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Postgraduate Course

Music Composition MA

Investigate the relationship between your practice, composition and dissemination through performance.

Hands playing piano

This course is aimed at both graduates of, and practitioners in, music composition. You will build a strong and increasingly confident practice through awareness and interaction with current contexts of professional practice and research. This is an opportunity to compose larger scale works or create a portfolio of your own compositions at a high level.

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full time, 2 years part time
  • Start date – September 2022
  • School – School of the Arts

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:2 honours degree in a related subject

    Interview and portfolio

Tuition Fees

    UK 2022-23 £7,000 full time

    International 2022-23 £13,000 full time

Discover why York St John University is The One

Course overview

Our experienced tutors and guest speakers will encourage and equip you to develop your own creative practice.

You will have the opportunity to:

  • Have your compositions performed and recorded
  • Engage with compositional strategies
  • Collaborate with others across performance and production courses
  • Work among a supportive community of artists

You will develop strategies to reflect, theorise and document your practice and be given a platform to share your thinking. With a fluid interrelationship between theory and practice, you will have the opportunity to take full advantage of the workshop, studio, seminar and virtual environments we have to offer.

We will encourage you to engage in collaboration with others and consider the implications of working in various contexts. This course offers great opportunities for cross-disciplinary work, allowing you to engage with students on other music and production courses.

 

Course structure

How you will study

You can study this postgraduate course full time or part time. This allows you to fit your studies around other commitments.

If you choose to study full time the course will take 1 year to complete. You will study:

  • 3 compulsory modules (1 of which is the year long Independent Project module)

If you choose to study part time the course will take 2 years to complete and the modules will be split across both years.

The Independent Project module is carried across the whole of the course for both modes of study.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

 

 

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Explore and test the connections between theory and practice. On this module you will investigate concepts and methods of practice based research through lectures, critical discussion and reflective engagement with your own practice. You will consider how knowledge can be generated, questioned and communicated through practice making, doing and experiencing.

Credits: 40

Compulsory module

On this module you will reinforce your knowledge of compositional techniques and methods of analysis. You will develop advanced compositional strategies which will support your creativity throughout the course. Explore the context in which your composition with be disseminated across various audiences. We will provide an environment where you will progress as a confident, reflective practitioner.

Credits: 120

Compulsory module

The weight of the award lies firmly in this module. You will engage with the production of a significant work or body of works that represent the culmination of your skills, knowledge and creativity. Along with this body of practice you will develop reflective, critical and contextual work that articulates and communicates an understanding of your practice. For example, projects may include:

  • Composing a symphony
  • Composing music for games on internet platforms
  • Composing an album of music for political protest

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

Within modules, teaching will consist of a mixture of group seminars and individual tutorials.

As a graduate student, independent learning will be central to your study. You will be encouraged to take responsibility for your role in managing your own learning and its outcomes. Our Academic Support Team are able to provide help regarding written English, study, research and technology skills if required.

We keep our group sizes small so we can get to know your creative personality and support your aspirations. We deliver your modules through:

  • Lectures and demonstrations
  • Seminars and visiting speakers
  • Individual and group tutorials
  • Group critiques
  • Group and individual presentations
  • Visits to appropriate arts venues and performances

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.

Assessment

There are no formal examinations on this course. You will be assessed through live events and coursework, which will include:

  • Creative work presented for assessment
  • Essay
  • Presentation
  • Workshop
  • Annotated reflective document
  • Extended dissertation

You will receive continuous informal feedback on works in progress through a combination of showings, discussions and written proposals.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:2 honours degree in a related subject

    Interview and portfolio

If your degree is in an unrelated subject, but you can provide evidence of relevant professional experience, your application may still be considered.

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our international pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Interview and portfolio

Entry onto this postgraduate course is subject to attending an interview.

At interview you will be asked to give a presentation which will:

  • Demonstrate your readiness for graduate level practice
  • Show evidence of your engagement with critical thinking

You will also be asked to complete a portfolio. This portfolio should show examples of previous and current practice.

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

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

If you do not have traditional qualifications, you might be able to provide evidence of professional experience in the subject as an alternative way to meet the entry requirements. This is called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). Appropriate references and records of employment would need to be presented to support your case for admission. 

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and Funding

UK 2022 - 2023 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £7,000 for full time study
  • £3,500 per year for part time study.

These costs apply to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

Funding opportunities

International 2022 - 2023 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £13,000 for 1 year of full time study
  • £6,500 per year for part time study.

These costs apply to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

International Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

    UK 2022-23 £7,000 full time

    International 2022-23 £13,000 full time

Alumni Scholarships

If you are alumni of York St John University we have scholarships available to help you continue your studies.

Scholarships for alumni

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Career outcomes

Where could Music Composition take you?

This postgraduate degree could lead you to a career directly related to working in the music composition industry, or it could take you in a completely different direction, using the many transferrable skills you will develop.

This will give you an advantage in careers or roles such as:

  • Musician
  • Music Teacher
  • Community arts worker
  • Music therapist
  • Radio producer
  • Sound technician

Stand out from the crowd with postgraduate study.

Far fewer people have postgraduate degrees than undergraduate qualifications. This gives you something extra to set yourself apart in a competitive graduate job market. Those with a postgraduate qualification will earn an average of £8,000 a year more than those with only an undergraduate degree. (Department For Education Graduate Labour Market Report 2019)

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to succeed.

Apply for this course

For postgraduate degrees you must apply directly to York St John University using the links below. This will take you to the application form you will need to fill out for this specific course.

To complete the online application form you will need to create login details.

Please contact 2 referees before submitting your application. An automated request for a reference will be emailed to them as soon as you submit. Your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Apply Now: Full time 

Apply Now: Part time 

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