Course information

Department

Music

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Scholarship information

Funding available

Course overview

This flexible Masters is an opportunity to investigate and combine strategies for developing creative work – an inclusive and forward-thinking composition degree that acknowledges many different definitions of the term.

You will devise a coherent yet bespoke programme of study from an extensive list of options, and have the opportunity to uniquely blend practices from popular music, sound art, contemporary composition, ethnography and multi-media work. These modules help you engage with a variety of rigorous intellectual, critical and technical skills that will inform your work and culminate in a substantial creative project.

Depending on your module choices, you have access to the Electronic Music Studios (which offer advanced facilities for electro-acoustic composition, multichannel work and live/interactive performance) and the new Goldsmiths Music Studios (which offers an HD Pro-tools recording system and large format analogue desk). You will have the opportunity to write for and collaborate with your fellow composers and performers, and in-house ensembles; and furthermore develop collaborative and interdisciplinary projects in conjunction with other departments.

The programme is exceptionally useful for students preparing for further postgraduate practice-as-research projects, or for those wishing to develop a distinctive portfolio of work for entry into the creative industries.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact John Harries.

What you'll study

Core modules

You choose one of the following modules:

Module title Credits
  Compositional Techniques 30 credits
  Popular Music Composition 30 credits
  Studio Practice 30 credits

Option modules

You choose three modules from a selection that currently includes:

Module title Credits
  Analysing Contemporary Music: From Serialism to Spectral Noise 30 credits
  Audiovisual Composition 30 credits
  Composition and Moving Image Media 30 credits
  Compositional Techniques 30 credits
  Contemporary Ethnomusicology 30 credits
  Contemporary Music: Practices and Debates 30 credits
  Critical Musicology and Popular Music 30 credits
  Ethnographic Film and Music Research 30 credits
  Interactive and Generative Music 30 credits
  Material, Form and Structure 30 credits
  Music Management 30 credits
  New Directions in Popular Music Research 30 credits
  Popular Music and its Critics 30 credits
  Popular Music Composition 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

Creative Project

Module title Credits
  Creative Project 60 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 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.

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 portfolio that provides selected examples of your recent original creative work, (audio, video or other formats as appropriate, 4-6 separate pieces). These should be provided as links to streamable content (on English Language sites). 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

Student work

Goldsmiths Students make music with EMI

EMI Production Music has published an album of music for film, TV and other media composed by Goldsmiths, University of London students.

Goldsmiths: Sounds One is a compilation album of 18 tracks composed by 15 students and recent graduates from Department of Music postgraduate programmes, including MMus Popular MusicMMus Creative Practice and MMus Composition.

This album is the brainchild of Paul Sandell, EMIPM Content and Distribution Manager, and is co-produced by James Ewers, Associate Music Lecturer, and Ian Gardiner, Senior Lecturer and convenor for MMus module Composition and Moving Image Media.

The students and graduates are Pete Wilson, Ged Flood, Matt Kirk, Aleksandra Wozniak, Sydney Bull, Alexander Brown, Valeria Pozzo (aka Naonis Sounds), Robert Aitken, Lamis (Ell) Harper, Thomas Falle, Felix Morgan, Paul Reynolds, Jacob Cheetham, Duncan Silvey and Andrea Caruso.

The collection of tracks spans genres, including traditional piano and string-based classical styles (such as Naonis Sounds and Robert Aitken’s urgent Momentous), world-music tinged soundscapes (eg. Ged Flood and Matt Kirk’s Night Trip), modern ambient acoustic/electronic hybrid textures (Pete Wilson’s Gravitas) and synth and noise-heavy pieces (Jacob Cheetham’s Dronem).

Goldsmiths: Sounds One can be previewed on Soundcloud

Picture of a group of Goldsmiths students
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