Leeds College of Music


History: Began life as Leeds Music Centre in 1965 providing extra-curricular music activities for the city. Became the City of Leeds College of Music in 1971, before moving to purpose-built new premises in 1997 and changing its name to Leeds College of Music.

Address: Bang in the centre of Leeds' arts quarter next to the West Yorkshire Playhouse. New developments nearby include Leeds College Music's 350-seat, £2.7m concert hall, The Venue, which opened in October 2003, new regional headquarters for the BBC and Leeds College Music's new on-site student accommodation.

Ambience: The atmosphere is friendly, modern and informal, has its own state-of-the-art recording studios. New teaching space has just been opened. Has its own symphony orchestra, jazz orchestra, big bands, jazz combos, quartets, pop bands, choral society, chamber choir and many student bands and ensembles.

Who's the boss? Professor Phillip Meaden is the principal and a board member of the London Sinfonietta and the Centre for Young Musicians.

Prospectus: 0113 222 3416 or visit the website here.

UCAS code: L30

CUKAS code: L31

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Easy in the sense that you can enter at whatever level suits your ability and experience. 240 UCAS points normally required for first degree study but motivation and performing ability are equally important.

Vital statistics: The largest specialist music college in the country and the only one to offer both higher and further education courses. More than 1,000 full-time and 1,000 part-time students. Further education courses are split into two pathways - performance and music technology.

Added value: Recent multi-million pound renovations including  new equipment and space for practice and performance. A cradle-to-grave approach to music studies. Students can enter as beginners and leave as postgraduates.

Teaching: Areas of excellence include Indian music, music technology, music and sound production for the moving image, and classical music studies. Degrees are validated by the University of Bradford, and in August 2011 the college entered a strategic partnership with Leeds City College.

Research: Has an internal research unit and hosts a number of high profile conferences and professional training events.

Foundation degrees: Just one in music production, and a foundation diploma in music.

Any accommodation? Yes but not much. There are 190 single study rooms in Joseph Stones House, on-site halls owned and managed by a private company. Single rooms range from £118 to £170 per week. Self-contained studio rooms are available as an option.

Cheap to live there? Yes - renting a room in a shared flat or house in Leeds averages around £70.

Transport links: The college is situated directly opposite Leeds bus station, in the very centre of the city. Road links directly from the M1, M62 and M621, and Leeds railway station is a fifteen minute walk away. The city now has a free bus service around the city centre, which can be caught from the bus and railway stations.

Fees: £9,000 per year for undergrad degrees - the maximum fee.

Bursaries: A bursary of up to £800 per year is available to HE students in receipt of a maintenance grant and with a residual annual income of less than £40,000. There are also scholarships available dependant on academic and musical excellence. The college began taking part in the National Scholarship Programme in late 2012, helping those from families with annual household incomes below £25,000.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Leeds is one of the hottest night spots for live music, pubbing and clubbing in the country.

Sporting facilities: None of its own but external leisure facilities close by.

Glittering alumni: BBC Jazz Award winner Matthew Bourne; The Haggis Horns (horn section for Mark Ronson & Corinne Bailey Rae); saxophonist Alan Barnes; saxophonist Laura Fowles (Take That, Hed Kandi Records); Pete Wareham and Chris Sharkey of Mercury Music Prize-nominated band Acoustic Ladyland; Olivier Award-nominated actress Elizabeth Mansfield; Chris Monks, artistic director of Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre; Damon Gough aka Badly Drawn Boy.

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