The MMus in Composition fosters your ability to compose and notate music, and to develop your own personal musical language.
You explore a wide range of technical procedures for contemporary composition and engage intellectually and critically with related theories and concepts.
There are many practical opportunities to work with performers, including the Department of Music's ensemble-in-residence, and other artistic collaborators.
The composition pathway appeals to composers interested in a wide range of contemporary music including Boulez, Stockhausen, Birtwistle, Carter, Xenakis, spectral music and improvised music.
There's a focus on fundamental issues concerning pitch, time and pulse, and covers topics such as orchestration, advanced instrumental techniques, large-scale structure.
Composers taking this pathway may elect to take options in studio-based composition, providing they have the requisite prior experience.
There are also opportunities to work with visiting professional musicians and meet visiting composers, which have included Harrison Birtwistle, Michael Finnissy, Brian Ferneyhough and Jonathan Harvey.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Roger Redgate
What you'll study
You take the following core modules:
|Compositional Techniques||30 credits|
|Material, Form and Structure||30 credits|
You also complete a portfolio of compositions (60 credits)
You choose two modules from a selection that currently includes:
|Advanced Music Studies||30 credits|
|Analysing Contemporary Music: From Serialism to Spectral Noise||30 credits|
|Audiovisual Composition||30 credits|
|Composition and Moving Image Media||30 credits|
|Contemporary Music: Practices and Debates||30 credits|
|Interactive and Generative Music||30 credits|
|Performance as Research (Ethnomusicology)||30 credits|
|Research through Musical Performance||30 credits|
|Sound Agendas||30 credits|
|Studio Practice||30 credits|
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
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 pathway. 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.
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.
Fees, funding & scholarships
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
- A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
- 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 (eg 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.
Find out more about applying.
You'll develop strategies and methodologies for creative practice, critical reflection and evaluation and skills in the contextualisation of creative work.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.