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BMus (Hons) Music – Composition

  • Award:

    BMus (Hons) Music – Composition

  • Awarding body:

    University of South Wales 

  • Location of study:

    Cardiff (RWCMD and Old Library) 

  • Start date:

    22 September 2024

  • Duration:

    Four years full time

  • Course code:

    300F - UCAS Conservatoires


Learn the skills that will help you to become a composer of a wide variety of music – from full-scale orchestral work to abstract electronic music.

Course overview

This course, boasting all the distinctive features of our flagship BMus course, offers a choice of specialist modules for students who want to build a lasting career in music composition.

Your personalised training encompasses both individual and group lessons, which will help you to develop your own artistic approach to making music for a range of genres and audiences.

This includes examining a diverse range of techniques and styles with our handpicked team of specialist tutors who are composers in notated music and creative music technology – all have years of professional experience and are active in the creative industries. 


As you progress through your course, you will be able to focus increasingly on instrumental composition, or on creative music technology, or on both. Subjects that are covered include (but are not limited to):

  • Orchestration and arranging
  • Abstract Electronic Music
  • Conducting
  • Interactive Applications and Coding
  • Music for Film and Television
  • Live Electronic Music Performance

Collaborating with your fellow student composers on your course – and students from other departments across the College – forms a crucial part of your training. Working within a range of ensemble settings, you’ll produce original orchestrations or compositions and learn all the professional working practices you need to know in preparation for live performance and recording.


Throughout the course you'll have the opportunity to explore the following skills in classes and 1:1 tutorials:

  • advanced harmony, counterpoint, orchestration, arranging, score engraving, conducting, analysis, improvisation, choral singing, understanding different styles of composition
  • recording, mixing, mastering, creating a composition within a virtual [computer] environment, midi, synthesis, plunderphonics, filming, editing and coding

Why study this course?

  • You’ll discover a wide breadth of musical forms, practices, techniques – and how these relate to other artistic disciplines – and use this knowledge to inspire your own creative practice and find your compositional voice.
  • As part of your specialist training, you’ll have a combination of one-to-one and group tuition, which we call ‘principal study’. It encompasses performance classes, practical classes, workshops, studio sessions, lectures, seminars, group projects and chances to take part in work experience.
  • Your training doesn’t follow a one-size-fits-all approach – you’ll have an extensive choice of modules that allow you to forge a career that suits your preferences and ambitions. And if you’re not sure what life after graduation will look like at this point, we will support you and give you the space to work that out.
  • Our close ties and experience within the creative industries means you’ll have numerous opportunities to learn from working professional artists and musicians.
  • You’ll get opportunities to work with fellow music students and actors, designers, stage managers and arts management students from across the College. Not only does this help you to form partnerships that can last beyond graduation, but it feeds your curiosity and helps you develop an entrepreneurial mindset, which is increasingly crucial to a successful career as an independent freelance and also as a team member.
  • We’ve included an extensive level of assessment into your training, and this ongoing ‘dialogue’ is vital to helping you grow and develop as an artist.
  • Aside from exploring the practical elements of musical composition, you can also learn about the physical, intellectual and emotional aspects of it. We investigate ever-changing trends, new media and music sharing platforms. Optional modules include Alexander Technique, biology for musicians, music for theatre and sound recording.


'The RWCMD composition course will help you reach your full potential, whatever your background, whichever areas of composition are your focus. Since I started the course, I learned to do things I never thought I could – such as electronic composition or sound synthesis. Everyday I learn something useful and my compositional toolkit is constantly expanding.'
Anna Drewniok
‘The College feels like a place of true investigation into what the future of music will be like, in all its forms, asking the important questions of our time about music and drama.'
Errollyn WallenComposer and RWCMD Artist in Residence

Other course information

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