Classical Specialist Study - Strings

Discover more about specialising in Strings on the Classical programme.

Back to BA (Hons) Music (Classical)

The strings programme at Leeds Conservatoire is focused on the key skills, learning and overall mindset that is needed to in order to thrive in the climate of today’s industry. The course combines the traditional orchestral curriculum with elements that cater for a more diverse career choice, incorporating an autonomous and open-minded approach.

The programme ensures a grounded foundation with a comprehensive understanding of how technique and musicality work in tandem across a variety of repertoire from the Renaissance through to the 21st century. The conservatoire has Baroque bows available for students wishing to fully understand and embrace the nuanced sound-world of Baroque music in relation to other eras of music, clarifying and intensifying their musical sensitivity.

The programme partners with players from Opera North to offer orchestral expertise, alongside inviting a diverse range of guests from across the string world.

Some of our Specialist Strings Tutors


Our strings students benefit from a varied programme of masterclasses, featuring successful musicians from around the world. Some recent masterclasses have included:

  • Opera North
  • Violin  - Jiafeng Chen, Sebastian Mueller, David Greed, Jack Liebeck, George Hlaniczka, Jacqueline Ross, Ian Belton, Elvira Nakipbekova
  • Cello - Juliet Farnes, Karine Georgian, Tunde Jegende, Jonathan Aasgaard, Jennifer Langridge, Juliet Welchman, Sebastian Comberti, Branimir Pustick, Tim Gill
  • Guitar - Tilman Hoppstock, Alan Thomas, Matthew McAllister, Martin Fogel, Graham Devine, Gordon Crosskey, Craig Ogden, Tony Johnson

Students can also attend guest masterclasses from any of our music programmes, from Jazz to Music Production, to broaden their musical understanding.

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Strings Facilities

Strings students benefit from our world-class facilities, including:

  • 350-seat auditorium and 120 seat recital space
  • Instruments and equipment to borrow, including:
    Double Bass
    Viola de Gamba
  • Bespoke rehearsal and practice rooms
  • Facilities open until late during term-time
Explore facilities

Our 3 year BA (Hons) Music (Classical) is designed for musicians who know they want to specialise in Classical Music. 

All Specialist Study and Specialist Group Study modules are Classical focused, with the option to apply as either a Performer or Composer.

As with all our Classical courses, studies in your specialist area will be supported by a broader curriculum designed to prepare you for your career in the Classical Music industry.

If you know that conservatoire study is for you, but you don’t think that you’ll meet the academic or musical entry requirements, our four-year courses are an excellent opportunity to start studying your degree while you focus on your musical development.

An extra year of access to our creative and collaborative environment, excellent facilities, expert staff and rich performance opportunities will build your confidence as a conservatoire musician.

Find out more about BA (Hons) with Foundation Year.

Classical Music can also be taken as part of a Combined Honours degree.

We are the only UK conservatoire to offer this type of combined degree where you will study both areas of music throughout all three years.

You will take specialist study modules (e.g. your 1:1 tuition) in your first area and specialist group study (e.g. ensembles) in your second.

For Classical with Jazz, you would have 1:1 Classical instrumental or vocal tuition and also be in a Jazz ensemble.

Course Options:

Academic Requirements

BA (Hons) - 3 Years

96 UCAS tariff points from level 3 studies or equivalent, which normally include A Level Music or a BTEC Extended Diploma in a Music-related subject.

A minimum of three GCSEs including English Language at Grade C / Grade 4 or above or equivalent international qualification, eg IELTS 6.0 (5.5 in each component).

BA (Hons) with Foundation Year - 4 Years

64 UCAS tariff points from level 3 studies or equivalent, which normally include A Level Music or a BTEC Extended Diploma in a Music-related subject.

A minimum of three GCSEs including English Language at Grade C / Grade 4 or above or equivalent international qualification, eg IELTS 6.0 (5.5 in each component).

Performance and Musical Theory Standard

Read our full entry requirements to see more detail on musical performance and theory standards.

Applicants will need to audition, interview and/or submit a portfolio of work. 

Exact requirements vary depending on which programme you are applying for.

Find more detailed audition information for applicants.

Leeds Conservatoire does not charge audition fees for any Undergraduate or Postgraduate course.

Visit our Fees and Funding section to find out more about Fees & Funding for International Students.

If you are an international applicant, visit our dedicated International section of the website for information on:

  • How To Apply
  • Auditions
  • International Entry Requirements
  • Fees & Funding

Study Mode: Full Time
Apply via: UCAS Conservatoires (not Undergraduate)
UCAS Institution Code: L31
Validated by: University of Hull*

*Note for applicants and offer holders for 2022/23 entry onwards:

Leeds Conservatoire plans to apply to the Office for Students for Degree Awarding Powers. If we are granted Degree Awarding Powers, your degree may be awarded by Leeds Conservatoire rather than validated by the University of Hull.

Course Type: Undergraduate, Single Honours
Duration: 3 years
UCAS Course Code: 305F 

Course Key Information Document 2021/22

Course Type: Undergraduate, Single Honours
Duration: 4 years
UCAS Course Code: W30F

Course Key Information Document 2021/22 

BA (Hons) Music (Classical with Jazz)

Course Type: Undergraduate, Combined Honours
Duration: 3 years
UCAS Course Code: 412F

Course Key Information Document 2021/22


Graduate Profile: Carmen McLean (Violin)

Carmen has performed with the likes of the Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra, had her music featured on BBC Music Introducing in West Yorkshire, had a track featured in a Spotify playlist and recently started writing for the music magazine - Buzzkill.

Carmen McLean 2

Course Studied: BA (Hons) Music (Classical)

Year of Graduation: 2019

Top Career Achievements:

  • Recently playing a rooftop gig at Headrow House. There were fairly lights everywhere and because we were just coming out of lockdown, I felt we had all been starved of live music for so long - so it was very special
  • I played Shostakovich's 10th Symphony with Leeds Sinfonia last year at St Edmund's Church in Roundhay. Any violinist can tell you that Shostakovich wrote some incredibly challenging repertoire, and this really felt like climbing a mountain
  • Performing Rachmaninov's 2nd Symphony with the CBSO Youth Orchestra aged 18, to a sold-out Birmingham Symphony Hall. This experience really confirmed to me that I wanted to be a performer when I was older

Read Carmen's Profile

Graduate Profile: Beckie Morley (Violin)

Now a multi-award winning brand and leading music provider in the care home industry, Beckie's company Musical Moments delivers music in over 23 locations across the country, working with over 52,000 vulnerable people in the community each year.

Beckie Morley Image.jpg

Course Studied: BA (Hons) Music (Classical)

Year of Graduation: 2011

Top Career Highlights:

  • Turning the business into a franchise model and recruiting 15 franchisees in less than two years
  • Creating jobs and careers for musicians and seeing them grow their own business whilst bringing music to their communities
  • Being recognised as a 'SmallBiz100' in 2018 - one of the UK's top small businesses in 2018

Watch a Playlist of our Classical Tutors' Work

Open Days (On-Campus, Live Online & On-Demand)

Find out what it's like to study at Leeds Conservatoire by coming along to one of our Open Days. 

As well as talks and tours specific to the courses you're interested in, you can also chat to our staff and students.

Plus, get immediate access to our On-Demand Open Day.

Find out more
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