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Masters Degrees (Film Scoring)

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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 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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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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Hone your collaborative, creative and business skills as a practising artist over an intensive 12-month programme. Victoria’s Master of Fine Arts (Creative Practice) is an industry-focused, practical degree that will help you build new contacts and networks in Wellington’s creative industries. Read more

Hone your collaborative, creative and business skills as a practising artist over an intensive 12-month programme. Victoria’s Master of Fine Arts (Creative Practice) is an industry-focused, practical degree that will help you build new contacts and networks in Wellington’s creative industries.

You'll take advantage of our capital city location and study at Victoria’s Kelburn campus—plus our film and music programmes get to use a new purpose-refitted facility at the Miramar Creative Centre.

Find out what the MFA (CP) offers you in your fine arts discipline.

Practice opportunities

The MFA (CP) includes a creative project in which you'll be mentored to complete work that showcases your abilities and encourages you to push boundaries in your field.

As part of the programme you'll also do an internship with an arts organisation. This will give you valuable work experience and provide you with all-important connections in your industry.

Broad approach

While your studies will be centred around your specialty area of design, film, music or theatre, you'll have opportunities to take an interdisciplinary approach to your work. If you're a Design, Music or Theatre student, you may also be able to take a complementary course from another fine arts discipline.

And, because all artists need some business knowledge, you'll complete a course in arts management and marketing as part of the programme.

Creative capital

Be part of Wellington's thriving and internationally recognised creative scene. During your studies you'll have opportunities to collaborate with your artistic peers and many of New Zealand's top arts professionals.

Community

Become part of a community of talented and like-minded students from across all of the fine arts disciplines. You'll work closely with other postgraduate students in the programme to share ideas and inspiration.

Workload

Full-time students can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year.



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This course is designed for composers aspiring to work in the media industry and wanting to learn more about techniques for composing and producing music for film and TV. Read more

This course is designed for composers aspiring to work in the media industry and wanting to learn more about techniques for composing and producing music for film and TV. Taught by experienced professional film/TV composers, it provides an opportunity to collaborate with filmmakers and animators, as well as the chance to write for ensembles.

Key features

  • The curriculum is enriched by a broad view of musical styles and genres, exploiting the diversity of a repertoire that encompasses Western classical music, popular and world musics.
  • The wide selection of option modules allows you to tailor the course to your interests. The major project also enables you to compose an extensive piece of music to picture and work with filmmakers, enhancing your research and project development skills.
  • There is a wide range of music groups at Kingston University, ranging from a chamber choir to Javanese gamelan, and you will have the chance to write for a range of ensembles, including the professional ensemble in residence.
  • There are many possibilities for collaboration with filmmaking and animation students.

What will you study?

You will compose music for moving image and work with filmmakers, screen designers and animators. You will analyse film and TV scores, exploring how music is used to create atmosphere, convey mood and depict setting, character and action. In addition, you will explore the relationships between composer and producer, directors and music editors. You will also study and practise the use of main themes, underscoring and the harmonic languages of soundtracks. There will be an opportunity to have your compositions performed by a professional ensemble, conducted to picture in a professional recording environment. You will also learn about the technology used to produce high-quality soundtracks for the music industry, as well as business and copyright issues.

Assessment

Compositions, soundtracks, essays, presentations, research projects, and dissertation.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

  • Major Project
  • Professional and Live Aspects of Composing for Film and Television
  • Researching Music
  • Techniques and Technology for Composing for Film and Television

Optional modules

  • Composing and Marketing Popular Music
  • Constructing Music Education in the UK
  • Critical Reflection on Musical Performance
  • International Music Education: Psychology, Culture and Philosophy
  • Special Study: Arranging and Scoring
  • Advanced Production of Popular Music
  • Current Debates in Music Education
  • Jazz Studies
  • Live Performance Technologies
  • Performance Studies
  • The Psychology of Music
  • The Studio Musician


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Course content. This unique programme trains students to work at the cutting edge of contemporary cinematic music, developing a range of technological and musical skills to produce high quality and innovative scores. Read more

Course content

This unique programme trains students to work at the cutting edge of contemporary cinematic music, developing a range of technological and musical skills to produce high quality and innovative scores. Teaching staff include top Hollywood orchestrators who have worked on Oscar nominated scores, blockbusters like Hunger Games, Fast and Furious and the Die Hard series of films. The course builds on the foundations of traditional classical orchestration and then extends this into the rapidly evolving world of contemporary film and games scoring.

The programme team works closely with film, games and music industry bodies and practitioners, to ensure the currency and professional relevance of the programme. The prime purpose of the programme is to enable students to become effective and multi-skilled professionals, capable of meeting complex musical and technical challenges in the arena of film, games and television orchestration.

In this fast developing area of professional practice, the programme will offer substantial and sustained opportunities to engage with the research of others, stimulating interdisciplinary enquiry, furthering your knowledge and developing original solutions and insights into technical and creative problems.

Indicative modules

  • Writing for Strings
  • Writing for Woodwind
  • Elective: Kontakt Scripting, Advanced Sibelius and Pro Tools
  • Sampling Technology
  • Writing for Brass, Harp and Percussion
  • Scoring for Full Orchestra
  • Session Preparation
  • Orchestration in Practice
  • Final Major Project (Dissertation)

Teaching and assessment

To gain a Postgraduate Certificate students need to complete four out of the first five modules.

To gain a Postgraduate Diploma students need to complete all modules with the exception of the Final Major Project.

To gain an MA students need to have successfully completed all modules, including the Final Major Project (Dissertation).

This is an online course. You must have access to a good internet connection. The course is primarily delivered through the use of downloadable material, however there will be regular online webinars and tutorial sessions.



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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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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 a course that combines advanced training in scoring and orchestration for film, games and other media with focus on both live and sampled orchestration. Read more

Award: Master of Fine Art, University of Chichester

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 live 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 give you a much deeper and richer insight into your own music and the work of others.

You will complete more than 30 projects including the dissertation, an extended piece of work from a wide choice of inspiring projects. This is a unique opportunity to create a substantial and varied portfolio to showcase your work.

Course Highlights

- Personal 1-to-1 tuition from top professional composers.
- Work on over 30 real-world projects. The workload is challenging but it’s only through hard work that you will truly reach the next level.
- Detailed feedback from working professionals, online workshops and tutorial groups, forum discussions and exclusive webinars.
- Unique programme developing key, industry facing skill sets, to prepare you for a career as a media composer and orchestrator.

Fees

All of our postgraduate courses have a flat fee, regardless of whether you are full or part time.

£6,875 / $10,050 / €8,995 (per year for two years)

Fees can be paid as one upfront cost, or as instalments spread monthly across the duration of the course.

Students are required to buy, rent or access additional books, scores, recordings, films and other reference material.

Time Commitment

In the UK, an MFA involves 240 academic credits and each credit represents a notional 10 hours of work..

For Professional Composition & Orchestration students there are 34 projects including a longer 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. It depends to a large extent, on how fast you write music. Some students write 5 minutes of music a day while others write 5 minutes a week or less. 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.

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 the full-time lies somewhere between 2 and 5 days a week depending on your work rate. Part time would be pro-rata so a three year schedule would be 1-2 days a week.

The Provisional Schedule

Both full-time and part-time students join the same course. Full time students will compete their taught modules by the end of the 20th month. The rest of the year is spent on their major project. Part time students will do their modules in roughly twice the time.

The live orchestral sessions will happen once a year. Students will attend the session immediately following the completion of their major project.

To encourage a sense of “togetherness”, most of the group activities are not locked into particular modules. Guest lecturers, webinars, workshops and solo live sessions will be scheduled regularly throughout the year and are free for all to attend. The individual module work is normally more focused on individual or small group tuition and so is more flexible in terms of timing.

Application

When you are sure you are ready to apply for the programme, go to the course page and click the “apply now” button. This will take you to our store where you can pay the non-returnable application fee of £50 / €70 / $90.

Once your payment has been processed, you will be able to login and complete the application pack.

We will need your personal details, details of your academic, musical and technical background. If you are offered a place, we will require copies of a number of documents including those confirming your academic history, identity and language ability where English is not your first language.

You will also be required to send us some music.

For full details on the application procedure, please visit our website below.

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Course content. Students will work exclusively on real-life projects. They will tackle a broad range of technical and artistic challenges, looking at rich and vibrant areas of creative practice including scoring for commercials, documentary, animation, games as well as feature films. Read more

Course content

Students will work exclusively on real-life projects. They will tackle a broad range of technical and artistic challenges, looking at rich and vibrant areas of creative practice including scoring for commercials, documentary, animation, games as well as feature films. They will place media music in context and will also study the history and development of the form from the early twentieth century through to the present day.

Many composers at the top of the industry including Harry Gregson-Williams, David Arnold, George Fenton, Nicholas Hooper and many others, have contributed to the course materials. The programme team also works closely with industry bodies and production creative’s at the highest level to ensure the currency and relevance of the programme of study. The prime purpose of the programme is to enable students to become effective and multi-skilled film, television or games composers, capable of meeting complex musical and technical challenges when composing for the media.

In this fast-developing area of professional practice, the programme will offer substantial and sustained opportunity to engage with the research of others, stimulating interdisciplinary enquiry, furthering the student’s knowledge and developing original solutions and insights into technical and creative problems.

Our facilities

Over the past few years, we’ve redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the best facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.

At the Bishop Otter campus there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support. We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research. A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas. We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.

The Learning Resource is the hub of the learning environment. It has two upper floors of library resources, one for silent study and one for quiet study, both of which have recently been refurbished. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, Otter Gallery, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.

The Bishop Otter LRC also offers:

  • 130 open access PC workstations
  • 45 Apple iMacs
  • Ample printing facilities
  • Netbooks available on loan
  • Professional editing suites
  • Media loans counter
  • Wi-Fi and plug points throughout

The Music department offers several soundproofed practice rooms for rehearsals and lessons, as well as lecture and seminar rooms. The Chapel is a fantastic venue for performances and rehearsals, and is the centre piece of the campus.

Where this can take you

By undertaking this MA, you will gain the experience and qualifications needed to work on Media Composition professionally.

Indicative modules

  • Writing in Styles
  • Writing to a Brief 1
  • Writing to a Brief 2
  • Film Music in Practice: Origins
  • Music Editing
  • An Introduction to Writing to Picture
  • Writing to Picture: Drama
  • Film Music in Practice: The Modern Era
  • Final Major Project (Dissertation)

Teaching and assessment

To gain a Postgraduate Certificate students need to complete four out of the first five modules, one of which must be Writing in Styles.

To gain a Postgraduate Diploma students need to complete all modules with the exception of the Final Major Project.

To gain an MA students need to have successfully completed all modules, including the Final Major Project (Dissertation).



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This course will enable you to study popular music from a practical perspective with an emphasis on music production and songwriting. Read more
This course will enable you to study popular music from a practical perspective with an emphasis on music production and songwriting. For your final major project you will focus on composition and production within the popular music genre, producing an extended professional-quality album of your popular music compositions/covers.

Key features
-The wide selection of option modules allows you to tailor the course to your interests.
-Several members of staff are engaged practically with the professional production of popular music. You will also have the chance to attend masterclasses and workshops run by national and international producers, performers and composers - such as Youth, Gavin Greenaway, Rick Astley and Steve Martland.
-We have five, state-of-the-art recording studios, including one with a large live room used for professional recordings. We also have two computer laboratories containing iMacs with full music software for sequencing and processing.
-Lunchtime concerts, involving students or visiting artists, take place throughout the year.

What will you study?

You will focus on the production of current popular music, creating and recording tracks using the University's high-quality recording facilities.

You will also explore the composition of popular music, recording techniques and the marketing of popular music. In addition, you will widen your musical knowledge and experience by choosing one option module from an extensive range, including those covering sound design, ensemble performance and composing for film and TV.

Assessment

Coursework, essays, compositions, productions, and major recording project.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules
-Advanced Production of Popular Music
-Composing and Marketing Popular Music
-Major Project
-Researching Music

Optional modules
-Constructing Music Education in the UK
-Critical Reflection on Musical Performance
-International Music Education: Psychology, Culture and Philosophy
-Special Study: Arranging and Scoring
-Techniques and Technology for Composing for Film and Television
-Current Debates in Music Education
-Jazz Studies
-Live Performance Technologies
-Performance Studies
-The Psychology of Music
-The Studio Musician

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This course is designed to enhance the knowledge, skills and understanding of both current and prospective music educators. Read more
This course is designed to enhance the knowledge, skills and understanding of both current and prospective music educators. It provides a unique opportunity for students from all over the world to investigate the UK system of music education, consider major issues in international music education research and undertake a comparative study of music education practices across different cultures.

Key features
-You can tailor the course to your own interests by selecting one option module from a wide range of music topics.
-The core modules will develop your research, project planning and development skills in preparation for your major project, and you will receive guidance from a specialist tutor.
-The curriculum is enriched by our eclectic view of musical styles and genres, exploiting the diversity of a repertoire that encompasses Western classical music, popular and world musics.

What will you study?

You will develop and implement a musical project within an educational environment and undertake a substantial research project on a topic of your choice. Alongside this core study, which encompasses key research issues in music as well as in music education, you can choose from a variety of option modules and develop new skills to exploit in your own teaching.

You will have the opportunity to develop and enhance your skills as a practitioner by devising, delivering and evaluating a music education project. As part of the broader musical community, you will be able to further enhance your performance skills by participating in some of the many University ensembles.

Assessment

Assessment includes essays, critiques, position papers, practical projects, presentations, research papers and a dissertation.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules
-Constructing Music Education in the UK
-International Music Education: Psychology, Culture and Philosophy
-Major Project
-Researching Music

Optional modules
-Advanced Production of Popular Music
-Composing and Marketing Popular Music
-Critical Reflection on Musical Performance
-Special Study: Arranging and Scoring
-Techniques and Technology for Composing for Film and Television
-Current Debates in Music Education
-Jazz Studies
-Performance Studies
-Live Performance Technologies
-The Psychology of Music
-The Studio Musician

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If you have a broad range of musical interests and would prefer not to specialise your studies, this course is ideal. Read more
If you have a broad range of musical interests and would prefer not to specialise your studies, this course is ideal. It aims to develop a range of musical and critical skills and knowledge; encourage initiative, creativity, critical evaluation and independence of thought; develop a systematic understanding of relevant musical knowledge and a critical awareness of contemporary issues; and provide knowledge of research practices, enabling you to undertake a substantial individual dissertation or composition project.

Key features
-You will have the chance to attend masterclasses and workshops run by national and international performers and composers, such as Judith Weir, Howard Skempton, Stephen Coombs, Jane Manning, Steve Goss, Steve Martland, Arditti String Quartet, Brian Ferneyhough, Kate Ryder and Kathron Sturrock.
-Lunchtime concerts, involving students or visiting artists, take place throughout the year.
-Facilities include a large rehearsal and performance space with supporting recording equipment, an extensive collection of musical instruments and a fully networked IT environment.

What will you study?

The core modules concentrate on research methods and colloquia, and will introduce you to a broad range of issues in music. You can then choose from an extensive list of modules, which include those based in performance, composing, music education and popular music.

The major project offers you the opportunity to focus on an area of your own choice and specialise through written work or composition. You can choose from a wide range of possible topics relating to your own interests. In addition, you can join any of the variety of University ensembles or form your own ensemble.

Assessment

Coursework, essays, compositions, and dissertation.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules
-Major Project
-Researching Music

Optional modules
-Advanced Production of Popular Music
-Composing and Marketing Popular Music
-Constructing Music Education in the UK
-Critical Reflection on Musical Performance
-International Music Education: Psychology, Culture and Philosophy
-Special Study: Arranging and Scoring
-Techniques and Technology for Composing for Film and Television
-Current Debates in Music Education
-Jazz Studies
-Live Performance Technologies
-Performance Studies
-The Psychology of Music
-The Studio Musician

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This course aims to create informed, skilled and insightful performers across a wide range of musical genres. It is ideal if you aspire to become a professional performer or are an instrumental teacher and would like to further develop your knowledge of music performance. Read more
This course aims to create informed, skilled and insightful performers across a wide range of musical genres. It is ideal if you aspire to become a professional performer or are an instrumental teacher and would like to further develop your knowledge of music performance. You will receive individual tuition on your instrument or voice from a top professional performer.

Key features
-You will have the opportunity to develop and enhance your performance skills through one-to-one tuition, masterclasses, recitals and ensemble participation.
-Facilities include a large rehearsal and performance space with supporting recording equipment, an extensive collection of musical instruments and a fully networked IT environment.
-You will have the chance to attend masterclasses and workshops run by national and international performers and composers - such as Stephen Coombs, Jane Manning, Steve Martland, Judith Weir, Steve Goss, Howard Skempton, Arditti String Quartet, Brian Ferneyhough - and take part in events with a range of performers from different backgrounds.

What will you study?

You will cover issues of performance practice, preparation of performance, aesthetics of music performance, analysis for performers, the psychology of performance, and performance presentation. You will also be asked to critique and evaluate your own performances, and will undertake a performance-based project. A range of option modules allows you to develop your skills in related topics, such as composition, conducting, arranging and ensemble performance.

Assessment

A variety of assessment methods is used, including a major public performance recital; a portfolio of presentational and promotional materials; essays, critiques and critical reviews; and a position paper, presentations and research paper.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules
-Critical Reflection on Musical Performance
-Major Project
-Performance Studies
-Researching Music

Optional modules
-Advanced Production of Popular Music
-Composing and Marketing Popular Music
-Constructing Music Education in the UK
-International Music Education: Psychology, Culture and Philosophy
-Special Study: Arranging and Scoring
-Techniques and Technology for Composing for Film and Television
-Current Debates in Music Education
-Jazz Studies
-Live Performance Technologies
-The Psychology of Music
-The Studio Musician

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