Classical Specialist Study - Vocal

Discover more about specialising in Vocals on the Classical programme.

Back to BA (Hons) Music (Classical)

Vocal specialists at Leeds Conservatoire will focus on the key skills, learning and overall mindset that is needed to in order to thrive in the climate of today’s industry. The specialism combines the traditional vocal curriculum with elements that cater for a more diverse career choice, incorporating an autonomous and open-minded approach.

The programme ensures a grounded foundation with a comprehensive understanding of how technique and musicality work in tandem across a variety of repertoire from the Renaissance through to the 21st Century in both a solo and ensemble setting

The Classical programme partners with vocalists from Opera North to offer orchestral expertise, alongside inviting a diverse range of guests from across the vocal world.

Some of our Specialist Vocal Tutors


Our vocal students benefit from a varied programme of masterclasses, featuring successful musicians from around the world. Some recent masterclasses have included:

  • Opera North
  • Paul Phoenix
  • Roderick Williams
  • Sally Burgess
  • Matteo Della Fratte
  • Alison Pearce
  • Yvonne Howard
  • Della Jones
  • Alison Pearce
  • Deborah York
  • Mary Plazas
  • Paul Nilon

Students can also attend guest masterclasses from any of our music programmes, from Jazz to Music Production, to broaden their musical understanding.

  • Performance Spaces
    350-seat auditorium
    120-seat recital room
  • Bespoke Rehearsal Spaces
    Specialist practice rooms and bespoke ensemble rehearsal spaces, most with Steinway pianos
  • Instrument and Equipment Loans
  • Industry Standard Recording Studios
    Production students can book our specialist recording and mixing studios, with others accessing them through collaborations with Production students
  • Facilities Open Until Late
Explore our facilities

Our 3 year BA (Hons) Music (Classical) is designed for musicians who know they want to specialise in Classical Music. 

All Specialist Study and Specialist Group Study modules are Classical focused, with the option to apply as either a Performer or Composer.

As with all our Classical courses, studies in your specialist area will be supported by a broader curriculum designed to prepare you for your career in the Classical Music industry.

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 about BA (Hons) with Foundation Year.

Classical Music 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 you will study both areas of music throughout all three years.

You will take specialist study modules (e.g. your 1:1 tuition) in your first area and specialist group study (e.g. ensembles) in your second.

For Classical with Jazz, you would have 1:1 Classical instrumental or vocal tuition and also be in a Jazz ensemble.

Course Options:

What You Will Study (See Modules and Specifications)

Each year of the course is structured into three distinct strands:

  • Specialist Study – One-to-one tuition and group study in performance or composition
  • Contextual Studies – Develop your composition, musicology and critical listening skills
  • Professional Studies – Develop your skills for working in the creative industries

As part of your Specialist Study programme regular classes like Performance in Context, Composition in Context and Concert Performance give you regular opportunities to share your developing performance and composition work with peers and Leeds Conservatoire tutors in a friendly, supportive, confidence-boosting environment.

Some examples* of Contextual Studies and Professional Studies modules:

  • Working in the Creative Industries
  • Collaborative Composition
  • Composition and Production for Film and Television
  • Arranging and Orchestration
  • Musical Direction
  • Self-Promotion & Music Marketing
  • Working with Music in the Community
  • Instrumental Music Tuition
  • Music Journalism
  • Songwriting
  • Software Environments - Performance and Sound Creation

*The above examples are chosen to represent a selection of the kind of mandatory and elective module options offered, so you can tailor your degree to your area of interest. See the full list of modules currently available for this course, including mandatory and optional modules, plus detailed module specification documents.

Module specifications are for applicants choosing to start their course in the 2021/22 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 2022.

If you choose to study  the 4 -year Classical with Foundation Year programme, your first year will focus on developing your principal study through specialist one to-one tuition, and strengthening your music theory and academic skills, as well as your creativity and artistry.

You will also have access to a weekly programme of workshops and masterclasses, as well as regular individual tutorials with academic staff. Upon successful completion of the Foundation Year, you will automatically progress to year one on your chosen BA pathway

If you choose a Combined Honours programme (e.g. Classical with Jazz), your Specialist Study (e.g. one-to-one tuition) would be in Classical and your Specialist Group Study (e.g. ensemble/band) would be in Jazz.

Classical with Jazz

  • Specialist Study - Classical
  • Specialist Group Study - Jazz

In addition to your principal instrument/voice, you can also choose to have additional 1:1 tuition in a second instrument/voice (for students at Grade 6 standard or higher in their second instrument/voice).

This is not part of your course, but there are a limited number of Instrumental, Vocal & Composition Bursaries available, or tuition can be arranged at additional cost.

Academic Requirements

BA (Hons) - 3 Years

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).

BA (Hons) with Foundation Year - 4 Years

64 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).

Performance and Musical Theory Standard

Read our full entry requirements to see more detail on musical performance and theory standards.

Applicants will need to audition, interview and/or submit a portfolio of work. 

Exact requirements vary depending on which programme you are applying for.

Find more detailed audition information for applicants.

Leeds Conservatoire does not charge audition fees for any Undergraduate or Postgraduate course.

Visit our Fees and Funding section to find out more about Fees & Funding for International Students.

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

Study Mode: Full Time
Apply via: UCAS Conservatoires (not Undergraduate)
UCAS Institution Code: L31
Validated by: University of Hull*

*Note for applicants and offer holders for 2022/23 entry onwards:

Leeds Conservatoire plans to apply to the Office for Students for Degree Awarding Powers. If we are granted Degree Awarding Powers, your degree may be awarded by Leeds Conservatoire rather than validated by the University of Hull.

Course Type: Undergraduate, Single Honours
Duration: 3 years
UCAS Course Code: 305F 

Course Key Information Document 2021/22

Course Type: Undergraduate, Single Honours
Duration: 4 years
UCAS Course Code: W30F

Course Key Information Document 2021/22 

BA (Hons) Music (Classical with Jazz)

Course Type: Undergraduate, Combined Honours
Duration: 3 years
UCAS Course Code: 412F

Course Key Information Document 2021/22



Graduate Profile: Neil Balfour

Publicity Headshot - Neil Balfour - Colour.jpg

Course Studied: BA (Hons) Music

Year of Graduation: 2010

Top Career Achievements:

  • Performed the role of the ‘Cold Genius’ from King Arthur at Glastonbury Music Festival
  • Performed the role of Claggart in Billy Budd for The Royal Opera House’s Learning & Participation Department at Covent Garden
  • Performed with Opera North, Longborough Festival Opera, Opera Holland Park, Buxton Festival Opera and Leeds Lieder Festival

Read Neil's profile

Graduate Profile: Dominique Chan

Dominique 2.jpg

Course Studied: BA (Hons) Music (Classical)/Postgraduate Diploma in Music

Year of Graduation: 2011

Top Career Highlights:

  • Working as a freelance opera singer, vocal coach and choir conductor in Hong Kong
  • Singing in movies such as 'As The Light Goes Out' (2013), 'The Seventh Lies' (2014) and 'Get Outta Here' (2015)
  • Writing and directing and performing in an Opera Buffa, based on Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte

Watch a Playlist of our Classical Tutors' Work

Open Days (On-Campus, Live Online & On-Demand)

Find out what it's like to study at Leeds Conservatoire 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 our staff and students.

Plus, get immediate access to our On-Demand Open Day.

Find out more
UoH-Logo.png (2) Luminate_Education_Group_Logo (small).png Partner_1.png Conservatoires_Logo.png AEC_Logo.png Roland_Logo.png prs-keychange-logo_red-blue_pantone-c (fine to use).png