Music Composition BA (Hons)

On this programme you will build your compositional voice. Regardless of genre, your composing will develop through exposure to film music, improvisation and challenging new ideas; there will be exciting opportunities to hear your work performed by professional ensembles and fellow students. In addition to composition, you will participate in a vibrant musical community alongside performers, community musicians and educators.

UCAS course code
York St John University
Course fees
2018 - 2019: Home & EU students: £9,250 per annum, International (non EU) students: £12,500 per annum
3 years full-time | Part-time options available on request
Study Abroad
Yes - see our study abroad web pages for more information
Start date
September 2018

Course overview

This is a course for all musics and musicians, irrespective of style, background, and culture: we believe the study of music should be eclectic and embrace a variety of genres. Study Music at York St John University and you will learn not only about classical, jazz and rock but also music from many different cultures.

As a composer you will attend composition module classes and have one-to-one tutorials with a composition tutor. During the year there will be workshops when professional performers will interpret your work, and there will be concerts in which your music can be performed and recorded.

All of our students learn through making music, often in a wide range of ensemble settings from samba band to string quartet, madrigal to metal and big band to barbershop. On our music courses you will actively collaborate with experienced musicians, community members, artists and arts organisations in order to develop performances, skills and professional networks.

We teach music through practice, whether in composing, performing, listening, or analysing. Our degrees challenge you to realise your potential for creativity and individual expression, to develop a deeper understanding of music and its place in society and to gain and refine skills which are highly valued by employers. All students take a common first year in which everyone receives individual instrumental or vocal tuition, providing a firm basis for specialist study in subsequent years.

Our staff includes professional composers who are active educators and practitioners locally, nationally and internationally.

We want to work with open minded, motivated and creative students who possess strong practical skills.

How will I be assessed?

There are no formal written examinations: assessment is through portfolios, presentations, performances and written submissions.

Where could this take me?

Many of our graduates have chosen to work in music, as performers, composers, teachers, community musicians, administrators, therapists or technicians. You can also continue your studies at postgraduate level on our MA Music Composition programme.

Follow us on Facebook at YSJ Music or on Twitter at @YSJMusic.

Course structure

Level 1

Modules may include:

  • Vox
  • Drumming
  • Music Skills
  • Perspectives on Music

Level 2

Modules may include:

  • Ensemble Performance
  • Improvisation
  • Composition
  • Solo Performance
  • Film Music
  • Music in Education & Lifelong Learning
  • Community Music
  • Experiments in Music
  • Sounds New. Approaching the Contemporary

Level 3

Modules may include: 

  • Enterprise & Employability in Music
  • Advanced Solo Performance
  • Advanced Composition
  • Community & Wellbeing
  • Ensembles & Leadership
  • Collaborative Project
  • Dissertation

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Learning support

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of learning support services to assist students throughout their studies.

Entry requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

88-104 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Calculate your tariff points.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website.

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Tuition fees

UK & EU 2016 / 17

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2018 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Fees & Funding

Overseas 2016 / 17

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2018 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,500 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

International Fees & Funding

International students

We welcome international students from all over the world at York St John University and have a vibrant international community. You can find out more on our International Pages about how you can study with us and what it’s like to live and learn in York, one of the UK’s most historic cities.

Unistats data for this course

Ask a question

Do you have a question about this course? Fill out our form to send a question to our Admissions team. Alternatively, you can call us on 01904 876922.