FAQs

Prospective students often ask us questions about studying at York and about the Music Department. Below are some common questions and answers.

What funding/scholarships are available?

Some funding is available. See our funding page for further information.

Do I need a first degree in music?

Normally yes, but each application is considered on its merits.

Would I be able to start my course in January or April?

This is possible for MPhil/PhD courses, although an October start is normally advantageous. All MA courses start in October.

Do you welcome mature students?

Yes, we do welcome mature students and each application is considered on its merits.

Do you offer instrumental postgraduate courses?

We offer both MA and MPhil/PhD in Performance Practice and the Department offers instrumental teaching for most instruments by arrangement, however, we do not have instrument-specific postgraduate courses (with the exception of vocal studies).

Where can I practice?

The department houses a purpose built practice room corridor. Rooms are allocated by an efficient booking system. If you are a first study pianist, then you have priority access to the department's good quality grands for your regular practice. If you play the organ or percussion instruments, then priority times are available to practice in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall itself. All our pianos are maintained regularly. Ensembles are free to book lecture and seminar rooms when they are not in use for teaching.

Can I store my instrument in the Department?

The department has facilities for storing large instruments only (such as double basses, tubas, etc.) Most students will need to store their instruments in their rooms when they are not in use in the department. It would be prudent to arrange appropriate insurance cover for your instrument, regardless of location.

Does the department have an instrument collection?

The department possess a variety of orchestral and non-orchestra instruments that are available for short-term loan. For more details, see Instrumental resources.

Which ensembles can I join?

We encourage you to make the most of the many practical opportunities that are available at York. You can join: University of York Symphony Orchestra (a full size symphony orchestra), Chamber Orchestra, Chimera Ensemble new music group, University Choir (large choir), Chamber Choir, gamelan, jazz orchestra & early music ensembles. Your course requires that you partake in at least one ensemble from the above list. However, if you play many instruments (most candidates do), then you are welcome to join other ensembles. Auditions are held for most ensembles: however, if you meet the performance entry requirements for the department then you should have no problem with these. Finally, if you find that we don't have the ensemble you need, we encourage you to go ahead and start your own.

What are the term dates?

The terms dates for the current and future academic years can be viewed on the University's Planing Office website.

The Music Department at York has such a wide range of opportunities for composers it was the obvious place to do a PhD. The Chimera Ensemble provides great opportunities to have my music played and to get involved playing other student's pieces. Not to mention having my string quartet premiered by the Kreutzer Quartet!

Benjamin Gait
(PhD in Composition)