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Masters Degrees (Composition For Film)

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Film and Television develops technical skills in compositional techniques and studio-based work. Designed for advanced composers, it provides an in-depth specialist training. Read more

Film and Television develops technical skills in compositional techniques and studio-based work. Designed for advanced composers, it provides an in-depth specialist training. Contextual knowledge of mainstream repertoire and significant previous experience of composition and orchestration are required.

Course detail

The MMus in Composition for Film and Television at London College of Music (LCM) is one of the longest-established qualifications of its kind. The course provides an ideal opportunity for in-depth examination of specific techniques (both historical and current) employed in the creation of music for modern media, and for drawing upon these procedures in a practical context by composing music for a diverse range of genres, including…

• television thrillers

• animation

• video game trailers

• science fiction

• dramatic cinema

• silent film

• costume drama

• documentary and…

• …horror!

In addition, you will hone and refine your skills as orchestrators by writing for a variety of specified ensembles. You will also expand your musical and dramatic vocabulary via an imaginative series of compositional pastiche exercises (an integral feature of the portfolio submission during Semester 1).

You will undertake further assessments in film score analysis (taking the form of an extended contextual essay, based upon a score/composer of your own choice) and in-studio ensemble conducting, working 'to click' with a group of 'live' performing musicians.

Modules

  • Practical Composition 1
  • Practical Composition 2
  • Orchestration and Arranging
  • Score Production
  • Combining Sounds
  • Developing Your Career

Format

The course is taught mainly through individual tutorials, but may include group work, workshops, seminars and lectures.

Assessment

We assess written portfolio work through portfolios of compositions responding to verbal briefs, and in the second semester (or second year for part-time students), composing direct to picture. There is also a practical assessment in the Film and Television Score Production module and an extended essay project for the Business of Music module. There is a viva voce exam as part of the portfolio submissions in both semesters (or both years for part-time students).

Career and study progression

Course alumni have gone on to compose music for an excitingly diverse range of projects and for an impressive list of clients, including the BBC, BBC Worldwide, BBC Three, The National Theatre, Youth Music Theatre UK, Projection Pictures, The National Theatre, Sky, Channel 4 and the British Film Institute.

Also, in addition to orchestrating their own music, many specialise in orchestrating and conducting the music of other (notable) film composers.

While most students progress directly into the industry after completing this course, graduates may alternatively choose to undertake a PhD or further their compositional studies with a DMus.

How to apply

Click the following link for information on how to apply to this course.

Scholarships and bursaries

Information about scholarships and bursaries can be found here.



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Module outline.  . Compositional Techniques. Styles and Genres. You will focus on the acquisition of specialist compositional and orchestrational techniques, structures and processes across a broad range of historical and contemporary styles and genres. . Read more

Module outline:

 

Compositional Techniques: Styles and Genres

You will focus on the acquisition of specialist compositional and orchestrational techniques, structures and processes across a broad range of historical and contemporary styles and genres. 

 

Programming, Production and Studio Technologies

You will explore sampling and the programming of convincing hybrid orchestral ‘mock ups’. We also explore advanced productional, mixing and mastering techniques and investigate the complex technologies that allow the contemporary studio to operate.

 

Composing for the Moving Image: Film, TV and Games

This is a training module concerned with the practice of composing commercially viable music for the Film, TV and Games industries

 

Collaborative Project

You will work collaboratively with postgraduate directors, screenwriters, editors, animators and producers in the department and have the opportunity to contribute to both professional and postgraduate film projects.  

 

Research and the Industry

This module prepares you for the critical and analytical aspects of study at Master’s level, and lay the groundwork for further potential study at Doctoral level within the department.

 

Independent Study: Specialist Project or Research Project

In this independent, project driven module, you will pursue your own enthusiasms and developing specialisms. This will usually take the form of a portfolio of work, a short film or a substantial written research project.

OUR FACILITIES

MA Composition for Film, TV & Games will be delivered in the new £30m Engineering and Digital Technology Park being constructed at the Bognor Regis campus.

Students will use industry standard equipment in CAD labs, edit suites, professional recording studios and a dedicated green screen stage.

Our commercial sound stage is one of three in the UK and will be used industry professionals including the London Metropolitian Orchestra. 

INDICATIVE MODULES

  • Compositional Techniques: Styles and Genres
  • Programming, Production and Studio Technologies
  • Composing for the Moving Image: Film, TV and Games
  • Collaborative Project
  • Research and the Industry
  • Independent Study: Specialist Project OR Research Project


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The MMus Music will introduce you to the fundamental principles of either research in popular music or composition for film, TV and media. Read more
The MMus Music will introduce you to the fundamental principles of either research in popular music or composition for film, TV and media. It provides unique and creative approaches to musicology and composition, valuing intellectual curiosity, musical diversity and creativity.
The course will help strengthen your ability to utilise independent learning whilst developing original and creative responses to problems and current complex issues. You will have the opportunity to develop in-depth knowledge of your chosen pathway in musical study and practice.

Special Features

• Loans for tuition fees are available from the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for eligible Scotland domiciled and EU students, and loans for living costs for eligible Scottish students.
• Pathway options of MMus Music (Popular Musicology) or MMus Music (Composition for Film, TV and Media)
• You will gain the key skills and expertise to enable you to make an effective contribution to the creative industries

Modules

[[PgCert ]]
Postgraduate Certificate in Music (Popular Musicology)
Core modules are:
Contemporary Musicology: Issues and Analysis
Popular Music: Gender and Sexuality or Music: Politics and Protest

Postgraduate Certificate in Music (Composition for Film, TV and Media)
Core modules are:
Composition techniques for Film, TV and Media
Arranging, Orchestration and Film Scoring

PgDip

Postgraduate Diploma in Music (Popular Musicology)
Core modules are:
Research in Context: External engagement
Contemporary music journalism

You will also choose one of the following option modules:
Highland Voices: Music and Song or Film, TV and Media Musicology

Postgraduate Diploma in Music (Composition for Film, TV and Media)
Core module is:
Composition in Context: External Engagement
You will also choose two of the following option modules:
Music Business for Film Composers
Film, TV and Media Musicology
Contemporary Post Production Studio Design

MMus

To achieve the award of MMus Music (Popular Musicology) you must complete a dissertation.
For the MMus (Composition for Film, TV and Media) you will complete a major project.

Access routes

BA (Hons) Popular Music
BA (Hons) Music Business
BSc (Hons) Audio Engineering
BA (Hons) Applied Music

Locations

This course is available at Perth College UHI, Crieff Road, Perth, PH1 2NX

Funding

From 2017, eligible Scotland domiciled students studying full time can access loans up to 10,000 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).This comprises a tuition fee loan up to £5,500 and a non-income assessed living cost loan of £4,500. EU students studying full time can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £5500.

Part-time students undertaking any taught postgraduate course over two years up to Masters level who meet the residency eligibility can apply for a for a tuition fee loan up to £2,750 per year.

See Scholarships tab below for full details

Top reasons to study at UHI

Do something different: our reputation is built on our innovative approach to learning and our distinctive research and curriculum which often reflects the unique environment and culture of our region and closely links to vocational skills required by a range of sectors.
Choice of campuses – we have campuses across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Each campus is different from rich cultural life of the islands; the spectacular coasts and mountains; to the bright lights of our city locations.
Small class sizes mean that you have a more personal experience of university and receive all the support you need from our expert staff
The affordable option - if you already live in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland you don't have to leave home and incur huge debts to go to university; we're right here on your doorstep

How to apply

If you want to apply for this postgraduate programme click on the ‘visit website’ button below which will take you to the relevant course page on our website, from there select the Apply tab to complete our online application.
If you still have any questions please get in touch with our information line by email using the links beow or call on 0845 272 3600.

International Students

If you would like to study in a country of outstanding natural beauty, friendly communities, and cities buzzing with social life and activities, the Highlands and Islands of Scotland should be your first choice. We have campuses across the region each one with its own special characteristics from the rich cultural life of the islands to the bright city lights of Perth and Inverness. Some courses are available in one location only, for others you will have a choice; we also have courses that can be studied online from your own home country. .http://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/international

English Language Requirements

Our programmes are taught and examined in English. To make the most of your studies, you must be able to communicate fluently and accurately in spoken and written English and provide certified proof of your competence before starting your course. Please note that English language tests need to have been taken no more than two years prior to the start date of the course. The standard English Language criteria to study at the University of the Highlands and Islands are detailed on our English language requirements page http://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/international/how-to-apply-to-uhi/english-language-requirements

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Embrace your interest in film, television and music by becoming a skilled professional in sound recording. We have an excellent reputation for teaching film and music, with many of our graduates going on to win BAFTA's and Oscars. Read more
Embrace your interest in film, television and music by becoming a skilled professional in sound recording.

We have an excellent reputation for teaching film and music, with many of our graduates going on to win BAFTA's and Oscars.

You might be a budding filmmaker, journalist, photographer or documentary director, or simply have a creative passion for recording sound. Whatever your motivation, we will teach you professional techniques in music recording and post production so that you can record high-quality sound for the moving image.

This short course - taught over four weekends in the year - is a fantastic opportunity to learn from experienced film and recording professionals in state-of-the-art studios. We?re dedicated to providing you with hands-on, practical experience by giving you opportunities to produce your own work and explore the creative possibilities in sound recording and mixing.

Visit the website http://courses.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/soundrecording_apd

Mature Applicants

Our University welcomes applications from mature applicants who demonstrate academic potential. We usually require some evidence of recent academic study, for example completion of an access course, however recent relevant work experience may also be considered. Please note that for some of our professional courses all applicants will need to meet the specified entry criteria and in these cases work experience cannot be considered in lieu.

If you wish to apply through this route you should refer to our University Recognition of Prior Learning policy that is available on our website (http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/studenthub/recognition-of-prior-learning.htm).

Please note that all applicants to our University are required to meet our standard English language requirement of GCSE grade C or equivalent, variations to this will be listed on the individual course entry requirements.

Careers

There is a strong demand for well-trained soundrecording professionals and we provide the skills to help you on your way tobecoming an expert in quality sound broadcasting. If you would like to continueyour studies in this area there are opportunities to move onto one of our masterscourses such as Music for the Moving Image or Sound Design.

- Audio Editor
- Audio Engineer
- Studio Manager
- Composer for Film and Television

Careers advice: The dedicated Jobs and Careers team offers expert advice and a host of resources to help you choose and gain employment. Whether you're in your first or final year, you can speak to members of staff from our Careers Office who can offer you advice from writing a CV to searching for jobs.

Visit the careers site - https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/employability/jobs-careers-support.htm

Course Benefits

You'll be learning at our Northern Film School ? the first film school in the UK to receive JAMES accreditation. JAMES, a professional body that represents organisations across the media sector, described us as 'a benchmark against which all other film courses need to be measured'.

Taught over four weekends in the year - Saturday to Monday - we've designed this course so it fits easily into your lifestyle, requiring minimum time off work.

You'll have access to a suite of professional music studios, including recording rooms, audio booths, instruments, portable audio recorders and a lab with soundcard and mixer. You'll be able to access an impressive range of facilities at our Northern Film School, including production studios, edit suites, production offices, and film and script archive.

We also offer exciting short study opportunities in film, music and performing arts, taught during Easter and Summer. These creative workshops, ranging from two days to a week, are a great way to build your expertise for professional use, embrace a subject you're passionate about, or develop your skills before applying for one of our postgraduate qualifications.

Core Modules

Studio Skills
You will gain a strong understanding of the creative possibilities of the studio environment through the development of a musical product.

Studio and Sound Location
We will equip you with the theory and the techniques for recording and mixing sound for film, television and radio.

Laura Taylor

Senior Lecturer

"Our courses prepare you for an industry that is ever-changing, demanding and highly competitive. You will emerge with a strong understanding of your specialism, and with a focused approach towards personal development and career planning."

Specialist sound tutor Laura Taylor has worked for the BBC, Channel 5, ITV Yorkshire and Discovery Channel. She has experience in live television, post production sound and commercial and community radio, and has worked within the educational and community sector. Laura has very close links with community radio station ELFM and the Soundmill Studios in Leeds.

Facilities

- Sound recording & editing facilities
You'll have access to a suite of professional music studios, including film composition and audio post production rooms, instruments, together with portable field recording equipment and extensive computer workstation facilities.

A comprehensive range of audio editing, composition and sound processing software is available.

- Northern Film School
You will also be able to access an impressive range of facilities at our Northern Film School, including production studios, edit suites, production offices, and film and script archive.

- Library
Our Library is open 24/7, every day of the year. However you like to work, we have got you covered with group and silent study areas, extensive e-learning resources and PC suites.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/postgraduate/how-to-apply/

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-Join a programme that is sharply tailored to respond to the current demand for creative professionals who are able to provide sound and music content for the film and video game industry. Read more
-Join a programme that is sharply tailored to respond to the current demand for creative professionals who are able to provide sound and music content for the film and video game industry
-Develop a showreel demonstrating your creative talent in composing music and designing sound for a wide range of media (video, film, video games), opening up a 360º horizon of possibilities and opportunities for work
-Collaborate with MA Film students in our School of Creative Arts
-Learn in the university’s top-class facilities, assisted by tutors who are themselves industry professionals

Why choose this course?

This course is conceived to meet the current industry’s demand for creative professionals who are equally versed in music composition as well as sound design, and can work effectively across a range of media – whether it’s video, narrative film or interactive games.

All aspects of the soundtrack are systematically explored in both linear and non-linear environments, leading to a fuller understanding of the discipline, of the industry, and of the production processes.

On this course, you will harness the whole gamut of sonic resources for your creative practice – from acoustic instruments to electroacoustic sound, utilising all the latest studio techniques and technologies.

You’ll study in the University’s top-class studios, supported by tutors who are experienced industry professionals, with potential to collaborate with students from our MA Film course.

With targeted sessions and expert guidance, you’ll develop a showreel demonstrating your creative talent in providing sound and music for a wide range of media (video, film, video games), opening up a 360º horizon of possibilities and opportunities for work.

What our students say

“The course is well structured, giving opportunities to explore the field of composition in a very broad way and also focus on particular areas of interest. I have genuinely found it exciting and inspiring to participate and I found the atmosphere just as I hoped: creative, relevant, stimulating, professional and fun.”
Nicola Hutchison, teacher at Hertfordshire College of Music and active multidisciplinary artist

"The MSc Composition course was a real eye-opener as to the many applications of composition, allowing me to produce work far beyond the realms of what I thought possible."
Chris Moorhead, freelance composer for media, and session player

"It has been a life changing experience for me, and that is no overstatement. Your particularly vigorous and passionate dedication to cracking open our own personal artistic consciousness underpinned a revelatory roller coaster ride from which I learned and will continue to learn a great deal."
Alex Simler, instrumental teacher at Hertfordshire Music Services

Careers

Graduates from this programme will be ideally positioned to pursue a career in the thriving field of acoustic/electroacoustic composition and sound design for film, television, and interactive games. You may, in addition, consider positions in music publishing, music journalism and criticism, teaching or you may continue your higher education at doctoral level.

Graduate successes

Sebastien Crossley graduated in 2010, and is currently composing for a new Channel 4 sitcom.

Nichola Hutchison graduated in 2011 and teaches composition at Hertfordshire College of Music. She is also active as a multidisciplinary artist creating A/V installations for galleries.

Chris Barn graduated in 2012 and is composing for the Channel 4 Random Acts series with renowned poet Benjamin Zephaniah.

Edward Abela graduated in 2013, and has composed for several short films for SABB productions, SMMusic Library, and Candie & Bell, amongst others.

2014 graduate Jamie Stonehouse is now working as an assistant composer and audio engineer at media company Urban Soul Orchestra, and has just been awarded a 3-year studentship for doctoral studies at Kent University.

Callum Judd graduated in 2015 and is working as a free lance composer for a variety of commercial projects, including a documentary on Japan.

Teaching methods

Lecture, seminars and tutorials are typically scheduled over two consecutive days a week, plus some extra sessions for particular workshops, performance, recording, as necessary. In addition to scheduled sessions, students are expected to engage in continuous self-directed study and studio practice.

Structure

Core Modules
-Creative Economies
-Major Study:Music Projects
-Music, Media and Production (Discourse/Reflection)
-Practice 1:Soundtrack and the Cinematic
-Practice 2: Soundtrack in Digital and Interactive Media
-Research and Enquiry

Optional
-Creative Economies (Online)
-Research and Enquiry (Online)

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This programme provides professional training in composition for screen media. Taught by staff and guest composers from the professional world, you will develop a strong technological foundation in the subject, along with specialist understanding of television and screen scoring. Read more
This programme provides professional training in composition for screen media. Taught by staff and guest composers from the professional world, you will develop a strong technological foundation in the subject, along with specialist understanding of television and screen scoring.

The MA is taught within our high-specification composition and recording studios, which have full-time technical support. Students are actively encouraged to build opportunities and networks, within and beyond the University, for projects in film, animation, documentary and more.

In the first semester, you will study Professional Techniques, an introduction to working and recording in studios, and Media Composition, focusing on TV and documentary work. You will also take one elective unit. In the second semester, the programme moves on to Critical Analysis of Media Music and Film Scoring, with an emphasis on longer-term projects for film and TV work. This work feeds into original collaborations that you may choose to include in your final portfolio.

The vibrant musical life of the Department of Music provides opportunities for student and professional performance, and we are located at the heart of one of the UK’s leading cities for broadcast, commercial and creative screen media.

Programme structure

Core units
-Media Composition
-Professional Techniques
-Critical Analysis of Media Music
-Film Scoring

Optional units
Optional units can vary each year. You will be able to choose two units from a wide spectrum that address further compositional skills - such as orchestration, sound design or pastiche composition - research skills for musicians, writing and directing for film and television, and how film and television programmes work.

Media composition portfolio/dissertation
-Either a substantial portfolio of original music for new collaborative films and/or extracts (music totalling 15-25 minutes).
-Or music to one new collaborative film of 10-12 minutes and a critical dissertation of 10,000 words on an agreed film or topic.

Careers

Students who completed the MA programme in Composition of Music for Film and Television have taken up careers as music composers, recording managers and compositing supervisors within animation studios.

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The course is available in Standard Track and in Special Track. Course Structure. Part 1 (Diploma). In addition to the Principal Subject, in which the student specialises; up to three additional subjects can be studied. Read more
The course is available in Standard Track and in Special Track

Course Structure
Part 1 (Diploma):

In addition to the Principal Subject, in which the student specialises; up to three additional subjects can be studied. Total of 120 credits.

Part 2 (MA):

Normally consists of a dissertation, composition portfolio, or critical edition (in the area of the Principal Subject). Total of 60 credits.

Course description
Standard Track:

The course combines specialisation in one area (including Historical Musicology, Editorial Musicology, Composition, Solo Performance) with further training in up to three complimentary areas.

The range of choice on this course makes it one of the most flexible MA programmes in the UK. Students can make their education as broad or narrow as they wish. For those with a single-minded interest in one area specialised degrees are available.

The programme is divided into two parts: two semesters of taught study (Part I, 120 credits) and a substantial independent piece of work in the main area, produced over the summer (Part II, 60 credits).

Part 1 is centred on the Principal Subject module (WMM4044, 40 credits) in the student’s main area of interest. It lays the foundations of a Part 2 project in the same area. The following subjects are available:

Historical Musicology
Editorial Musicology
Ethnomusicology
Celtic Traditional Music
Music in Wales
Music and the Christian Church
Composition
Electroacoustic Composition
Composing Film Music
Studying Film Music
Solo Performance
Sacred Music Studies
Early Music
20th-/21st-century Music
WMP4052 Preparing for the Part 2 project (10 credits) acts as a bridge between Parts 1 and 2.

An additional 40 credits will be gained through submissions in other fields through either one Major Open Submission (WXM4046, 40 credits) or two Minor Open Submissions (WMP4047 and WMP4048, 20 credits each). Students can select from a number of subject areas, including, but not restricted to, those listed above. Additional offerings include modules in Arts Administration, Music in the Community, Ethnomusicology and Analysis.

Depending on the main area of specialism, students will attend a core module in musicology (WMP4041 Current Musicology, 30 credits) or composition (WMP4042 Contexts and Concepts in Composition, 30 credits). During these modules students will became familiar with up-to-date research and creative techniques and methodologies in the selected disciplines.

Subject-specific teaching is provided through a combination of individual tuition and seminar session in small groups. Within each of the chosen subject areas, students can identify their own projects, for which they will receive expert supervision.

Special Track:

The MA in Music (Special Track) allows students to specialise in any one of the following areas: Historical Musicology, Editorial Musicology, Celtic Traditional Music, Music in Wales, Studying Film Music.

All the training will be centred on the student’s main area, aided by a broader look at the methodological foundation of the discipline as a whole (through the core module in musicology).

The programme is divided into two parts: two semesters of taught study (Part 1, 120 credits) and a substantial independent piece of work in the main area, produced over the summer (Part 2, 60 credits).

Part 1 is centred on the Principal Subject module (WMM4045, 60 credits) in the student’s area of specialism. Another aspect of the same area will be explored in the Independent Special Study (WMP4049, 20 credits).

WMP4052 Preparing for the Part 2 project (10 credits) acts as a bridge between Parts 1 and 2.

Depending on the main area of specialism, students will attend a core module in musicology (WMP4041 Current Musicology, 30 credits) or composition (WMP4042 Contexts and Concepts in Composition, 30 credits). During these modules students will became familiar with up-to-date research and creative techniques and methodologies in the selected disciplines.

Subject-specific teaching is provided through a combination of individual tuition and seminar session in small groups. Within each of the chosen subject areas, students can identify their own projects, for which they will receive expert supervision.

Compulsory modules:

Standard Track

Principal Subject, to be chosen from the published list for that Academic Year (40 Credits). Study areas currently offered are: Historical Musicology, Editorial Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Celtic Traditional Music, Music in Wales, Music and the Christian Church, Composition, Electroacoustic composition / Sonic arts, Composing Film Music, Studying Film Music, Solo Performance, Music in the Community, Sacred Music Studies, Early Music, 20th-/21st-century Music.
Compulsory Core Module: either Current Musicology (for musicologists) or Concepts of Composition (for composers) (depending on the Principal Subject) (30 Credits).
Open submissions: to be chosen from the optional modules (40 credits).
Preparing for the Part Two Project (10 credits).
(Total of 120 credits)

Special Track

Principal Subject, to be chosen from the published list for that Academic Year (60 Credits). Study areas currently offered: Historical Musicology; Editorial Musicology; Music in the Christian Church; Celtic Traditional Music; Music in Wales; Studying Film Music).
Compulsory Core Module: either Current Musicology (for musicologists) or Concepts of Composition (for composers) (depending on the Principal Subject) (30 Credits).
Independent Special Study (must be in the same area as the Principal Subject) (20 credits)
Preparing for the Part Two Project (10 credits)
(Total of 120 credits)

Optional modules:

Standard Track

Open Submissions (40 or 20 credits) may be chosen in any of the following study areas (but have to be different from the Principal Subject): Historical Musicology; Editorial Musicology; Ethnomusicology; Celtic Traditional Music; Music in Wales; Music and the Christian Church; Composition; Electroacoustic Composition / Sonic Arts; Composing Film Music; Studying Film Music; Solo Performance; Sacred Music Studies; Early Music; 20th-/21st-century Music; Analysis, Arts Administration, Music Studio Techniques, Popular Music Studies, Techniques and Practice of Instrumental or Vocal Teaching (20 credits only), Performance Practice (20 credits only), Music for Instruments and Electronics (20 credits only), Supporting Studies (20 credits only), ELCOS Language Skills (20 credits, international students only.ded study (e.g. portfolio of compositions, performance recital).

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The NFTS trains composers in both live and electro-acoustic music for the moving image in a production context closely modelled on Industry working practices. Read more
The NFTS trains composers in both live and electro-acoustic music for the moving image in a production context closely modelled on Industry working practices.

-Training in live and electro-acoustic music
-Students compose for wide variety of audio visual material
-Creative and technical skills developed
-Study in a collaborative, filmmaking environment
-Flexible curriculum adaptable to individual needs
-Individual music suites
-Recording sessions with live musicians Business, legal and professional skills taught
-Unlike other schools, all production costs are met by the School.

We welcome EU/EEA Students. Those accepted onto courses starting in 2018 will have their fees guaranteed at the UK rate for both years of the course. Postgraduate students can apply for a loan to help with their studies via the Student Loans Company Loans. A £ 10,000 loan is available to contribute to course and living costs. The Post Graduate Loan is only open to EU/EEA and UK Students who normally live in England. It is not currently available to Scottish, Welsh or Northern Ireland Students. Find out more here: https://nfts.co.uk/fees-funding/funding-guide

COURSE OVERVIEW

This course commences in January each year. Our emphasis on collaboration means that Composing students are informed and involved throughout the filmmaking process. In particular, composers work closely with other students in Editing and Sound Post Production, increasing their understanding of the relationship between audio and moving images.

Today’s language of screen music has shifted. While many scores still provide a musical commentary on the action, others find a way to integrate music into the fabric of the film itself, creating a seamless weave analogous to the camerawork or editing, to the assimilation of music into the sound world of the film as a whole. Sound design and music grow ever closer - in fact, the roles of sound designer and composer are becoming blurred to the extent that a close collaboration between the two processes is often essential.

The application of music to film - the choices inherent in the "when", "how" and "why" - all stem from an informed understanding of the intention of the film and the contribution music could make to it. Informed understanding, musical versatility and the fostering of an individual musical voice are the intentions of this course and these are determined by the practical and intellectual demands on composers working in the industry.

Composing graduates are qualified to take on all forms of work in film and television as well as productions in multimedia and interactive programming.

CURRICULUM

The Composing course is developmental and progressive. In year one, students are taught the techniques and contexts which inform writing music for the screen. The first term comprises an intensive process during which students compose to a variety of exercises, each one chosen to focus on a particular problem of film composition. Some of these exercises are completed by each student and discussed in seminars and individually assessed. In term two, further exercises concentrate on issues having to do with scoring for live instruments, the combination of live and electro-acoustic elements and the integration a limited range of sound design into film scores. In addition, students will begin engaging with projects generated by other students at the NFTS. This process will continue and dominate the third term. Each student contribution to those films will also be assessed. Students will also participate in visits from industry professionals.

In year two, students’ activities will be dominated primarily by work generated from other parts of the school. However, lectures, seminars and the occasional workshop will be provided to clarify and expand issues arising from those projects. As in year 1, students will also participate in visits from industry professionals.

YEAR ONE
A series of composing workshops combining practical exercises and seminars:
-Basic narrative techniques
-Midi (sampling) use of samples and audio
-Combining music and sound
-Narrative with dialogue
-Non-fiction scoring
-Instrumentation and orchestration
-Composing to script

Ongoing analysis of feature film soundtracks and film structure Orchestration and recording with live musicians

Workshops with Sound Design and Editing students:
-Abstract Film Workshop
-Without Images - a sound-only project
-Animation exercises
-Dramaturgy Workshop – focusing on script and script analysis, blocking and cover, and performance

Productions
-Zen and Beyond Time - fiction workshop focusing on visual storytelling
-Documentary poetry exercise collaborating with Documentary Direction, Editing and Sound Design
-First Year Film – the major 1st year fiction production collaborating with all other departments
-Investigative Documentary - the major first year documentary production
-Cross Spec - an introduction to film language and storytelling involving all departments

YEAR TWO
-Orchestration and recording with live musicians
-Continued analysis of films
-2nd year short fiction production, shot on a digital format
-Graduation films in documentary, fiction and animation

Unlike other schools, all production costs are met by the School. In addition you will be given a cash Production Budget. NFTS students are engaged in more productions as part of the curriculum than any of our competitors.

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Study areas currently offered. Composition; Electroacoustic Composition; Composing Film Music. The course (Special Track) allows students to specialise in any one of area of composition, including Electro-acoustic Composition, Sonic Art and Composing for Film. Read more
Study areas currently offered:

Composition; Electroacoustic Composition; Composing Film Music
The course (Special Track) allows students to specialise in any one of area of composition, including Electro-acoustic Composition, Sonic Art and Composing for Film.

All the training will be centred on the student’s main area, aided by a broader look at compositional techniques and approaches as a whole (through the core module in Composition).

The programme is divided into two parts: two semesters of taught study (Part 1, 120 credits) and a substantial independent piece of work in the main area, produced over the summer (Part 2, 60 credits).

Part 1 is centred on the Principal Subject module (WMM4045, 60 credits) in a chosen area of composition. Another aspect of the same area or a different approach to composition will be explored in the Independent Special Study (WMP4049, 20 credits).

WMP4052 Preparing for the Part 2 project (10 credits) acts as a bridge between Parts 1 and 2.

Additionally students will attend a core module in composition (WMP4042 Contexts and Concepts in Composition, 30 credits). During these modules students will became familiar with up-to-date research and creative techniques and methodologies in the selected disciplines.

Subject-specific teaching is provided through a combination of individual tuition and seminar session in small groups. Within each of the chosen subject areas, students can identify their own projects, for which they will receive expert supervision.

Course Structure
Part 1 (Diploma):

Focuses on studies in composition and/or electroacoustic composition and/or sonic art.

(Total of 120 credits)

Part 2 (MMus):

Consists of a portfolio comprising at least one substantial composition (with or without electroacoustics) or work of sonic art.

(Total of 60 credits)

Compulsory modules:

Principal Subject Module: either Composition, Electroacoustic Composition / Sonic Arts or Composing for Film (60 credits)
Compulsory Core Module: Concepts of Composition (30 credits)
Preparing for the Part Two Project (10 credits)
(Total 120 credits)

Optional modules:

Independent Special Study in either Composition, Composing for Film or Electroacoustic Composition / Sonic Arts (20 credits)

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Join one of the UK’s leading university environments for the study of Music, combining world-leading research, exceptional teaching and a vibrant musical community in the heart of global London. Read more
Join one of the UK’s leading university environments for the study of Music, combining world-leading research, exceptional teaching and a vibrant musical community in the heart of global London.

Who is it for?

The programme provides ideal training for those wishing to enter the professional world of composition and/or proceed to a research degree.

We welcome students from all over the world and from a range of backgrounds.

Objectives

The MA Composition develops skills in the broad field of contemporary composition, encompassing notated and digital music, sound art, improvisation and interdisciplinary practices.

The course provides a critical context for exploring key topics and issues in contemporary composition as well as a platform for presenting your own work to an audience of peers.

Engagement with professional creative practice is at the core of the MA Composition. Students have the opportunity to receive tuition from world-renowned composers external to the department. There are also opportunities to work with City’s professional ensembles-in-residence, Plus Minus and EXAUDI.

We have an outstanding reputation for dynamic, inspring and rigorous postgraduate eduation and offer exceptional support to our students Our students come from all over the world and benefit from our location in the heart of London, one of the world’s greatest cultural hubs.

Academic facilities

Department facilities include advanced recording and composition studios, a professional performance space, computer laboratories, rehearsal rooms, practice rooms and world music instruments.

Our composition studios include three surround (8.1/ 5.1) studios, one of which is dedicated to film and live electronics work, and three stereo composition studios. All of the studios are equipped for sound editing, processing and mixing. As well as general software such as Logic, Sibelius and Pro Tools, these studios are equipped with Native Instruments Komplete.

The recording studio is equipped to deliver multitrack recording and mixing to a professional standard.

Teaching and learning

Teaching delivery is through a combination of lectures, group seminars, interactive sessions, practical workshops, one-to-one tutorials and a high level of individual learning. Students also have the opportunity to receive tuition from world-renowned composers external to the department.

The Department of Music provides a stimulating environment with abundant opportunities for composers and sound artists and there are also plenty of opportunities for involvement in our many ensembles. The department’s concert series features contemporary classical music, world music, electronic music and multimedia work and an annual music festival in May and June provides opportunities for students to receive public performances of their work.

In addition to our many ensembles at City, MA students are also eligible to audition for the University of London Symphony Orchestra.

Assessment

We use a range of assessment methods, including projects, portfolio submissions and extended creative tasks and accompanying commentary.

Modules

On City's MA Composition, you will take three core modules (30 credits each) in which you will enhance your understanding of creative practice and engage critically with compositional techniques, theoretical concepts and current issues in contemporary composition.

Term one
-Compositional Materials and Technique (30 credits)
-Contexts of Composition (30 credits)

Term two
-Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Process (30 credits)

You will also take a 90-credit Composition Portfolio, which runs through terms two and three.

Career prospects

Our MA programmes have excellent employment statistics. Students have gone on to teach, compose and perform in a wide variety of settings, and are also employed in areas such as music publishing, broadcasting, music management, arts administration and further musical study at MPhil or PhD level.

Our alumni include award-winning composers such as film sound designer Chris Reading and Nico Casal, composer for the winner of the Best Short Film at the 2016 Oscars.

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Programme description. This is a one-year, research and compositional performance-based MSc with a focus on practices for composing music and sound for the screen. Read more

Programme description

This is a one-year, research and compositional performance-based MSc with a focus on practices for composing music and sound for the screen.

The focus of the compositional investigations will include film/TV music as well as current computer multimedia production practices, such as for music videos, commercials, video games and web pages. You will become proficient in the technical, artistic and intellectual demands of composing music and sound for use in TV/radio/ film and other media environments, such as the internet. You will be able to experiment with new styles in media, and receive practical experience and timely feedback in collaborating with others.

The programme also provides an opportunity for students to enhance business and management skills in the media industry as they pertain to music and sound.

The Edinburgh Film Music Orchestra, an ensemble run by students and staff of the programme, currently performs film music and often features performances of compositions by MSc Composition for Screen students.

Programme structure

This programme is structured around four compulsory courses and two option courses. You will also complete a final project by creating a music composition for a screen-media environment, along with an accompanying written essay component.

Learning outcomes

Goals and outcomes of the programme include:

  • Development of compositional skills, especially those related to musical/dramatic association with the screen.
  • Update and enrich student’s current electronic music and media skills, including notational software, sequencer software, hardware and mixing, and media synchronisation and production methods.
  • Develop a portfolio and demo reel for scoring work through experience in media music projects.
  • Become familiar with collaborative processes when working with others in a media music environment.
  • Learn to observe and research processes in media music and improve abilities to communicate those processes with others.
  • Develop a resourcefulness and self-sufficiency that will enable you to undertake music for screen projects in a professional atmosphere.

Career opportunities

The rise of the internet and other multimedia platforms for film has significantly improved career prospects for composers. Your degree will not only set you apart from the competition, it will also provide you with a network of peers and industry professionals who can assist you in getting your work to the screen.



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This is an exciting and dynamic time for documentary practice; in recent years there has been a renaissance in documentary, seeing huge developments in both technology and form. Read more
This is an exciting and dynamic time for documentary practice; in recent years there has been a renaissance in documentary, seeing huge developments in both technology and form. Documentary stories are now being told via telecommunications, in cinemas, on TV, and online.

In this contemporary course you will be provided tuition in the technological, ethical and intellectual developments in this recent boom in theatrical, broadcast and cross platform documentary. You will be taught by award winning documentary filmmakers and high profile TV, film and cross platform commissioners. Tutors Marc Isaacs , Helen Littleboy and Victoria Mapplebeck, are all active filmmakers with excellent industry contacts and through collaborating with them on work in progress you will gain a unique learning opportunity that will provide genuine vocational experience. We also welcome regular guest lecturers, giving students a direct link to industry professionals and the opportunity to learn from their substantial experience and expertise.

On graduating, our students are skilled in creative and professional documentary practice. We have one of the highest employability rates amongst UK Universities and our graduates have gone on to become award-winning filmmakers and journalists.

This is a split campus course, taught in both Egham and Bedford Square in central London.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/mediaarts/coursefinder/madocumentarybypractice.aspx

Why choose this course?

- We have had regular lectures from award winning filmmaker Marc Isaacs, Channel 4 commissioner Kate Vogel and Emily Renshaw Smith, commissioner of Current TV. Forthcoming guest lectures include BBC Director Adam Curtis, feature director Chris Waitts and Matt Locke, Commissioning Editor for New Media and Education at Channel 4.

- Guest commissioners provide students with knowledge of and links to current commissioning strategies. Several of our invited commissioners have subsequently worked with our students on developing their projects.

- You will have exclusive 24-7 access to six purpose-built editing rooms equipped with Final Cut Studio 2 on Mac Pro editing systems. Our Location Store provides an equipment loan and advisory support service with a lending stock that includes twenty Sony HVR-V1E cameras, twenty Sennheiser radio microphone kits and a selection of professional quality sound recording and lighting equipment.

- With access to the latest digital recording and editing equipment, and covering areas from authorship to authenticity, this course offers you an in-depth study of creative production, taking you from conception through commissioning to research, composition and exhibition.

- You will be provided with excellent tuition in self-shooting documentary filmmaking techniques. You will be able to meet the growing demand for self-shooting directors and producers in both the independent and commercial documentary industries.

Department research and industry highlights

- TRENT is an exciting and innovative collaborative project between the British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC) and Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Led by John Ellis the project brings together the nine existing online databases hosted and curated by the BUFVC which provide important film, radio and television material along with accompanying metadata and contextual information for academics, students, teachers and researchers. This project brings together all the material contained in these databases, yet Trent is not simply a master database. Instead it foregrounds creative searching through a common interactive interface using real-time ‘intelligent’ filtering to bringing disparate databases into a single search and discovery environment whilst maintaining the integrity and individual provenance of each.

- The EUscreen project is major funded EU project which aims to digitise and provide access to European’s audio-visual heritage. This innovative and ambitious three year project began in October 2009 and the project consortium is made up of 28 partners from 19 European countries and is a best practice network within the eContentplus programme of the European Commission. The Department of Media Arts at Royal Holloway’s is responsible for the content selection policy for EUscreen and those involved include John Ellis, Rob Turnock and Sian Barber.

- Video Active is a major EU-funded project aiming to create access to digitised television programme content from archives around Europe. It involves collaboration between the Department of Media Arts at Royal Holloway and Utrecht University, and eleven European archives including the BBC, to provide access to content and supporting contextual materials via a specially designed web portal. The team from the Department of Media Arts, who are John Ellis, Cathy Johnson and Rob Turnock, are responsible for developing content selection strategy and policy for the project.

- Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe is an AHRC-funded international Research Network, led by Daniela Berghahn, which brings together researchers from ten UK and European universities, filmmakers, policy makers and representatives from the cultural sector. The Research Network explores how the films of migrant and diasporic filmmakers have redefined our understanding of European identity as constructed and narrated in European cinema. The project seeks to identify the numerous ways in which multi-cultural and multi-ethnic presences and themes have revitalised contemporary European cinema by introducing an eclectic mix of non-Western traditions and new genres.

- Lina Khatib was awarded an AHRC Research Leave Grant to complete a book on the representation of Lebanese politics and society in Lebanese cinema over the last thirty years. The study focuses on cinema’s relationship with national identity in the context of the Civil War and the post-war period in Lebanon.

- Gideon Koppel was awarded an AHRC Research Leave Grant to complete his feature-length documentary portrait of a rural community in Wales, The Library Van, which has been partly funded by the Arts Council of Wales.

Course content and structure

You will study three core units during the year.

Core course units:
- From Idea to Screen
From Idea to Screen introduces the practice of documentary film making - exploring eclectic notions of the genre, from the conventional to those more associated with fine art. The course tutors also use their own work which is deconstructed across all its constituent parts idea, conception, pre-production planning, and research, shooting and post-production. Ideas to Screen will explore ways of translating observations and ideas into imagery – both visual and aural. There will be an emphasis on experimental forms of narrative – at time crossing the boundaries between fine art and documentary. For the final and assessed project in this unit, each student will be asked make a video ‘portrait’ of a character.

- Foundations of Production
Contemporary documentary production requires managerial and business skills as well as creative ones. This unit will instruct you in the industrial skills required for the production of video, television and multimedia documentary. These include researching the market, writing proposals, acquiring funding for development and production, drafting contracts, drawing up budgets, copyright clearance, and marketing.

- Major Documentary Production – Dissertation
Developing out of study, research and practice from previous units, you will direct and produce a substantial documentary production. This is the largest assignment in the course and is appropriately weighted. The unit is tutorial based.

On completion of the course graduates will have:

- gained invaluable experience of both authored and commercial documentary production

- the ability to develop their own ideas, preparing them for the documentary industry but also finding ways to reinvent it

- an understanding of documentary film genre and its changing boundaries as well as the changing technologies and their impact on the genre

- an advanced understanding of the processes of making a documentary film from initial concept to final form and the various stages of production.

- an awareness of the institutions and mechanisms of the UK film and television industry

- a critical knowledge of the current and changing platforms for documentary film, from cinema to television and the internet.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including project work, photo essays and written production papers.

Employability & career opportunities

On graduating, our students will be skilled in creative and professional documentary practice. We have one of the highest employability rates amongst UK Universities and our graduates have become award-winning filmmakers and BBC journalists; recently one of our alumni Charlotte Cook was appointed Strand Co -Coordinator of BBC’s prestigious Documentary Strand Storyville.

Our graduate students have won and been nominated for many awards including, The One World Broadcasting Trust Award and The Jerwood First Cuts Documentary. In 2009 two of our students, Aashish Gadhvi and Michael Watts won the One World Student Documentary Fund which funds challenging international documentary projects.

Syed Atef Amjad Ali has recently had his film The Red Mosque previewed at The Amsterdam International Documentary Festival. The Red Mosque was made with production funds Syed received from The Jan Virijman Fund and also from the One World-Broadcasting Award.

Chung Yee Yu has won the Cinematography Award at Next Frame (A Touring Festival of International Student Film and Video) Chung Yee Yu has also won the Silver Award of Open Category of IFVA (The Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards)

Recent graduate Suzanne Cohen has just has her work selected for the BBC’s Film Network website; an interactive showcase for ‘new British filmmakers, screening three new short films in broadband quality every week, adding to a growing catalogue of great shorts’.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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Writing music for the moving image requires a unique combination of technical and creative skills. You will gain a solid grounding in the theories, techniques and practices essential for contemporary film and television music production. Read more
Writing music for the moving image requires a unique combination of technical and creative skills. You will gain a solid grounding in the theories, techniques and practices essential for contemporary film and television music production.

You will work with award-winning composers from the film and television industry on real-life projects. After developing your composition skills in a range of genres, you will also have the chance to work with colleagues from other media courses to develop your portfolio of work.

You will have access to a suite of high-quality professional music studios approved by JAMES, the accrediting body of the Music Producers Guild and the Association of Professional Recording Services.

We also have links with local and national music, arts and festival organisations as well as our very own Northern Film School, ensuring you have plenty of opportunities to sharpen your practical skills.

- Research Excellence Framework 2014: our University demonstrated strength in five emerging areas of research which it entered into the assessment for the first time, including in music, drama, dance and performing arts.

Visit the website http://courses.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/musicmovingimage_ma

Mature Applicants

Our University welcomes applications from mature applicants who demonstrate academic potential. We usually require some evidence of recent academic study, for example completion of an access course, however recent relevant work experience may also be considered. Please note that for some of our professional courses all applicants will need to meet the specified entry criteria and in these cases work experience cannot be considered in lieu.

If you wish to apply through this route you should refer to our University Recognition of Prior Learning policy that is available on our website (http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/studenthub/recognition-of-prior-learning.htm).

Please note that all applicants to our University are required to meet our standard English language requirement of GCSE grade C or equivalent, variations to this will be listed on the individual course entry requirements.

Careers

Your course will give you the skills you need to help you create high-quality music for the moving image, film, television and media industries.

- Television Music Composer
- Film Score Composer
- Music Technologist

Careers advice: The dedicated Jobs and Careers team offers expert advice and a host of resources to help you choose and gain employment. Whether you're in your first or final year, you can speak to members of staff from our Careers Office who can offer you advice from writing a CV to searching for jobs.

Visit the careers site - https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/employability/jobs-careers-support.htm

Course Benefits

You will have access to a suite of high-quality, professional music studios, approved by JAMES, the accrediting body of the Music Producers Guild and the Association of Professional Recording Services.

We have links with local and national music, arts and festival organisations, as well as our very own Northern Film School, which ensures that you get the most from your course. We also provide regular visiting speakers from the music and film industries and a highly-skilled and experienced teaching team.

Core Modules

Collaborative Practice
Experience the collaborative working environment and develop your skills in fulfilling complex briefs.

Composing to Picture
Address the challenges of producing music for the moving image.

Film Music Analysis
Develop analysis techniques to enhance your understanding of historical, musical, stylistic and functional developments in film music.

Creative Sound Design
Gain the knowledge and skills you need to develop audio-based artefacts in the fields of electro-acoustic music, sonic art and sound design.

Research Practice
Examine the methods and skills which are required in order to carry out research into the ideas and practice of music technology.

Sound, Music & Image
Evaluate the relationships between sound, music and image, and devise and create examples of audio-visual media to a professional standard.

The Major Individual Project
This major project gives you the opportunity to engage in research and advanced practice in an area of your own choosing.

Negotiated Skills Development
Work closely with your tutors, researching and applying current theory and practice alongside a learning plan that meets your own aims and objectives.

Electro-acoustic Music
Explore the techniques and methods employed in electroacoustic composition and use those techniques and methods to create an original composition.

Orchestration Arrangement & Programming
Study contemporary approaches to orchestration and arrangement of music for the moving image and create scores and MIDI realisations to a professional standard.

Facilities

- Music Studios
"Being able to work in such good facilities gave me a buzz – I loved working in the studios." Piers Aggett of chart-topping, MOBO award-winning Rudimental

- Library
Our libraries are two of the only university libraries in the UK open 24/7 every day of the year. However you like to study, the libraries have got you covered with group study, silent study, extensive e-learning resources and PC suites.

- Headingley Campus
Our historic Headingley Campus is set in 100 acres of parkland with easy access to Leeds city centre.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/postgraduate/how-to-apply/

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The MFA Professional Composition and Orchestration is a course run by the University of Chichester and ThinkSpace Education. . Read more

The MFA Professional Composition and Orchestration is a course run by the University of Chichester and ThinkSpace Education. 

We train you for the industry of the future.

This is a course that combines advanced training in scoring and orchestration for film, games and other media with focus on both live and sampled orchestration. Course highlights include a recording session with a 50-piece professional film orchestra, recording sessions throughout the course with live musicians and a choice of inspiring real-world projects from film, television, games, animation and commercials. 

Visit the ThinkSpace website

Course content

You will acquire industry-ready professional skills, both creative and technical. The course will sharpen your powers of analysis and provide you with a much deeper and richer insight into both your own music and the work of others.

A master’s degree from the University of Chichester & ThinkSpace Education is a prestigious qualification and a major personal achievement.

It is validation of your ability as a composer and an internationally recognized qualification that establishes both your technical and creative ability.

All of the materials for PCO can be accessed through our online student campus.

Here you can download all of the course materials to your computer, module by module (yes, ThinkSpace lets you keep all of the tuition content, unlike many other online music courses/colleges).

You can also submit assignments to your tutors for marking and get access to unlimited support from our team of knowledgeable and experienced professional composers via the support ticket system.

PCO also boasts over 80 hours of audio and video interviews with top composers, producers and orchestrators, featuring composers such as:

  • Nick Hooper
  • David Arnold
  • George Fenton
  • Keith and Matthew Strachan
  • Tommy Tallarico
  • Michael Nyman

Just as important are the interviews with producers and directors who tell you exactly what they are looking for and what they expect from the composers they work with.

Indicative modules

Modules and themes you may study include:

  • Writing in styles
  • Research and critical reflection
  • Writing to a brief
  • Writing to picture
  • Scoring drama
  • Elective
  • Writing for string and woodwind
  • Session preparation 
  • Writing for brass, harp and percussion
  • Scoring for orchestra 
  • Orchestration in practice
  • Major project 
  • Live orchestra sessions 

For more information, please visit ThinkSpace website

Teaching and assessment

Anyone hoping to enter the professional industry for the first time, or to uplift their career trajectory, needs careful guidance from people with knowledge of crucial developments, often completely invisible to those on the outside.

Every one of our tutors works in the industry, many at the cutting edge of innovation, working on major international productions in film, games and television.

In this creative and supportive environment, you have a unique opportunity to develop your own musical voice, a distinctive sound that can be key to unlocking your full potential.

  • Personal 1-to-1 tuition from top professional composers.
  • Work on over 30 projects. The workload is challenging but it’s only through hard work that you will truly reach the next level.
  • Detailed feedback from a range of tutors, online workshops and tutorial groups, forum discussions and exclusive webinars.
  • Same training system we use in house to train our assistants.
  • Telephone and direct email support

When you become a PCO student, our team of composers are here to support you through all stages of your career.

We can offer help looking over contracts, advising on finding work and setting rates, assisting new purchases (ThinkSpace students are also eligible for student discounts on many pieces of music software and samples), assisting with technical problems & studio setup, and pretty much anything else you can think of!

Time requirements

In the UK an MFA involves 240 academic credits and each credit represents a notional 10 hours of work. That comes to pretty close to a full-time working week for a year.

For Professional Composition & Orchestration there are 30 projects plus the Major Project at the end of the course.

Practice based creative degrees are notoriously difficult to quantify in terms of how long they take to complete. To a large extent it depends on how fast you write music. Some students write 5 minutes of music a day while others write 5 minutes a week. If you work reasonably productively, i.e. 2-3 minutes a day, which is probably average in the professional working industry, you would complete the work in much less time.

The headline figure of 10 hours per credit includes absolutely everything – time spent watching videos, reading, and discussions with tutors and support staff. It also depends on how widely you choose to read around the subject, the depth of your research, the number of additional films you choose to watch and the amount of private composition you do to support your formal projects.

A well organized person, working productively, might be able to complete the course in two or three days a week, whereas another working slower might take 5 days a week. Assume therefore that a full time course lies somewhere between 2 and 5 days a week depending on your work rate.

For more information, please visit the ThinkSpace website



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Why Surrey?. Our MMus programme is distinctive in its range of musicological, compositional and performance-based elements. Read more

Why Surrey?

Our MMus programme is distinctive in its range of musicological, compositional and performance-based elements.

You will benefit from the diversity of our research strengths, numerous ensemble performance opportunities and expertise in a range of musical fields, including contemporary music for the concert hall, popular music, film music, opera, acoustic, electronic and computer-generated music.

The Composition pathway of the MMus Music programme is designed to develop your individual compositional style and technique through tutorial guidance and opportunities for performances, workshops and recordings.

Various stylistic and generic strands can be pursued individually or in combination, including jazz, music for screen and multimedia, contemporary music for the concert hall and computer sound design.

You will take two compulsory research training modules followed by a combination of composition-related options. Having completed the Postgraduate Diploma stage of the programme, you will progress to Masters stage and submit a composition folio.

The programme provides ideal preparation for future research work at PhD level.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Short-course opportunities

The School welcomes applications from students who wish to undertake one module of study from the Masters programme.

Selection process

Potential applicants may make an appointment for an informal interview with the Programme Director if practicable. All applicants will be asked either to submit a sample of written work, a DVD of their performance, or samples of their compositional work, or to sit an audition depending on their chosen specialism.

Research

Our work achieves wide international circulation, both through established scholarly channels and, distinctively, through broadcast media (such as BBC TV, Channel 4, BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, and National Public Radio in the USA).

School staff are much in demand for pre-concert talks at venues such as London’s South Bank and Barbican centres. The research environment at Surrey is sustained by open discussion and debate, and through the regular airing of work-in-progress.

Our work is strengthened by the ready input of our peers and research students at various stages allowing collective engagement to foster innovation.

Educational aims of the programme

The MMus (Composition) programme aims to provide students with a high quality education in the creative, re-creative, technical, critical, vocational and academic areas of the subject. It aims to provide students with the necessary skills, techniques and methodologies to work at an advanced level with a critical awareness of the discipline.

The programme aims to reflect current developments within the theory and practice of music composition and, in so doing, to educate students so that they may work confidently and constructively within the musical culture of the present.

The programme aims to offer the necessary preparation for students wishing to undertake doctoral level study in practice-based areas.

Programme learning outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Research methods and resources and how these may be used to interpret knowledge
  • Interdisciplinarity within music and arts research
  • The broad range of approaches to the present day theory and practice of music to the level necessary for their original application

Intellectual / cognitive skills

  • Frame research questions
  • Critically assess, respond to and operate in current areas of musical research and practice
  • Reflect critically on and contextualise personal practice

Professional practical skills

  • Produce stylistically original and technically professional compositions

Key / transferable skills

  • Communicate subject knowledge clearly
  • Self-direction and autonomy
  • Originality in problem solving
  • Work in and manage groups
  • Efficient time management

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.



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