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MA Music Performance: Vocal Studies

Extend your solo performance skills and potential as a versatile singer.

Year of entry: 2024 (September)


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

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Our MA Music Performance: Vocal Studies is practitioner-led and designed to help you discover and establish your unique, authentic voice and sense of artistry. It will foster your initiative and creativity by sustaining and developing your vocal technique, knowledge and repertoire - likely to include opera, musical theatre, art song and contemporary classical.

Intensive individual teaching combines with collaborative peer learning sessions and performance classes that encourage curiosity and diversity, enriching your potential as a distinctive musician.

This course is led by Susan Young, who has considerable experience as both a dedicated teacher and an active performer with industry knowledge and insight. Her current and former students can be found in international opera companies, young artist programmes, West End musicals and award-winning consorts.

Susan is a once-in-a-lifetime singing teacher who gets your best possible sound out of you. She is a superb technician who gives you the tools to find your way around your own voice. Her knowledge of a vast range of repertoire and of the current working industry is invaluable.
Brianna, MA Music

Performance opportunities

From a range of choirs to student-run opera and theatre groups, jazz to folk, gospel to contemporary classical, almost every kind of music is performed and celebrated. Opportunities exist for you to forge new and exciting connections with other singers, instrumentalists and composers.

Course content

Throughout the year, you'll work individually and collaboratively to develop and hone your solo performance skills within a supportive environment. Seminars/workshops and performance classes will cover a range of relevant topics, including technique, reflective practice, text, language, imagination and voice/body integration. Repertoire is likely to include opera, musical theatre, art song and contemporary classical.

We place an emphasis on independence and creativity - you will have the freedom to study the areas that interest you, in consultation with your supervisor.

Over the year, you’ll study a series of core and option modules. In addition, we strongly encourage you to participate in musical ensembles such as Chamber Choir, University Choir and The 24, and to attend weekly research seminars, performance classes and other seminars relevant to your studies.

You’ll receive 30 hours of private vocal tuition spread evenly throughout the year, tailored to your needs.


Core modules

Option modules

You'll also take a range of option modules. Examples from previous years have included:

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information, get in touch.

*If you're taking the part-time route, you will be required to take Recital II rather than an option module as in the full-time programme. This will help you maintain your performance skills across the 2-year programme.

Final Recital

Your course will conclude with a substantial public recital showcasing your artistic and scholarly insight through a programme of your own design. 

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Research independently and collaboratively with the sophistication, close attention to detail and creative flair developed through the advanced study of music at Masters level
  • Lead, or constructively contribute to, advanced-level musical activity by performing and communicating about performance at a professional level, supported by advanced skills of critical listening, analysis and reflective practice as appropriate
  • Plan and execute critically informed performances through rigorous planning and the application of appropriate principles and methods, theoretical knowledge, methodologies, practical techniques and experience, and artistic imagination
  • Communicate at an advanced level on a range of issues relating to the history and present of musical repertoire and its performance, its relation to wider culture, and its technical and artistic execution, using appropriate written and oral media and music-making activities
  • Apply the musical and transferable skills gained throughout the programme with confidence and aptitude in a range of national and international professional contexts, for example performance, teaching, project management, academic work, and collaboration
  • Apply self-evaluative skills of reflective practice to inform current work and continuing professional development in performance with creativity, imagination and initiative.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2024/25

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £10,590£23,900
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.

Students on a Student Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study.

  • UK (home) fees may increase in subsequent years (up to a maximum of 2%).
  • International fees may increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Funding opportunities

Subject-specific funding

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Outstanding facilities

You'll have access to a wide range of early keyboard instruments, as well as practice rooms, recording studios and two professional concert halls.

A historic city

Lively, full of culture and beautiful, York has been voted one of the best places to live and visit in the UK.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

Your teaching will largely take the form of weekly seminars, performance classes, solo voice lessons and tutorials. Our holistic approach aims to respond to different learning styles.

You will have regular meetings with your supervisor, who will advise you and help develop your ideas as you progress through your studies.

We encourage you to get involved with our lively community, from our composers, instrumentalists and accompanists to our ensembles, weekly workshops, performance classes and research seminars.


We have a range of outstanding facilities, including the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall and dozens of teaching rooms and practice facilities. All spaces are designed to be flexible and are used for projects, seminars, ensemble rehearsals and recordings. Discover our facilities.

Teaching location

You will be based in the School of Arts and Creative Technologies on Campus West. Almost all of your teaching will take place within the School.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You will design and present up to two recitals of up to 30 minutes, and a final recital of 45-50 minutes. The length of the final recital may be reduced and presented in combination with a piece of written work. Programmes will be assessed on criteria including technical command, interpretative and historical insight, and creativity. Alongside these you will have written and presentation assessments designed to help you develop communication and research skills relevant to your work as a performer.

Careers and skills

This course is beneficial to students wishing to gain vital skills and insight for performing their repertoire professionally, enabling them to be competitive, versatile and responsive to the demands of life as a creative artist in the 21st century. It may prepare them for further study in fields such as opera or education or enrich current professionals looking for continuing development.

Career opportunities

  • Music teacher
  • Freelance solo performer
  • Performance research and PhD study
  • Private music tutor
  • Community arts worker
  • Member of a choir

Transferable skills

  • Solo performance
  • Repertoire knowledge
  • Effective communication and presence
  • Time management
  • Teamwork
  • Collaboration
  • Auditions and rehearsals
  • Peak performance tools
  • Dealing with performance anxiety
  • Reflective, mindful practice

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in Music or another relevant discipline. We will also consider your application if you have a 2:2 honours degree and relevant professional experience.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Additional requirements

You will need to submit a sample of your creative work with your application. Please see our guidance on submitting creative work.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 6.0, minimum 5.5 in each component
Cambridge CEFR B2 First: 169, with no less than 162 in each component
Oxford ELLT 6, minimum of 5 in each component
Duolingo 105, minimum 95 in all other components
LanguageCert SELT B2 with 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic 65 with a minimum of 60 in each component
KITE 426-458, with 396-425 in all other components
Skills for English B2: Pass with Merit overall, with Pass in each component
PTE Academic 55, minimum 51 in each component
TOEFL 79, minimum 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing
Trinity ISE III Pass in all components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation online. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

Additional requirements

In addition to your application, you'll need to send us a video recording or link of varied repertoire which must include Western Art Music, a variety of languages may be shown and musical theatre repertoire can be included. However, we cannot teach/cover pop music, and some students do like to share some work in their home language but this will not be a taught element once in York so we would encourage applicants to only record music in Western languages where possible.

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School of Arts and Creative Technologies

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