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Graduate Diploma in Vocal Performance

  • Award:

    Graduate Diploma in Vocal Performance

  • Awarding body:

    University of South Wales 

  • Location of study:

    Cardiff (RWCMD and Old Library) 

  • Start date:

    22 September 2024

  • Duration:

    One year full time

  • Course code:

    506F - UCAS Conservatoires


One-to-one classical singing tuition is the focus of this course, which acts as a pre-master's programme or a standalone intensive year of vocal training.

Course overview

Acting as a pathway for talented vocalists looking for dedicated study and support before undertaking the MMus Music Performance, this course forms the ideal bridge between a bachelor’s degree and master’s study.

It also offers a stand-alone opportunity for one year’s intensive study of classical vocal performance for those singers wanting to enhance their skills and experience.

From week one, you’ll delve into tailored one-to-one tuition from a professional singing coach, who will help you establish a classical vocal technique and your individual performing persona.

In addition to your vocal lessons, you’ll have dedicated classes in drama and movement, as well as the key operatic languages (Italian, German and French), learning strategies to study these independently.

Ample opportunities to perform in our world-class facilities will support your training, allowing you to practice the skills you’ve cultivated and build your stamina in both solo and ensemble environments.

In our hugely vibrant musical community, you’ll learn to show technical and musical fluency as you perform with individuality, confidence and stylistic integrity.

‘The College feels like a place of true investigation into what the future of music will be like, in all its forms, asking the important questions of our time about music and drama.'
Errollyn WallenComposer and RWCMD Artist in Residence

Why study this course?

  • In less than a year, you will gain the skills and experience you need to meet the entry requirements of master’s level conservatoire courses. Your training also embeds the key skills you’ll need for this level of study, including reflective practice, critical thinking and research.
  • Our course allows you to develop your vocal talents in a shorter time span without the extended apprenticeship needed in other advanced instrumental studies.
  • You’ll work with industry professionals for your one-to-one vocal lessons and all your supporting classes, so you know your training is fit for purpose and aligns with current industry standards.
  • Our teaching team is comprised of staff, tutors and coaches who work with our postgraduate students, allowing you to get accustomed to the language, working practices and learning and teaching styles necessary for further study.
  • This impressive list of staff includes renowned instrumental and vocal soloists and chamber musicians, distinguished coaches, prominent composers, conductors and creative artists in a range of genres – plus principal players in major orchestras and ensembles. They offer you not only first-rate teaching, but mentorship and networking opportunities as well.
  • You don’t need an undergraduate degree in music to earn a place on our course – we welcome classical singers from non-conservatoire backgrounds or those without any previous higher education vocal training. We’ve put in place a set of musicianship classes to help students from non-traditional backgrounds address gaps in their knowledge.
  • You can attend performances within our public programme, masterclasses with renowned artists, as well as external events and activities, such as dress rehearsals at the Welsh National Opera.
  • Your course culminates with a public performance of songs and arias, where you’ll perform in a minimum of three languages (two of which must be Italian and English).
  • You’ll develop the necessary physical skills and stagecraft for authentic characterisation in performance – all of which are key to successful singing.
  • You’ll build your performance stamina in a range of solo and ensemble environments and gain an awareness of collaborative working in choral and operatic settings.
  • You’ll also study the three main operatic singing languages (Italian, German and French) and gain strategies for the independent learning of these.
  • You’ll get an introduction to a variety of vocal styles to reflect the complexity of material required at master’s level. Using spoken word and text, improvisation and drama training, you’ll build your confidence and develop your individual performing persona.
  • For non-native English speakers, we offer English language support, which will run alongside your course, as well as access to our pre-sessional English courses.
  • To make sure you feel supported throughout your study, your course leader will act as a mentor to your small cohort, which is only 10 students. You’ll also have strong ties with our postgraduate vocal students through a buddy system.
  • You’ll learn more about professional etiquette and associated protocols in the industry, including presentation of self, as well as building effective self-management skills.

Other course information

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