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Music Composition MA,PgDip,PgCert

MA Music Composition

The Course Programme Structure Staff Profiles Why YSJ ? Student Voices


The MA Music Composition degree programme offers you the opportunity to investigate the interrelationships between your own practice and questions arising about knowledge in and through art, composition, and dissemination in performance. Aimed at graduates and practitioners in music composition, this MA will allow you to build a strong and increasingly confident practice through awareness and interaction with current contexts of professional practice and research.

The MA Music Composition is located within the Faculty of Arts’ Creative Practice hub and shares delivery of core curriculum regarding practice-led research methodology with a parallel MA degrees in Applied Theatre, Theatre and Performance and Fine Arts. Whilst your focus will be on Music Composition, there will also be opportunities for cross-disciplinary study and collaborative practice.

The programme will provide you with the opportunity to develop your compositional practice and thinking, and provide you with a platform from which to disseminate your work.

We seek capable, questioning and dedicated practitioners from a diversity of music practices, whether in the UK, Europe or beyond, to join us in York and make the most of the opportunities our programme offers.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if need any further information. We do hope you will come and join us.


What qualifications do I need?

Candidates for the MA programme are considered on the combination of all elements of their application, including existing compositions, awareness of musical compositional techniques of the last 50 years, evidence of critical and reflective engagement and academic qualifications.

For all candidates there will be an interview and consideration of a portfolio of work; this is a central element of our consideration of applications and also an opportunity for you to find out more about the programme. In interviews, all candidates will be asked to give a presentation. The criteria for this are as follows:

  • Demonstration of readiness for graduate level practice
  • Evidence of engagement with critical thinking

We are happy to arrange interviews by Skype for overseas students.

Candidates for entry to the MA programme must normally possess one of the following:

  • Graduates with an honours degree at 2:1 or above in music will normally register for the MA.


  • Graduates with an honours degree from another discipline and working in a professional arts environment or with extensive experience of music. Academic tutors will consider such applications on an individual basis.

Applicants not meeting the above criteria may be considered for initial registration on the Postgraduate Certificate. If successful in work at postgraduate level, the student may be permitted to enrol for the Masters’ degree.    In particular applicants with a 2:2 degree may be considered according to relevant practice based or professional experience.

International students will need to demonstrate that they have equivalent experience /qualifications as home students (i.e. same entry criteria as above).  If their first language is not English they must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (in all areas of the test) or equivalent.

Applications from candidates with disabilities are always considered and assessment of their abilities and needs are undertaken sensitively. The safety of the potential student and our ability to fulfil his/her learning needs and experiences are important in the decision to offer a place on the programme.


How much does it cost?

The fees are subject to review.

Please visit our tuition fees webpage  for up-to-date information about fees

A 10% discount is applicable to all YSJU Alumni undertaking PG level study


How do I apply?

Use the button below to apply for our full-time and part-time programmes.  For help completing the online application, please refer to our guide.

For all candidates there will be an interview and consideration of a portfolio of work


Apply now

MA Music Composition Full-time



Apply now

MA Music Composition Part-time



For further information:

For general information about York St John please call our Information Hotline: T: 01904 876598 or E:admissions@yorksj.ac.uk

For enquiries about the Music Composition degree please contact: Dr Ralph Bateman, Head of Programme for Music E: r.bateman@yorksj.ac.uk T: 01904 876511