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
Modules & structure
|Compositional Techniques||30 credits|
|Material, Form and Structure||30 credits|
Choose two modules from a selection that currently includes:
|Audiovisual Composition||30 credits|
|Philosophies of Music||30 credits|
|Sound Agendas||30 credits|
|Composition and Moving Image Media||30 credits|
|Contemporary Music: Practices and Debates||30 credits|
|Research Through Musical Performance||30 credits|
|Studio Practice||30 credits|
|Interactive and Generative Music||30 credits|
|Interpretation, Meaning and Performance||30 credits|
|Creative Project||60 credits|
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
Music at Goldsmiths is ranked: 12th in the UK for the quality of our research* 22nd in the world for performing arts**
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.
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.
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
Skills & careers
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.
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.
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
- 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.