BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)

Study BA (Hons) Music (Jazz) at Leeds College of Music

Leeds College of Music'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.

  • Starts:
  • Duration: 3 Years
  • UCAS Code: 403F
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Validated By: University of Hull

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Course Overview

Forward thinking

Lead by Curriculum Leader, Jamil Sheriff, and supported by a host of renowned jazz musicians and qualified teaching practitioners, our jazz pathway is one of the finest in Europe. This highly collaborative course 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 College of Music. 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.

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.

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
  • Music Education in Practice (PR)
  • Instrumental Music Tuition
  • Self-Promotion & 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

Indicative projects may include:

  • A 30 minute performance, which includes a professional level of branding, styling, stagecraft and deportment befitting the sense of occasion and size of project.
  • A 30 minute portfolio of original compositions, including vehicles for improvisation and ensemble interplay.
  • 6000-word assignment examining your specialist area in order to ascertain a contextual framework for your practice.
  • A 20 minute performance based on a portfolio of original transcriptions.
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
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John Waugh

Alumni Profile

John Waugh

Course Studied: BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)
Year of Graduation: 2010

 As well as teaching music vocabulary and improvisation, Jazz (2010) graduate John Waugh is a recording and touring saxophonist with chart-topping indie-rock band The 1975.

Meet our alumni

Course Tutors

Jamil SheriffCurriculum Leader: Jazz & Folk

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)

Read more
Lauren KinsellaPrincipal 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
Validated by: University of Hull

Entry Requirements
  • 96 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 studies, normally including Music. Can include music grade exams.
  • Grade 5 Theory or equivalent qualification
  • Performers - Grade 8 standard in specialist study instrument/voice
  • Composers - Grade 6 standard in specialist study instrument/voice

Read full entry requirements.

How to apply

Apply via: UCAS Conservatoires
UCAS Code: 403F
UCAS Institution Code: L31
Application Deadline: 3 October 2016 – we are still accepting applications
Find out more.

Audition information
UK applicants to Jazz degrees at Leeds College of Music will need to complete an audition.
Read the audition guide.

A refund of audition fee and travel costs may be available for applicants from low income households.
Find out more.

Tuition Fees

2017/18 Tuition Fees: £9,250 (Home/EU Students), £14,500 (International Students)

Fees are per academic year and may be subject to government-approved increases in future years.
Find out more.

Scholarships & bursaries

Leeds College of Music provides a range of additional Scholarships and Bursaries.
Find out more.

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
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Open Days

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

As well as talks and tours 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

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