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.
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
• video game trailers
• science fiction
• dramatic cinema
• silent film
• costume drama
• documentary and…
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.
The course is taught mainly through individual tutorials, but may include group work, workshops, seminars and lectures.
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).
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.
Click the following link for information on how to apply to this course.
Information about scholarships and bursaries can be found here.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Goals and outcomes of the programme include:
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.
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.
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:
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.
Modules and themes you may study include:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The School welcomes applications from students who wish to undertake one module of study from the Masters programme.
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.
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.
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.
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
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Professional practical skills
Key / transferable skills
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.