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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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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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- Have your music performed by a professional 50-piece film orchestra. - Personal 1-to-1 tuition from top professional orchestrators and composers. Read more

Award: MA awarded by University of Chichester

Course Highlights

- Have your music performed by a professional 50-piece film orchestra.
- Personal 1-to-1 tuition from top professional orchestrators and composers.
- Learn how the biggest names in the business go from computer DAW to live score and how you can implement that workflow in your own studio.
- Electives in Pro Tools for Film composers, Advanced Sibelius and Kontakt Programming.
- Unique, real-world approach combines detailed sampled orchestration instruction with live orchestration and score preparation.
- Work on over 20 projects. The workload is challenging but it’s only through hard work that you will truly reach the next level.
- Regular online workshops and tutorial groups, forum discussions and exclusive webinars.
- Telephone and direct email support

Your major project will bring it all together as you write and orchestrate 15 minutes of music, plan, budget, produce the scores and parts and the pro tools sessions and see it right through to the live session.

Fees

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

Course: £9,350 / $13,650 / €12,400

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 MA involves 180 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 Orchestration for Film, Games and Television students there are 24 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 for a year 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 two year schedule would be 1-2 days a week, three years 1 day a week or less.

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 9th 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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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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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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Starting in the academic year 2012-13, the music department will be offering a one-year M.Phil. in Music Composition to cater for the growing demand for graduate studies of international standing in the area. Read more
Starting in the academic year 2012-13, the music department will be offering a one-year M.Phil. in Music Composition to cater for the growing demand for graduate studies of international standing in the area. Apart from one-on-one mentorship in composition itself, students will take courses in among others, music composition, experimental music theatre and opera, film music aesthetics, advanced orchestration (using technology as an assistant), and composition for mixed media. This proposed M.Phil. course will provide a backbone of activity for the new centre of Composition and Contemporary music, part of Trinity’s new initiative in Creative Arts, Technology and Culture. The course director is the composer Donnacha Dennehy, and the composer Dr. Evangelia Rigaki is the course coordinator. Course Content: The course consists of three elements:

4 compulsory taught modules spread across two semesters (40 ECTS). Each compulsory module is worth 10 ECTS. The compulsory modules are Advanced Orchestration, Contemporary Music Studies, Composition I and Composition II.
2 optional taught modules, selected from a choice of 4 (20 ECTS). Each optional module is worth 10 ECTS. The optional modules available are (i) Composition for Mixed Media, (ii) Music Cognition and Design, (iii) Experimental Music Theatre and Opera, and (iv)Theory, Aesthetics and Analysis.
Dissertation Module. The dissertation module consists of two components: (a) final portfolio of composition, and (b) an accompanying thesis of between 10,000 and 15,000 words. The final portfolio of compositions must have a performing duration of between 20-35 minutes. Portfolios with longer performance times will also be accepted, but these must be agreed in advance with the course director.

Students will work on developing their portfolio and accompanying thesis in conjunction with an assigned supervisor. The accompanying thesis should deal with the structure, aesthetics and methods used by the candidate in the act of composition. The thesis should demonstrate a good knowledge of the context surrounding the candidate’s work, and in doing so should engage with history, criticism

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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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This course is designed for students working primarily as instrumentalists, composers or conductors. Attendance for lectures is as limited as possible, with the remaining tuition delivered by one-to-one contact time through the tutorial system and via the e-learning platform. Read more

This course is designed for students working primarily as instrumentalists, composers or conductors. Attendance for lectures is as limited as possible, with the remaining tuition delivered by one-to-one contact time through the tutorial system and via the e-learning platform.

The course aims to equip you with a breadth of skills and information enabling you to develop your careers within today's music industry. Provision is made for students' professional work to form part of the assessment process, particularly with regard to practical components of the course.

The course is structured around the needs of the professional performing musician. Central to this is the further development of advanced, technically assured and artistically informed performance skills. These are supplemented by more narrowly defined skills, which relate to and arise directly from each chosen area of specialist work.

Modules

• Instrumental Studies or Conducting (one)

• Instrumental Studies or Conducting (two)

• Negotiated Work-based Learning

• Project or Dissertation.

In addition to these core modules, students will have the opportunity to select three optional modules, ranging from practical based areas such as composition, orchestration and arranging, transcription and chamber music modules, through to theory-based modules in ensemble management:

• Instrumental Studies One and Two

• Postgraduate Conducting Studies One and Two

• Research Methods

• Dissertation

• Negotiated Work-based Learning

• Composition

• Performance Project

• Orchestration and Arranging

• Live Event Management

• Chamber Music Project

• 2nd Study Conducting

• Transcription.

Career and study progression

The course is aimed at students who are already working primarily as an instrumentalist or conductor in the music industry, but will enable you to progress in your chosen field.

After completing the course students can progress to the DMus in Performance.

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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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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This course offers intensive training for composers and provides excellent preparation for doctoral work or a career in the professional world. Read more

This course offers intensive training for composers and provides excellent preparation for doctoral work or a career in the professional world. With a strong focus on practical music making and supported by an outstanding programme of workshops and performances by professional musicians, it offers an invaluable opportunity for composers to hone their skills and develop their personal voice.

What makes us distinctive?

  • Links to ensembles as an integral part of the course.
  • Interaction with the music profession, including the BBC Philharmonic and Manchester Camerata.
  • Opportunities to develop professional skills, for example through collaborating, rehearsing and networking with professional musicians; learning to arrange/orchestrate; undertaking outreach opportunities; and collaborating in the creation of performances.
  • Flexibility to develop your own compositional and research interests.
  • Close ties with electroacoustic composers in NOVARS, and the flexibility to combine electroacoustic course units with those for instrumental and vocal composition.
  • Integration into the active research culture of the University of Manchester, through research seminars, performance workshops and concerts.

In addition to the submission of a final Portfolio of Compositions , all instrumental and vocal composition students take the core course unit Composition Project and the further compulsory taught course unit, Compositional Etudes. Optional course units normally include Contemporary Music Studies , Advanced Orchestration , Fixed Media and Interactive Music , Aesthetics and Analysis of Organised Sound , Historical or Contemporary Performance (subject to audition). For further information about the content of individual course units, see Course Unit Details below.

SALC Placement offers students the opportunity to spend a minimum of 20 days over a period of up to 12 weeks with an arts and cultural organisation, business or service provider. Placements will be established in Semester 1 to take place early in semester 2; they will be supervised by a work-based mentor and overseen by an academic staff member. The placement may take the form of an investigation of a specific business idea, development strategy or management proposition to resolve a problem or particular issue, and will result in a placement report, proposal or essay.

Aims

This programme aims to:

  • Enable students to develop compositional techniques and professional skills appropriate to their creative needs.
  • Enable students to work with both student and professional performers toward the performance of recently composed prices.
  • Develop awareness of aesthetic, analytical and technical issues relating to contemporary Western art music.
  • Encourage students to discuss with clarity and conviction issues relating to contemporary music.
  • Enable students to compose several works worthy of public performance.
  • Equip students with skills appropriate to the development of further postgraduate study on MPhil and PhD programmes.

Special features

Our close links with in-house and Manchester-based ensembles allow us to guarantee that every student taking the MusM Composition programme will have their music performed and/or workshopped by professional ensembles, including the Quatuor Danel, Psappha, Trio Atem and the Manchester Camerata.

  • The Quatuor Danel enjoys a huge international reputation and their repertoire seemingly knows no limits. From early Haydn through Beethoven and Schubert, to neglected masterpieces from the Soviet Union, to white-knuckle rides through Ligeti, Xenakis and Lachenmann and premieres of new works by Manchester composers, our intrepid String Quartet-in-Residence regularly scales the summits of chamber music. Their visits to Manchester form a backbone of the university's concert series.
  • Psappha is one of this country's leading contemporary music ensembles, specialising in the performance of music by living composers and that of the 20th and 21st centuries . The ensemble has an extensive repertoire and a reputation for technical assurance and interpretive flair. Psappha has commissioned and premiered works by a wide range of composers, achieving particular notoriety for their performances of music by Peter Maxwell Davies.

In addition, MusM students frequently have their work performed by   the University of Manchester's new music ensemble.

Teaching and learning

The MusM degree consists of 180 credits in total, made up of four 30-credit taught course units and a 60-credit portfolio. Full-time students take two course units per semester; part-time students take one. Most course units are delivered via regular seminars and/or tutorials, supported where appropriate by practical workshops. The composition portfolio is supported by one-to-one supervision and is submitted at the beginning of September. (Part-time students may submit in either September or December following their second year of study.)

Each student meets regularly with their supervisor (for full-time students usually on a weekly basis during term-time, less frequently during vacations), allowing for in-depth exploration of ideas and intensive support for the various course units offered. Other members of the academic staff are also available for individual consultation during designated office hours.

Alongside their taught units, students have access to a range of non-assessed seminars, workshops and training sessions offered by the Graduate School of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. All postgraduate students are expected to undertake their own programme of self-directed learning and skills acquisition. This may also involve wider reading, language work, computer training and attendance at research seminars in other parts of the university.

Coursework and assessment

There are no formal examinations. Taught course units - all of which must be satisfactorily completed - are assessed by submission of compositions, coursework essays or other tasks, normally submitted at the end of each semester (January and May). The Composition Portfolio is created over the entire duration of study and is submitted at the end of the academic year (after the summer vacation). All work is double-marked internally and moderated by the External Examiner.



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As computer and media technologies continue to converge and develop, the creation of music and sound has become increasingly more sophisticated. Read more

As computer and media technologies continue to converge and develop, the creation of music and sound has become increasingly more sophisticated. This course will immerse you in the technical and creative aspects of the latest emerging music technology.

You will explore the skills, techniques and theory behind the tools and technologies used in the production and performance of electronic music and sonic art. We will encourage you to investigate a range of creative areas, including contemporary music, performing arts, visual arts and live installations.

You will create interactive systems using Max/MSP, explore sensor-based interfaces and develop your expertise in sound creation, manipulation and composition. We have designed this course for those with an academic or professional background in the field, as well as those experimenting with sound through composition, sonic art or technology.

Our high-quality facilities and equipment, regular guest speakers from the industry and our links with local and national music, arts and festival organisations will help you get the most from the course.

Research Excellence Framework 2014

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.

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. This, combined with visiting speakers from the music industry and our links to local and national music, arts and festival organisations, ensures that you get the most from your course.

Artist in Residence Programme

The Artist in Residence programme gives our students an opportunity to work with professional artists and gives them a taste of what is it like to work on a professional music project. So far we have welcomed artists Chris T-T, Ian Prowse, I Monster, Tom Williams and Utah Saints.

Core modules

  • Live Performance Technologies
  • Interfaces & Interactivity
  • Collaborative Practice
  • Audio Visual Practice
  • Research Practice
  • Negotiated Skills Development
  • Final Individual Project

Option modules

  • Electro-acoustic Music
  • Orchestration, Arrangement & Programming
  • Sound, Music & Image

Job prospects

Your course will equip you with the skills needed for a career in music technology, interactive media or sonic arts practice, research or education. It also integrates well with the wider music and audio industries and will give you the confidence to get ahead in these competitive fields.

  • Music Technician
  • Sound Engineer
  • Music Producer


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Develop your creativity and technical fluency with this specialised programme, which allows you to specialise in composition while maintaining an interest in different aspects of music. Read more

Develop your creativity and technical fluency with this specialised programme, which allows you to specialise in composition while maintaining an interest in different aspects of music.

Core modules will allow you to create your own portfolio of original compositions – which can include electro-acoustic work – underpinned by your study of the principles of composition and aesthetic theory. You’ll look at orchestration, arrangement and remix. Then you’ll choose from optional modules allowing you to explore different aspects of music – you could choose electronic and computer music, musicology, performance, editing and source studies, psychology of music or more to inform your own creative work.

Guided by expert researchers and experienced composers and performers, you’ll have access to a wide range of facilities to explore your own ideas. You could even have some of your work performed by our ensemble, LS2, or benefit from the many opportunities you’ll find in the city’s vibrant live music scene.

We have a variety of excellent facilities to support your learning, including rehearsal, performance and practice spaces, a lab for studying the psychology of music and studios for sound recording, software development and computer music composition. We also have good working relationships with a range of prestigious arts organisations: we host BBC Radio 3 concerts, Leeds Lieder and the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, as well as enjoying a close partnership with Opera North and many others in a city with a thriving music and cultural scene.

Course content

You’ll work on your own compositions throughout the year, developing a portfolio of original work supported and informed by a range of learning opportunities, from tutorials and lectures through to workshops with guest artists.

Throughout the year you’ll take a combination of core modules that allow you to develop your skills as a musician and composer. You’ll develop your academic skills, including research and presentation skills, as well as studying the principles of composition and different professional contexts.

You’ll develop an awareness of broader topics in the study of music to help inform your practice. Central to this is the core module in Semester Two that introduces you to aesthetic theory.

In addition, you’ll choose from the range of optional modules on offer across the School of Music depending on your individual interests and experience: options include performance, editing and archival studies, musicology, computer music, psychology of music and more.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Compulsory modules

  • Professional Studies 30 credits
  • Composition Studies 30 credits
  • Portfolio of Original Composition 60 credits
  • Aesthetic Theory 30 credits

Optional modules

  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Short Dissertation 30 credits
  • Instrumental or Vocal Recital 30 credits
  • Concerto/Song-Cycle/Extended Work 30 credits
  • Applied Performance Studies 30 credits
  • Editing and Archival Studies 30 credits
  • Issues in Critical Musicology 30 credits
  • Electronic & Computer Music Practice 30 credits
  • Electronic & Computer Music Contexts 30 credits
  • Case Studies in the Applied Psychology of Music 30 credits
  • Audience Engagement and Impact 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Critical and Experimental Composition MMus Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Critical and Experimental Composition MMus Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Most of our taught modules will use seminars and tutorials, as well as lectures and instrumental or vocal lessons, depending on the modules you choose. However, independent study is the backbone of this programme, allowing you to build your skills and express your own creativity.

Assessment

Obviously, you’ll submit original compositions as an important part of your assessment. You will also write commentaries on your own work — drawing on musical/theoretical contexts — and more theoretical modules are likely to make use of written tasks such as essays and reports. Optional modules may also involve assessment through recitals, transcriptions or critical editions, presentations or other forms of assessment.

Career opportunities

Composition tutors have connections with performers, ensembles, and festivals in all corners of the globe. These relationships can be useful for your professional development, giving you an insight into issues such as funding, publicity and other aspects of working life for professional freelance composers.

Many of our graduates choose to continue and refine their research by applying for PhD level study. Several of our existing PhD students also completed their Masters programmes here at Leeds.

We have other resources to support you as you develop your career plans too – the School of Music boasts a unique Alumni Mentoring Network, where you can be supported by past students as you plan your next steps.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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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 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.

After developing your composition skills in a range of genres, you will have the chance to work with colleagues from other media courses to further develop your portfolio of work; for example, you could find yourself working alongside student filmmakers from our University's Northern Film School.

You will also work on projects with award-winning composers from the film and television industry, and our links with local and national music, arts and festival organisations will ensure you have plenty of opportunities to sharpen your practical skills.

Research Excellence Framework 2014

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.

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 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.

Artist in Residence Programme

The Artist in Residence programme gives our students an opportunity to work with professional artists and gives them a taste of what is it like to work on a professional music project. So far we have welcomed artists Chris T-T, Ian Prowse, I Monster, Tom Williams and Utah Saints.

Core modules

  • Composing for the Moving Image
  • Analysis of Music for the Moving Image
  • Collaborative Practice
  • Audio Visual Practice
  • Negotiated Skills Development
  • Research Practice
  • Final Individual Project

Option modules

  • Electro-acoustic Music
  • Orchestration Arrangement & Programming

Job Prospects

Your course will give you the skills required to create high-quality music for the film, television and media industries. The experience you develop on the course working with a wide range of filmmakers combined with your online portfolio should help you to catch the eye of employers in these competitive industries. Working alongside other aspiring professionals in the University’s Northern Film School, your work could be promoted on the international film festival circuit, giving you the opportunity to develop your professional networks.

  • Television Music Composer
  • Film Score Composer
  • Music Technologist


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Build your practical and theoretical experience in the creative and innovative applications of music technology in a studio environment. Read more

Build your practical and theoretical experience in the creative and innovative applications of music technology in a studio environment. This course will give you the skills to take your ambition further and provide you with the confidence to work for major record labels and recording artists across a range of genres.

You will work alongside experienced industry professionals, exploring the technical and creative aspects of recording, arranging, mixing and mastering to develop a wide range of commercial and non-commercial musical scores.

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.

In addition to a skilled and experienced teaching team, you will also learn from guest speakers from the music, film and television industries. We have fantastic links with local and national music, arts and festival organisations, which will provide a variety of opportunities to test your knowledge and practical skills.

Research Excellence Framework 2014

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.

Course Benefits

You will learn from regular visiting speakers from the music and film industries and a highly-skilled and experienced teaching team. We have fantastic links with local and national music, arts and festival organisations, which help ensure you get the most from the course.

Artist in Residence Programme

The Artist in Residence programme gives our students an opportunity to work with professional artists and gives them a taste of what is it like to work on a professional music project. So far we have welcomed artists Chris T-T, Ian Prowse, I Monster, Tom Williams and Utah Saints.

Core modules

  • Creative Music Production
  • Studio Production Skills
  • Music Industries in Context
  • Negotiated Skills Development
  • Audio Visual Practice
  • Research Practice
  • Final Individual Project

Option modules

  • Orchestration, Arrangement & Programming
  • Sound, Music & Image
  • Electro-acoustic Music

Job Prospects

Your course will open up career opportunities in music production, interactive media, television, radio, research and education. It also integrates well with digital animation and video, games and the wider music and audio industries, ensuring you will be well placed to get ahead in these competitive fields.

  • Music Producer
  • Music Technologist
  • Performer


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This highly regarded programme will prepare you for a career in urban planning and development, where you may be required to shape and consider development proposals and devise or interpret plans and policies, negotiate and regulate development schemes, undertake community consultations, develop evidence and present reports to clients and decision makers. Read more

This highly regarded programme will prepare you for a career in urban planning and development, where you may be required to shape and consider development proposals and devise or interpret plans and policies, negotiate and regulate development schemes, undertake community consultations, develop evidence and present reports to clients and decision makers. In line with our academic  strengths in planning and development and real estate markets and investment, this Master’s programme will develop your specialist knowledge and skills in planning and development and equip you for a career in the private or public sector. The MSc Spatial Planning and Development is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The programme focuses on planning as it engages with economic and property development processes at all levels, from the site, neighbourhood, local, national and international. You will be able to concentrate on particular aspects of development planning to suit your interests and career aspirations (e.g. strategic, economic, environment, regeneration or countryside) and you will have the opportunity to undertake in-depth study, within a framework that emphasises integration, as well as apply your learning to another country through the European field study.

Why Henley?

Programme

The MSc Spatial Planning and Development is recognised in the UK and more widely, to be one of the foremost planning programmes which develops both spatial planning competencies but also market aware planners who are well prepared for the orchestration and negotiation of development schemes. The programme has strong appeal for future employers in the private and public sectors because of the blend of analytical rigour and practical application. Many graduates of this programme, and its forerunners, have progressed to senior positions in the real estate and planning sector.

Real Estate & Planning

Our School is the largest in the UK for teaching and research in real estate and planning. Established in 1968 at the University of Reading, we are the only major UK real estate and planning centre to be located within a business school. Being part of the Henley Business School reflects our close and longstanding collaborative relationship with industry.

We enjoy a worldwide reputation for excellence in both teaching and research and we are consistently highly ranked in all major league tables. We undertake internationally recognised, leading edge research into real estate, planning and land and we offer a comprehensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses, all of which are accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Our planning courses are also fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Our programmes are held in high regard by leading employers, many of whom come to us each year to recruit our graduates. We are proud of our outstanding employment record, with more than 95% of our students entering graduate level jobs within 6 months of leaving us.

Henley Business School:

  • Consistently maintain highest standards: Henley is in top 1% of business schools worldwide to hold accreditation from all three bodies in the UK, Europe and US
  • Excellent networking potential : 72,000 Henley alumni members in 150 countries
  • High calibre students: always oversubscribed, 1,000 ambitious new Masters students join Henley each year
  • Award winning campus: beautiful, green, 134 hectares, with state of the art facilities
  • World-leading faculty: widely published, frequently asked for expert comment by media and to speak at events
  • Henley is proud to be part of the University of Reading. The University is ranked within the top 200 universities worldwide (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016/17 and QS World University Rankings 2018) and 98% of the research is rated as being of international standard.

Course content

Module descriptions are correct for modules taught in the academic year 2017/18. Optional module listings are indicative, and may be subject to change.

Compulsory Modules

Optional modules

from a range which may include:

Careers and accreditations

Our graduates tell us that the programme has led to excellent and prestigious employment opportunities, helped in part by developing their commercial awareness as well as other key skills.

The MSc Spatial Planning and Development programme is a leader of its type and students benefit from its strong connections to industry and across the profession generally. Many successful graduates have been highly sought after by both private and public sector employers, including planning consultancies, development companies, local planning authorities and large multidisciplinary property firms.

Reading has an excellent reputation with the planning profession in both the private and public sectors. Our postgraduates tend to be sought after by employers and many find employment before graduating.

Our alumni association, The Reading Real Estate Foundation, organise career development and recruitment events for our students throughout the year. These include an evening lectures series with key industry speakers, an annual Careers Fair and our highly successful Mentoring Programme which pairs students with professionals in the industry.

We have a professional Careers Development Advisor, , who helps our students with every aspect of the career development process, including identifying work placement, internships and permanent career opportunities.

In the public sector there are varied options at the local, regional and national levels: government offices and departments, regional agencies and local planning authorities. The range and diversity of jobs and careers offered under the mantle of 'planning' is really very wide and stimulating. We will be happy to advise you in finding work experience and talk to you about your employment options during your time with us.

The MSc Spatial Planning and Development is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.



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