University scholarships, bursaries and discounts

Philharmonia Scholarship

The University of Leicester has a long-established relationship with the renowned Philharmonia Orchestra. As part of this arrangement, we are able to offer this scholarship under which musically talented Citizens of Change receive one-on-one training from members of the Philharmonia. 

This scholarship is open to students from any country, on the first year of any undergraduate or postgraduate degree, who play any orchestral instrument. 

You should be Grade 6 (or above) or equivalent – although we will consider applications from highly competent musicians who have not followed a traditional grade pathway. 

This scholarship is offered for one year initially, but if things go well it can potentially be extended throughout your studies. 

The Philharmonia have a residence at De Montfort Hall (next to the University campus) where they perform seven times each year. Normally you will have one lesson each time the Philharmonia is in town for a total of six lessons. Occasionally it may be necessary to visit London for a lesson, in which case the University will refund your train fare. 

As part of this scholarship, you will be expected to take an active part in the musical life of the University through music societies, concerts etc. as well as showing a full commitment to your lessons. 

How to apply

Complete the application form (Word, 70kb) and email it to with a reference from a former teacher or music mentor. 

A selection panel will create a short list and invite those students to audition at Attenborough Arts Centre, after which a final selection will be made. If successful, you will be informed within one week of your audition. 


You will be asked to prepare two short contrasting pieces (or extracts) totalling around five minutes of music. After your performance there will be a short interview. The whole thing will last about ten minutes. 

The music you choose should show the best of your technical ability, but also demonstrate your musicality and ability to communicate. A piano accompanist can be provided. Please note that Attenborough Arts Centre does not have a drum kit or amps, however there is a PA system that can play CD/MP3 backing tracks. 

The audition panel will be chaired by the Honorary Director of Student Music and will include: 

  • a musician from the Philharmonia Orchestra
  • the Director of Education from the Philharmonia Orchestra
  • a local professional musician
  • renowned jazz musician Corey Mwamba who sits on Attenborough Arts Advisory Board 

The President of the University of Leicester Music Association will sit in on the auditions but will not be part of the panel. 

The panel's decision will not be made solely on your performance standard. They will also take into account: 

  • Commitment to regular lessons and to practise
  • Enthusiasm for participation in a University music society
  • Willingness to perform and to engage with an audience
  • Readiness to be prepared for additional learning opportunities
  • Ability to be an ambassador for music at Attenborough Arts Centre 

There are a limited number of scholarships available. If you are not successful, we hope you will nevertheless take advantage of the many musical opportunities on offer during your time at the University of Leicester. 

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