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Vocal Studies (BA)

Founded by internationally renowned tenor Dennis O’Neill, and now part of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, students will benefit from the expertise of a master of his field and a world-leading Educational Institution to prepare them for the ever-changing pace of the Operatic Performance Industry.

The Academy provides a highly specialised and unique environment for a small number of singers and accompanists at the early stage of their training and recruits young artists globally. Students work with the best vocal technicians, coaches, eminent conductors and international stars from the operatic world in order to develop their art to the highest professional standards.

An exciting Vocal Performance Education Centre, proud of its mixture of International, Academic and Industry based Staff and Coaches. The Academy’s work ethic is based on respect and co-operation. Having networks with industry professionals and continuing relationships with students who now work in the industry, both who return as coaches, we feel we can offer an ever current training and education to our joining students.


Vocal Studies (BA)
UCAS Code: AV01  
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Tuition Fees 2020/21:
£9,000 (Home/EU)
£11,850 (Overseas)

Why choose this course

  1. 1-to-1 tuition for 1-hour per week in voice tuition and separate vocal coaching
  2. Regular masterclasses from international opera artists and renowned conductors.
  3. Intensive 2-year accelerated degree enabling you to achieve a BA (Hons) in 2 years rather than the usual 3 years.
  4. Based in Cardiff; the capital city of Wales known as the land of song.
  5. Preparation for a career in the fast-paced world of vocal performance.

What you will learn

Course Overview

The  Vocal Studies (BA (Hons)) programme is an intensive and vocational degree designed to prepare you for the demands of the modern vocal performance world. Vocal Technique and repertoire development is central to the programme with the study of languages, history of the singing voice, general musicianship, stagecraft and crucial industry areas that prepare you to hit the ground running on completion.

Key to success as a performer is 1-to-1 learning, which is offered at WIAV in vocal technique and repertoire coaching for 1 hour of each per week.

The programmes at WIAV are deliberately small in number and enable your tuition to be shaped around your interests and developmental needs whilst you learn from world-class performers, conductors and teachers.

Module Topics

Modules at Level 4:

  • Vocal Technique
  • Italian 1
  • French 1
  • German 1
  • History and Repertoire of the Singing Voice
  • General Musicianship

Modules at Level 5:

  • Vocal Technique 2
  • Italian 2
  • French 2
  • German 2
  • Basic Russian and Spanish
  • Stagecraft

Modules at Level 6:

  • Vocal Technique 3
  • Auditioning Skllls and Career Management
  • Personal Project
  • Final Recital

Assessment is practical on the whole and designed to offer you various different opportunities to present your learning across the modules. Assessment may take the form of performances, presentations, essays, tests and portfolios. There will be opportunities for feedback throughout the programme as well as mock assessments in order to prepare for final module assessments.

WIAV, Graduates and Performances

Student and Cardiff Life

Key Information

  • Dennis O’Neill
  • Jane Samuel
  • Jacqueline Pischorn
  • Nuccia Focile
  • Pierre-Maurice Barlier
  • Simon Rees
  • Tanya Harrison
  • Alessandra Palidda
  • David Bebbington
Entry Criteria

All applicants are invited to an audition that will involve a performance and a short interview.

Career Opportunities

You will be prepared for potential careers in vocal performance, Opera, theatre, education and music related areas. Completion of the programme would also enable you to progress to further postgraduate study and research.

Additional Costs

There are no anticipated additional costs for this course.

Student Quotes

Romanas Kudriasovas, MA Advanced Vocal Technique, 2015

"I spent a fantastic year at WIAV, and have the fondest memories of my time there. Coming from abroad, I did not know what to expect, but what I found at the academy was world class teachers and coaches, led by Dennis O'Neill, a caring staff-team and, a group of like-minded students ready to immerse themselves in the world of opera singing. I have been incredibly lucky to have studied at WIAV. I have not only developed my singing and performance technique, I have also learned to believe in myself and to strive for the best."

Nela Saric, MA Advanced Vocal Technique, 2017 

"Being part of this incredible programme has been a huge honour and it gave me the chance to grow as a professional singer. The atmosphere was always very positive, motivating and warm, and I have made an incredible improvement by working with all the amazing voice teachers, vocal coaches, language coaches and conductors." 

Bursary / Scholarship Information