Skip to content
Home>Study at York>Postgraduate taught>Courses>Music (Vocal Studies pathway) (PGDip)

PGDip Music (Vocal Studies pathway)

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

Year of entry: 2020

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

Talk to us

Chat to staff and current students to find out what studying at York is really like. Join us on campus or online.

Meet us

This practitioner-led PGDip pathway is 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.

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.

Departmental 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.

Outstanding facilities

You'll have access to practice rooms, recording studios, two professional concert halls, the dedicated John Paynter Music Library and a weekly concert series featuring internationally renowned artists.

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.

All pathways for the PGDip Music follow the same structure. 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 take four modules: 

In addition to these modules, we strongly encourage you to participate in department ensembles such as Chamber Choir, University Choir and The 24, and to attend weekly research seminarsperformance 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.

Modules

Projects I and II

You’ll take Project I and Project II (30 credits each) in the Autumn and Spring Terms respectively.

In these modules, you’ll attend weekly seminars and performance classes related to your pathway, which will help you to engage deeply with texts and characterisation and explore strategies to build recital programmes and creative projects.

Throughout these modules you’ll receive advice, support and feedback from your academic supervisor. You’ll have the freedom to work on areas that interest you - our courses our designed to allow maximum flexibility and independence.

Project III

During the Summer Term and summer vacation, you will work on Project III (40 credits), a detailed individual project to curate and perform an extended recital. In addition, matters concerning creative career strategy will be discussed in a short series of forums.

Critical Reflection in Musical Practice

Critical Reflection in Musical Practice (20 credits) runs throughout the year. In this module you’ll develop sophisticated ways to think and write about music. In Autumn Term, your classes will introduce some of the skills needed for postgraduate-level research, and in Spring Term, you'll explore musicological theories that will allow you to develop critical and reflective approaches to your performance.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

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 Master’s level
  • Lead, or constructively contribute to, advanced-level musical activity, for example by performing, composing, critical listening and thinking, analyzing, editing, improvising, notating or employing studio techniques and digital literacy at a professional level
  • 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, composition, teaching, management, academic work, and collaborative projects
  • Communicate at an advanced level on a range of issues relating to music, the arts, society and culture, using appropriate written and oral media and music-making activities
  • Plan and execute focused individual research projects, composition portfolios or recitals through rigorous planning and the application of appropriate principles, theoretical knowledge, methodologies, techniques and experience
  • Apply self-evaluative skills of reflective practice to inform current work and continuing professional development – whether through written work, compositions or performance – with creativity, imagination and initiative
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

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2020/21

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

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

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

Home/EU students

International students

A full list of department scholarships, awards, and bursaries can be found on the department website.

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.

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 departmental community, from our composers, instrumentalists and accompanists to our ensembles, weekly workshops, performance classes and research seminars.

Facilities

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 Department of Music on Campus West. Almost all of your teaching will take place within the department.

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’ll develop three concert programmes for assessment throughout the course, supplemented by individual commentaries. The first two recitals will be based on repertoire agreed with the course tutor, while the third focuses more on independent choice.

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

Recent graduates taught by Susan Young have been employed by:

  • West Australia Opera
  • English National Opera
  • West End musical theatre companies
  • Royal Northern Sinfonia
  • Tenebrae
  • I Fagiolini
  • Lacock Scholars
  • Carice Singers
  • Oxford Camerata
  • Cathedral choirs (Peterborough, York Minster and churches in London including St Bride's and St Luke’s)
  • National Youth Choir Fellowship scheme
  • Genesis Sixteen programme

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

Qualification 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.

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:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.0, minimum 5.5 in each component
PTE Academic 55, minimum 51 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 169, minimum 162 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've not 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 IELTS 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.

Applying

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

Please attach a short video file/link with at least two contrasting pieces with your application as evidence of your previous work in performance. You should aim to include repertoire you might wish to study on the course.

Please also provide a short written statement on your aims and objectives in taking this course.

After application, you will be called for interview or audition. For students outside the UK, this can be through Skype (or similar) if necessary.

You are encouraged to contact Susan Young (susan.young@york.ac.uk) at the beginning of the process to discuss your application.

Please indicate clearly in the written title of your application which PGDip Music pathway you wish to apply for.

Apply for this course

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Learn more

Department of Music

Discover York

Accommodation

We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to premium.

Student life

Explore campus and city life and hear what our current students have to say about living here.

The city

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