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 Reid School of Music offers an exciting research environment that combines the theory, history, composition and practice of music with the scientific study of sound. We engage with a broad range of genres and traditions, including classical and popular music, Western and non-Western music, professional and amateur music making and music for screen. Our research is highly interdisciplinary, with centres and groups spanning other Colleges and Departments within the University of Edinburgh, from Physics and Neuroscience to Informatics, the Humanities, Divinity and the Social Sciences.
We have a large community of postgraduate students undertaking independent research in music.
If you are interested in undertaking a small independent research project in music, the 12-month MSc by Research is ideal. This programme is offered in any area served by the expertise of our music staff. In consultation with your supervisor you will develop an individual programme of coursework and research training over two semesters. You will submit a dissertation, or portfolio of projects equivalent to 30,000 words.
Candidates for larger-scale, doctoral research are normally admitted as probationary students for the first year of study, and on satisfactory completion of this first year are approved for registration for either MPhil (normally two years full-time, dissertation of 60,000 words) or PhD (maximum four years full-time, dissertation of 80,000–100,000 words).
All our research degrees may be studied part-time (for example, MSc by Research may be studied part-time over two years).
Staff have a wide range of research interests, engaging in research clustered around four main themes:
All of our research students benefit from ECA’s interdisciplinary approach and all are assigned two research supervisors. Your second supervisor may be from another discipline within ECA, or from somewhere else within the College of Humanities & Social Science or elsewhere within the University, according to the expertise required. On occasion more than two supervisors will be assigned, particularly where the degree brings together multiple disciplines.
In this dynamic programme you’ll build on your existing musical skills and develop a greater understanding of the theories and techniques of digital composition and performance.
A focus of the programme is bridging the gap between the musical vision and its performance. With this in mind, you will be encouraged to perform your own music in live situations and take your place at the forefront of your music’s realisation.
An emphasis is also placed on the field of digital composition within a wider context, which you will address through seminar work. You’ll learn how to plan a technological project and translate your musical ideas into interactive computer music programmes and/or scores.
Your study will take the form of weekly lectures or seminars, as well as at least 10 hours a week on project work.
You will complete six courses.
In semester 1:
In semester 2:
In addition, over the spring and summer, you will prepare a final digital composition and performance project.
Students will gain in-depth knowledge of:
As this programme involves a wide range of disciplines both technical and artistic, you will gain a number of transferable skills ranging from the core matters of composition, audio production and music programming to more indirect but highly employable skills such as research, documentation, critical thinking, oral presentation, teamwork and software development.
Our graduates have gone on to be employed as composers, performers, researchers, Cirque du Soleil sound technicians, university lecturers, software engineers, BBC sound recordists, web designers, multimedia/ video streaming engineers, and DJs.
See our alumni webpage for details of the careers of recent graduates: