Postgraduate study

Composition

Awards: MMus

Funding available

Programme website: Composition

*Please be advised that this programme is not being offered for the 2018/19 academic year.

Music at Edinburgh has a long history of excellence in composition. This programme aims to support students in the exploration of their musical horizons, their musical language and their relationship to mainstreams and currents in the wider compositional world.

All contemporary styles are supported, including electroacoustic music, and a wide range of subsidiary courses, such as orchestration, digital audio techniques, algorithmic composition and sound design, will add depth to your expertise.

This programme is delivered by a team of active composers, whose significant reputations as both artists and teachers in the world of composition will prove both inspirational and invaluable.

This programme combines regular seminars with individual tuition to develop and guide your work.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MMusComposition2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2018/19

Students who successfully complete the programme will:

  • develop an understanding of historical and contemporary trends in music
  • develop their own practice and aesthetic
  • gain a secure understanding of the context of their work
  • have a professional approach to the presentation of performing materials and the management of the relationship with performers

Highly competitive, the world of music composition is also highly rewarding. As well as instilling and developing the skills you need to realise your creative potential, this programme will provide you with a network of opportunities and a place within the musical world – invaluable when looking to gain a foothold in the industry. In addition, you will have gained secondary skills (such as performance, orchestration, organisation and presentation) that can be applied to other areas of music, such as teaching, direction or management.

Normally a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in music.

You must submit a portfolio as part of your application. Your portfolio should include three samples of your composition work. Instrumental works should be in the form of a written score. For studio-based work (electro-acoustic, sample-based, or synthesised) audio files alone are acceptable.

If you do not meet the academic entry requirements, we may still consider your application on the basis of your portfolio.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Programme Director, Professor Peter Nelson
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 2428
  • Email: p.nelson@ed.ac.uk
  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit a reference with your application.

You must submit a portfolio as part of your application. You won't be able to submit your portfolio immediately, but you'll receive an email prompt within a few days of submitting your application that will explain how to upload your portfolio. If you plan to submit audio files, please upload these to an online sharing website and add the link to the portfolio upload section of your online application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Director, Professor Peter Nelson
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 2428
  • Email: p.nelson@ed.ac.uk
  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX