MMus in Creative Practice

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

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 a 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 Dr Lisa Busby

Modules & structure

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
  Contemporary Ethnomusicology 30 credits
  Philosophies of Music 30 credits
  Sound Agendas 30 credits
  Composition and Moving Image Media 30 credits
  Ethnographic Film and Music Research 30 credits
  Material, Form and Structure 30 credits
  Contemporary Music: Practices and Debates 30 credits
  Research Through Musical Performance 30 credits
  Soviet and Post-Soviet Music and Politics 30 credits
  Studio Practice 30 credits
  Compositional Techniques 30 credits
  Interactive and Generative Music 30 credits
  Interpretation, Meaning and Performance 30 credits
  Critical Musicology and Popular Music 30 credits
  Popular Music and its Critics 30 credits
  New Directions in Popular Music Research 30 credits
  Music Management 30 credits
  Popular Music Composition 30 credits
  Audiovisual Composition 30 credits
  Analysing Contemporary Music: From Serialism to Spectral Noise 30 credits

Creative Project

Module title Credits
  Creative Project 60 credits

Download the programme specification. 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.


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.

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.


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


Student profiles


"The course encourages students to step out of their comfort zone to seek a greater sense of experimentation, rather than perfection - and the faculty is very supportive of that."

"I found out about Goldsmiths through my professors during my undergraduate studies in Canada. I was looking for a course that would enable me to further my studies in composing for acoustic instrumentation whilst experimenting with electronics, and I was also interested in living in a different city in another country - so Goldsmiths and London seemed like the perfect mix. Before I came I was studying acoustic composition, computer music and interdisciplinary studies at Simon Fraser University's School for the Contemporary Arts in Vancouver, Canada, and writing music for chamber groups, contemporary dance, and film. I was also working as a medical first responder and considering a career in paramedicine, but music won me over!

The MMus Creative Practice offers a lot of variety in regards to what your research can entail, and it definitely encourages students to step out of their comfort zone to seek a greater sense of experimentation, rather than perfection - and the faculty is very supportive of that. As an example, I wrote, composed and produced my first opera during my time at Goldsmiths, which was my thesis project. I was fortunate to have an extremely supportive supervisor, Jeremy Peyton Jones. The work involved fusing acoustic instrumentation, electronics, and texts from WikiLeaks.

After graduating I'd like to continue working with other artists on collaborative projects, especially here in London, and focus more on my chamber music writing. I've received a commission from a Canadian dance ensemble to compose music for a show in March 2014, and I will also be scoring a film in the new year for a Vancouver-based production company. "


"Studying at Goldsmiths has been a remarkable experience."

"I am a composer of cross-genre sound and play the Colombian tiple. I have composed music and designed sound for documentaries, dance, and multimedia installations. I have also participated in audiovisual concerts and have been involved in interdisciplinary collaborations with the areas of theatre, fine arts and literature. 

I am enrolled in the MMus in Creative Practice. Its transdisciplinary focus have allowed me to experience different creative approaches into the arts while becoming aware about social issues related to the contemporary world. I have found that the Masters resonates with the professional and personal pathway I want to follow. It is a way to continue with my actual process and the possibility of expanding myself to other areas, gaining flexibility to work in different contexts. Studying at Goldsmiths has been a remarkable experience where I have felt supported and have found an open-minded and up-to-date academic community."

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.

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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