2021 start

Music Performance Studies

Department of Music, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Develop as a performer with stylistic awareness and an understanding of how to prepare for the concert platform.
A postgraduate student playing the piano

Course description

This course is designed to help you build the stylistic awareness and advanced techniques to perform music at concert level. Through workshops, masterclasses and one-to-one lessons with specialist tutors, you will hone your abilities as both a solo and ensemble performer, culminating in a public recital at the end of your course. Students can either choose to take a piano performance pathway or instrumental performance pathway.
You will have the opportunity to engage in modules that develop your understanding of performance as a research informed discipline, whilst also having the opportunity to collaborate on creative projects with students from other programmes.

The department plays an important role in Sheffield's thriving cultural life, and students have frequent opportunities to perform for The University of Sheffield Concerts, a concert series that hosts varied performances from world-wide professional musicians throughout the year.

How to apply

You can choose to take a piano performance pathway or an instrumental performance pathway. Please select the relevant course when you apply:

  • MA Music Performance Studies (Piano) MUST73
  • MA Music Performance Studies MUST64

You'll need to provide a portfolio with your application.

Apply now


Explore core and optional modules

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.


The course is taught through lectures, workshops and tutorials. These are combined with departmental study days and extracurricular individual instrumental or vocal tuition, professional workshops, and performance opportunities, all of which makes for a stimulating and supportive study environment.

Learn more about your supervisors:


You'll be assessed through practical, experiential and theoretical methods that include performances, presentations and essays. You will work towards a final recital at the end of the course, and written essays will assess your knowledge of a broad range of current artistic practices along with your skills in evaluation, analysis and criticism, information organisation and writing.


  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Your career

Many of our graduates have found success in the music profession as performers, while a large number have gone onto teach or establish their own music freelance business. Others have stayed to continue their studies at PhD level, or taken up offers to study further at leading music conservatoires.

Student profile

Group of postgraduate music students with harp

Studying a performance-based masters in a university where there are experts in other areas is a great opportunity. Being able to address my performance with new perspectives as a result of cross-specialisation input has brought new ideas and freshness to my own approach as a musician.

Alison York

MA Music Performance Studies

Entry requirements

You'll need a 2:1 in music or a combined degree with a substantial music component.

Degrees in other related subjects may be acceptable depending on your background.

Provide a portfolio with your application

When you apply you'll need to provide a portfolio in the form of a video. It must include two contrasting pieces of different styles and eras that demonstrate your expressive and technical flexibility. Classical singers should choose works in two different languages. Musicians performing in a popular style can choose works from the same era but they should show sufficient contrast. The portfolio should be approximately 20 minutes.

To submit your portfolio, you should do one of the following:

  • upload your video recordings with your postgraduate online application
  • provide an online link to your performance portfolio in your postgraduate online application

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Fees and funding

University funding and scholarships opportunities are available each year. Please check the department funding webpages for music specific scholarships. Department scholarships details are released in the January prior to the start of your course.

Funding information on the Department of Music website


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now

+44 114 222 0495

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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