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Full time & Part time September MA 1 year FT / 2 years PT

About the course

Course description

This course focuses upon composition of contemporary music and offers two distinct pathways. You can choose to specialise in instrumental composition, in which you will explore a broad range of compositional approaches and techniques with a strong emphasis on inquiry-led practice. This will include collaboration with professional performers and peers, resulting in numerous live premieres of work, and/or the scope for interacting across disciplines. You may also have the opportunity to make mixed-media work, and collaborate with artists working with other media (visual, design, text). Alternatively, you may specialise in electronic/electroacoustic composition, in which you can explore creative applications of analogue/digital technologies, studio-based composition

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Entry Requirements

You’ll need a 2:1 in music or a combined degree with a substantial music component.
Degrees in other related subjects may be acceptable depending on your background.
When you apply you'll need to provide a portfolio of your compositional work.

English language requirements:
Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.


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 Course Content

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Student Profile(s)

Stephen Theofanous

MA Composition developed and strengthened my compositional voice with tutorials, live opportunities, and conferences. It gave me the opportunity to collaborate with an engineer on a very unique sound installation. Most significantly, it changed the way I think and write about music with group discussions and focused dissertation study. This is a valuable and rewarding degree for composers who welcome a challenge.


The Julian Payne Scholarship is a tuition fee scholarship of £3000 available for Masters students commencing their studies in in 2018/2019 in the Department of Music.The Julian Payne scholarship is based on your academic achievement. To apply, please complete this application form, we will also review your academic application. The closing date is Wednesday 26th April 2019 at 17:00 GMT

Value of Scholarship(s)



Full-time, part-time, distance-learning, UK, EU and international Master of Arts (MA) students within the Department of Music.

Please note that the Julian Payne award cannot be combined with another award received from the University of Sheffield. Applicants who have been successful for multiple awards will be asked to choose which award they’ll accept.

Application Procedure

Please note that you can only apply for this scholarship if you have submitted an application for your chosen Masters programme ( We will judge your eligibility based on both this form and your online application.

Please ensure you have uploaded a transcript via the postgraduate application system ( If you have not completed your course yet please upload a transcript with your latest marks.

Further Information

We have two scholarships worth £10,000 towards tuition fees for international students starting a Masters postgraduate taught degree in September 2020.

Value of Scholarship(s)



You must have received and accepted an offer to study a full-time Masters course in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities before 17:00 (UK time) on Friday 26 April 2019.
Your programme must commence at the University of Sheffield in September 2019.
This scholarship cannot be used for distance learning courses.
This scholarship cannot be used for Crossways courses and Erasmus Mundus courses.
For tuition fee purposes you must be self-funded and required to pay the overseas tuition fee.
You must not be a sponsored student.*
The University of Sheffield reserves the right to review and change scholarship provision

Application Procedure

This is a competitive process and and not all applications will be successful. A panel of senior members of staff will select the strongest applications and will be looking for the following:

•Applicant has provided a clear rationale for applying for a course in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Sheffield.
•Applicant has clearly articulated future ambitions; these goals relate to the degree they have applied for and future research aspirations.
•Applicant has a strong academic profile.

Further Information

Up to two postgraduate scholarships will also be awarded, including at least one to an eligible UK Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidate. In order to be eligible, a student must meet the criteria, and must be accepted on to one of the Department of Music’s postgraduate taught programmes: MA in Composition; MA in Musicology; MA in Music Management; MA in Music Performance Studies; MA in Psychology of Music; MA in Traditional and World Music (Distance Learning); and MA in Music Psychology in Education, Performance and Wellbeing (Distance Learning). Each successful applicant will receive £10,000 in the academic year 2020-21; they can then choose to put the scholarship amount towards fees or living expenses.

Value of Scholarship(s)



The Department of Music at the University of Sheffield is delighted to announce the establishment of the Mary Lill Scholarships for students entering in academic year 2020-21. These scholarships are funded through the generous bequest of Mary Lill, an alumna of the university (1953-1957) who retained a life-long love of music. They are intended to support aspiring music students who meet widening participation criteria, including those who come from low-participation backgrounds. Through these scholarships, the Department aims to further enhance the diversity of our own student body, but also the next generation of performers, educators, scholars, and music industry professionals.

Application Procedure

These scholarships will be administered through the Sheffield Postgraduate Scholarships system.

Further Information

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