1 year (Full-time) / 2 years (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)
To offer knowledge and expertise for a career in professional music composition or a PhD in composition.
To equip aspiring composers with a variety of techniques and practical experience to enable them to pursue their creative goals to a fully professional level with confidence, imagination and the appropriate means.
This programme is designed to enable students to pursue their own compositional interests under close supervision and guidance and to equip composers with a variety of techniques and practical experience.
Students are encouraged to explore their creativity through a variety of appropriate compositional techniques and practical experience, including an exceptional range of opportunities to hear their own music in professional workshops/rehearsals and student performance. Complementary studies in analysis of contemporary repertoire, advanced orchestration or ensemble conducting make up a balanced programme of study.
You take five modules in Stage 1 which, once successfully completed, is followed by a Composition Portfolio in Stage 2. For the pattern of part-time study in Stage 1, please consult the School.
To reflect the new emerging synergies between members of staff at the School of Music, students on the MMus Composition will be able to include performance as part of their module choice.
Further details of the modules in this programme are available from the School.
- Study Skills
- Composition 1
- Repertoire Studies
- Either Advanced Instrumentation or Conducting and Ensemble Direction
- Composition 2
- Composition Portfolio (a project focused on the composition of a large-scale work or works, as agreed with your tutor, normally c15-25 minutes in duration)
Study Skills: This module, shared with students taking the MMus Performance, covers inputting music notation and editing to professional standard using Sibelius software. Students will also be introduced to relevant aspects of Music Library IT.
Composition 1: Portfolio of small-scale original pieces (c. 10-15 minutes total duration). Content to be agreed with your supervisor, ensuring that the portfolio shows sufficient diversity of medium and instrumental/vocal resources.
Repertoire Studies: A detailed investigation of a number of selected post-1945 works, some chosen to reflect students’ compositional interests.
Conducting and Ensemble Direction (optional): Students are taught conducting and rehearsal techniques and prepare a work of their own composition for an assessed rehearsal with a professional ensemble.
Orchestration (optional): A study of twentieth-century and contemporary orchestration based on a range of works. The selection of works will cover a broad range of stylistic and technical interests in the orchestral medium.
Composition 2: Portfolio of medium-scale original pieces (c. 12-20 minutes total duration). Content to be agreed with your supervisor, ensuring that the portfolio shows sufficient diversity of medium and instrumental/vocal resources.
- This programme offers an opportunity to study with leading composers. You will get to hear your music rehearsed and recorded in workshops with visiting ensembles. Recently these have included London Sinfonietta, Chroma, Exaudi vocal ensemble, BBCNOW Ensemble, and Psappha. There will also be opportunities to conduct your music with the Contemporary Music Group and visiting professional ensemble.
- The programme also allows you to meet visiting composers, recently these have been Derek Bermel, Martin Butler, Anne Dudley, Robin Holloway, Mark-Anthony Turnage, and Judith Weir.
- Plan, implement, evaluate and reflect critically on work in progress
- Synthesise and articulate complex musical information
- Exercise choice and judgment in the creation of new work
- IT skills in music notation inputting and editing
- Exhibit skills of self-motivation, self-critical awareness, positive response to criticism and self-criticism while maintaining
- confidence in creative work
- Establish a pattern of independent work, time management and working to deadlines
- Be aware of emotional and spiritual growth and change to ensure continuing creativity
- Demonstrate openness to new or different ideas and thinking
- Demonstrate the ability and confidence to see a creative project through to completion
- Communicate musical intentions clearly and economically to performers as a conductor
Graduates of the programme may also wish to consider postgraduate study at PhD level.
A first or upper second class Honours degree, or equivalent is usually required. Suitable for graduates in Music, or experienced composers with relevant qualifications.
In addition, applicants should supply evidence of appropriate skills in written and spoken English (usually via a score of 570 on TOEFL (230 on computer based marking) or band 6.5 on IELTS) and, if relevant, foreign language skills.
Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.
UK & EU Full Time for 2013/14
UK & EU Part Time for 2013/14
International Full Time for 2013/14
International Part Time for 2013/14
Next intake: October each year
Name: Dr Arlene Sierra
Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 4382