MA in Music Performance


Programme Description

A course for performers interested in live or recorded performance within classical or jazz styles.

One-to-one tuition with expert tutors, plus weekly performance classes and workshops.

Wide range of ensemble opportunities, working and performing with other students.

Excellent facilities at Newton Park Campus – Michael Tippett Centre, library and IT resources.

You’ll receive one-to-one instrumental or vocal tuition from our team of experienced tutors as part of a series of performance modules. The course culminates with a final project, where you’ll prepare a performance, normally a high-profile public recital. Alongside your solo work, you’ll develop your research, collaborative, ensemble, and publicity skills.

In full-time mode, the course runs over three trimesters – you can start the course in October or February. We welcome applications for part-time study over two years and anticipate grouping teaching on a single day each week to facilitate this.


This course gives you, as an instrumental/vocal performer, the skills and opportunities to develop your individual and ensemble skills to a high level. You’ll undertake four modules over two trimesters and a double module in your third trimester (final recital).

You may explore areas of your own interest, which may relate to staff specialisms, such as opera (Garth Bardsley), early music and music of the Georgian period (Dr Matthew Spring), and romantic and early twentieth-century music (Dr Charles Wiffen), or piano skills and improvisation (Thomas Whorley).

Course structure

Trimester one

In Performance One, you’ll develop your performance skills and technique, and extend your repertoire. Alongside this, the Research Methodologies and Context module gives you a thorough grounding in research methodology. Your development as a performer is supported by regular one-to-one lessons with a specialist teacher.

Trimester two

The second trimester extends your development as a performer. The Performance Two module develops performance skills and repertoire while furthering your understanding of performance history and practice. You’ll also explore strategies for marketing yourself.

You’ll have a choice of modules at this stage and the opportunity to work with peers and across subject boundaries in the Professional Collaboration module. Alternatively, you could study an Intercultural Musicology module that allows you to study genres across different cultures, or to join an Opera Studies module that culminates in a public performance of an opera or opera excerpts.

Trimester three

The third trimester involves a Major Project, for which you’ll prepare a programme for substantial public performance. The content and structure of this project is to be negotiated with course tutors.

Course modules

This course includes or offers the following modules.

  • Research Methodologies and Context
  • Performance 1
  • Performance 2
  • Opera Studies
  • Professional Collaboration
  • Major Project.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll complete individual assignments for each module. Performance-based modules (Performance One, Opera Studies and Major Project) are assessed through performance on your instrument or voice, reflective commentaries on your process, or a lecture-recital in the case of Performance Two. Intercultural Musicology, along with Research Methodologies and Context modules, will be assessed on written submissions.

How will I be taught?

Modules are usually taught through one-to-one lessons, seminars and practical workshops. These are supported by individual tutorials and online activity within the Virtual Learning Environment.

The Major Project involves student-directed work, with supporting tutorials and instrumental/vocal lessons. We encourage you to make full use of the library and IT resources, and time will be scheduled in studios and workstations labs for independent study, as appropriate.



Previous graduate destinations include:

  • Doctoral studies at Durham University
  • Freelance repetiteur and keyboard/continuo specialist
  • Choir Director and Piano/Vocal Tutor
  • Marines Conductor
  • Opera Studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama
  • Freelance classical and early music singer.

Our graduates work in a wide range of performance-related areas such as:

  • Orchestral performance
  • Opera
  • Conducting
  • Choral direction
  • Chamber music
  • Accompaniment
  • Session work
  • Music promotion
  • Record labels
  • Broadcast media
  • Instrumental teaching
  • Group teaching
  • Community music projects
  • University lecturing.

Competitions and awards

There are a number of competitive awards available only to our students.

Masterclass programme

There is a well-established masterclass programme at Bath Spa University. Previous visitors have included:

  • Dame Emma Kirkby (voice)
  • Isobel Buchanan (voice)
  • Stefano Parrino (flute)
  • Badke Quartet (strings)
  • Florian Uhlig (piano)
  • Professor Colin Lawson (clarinet)
  • Andy Sheppard (saxophone)
  • Ensemble Bash (percussion)
  • Madeleine Mitchell (violin).

Cost & Fees

  • UK/EU students full time - 2019/20 entry £7,395
  • UK/EU students part time - 2019/20 entry £3,700
  • International students full time - 2019/20 entry £14,300
Last updated May 2019

About the School

Bath Spa University is about more than studying. It’s about getting stuck in: thinking, making and doing. About bumping into friends on campus, embracing challenges and genuinely caring. We push bound ... Read More

Bath Spa University is about more than studying. It’s about getting stuck in: thinking, making and doing. About bumping into friends on campus, embracing challenges and genuinely caring. We push boundaries and ourselves. If that sounds good to you, you’ll fit in well. Read Less