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MA Composition

Course Description

Studying Composition at Bath Spa University will develop your skills as a composer and deepen your understanding of current new music contexts, both artistically and professionally.

Through weekly seminars and tutorials, supported by workshops with musicians, you’ll work on your creative and technical skills, commenting critically on your own and others’ work.

For information on interview guidance, please visit the course webpage: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-composition/


You’ll graduate as a skilled composer with a deep understanding of contemporary music context. You’ll develop creative and technical skills, throughout the course, alongside the ability to think critically about composition.

You’ll have opportunities to collaborate with other creative artists, such as choreographers, filmmakers, and theatre practitioners through joint projects and seminar discussion. These developments in your creative practice are supported by practical consideration of your professional and academic skills.


We aim to provide a foundation for your work as a composer. We’ll help you improve the way you promote your work and plan projects, as well as understand the academic disciplines to which it relates.

We’ll meet with you on a one-to-one basis through weekly tutorials to help develop your work. This support focuses on technical and aesthetic development, and we’ll work with you on specific questions arising from your current project and its wider context.

We’ll discuss broader issues with you and the other MMus composers through weekly seminar sessions. These can include case studies of particular composers or approaches, technical work in relation to specific compositional problems, or exploration of professional contexts.

For specific composition projects we organise rehearsals and workshops with visiting professional musicians and fellow students.

For information on modules, please view the course handbook via our website: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-composition/


Each module has a weekly seminar which is either specific to the MA Composition or, for core skills, shared with the other courses. You’ll also have a weekly tutorial during teaching weeks. Throughout the year we bring in visitors to talk about their work, and a professional ensemble join us to play one of your compositions.


The majority of the assessment is based on your creative work, including compositions for specified visiting musicians and projects where you decide what to write.You’ll also produce work that assesses your professional and academic skills, including making a website, preparing a funding application, and research into an area of practice that links to your work.


You’ll develop a broad range of intellectual, practical and transferable skills. We’ll help you develop a portfolio career built around your creative practice, drawing in other related areas of work such as:
• Teaching
• Editing
• Performing
• Work in other areas of the creative industries

On graduation from the programme, we aim for you to develop core problem-solving, analytical and critical skills to support you in the changeable and unpredictable work environment.

Visit the MA Composition page on the Bath Spa University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Lawrence Reed

Bath Spa University not only offered the course that I wanted to do, but it is also conveniently located and has excellent facilities for composition. I particularly liked the fact that the emphasis of the course is on composition, and not on writing. You are given the flexibility within the course to study outside of the core choices and dip into new areas. I was able to choose more traditional and acoustic options whilst also exploring new areas of music. The course is practical too and I was able to learn skills like Sibelius and Logic Pro. My experience from the course has improved my skills, improved my composition in terms of both quality and diversity, given me ideas and inspiration, and provided the ‘credibility badge’ of a Master’s qualification.

(Student Profile)

Catalina Gómez Valencia

Bath Spa University have given me the knowledge, support, and inspiration that I needed to take my creative work to levels I never thought possible. The experience has been fun, rewarding, challenging, moving, and memorable. Since graduating, I have been accepted for further postgraduate study at Bristol University, in preparation for future PhD study.

My advice would be to learn all that you can, and keep assuming you know nothing. The right music will surely come to those who ask the right questions. Always make it as simple as possible. Always attempt to solve all of the problems that exist in the world, immediately. The more of an open mind you can bring to this course, the more you will get out of it.

The best thing about this course was the teaching which was frequently exemplary. Seminars, and particularly tutorials, brought a depth of learning and understanding to the subject which was exhilarating. I would recommend Bath Spa for all of its other charms, Bath Spa's pluralistic approach to the arts is stimulating and relevant; and ensures that individual students can have the freedom to follow the path that suits them.


Entry Requirements

Applicants should have a a good honours degree or equivalent. On the MA for Composition we value an enquiring approach to music, with an interest in developing your practice and exploring the many contexts in which it is situated. We support work in a wide range of styles and genres, while maintaining an experimental and exploratory approach.

Last Updated

04 August 2017

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