Goldsmiths, University of London

Course Introduction

This programme fosters your ability to compose and notate music, and to develop your own personal musical language. You explore a wide range of technical procedures for contemporary composition and engage intellectually and critically with related theories and concepts. There are many practical opportunities to work with performers, including the Department of Music's ensemble'in'residence, and other artistic collaborators. The composition pathway appeals to composers interested in a wide range of contemporary music including Boulez, Stockhausen, Birtwistle, Carter, Xenakis, spectral music and improvised music. There's a focus on fundamental issues concerning pitch, time and pulse, and covers topics such as orchestration, advanced instrumental techniques, large'scale structure. Composers taking this pathway may elect to take options in studio'based composition, providing they have the requisite prior experience. There are also opportunities to work with visiting professional musicians and meet visiting composers, which have included Harrison Birtwistle, Michael Finnissy, Brian Ferneyhough and Jonathan Harvey.

Course Modules

The two core modules are: Compositional techniques and material; form and structure. You'll choose two option modules from a selection that currently includes: Composition and moving image media; interactive and generative music; contemporary music: practices and debates; post'tonal theory and analysis; sound agendas; studio practice. There is also a creative project. Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
1 year
Full Time
Master of Music - MMus £6,780 Home Fees
1 year
Full Time
Master of Music - MMus £13,910 Overseas Fees
2 years
Part Time
Master of Music - MMus

Qualifications required:

  • 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 pathway. A detailed transcript of your degree is preferred. You might also be considered 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. If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements of IELTS 6.5 with 6.5 in writing, to study with us.