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Course content

The Master of Music in Composition and Creative Practice is designed to enable students to develop their compositional practice in a dynamic, rigorous and supportive creative environment. It aims to provide training in a range of approaches, introducing tools and techniques relevant to today’s music making, and encouraging exploration, innovation and experimentation.

Why this programme

  • Students undertake a major portfolio of creative practice with an accompanying critical commentary, preparing them for compositional and musical careers.
  • Students have the opportunity of a placement with a musical or arts organisation, when available, and up-to-date research skills provision in digital arts.
  • We offer the opportunity to have your work performed by a professional ensemble, including an annual showcase of postgraduate work SoundThought.
  • Our facilities include a Concert Hall, three studios, an audio lab, and practice rooms. 
  • Provision of specialist tuition in creative industries and cultural policy at the Centre for Cultural Policy Research.
  • We have a range of modern and historical keyboard instruments including two Steinway Model D grand pianos, an 1840s Broadwood grand piano, a Classical forte-piano, and two harpsichords.
  • Other instruments owned by the School include a selection of percussion instruments, a consort of viols, Baroque strings, recorders, crumhorns and other wind instruments. 
  • The Concert Hall is equipped with a diffusion system for the performance of electroacoustic music. 
  • As a UNESCO City of Music, Glasgow has thriving music, performance and contemporary arts scenes. It is home to numerous orchestras and ensembles including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra, making it an outstanding place for compostional study.

Programme structure

The programme is comprised of three core courses (Composition, Digital and Creative Skills, Individual Creative Practice, and Composition Portfolio) as well as a series of optional courses to allow you to tailor our own bespoke structure. Options will include:

  • Creating with technology
  • Historically Informed Performance Practice
  • Introduction to Popular Music
  • Sonic Arts Aesthetics and Criticism
  • Music, Sound and Screen

There will also be opportunities to engage with interdisciplinary study, with courses available from other subjects within the School:

  • Creative Industries and Cultural Policy (Centre for Cultural Policy Research)
  • Festivals (Film and Television Studies)
  • Making Time: performing and thinking temporalities in the creative arts (History of Art)

Core teaching will be delivered during semesters 1 and 2. Over the summer months you will complete the core Composition Portfolio, to be submitted at the end of August.

A variety of teaching methods will be used, including seminars, one-to-one tutorials, and project work. 

Find out more about core and optional courses.

Programme alteration or discontinuation

The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

This programme prepares students for careers in composition as well as equipping students more generally with skills necessary for careers in cultural industries (eg. arts administration and management). Additionally, this programme provides the necessary foundation for pursuing further research in composition in the form of a PhD.  


Visit the Composition and Creative Practice (MMUs) page on the University of Glasgow website for more details!

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