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MMus in Sonic Arts

  • Length
    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
  • Department
    Music

Course overview

The MMus in Sonic Arts is an opportunity to explore a wide range of creative approaches to studio-based music, including fixed-media composition, improvisation systems, sound art installation and composition for video/film.

You have full access to the Electronic Music Studios, which offers advanced facilities for electro-acoustic composition, multi-channel work and live/interactive performance.

You develop a rigorous conceptual framework for your creative practice, and engage critically with contemporary ideas and debates in sound art and computer music. As part of your studies you may choose from a range of options that encompass interactive/generative music, film music and film-making.

Studio composers taking this pathway may elect to take options in notation-based composition, providing they have the requisite prior experience.

Collaborative and interdisciplinary projects, in conjunction with other academic departments and/or external organisations, are also facilitated and encouraged.

The pathway is particularly useful for students wishing to pursue studio and computer-based research or professionals seeking to develop their expertise in technology-based creative practice.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr John Drever

Modules & structure

Core modules

Module title Credits
  Studio Practice 30 credits
  Sound Agendas 30 credits

Option modules

You choose two modules from a selection that currently includes:

Module title Credits
  Composition and Moving Image Media 30 credits
  Compositional Techniques 30 credits
  Contemporary Music: Practices and Debates 30 credits
  Ethnographic Film and Music Research 30 credits
  Interactive and Generative Music 30 credits
  Interpretation, Meaning and Performance 30 credits
  Material, Form and Structure 30 credits
  Philosophies of Music 30 credits

Creative project

Module title Credits
  Creative Project 60 credits

Download the programme specification, relating to the 2017-18 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Department

Music at Goldsmiths is ranked: 12th in the UK for the quality of our research* 22nd in the world for performing arts**

Music

From opera to electronica, and from Errollyn Wallen to James Blake, music studies at Goldsmiths are unique and different. Firmly rooted in the 21st century, our programmes entwine academic with practice-based study, and historical with contemporary repertories.

Performance opportunities

We’re committed to high quality, ambitious and innovative performance, and we have a wide range of ensembles that you can join, including:

  • Goldsmiths Sinfonia
  • Chamber Choir
  • Contemporary Music Ensemble
  • Lunchtime and evening recitals
  • Music Collective
  • Studio Laptop Ensemble
  • Goldsmiths Vocal Ensemble
  • Plus student-led ensembles: Chamber Orchestra, New Music Ensemble, Big Band and Film Orchestra
  • Goldsmiths Gamelan Group

These culminate in our end-of-year degree show and public music festival PureGold, which in recent years has launched at London’s Southbank Centre.

Facilities

We have excellent rehearsal and performance facilities including:

  • Goldsmiths Music Studios
  • Electronic Music Studio
  • Sonics Interactive Multimedia Laboratory
  • Council Chamber (with its Steinway Model D)
  • Two suites of practice rooms

Find out more about the Department of Music.

*Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
**QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

Staff

Student profiles

Jostein

"You can safely embark on quite adventurous studio journeys."

"The studio facilities in the department are great; several different studios centered around the Stanley Glasser Electronic Music Studio, including both an 8-channel and a 5.1 studio.

Working in the multichannel studios provides a rare opportunity to prepare for the challenges one will meet in a career writing film music or music for art projects/installations.

Also, the studio staff are always available and very helpful, so you can safely embark on quite adventurous studio journeys, knowing that if you ever lose your way, you have experienced navigators at hand at all times."

[image © Mariell Øyre]

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in Music or a relevant/related subject. Your qualification should comprise a substantial practical/creative element relevant to the selected MMus pathway and option choices. A detailed transcript of your degree is preferred. 

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)
  • A short portfolio that provides selected examples of your recent creative work (e.g. musical scores, CD, DVD, as appropriate); these examples should be relevant to the focus of the pathway

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Selection process

Selection is by portfolio assessment and interview.

Find out more about applying.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

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