Course Details

Find out what you will study on the folk music degree and pathway options.


Global Approach

Our global approach to folk music explores traditional music from the British Isles and all around the world, and expands it through innovative performance, composition, arrangement and recording techniques.

"Across Europe and North America folk music education is considered crucial in the development of brilliant all round musicians; this isn't really the case in England.

Leeds College of Music is in a great position to incorporate folk music into their already amazing array of undergraduate courses and nurture the next generation of forward thinking, technically brilliant folk writers and performers."
Sam Sweeney, Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year 2015


For Performers, Composers & Arrangers

As a performer, composer, arranger, or all three, you will explore folk music from its origins in oral tradition and its interpretation through different cultures and musicians.

You’ll discover how different traditional music and folk styles evolved globally, and how traditions have been created and preserved.
From this grounding in traditional music, you will experiment with other genres and cultural identities, forming and joining innovative ensembles, building your repertoire and performing your own compositions.



Our degree modules cover developing musicianship, group study, contextual studies and professional studies that prepare you for industry.

Download the full course outline for BA (Hons) Music (Folk).


Specialist Study

Through one-to-one tuition and small group work you will develop your understanding of the techniques and skills of musical performance or composition.
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 and arrangers will have the opportunity to compose/arrange pieces that show a highly developed awareness of their musical development and to be able to apply this in a consistent and focused manner.

Specialist Group Study

You will develop a secure foundation in ensemble performance and/or composition and arrangement. Issues of style and repertoire will be discussed and taught, alongside a developing awareness of rehearsal etiquette and good practice.

Composers/arrangers will be specifically composing/arranging for group ensembles.
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.



Contextual Studies

You will develop composition, arrangement, musicology and critical listening skills, through a detailed examination of world-wide repertoire, its style and effects on the development of music.

You will study key works, musicians, compositional and arrangement techniques, reception and environment.

Professional Studies

Additionally, as with all our degree pathways, you will be able to choose to study a number of professional studies modules that cover topics such as self-promotion and marketing, legal and commercial issues and digital and media literacy.

This focus on developing your business skills will help to prepare you for a successful career in the industry.