Course information

Department

Music

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Scholarship information

Funding available

Course overview

The MMus 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

Core modules

You take the following core modules:

Module title Credits
  Compositional Techniques 30 credits
  Material, Form and Structure 30 credits

You also complete a portfolio of compositions (60 credits)

Option modules

You choose two modules from a selection that currently includes:

Module title Credits
  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
  Philosophies of Music 30 credits

Download the programme specification, for the 2019-20 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.

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 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.

Students who have completed up to 90 credits (not including final 60-credit projects or dissertations) of a comparable degree at another university can apply for recognition of prior learning status as part of their application for a place on the programme, where such credits are carried forward into your study at Goldsmiths.

International qualifications

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 (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 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

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2020/21 academic year.

  • Home/EU - full-time: £8040
  • Home/EU - part-time: £4020
  • International - full-time: £14760

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Tier 4 student visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

Scholarships

Home/EU students applying for this programme in 2019/2020 may be eligible for funding under the BAME Music Scholar's Fee Waiver (MA/MMus).

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • A short portfolio that provides selected examples of your recent creative work to include notated scores and other materials where appropriate. Examples should be relevant to the focus of the pathway.
  • 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.
  • 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)

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.

Staff

Find out more about staff in the Department of Music.

Careers

Skills 

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.

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