BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)

Accepting applications for September 2023 through UCAS Conservatoires.

Open Days

Study BA (Hons) Music (Jazz) at Leeds Conservatoire

Leeds Conservatoire'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 /
    4 Years (with Foundation)
  • UCAS Course Code(s): Jazz 403F
    W37F Jazz (with Foundation Year)
    706F (Jazz with Classical)
    W313 (Jazz with Folk, Roots and Blues)
    303F (Jazz with Popular)
    908F (Jazz with Production)
  • UCAS Institution Code: L31
  • Apply Via: UCAS Conservatoire Application (note: this course is not found under a UCAS Undergraduate application)
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Validated By: University of Hull

Course Overview

Forward thinking

Our course was the first Jazz degree to be established in Europe. Led by Programme Leader, Jamil Sheriff, and supported by a host of renowned jazz musicians, this highly collaborative curriculum 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 Conservatoire. 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.

Recent guests have included Mark Turner, Clarence Penn, Nikki Iles, Maria Argiro, Leila Martial, Tim Garland, Champian Fulton, Aaron Parks and Eric Harland.

Career destinations

Graduates from Jazz degrees at Leeds Conservatoire have gone on to a wide variety of careers including Recording Artists, Band Leaders, Composers, and Performers. Find out more in our Alumni section.

“The environment of Leeds Conservatoire personifies what jazz education is about. Collaboration, trying something different and pushing yourself to be the best musician you can be.”
– Matthew Richardson, Jazz graduate
BA (Hons) Music (Jazz) - 3 Years

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

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

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

BA (Hons) Music (Jazz) with Foundation Year - 4 Years

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.

BA (Hons) Music (Jazz with Classical/Folk, Roots and Blues/Popular/Production) - 3 Year Combined Honours

Jazz 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.

e.g. for Jazz with Popular, you would have 1:1 Jazz instrumental or vocal tuition and also be in a Pop band.

Course Options:

  • BA (Hons) Music (Jazz with Classical)
  • BA (Hons) Music (Jazz with Folk, Roots and Blues)
  • BA (Hons) Music (Jazz with Popular)
  • BA (Hons) Music (Jazz with Production)
Other Combined Honours Courses

If you are interested in Jazz but would like to specialise in another genre, you can choose to take your Specialist Study modules (including 1:1 sessions where relevant) in one area, and your Specialist Group Study (including ensembles) in Jazz.

UCAS Conservatoires Courses

UCAS Undergraduate Courses

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 core jazz knowledge in subjects such as composition, harmony, contemporary improvisation, aural skills and big band arranging
  • Professional Studies – Develop your skills for working in the creative industries

Some examples* of Contextual Studies and Professional Studies modules:

  • Working in the Creative Industries
  • Collaborative Composition
  • Songwriting
  • Composition and Production for Film and Television
  • Arranging and Orchestration
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Self-Promotion and Music Marketing
  • Concerts and Touring
  • Working with Music in the Community
  • Instrumental Music Tuition
  • Music Journalism
  • Software Environments - Performance and Sound Creation
  • Extended Improvisation

*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.

Foundation Year

If you choose to study the 4 -year Jazz 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

Combined Honours Courses

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

Jazz with Classical

  • Specialist Study - Jazz
  • Specialist Group Study - Classical

Jazz with Folk, Roots and Blues

  • Specialist Study - Jazz
  • Specialist Group Study - Folk, Roots and Blues

Jazz with Popular

  • Specialist Study - Jazz
  • Specialist Group Study - Popular

Jazz with Production

  • Specialist Study - Jazz
  • Specialist Group Study - Production
Second Study

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.

Entry Requirements

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.

Auditions

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.

Fees & Funding
International Applicants

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.

BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)

Course Type: Undergraduate, Single Honours
Duration: 3 years
UCAS Course Code: 403F 

Course Key Information Document 2021/22

BA (Hons) Music (Jazz) with Foundation Year

Course Type: Undergraduate, Single Honours
Duration: 4 years
UCAS Course Code: W37F

Course Key Information Document 2021/22

BA (Hons) Music (Jazz with Classical/Folk/Popular/Production)

BA (Hons) Music (Jazz with Classical)

Course Type: Undergraduate, Combined Honours
Duration: 3 years
UCAS Course Code: 706F

Course Key Information Document 2021/22

BA (Hons) Music (Jazz with Folk, Roots and Blues)

Course Type: Undergraduate, Combined Honours
Duration: 3 years
UCAS Course Code: W313

Course Key Information Document 2021/22

BA (Hons) Music (Jazz with Popular)

Course Type: Undergraduate, Combined Honours
Duration: 3 years
UCAS Course Code: 303F

Course Key Information Document 2021/22

BA (Hons) Music (Jazz with Production)

Course Type: Undergraduate, Combined Honours
Duration: 3 years
UCAS Course Code: 908F

Course Key Information Document 2021/22

Jazz Masterclasses at Leeds Conservatoire

Students at Leeds Conservatoire benefit from a great range of masterclasses and workshops with acclaimed Jazz musicians from across the globe.

Recent guests have included Eddie Henderson, Ashley Henry, Mark Gulliana, Gretchen Parlato, Michael Dease, Stephen Nachmanovitch, Ingrid Jensen, Jason Brown, Michael Abene, Peter Bernstein, Ran Blake, Mark Turner, Aaron Parks, Melissa Aldana, Ellery Eskelin and John Stowell.

 

Students at Leeds Conservatoire get to benefit from the insights of Jazz legends from across the globe - some on-campus and some via live online workshops. Get a taster of some of the incredible online masterclasses from Jazz industry guests that Leeds Conservatoire students have recently experienced, in this 3-part video series.

Tori Freestone (Credit Rob Blackham)

Image by Rob Blackham

Alumni Profile

Tori Freestone

Course Studied: BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)
Year of Graduation: 1995

Multi-instrumentalist Tori Freestone has performed at the forefront of the UK improvised music scene for over a decade as both a sidewoman and highly regarded bandleader.

Meet our alumni

Course Tutors

Jamil Sheriff
Jamil SheriffProgramme Leader: Jazz

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)

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Lauren Kinsella.jpg (1)
Lauren KinsellaPrincipal Lecturer: Jazz

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)

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David Newton Jazz Pianist Tutor Leeds College of Music
David NewtonPrincipal Lecturer: Jazz

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)

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“JazzLeeds love hearing jazz students studying at Leeds Conservatoire. Students have played at our festivals, our evening and Sunday afternoon gigs and as support slots to our international performances. We also have something called a ‘College Collection’ in April/May which features six bands comprising final year students.”
– Steve Crocker, JazzLeeds
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 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.

Open Days
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