), Lore Lixenberg (voice), John Scott Whiteley (organ), Claude Delangle and Snake Davis (saxophone), Ensemble 360,vocal ensemble EXAUDI, and the instrumental group ELISION.

Students on the Music Performance Postgraduate Diploma benefit from the vibrant and diverse musical culture of Music and Music Technology at Huddersfield. Covering everything from historically-informed performance and early music, through to pop, jazz, electroacoustic, and contemporary music cultures, the staff and student community at Huddersfield is one where performance and practical musicianship are at the heart of the curriculum. You are taught by world-class performers, participate in a range of workshops and masterclasses, and have opportunities to work collaboratively with other performers and composers on projects that develop both your independence and creativity as a new generation of professional musicians. Supported by outstanding on-campus performance venues, industry-standard studio and recording facilities, and a range of instrumental and technical resources, Huddersfield performers are at the cutting edge of both historical and contemporary musical traditions.

Catherine Howarth

Dr Catherine Haworth, Senior Lecturer and Head of Musicology

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.

Postgraduate banner for coursefinder for 6th March 2018

Postgraduate Study Fair

Come along to our Postgraduate Study Fair, Tuesday 6th March, 3pm – 6pm and discover all your postgraduate study and research options.

Our award-winning academic staff will be on hand to chat about all our postgraduate study and research options, flexible teaching and how postgraduate study can help you to advance your career or prepare for a career change. 

Find out more and book

Course Detail


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%).

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 UK's only university where 100% of the permanent 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.

Teaching excellence

Music at the University of Huddersfield is home to a vibrant, diverse, international, and innovative group of performers and researchers. Our staff are recognised as leading figures in their fields, as evidenced by major commissions, performances, recordings, and publications. Our international postgraduate student community includes early career researchers who are already making significant contributions as composers, performers, technicians, engineers, and musicologists.

In the 2014 REF, 85% of music research at Huddersfield was judged to be Internationally Excellent, with 44% of the overall submission ranked as ‘World-Leading’. In addition to a strong profile of individual research outputs, Huddersfield’s research environment for music was tied for 7th in the sector, alongside Edinburgh, Southampton, Royal Holloway and Cambridge. The impact of Huddersfield’s music research was judged to be 5th among the 84 submissions in music, drama, dance and performing arts, receiving the second highest possible score. The ranking for impact acknowledges the breadth and reach of research at Huddersfield, with impact case studies encompassing innovations in music technology and audio software, historically-informed performance practice in early music, and intercultural exchange in music composition as a model for social change.

There are five research centres in Music Technology; the Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM), the Huddersfield Centre for Performance Research (HuCPeR), Centre for the Study of Music, Gender and Identity (MUGI), the Sound.Music.Image Collaboration Research Centre (SMIC) and the Popular Music Studies Research Group.

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..

Your Career

Make the most of our excellent facilities, national and internationally renowned teaching staff and diverse opportunities for performance to enhance your skills in preparation for your career.

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

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.

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