The Masters in Music Performance postgraduate course encourages you to develop the highest levels of instrumental expertise, performance abilities, academic research and critical reasoning skills. You’ll also explore your leadership and musical management skills via the role of musical director of an ensemble, culminating in a performance of challenging original and existing repertoire.

This one-year course is aimed at individuals who wish to continue their studies after having already successfully completed their undergraduate degree-level music course. The course is also open to those who already have a vast amount of industry experience and are keen to accomplish an even greater mastery of their instrument.

Across your year of learning, you’ll further develop your instrumental and musicianship skills, focusing on your personal relationship with your instrument and the extension of your technical ability, while exploring your role as a performer in both live and studio environments. This is delivered using a variety of modes of study, including one-to-one lessons, small-group ensemble classes and lectures, and private and group tutorials.

As a masters in music performance student, you’ll enhance your professional development by operating autonomously and engaging in self-directed study, but with guidance and support from members of ICMP’s experienced professional faculty.

The Masters in Music Performance course encourages you to identify your own personal learning requirements, select your essential resources, and then design and implement a plan for achieving them. You can choose from one of three optional modules, which include an investigation of a performance tradition, the use of music in health and wellbeing, and the cultural and philosophical aspects of music.

All MMus students are required to undertake a significant research project which leads to the production of a significant body of work for recital and a dissertation. You’ll receive highly personalised instrumental and dissertation supervision from a mentor of your choice within our faculty, which comprises a number of celebrated PhD recipients and music academics.

Over the duration of the course, there will be many opportunities to work alongside like-minded creative musicians across all ICMP disciplines and you’ll be encouraged to collaborate both inside and outside of the MMus curriculum. You’ll also benefit from a regular schedule of visiting lecturers who’ll discuss their different approaches, philosophies and ideas with you, including musicians, academics and guests from the wider creative industries.

As an MMus student, you’ll have direct access to ICMP’s amazing facilities with industry-standard hardware, software and instruments, including a 24-track recording studio, high-tech Mac Labs and dedicated performance spaces which can all be booked free of charge outside of class hours, seven days a week.

“I have learnt the skills for better time management, academic writing, music arrangement, aural training, various kinds of research methods…critical thinking…self-discipline, and leadership in a band.”

Hung Fai Chan
MMus in Popular Music Performance

The Masters in music performance course will take you on a journey that will change the way you think about yourself as a musician and, ultimately, as a person. You’ll graduate with the skills, self-reliance and motivation needed to build and sustain a successful portfolio career as a talented music professional – whichever path you decide to take.

September 2021: What you can expect...

In September 2021, we will be returning to a primarily onsite, face-to-face learning experience. All subjects and classes that are best suited to face-to-face delivery – such as performance activity, studio classes and other practical workshops – will be timetabled into the appropriate teaching spaces at our campuses. All of these sessions will be socially-distanced and properly ventilated. In order to facilitate socially-distanced learning, we have reduced our group sizes to a maximum of 13 and, because of the consequent need to run more sessions, some learning activity will take place online. We have listened to student feedback and only planned online delivery for those subjects and classes that work well in this mode, such as lectures and discussion seminars. This blend of onsite and online education will ensure we can facilitate the highest quality of learning and teaching, whilst ensuring the ongoing safety of all students and staff.

Financial Support

Student support for postgraduate music masters courses is available to students studying at ICMP.

Eligible students on designated masters courses at ICMP will be able to access the postgraduate Master's loan in the same way, and at the same value, as they could at a publicly funded provider. Eligible students will be able to borrow up to £11,222. If you opt to study part-time, your loan would be split into two instalments over the two years.

Full Fees Information | Full Programme Specification 


Successful completion of programme MMus Popular Music Performance at ICMP London school of music leads to the award of Master of Music by the University of East London. 

MMus External Examiner (Dr Jonathan Little) from his AY16/17 Annual Report:

I again commend the commitment of all staff in helping to make this course a success, and believe it remains a rare and very valuable Masters Degree for contemporary musicians who wish to perform at a high level, while also becoming fully-rounded musicians.”

Dr Jonathan Little
MMus External Examiner (from his AY16/17 Annual Report)


Key facts

  • September 2021: Your learning experience will be primarily onsite, with some non-practical classes taking place online.
  • A personalised learning experience which equips you with the knowledge, understanding and skills for successful employment in the music industry.
  • One-to-one instrumental lessons with the tutor of your choice.
  • Combines advanced music literacy and performance skills with rigorous scholarship, enhancing your creativity and confidence as both a performer and academic.
  • Develops your unique identity as a musician through regular individual and collaborative performance activities.
  • Academic supervisors/mentors chosen based on your specific research needs.
  • The London location provides opportunities to perform in gigs at top London venues, while immersing yourself in the global music scene.
  • Connections with wider London music industry enables you to build an impressive musical network.
  • A truly international college, with musical opportunities around the globe via partners in California, Nashville, Malmö and Paris.
  • Offered as one year full-time or two years part-time study.
  • Face-to-Face Tour


Module Overview


The MMus Popular Music Performance postgraduate programme aims to broaden and deepen your musical competencies, while developing your independent learning and critical thinking abilities. You’ll build upon your existing knowledge, skills, learning and experience, and will be challenged, both musically and academically, to move out of your comfort zone. You’ll receive the time, space, support and opportunities you need to progress your personal development, while being stimulated and motivated to achieve your goals.

MMus Popular Music Performance students take the following 30 credit modules:

Advanced Instrumental Studies (30 Credits) | Advanced Ensemble Studies (30 Credits) | Studio Performance (30 Credits)

Students also choose one of the following optional* 30 credit modules:

Cultural and Philosophical Studies – Option* (30 Credits) | Music and Wellbeing – Option* (30 Credits) | Investigating Performance Traditions – Option* (30 Credits)

All students take the following 60 credit module:

Performance Research Project (60 Credits)

This course will prepare you for a career in the music industry in areas such as session recording, international touring, musical theatre, function bands, library music and music education, or you can progress on to further academic study in music.


You will be taught at our campus in Kilburn, utilising our live rooms, tech suites and in-house music studio facilities as well as classrooms and lecture rooms. You will have access to use these facilities outside of class time while you are a student at ICMP in order to rehearse and record your music. 

You will be taught through a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, small group tutorials, performance workshops, music technology workshops tutorials and one to one instrumental tuition. 

In September students will experience a primarily onsite, face-to-face learning experience, with some non-practical classes delivered online. Onsite lessons will be taught at our Kilburn campus , utilising our live performance rooms and extensive range of music equipment/instruments. Online lessons will be taught via Microsoft Teams.  

Postgraduate students will experience onsite face-to-face classes as the default position. These will be supported by online supervisions/classes on the modules where this works effectively and with no detriment to the student experience.

You will have access to the Student Services Department for support and advice concerning welfare, finance, personal development, safeguarding etc. You'll also have access to our Professional Development team ‘The Hub, who provide bespoke music industry careers advice and access to unique industry opportunities.

As a student of UEL you will also enjoy access to a range of UEL facilities, including the 24/7 multimedia libraries, with over 300,000 books, journals, audio-visual resources and archives, 500 electronic books and 25,000 electronic journals and databases. 

Read more about our blended-delivery model for September 2021.

Teaching and Learning

On the MMus Popular Music Performance programme you will be taught by lecture, seminar discussion, and practical workshops as appropriate at ICMP's bespoke facilities in Kilburn.

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you'll be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, concert venues, rehearsal facilities and preparing coursework assignments.Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including our Learning Resource Centre, our many performance and practice rooms, and well-equipped tech suites.

Throughout the duration of your course your time will be split as follows:

Teaching, Learning and Assessment hours per year: 252hrs

Self-study hours per year: 1548hrs


Each module must be completed and all are individually assessed with the exception of the two ‘Semester A’ modules, which are assessed through a combined recital (unless the part-time pathway is taken in which case each assessment is individual). Assessment is normally based on one or two pieces of work, a recital or performance, or submission of a portfolio.

The assessment breakdown of this programme is:

50% Coursework

50% Practical



Successful applicants will typically have gained a good Honours degree (upper second or first) or equivalent in music and will be able to demonstrate advanced musicianship across a broad range of theoretical, technical, practical and conceptual competencies.  

ICMP also welcomes applications from established practitioners who are keen to undertake study at the postgraduate level but who may not possess a degree in music. Students wishing to apply through this route should contact our Admissions team in the first instance for further advice.

International: English language requirement – minimum level B2 of the CEFR.

When completing our full application form for the Masters in Music Performance,  you will be required to write a personal statement.

You’ll also be asked to complete an audition/interview. Further documentation or evidence in support of your application may be required in certain cases.


 Please apply via  the "APPLY NOW" link  below.

At any time during the application process if you need help or further advice just contact our Admissions team who will be happy to assist you. 

By phone:
020 7328 0222

By email: