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MMus Composition

  • Award:

    MMus Composition

  • Awarding body:

    University of South Wales 

  • Location of study:

    Cardiff (RWCMD and Old Library) 

  • Start date:

    22 September 2024

  • Duration:

    13 months intensive or two years full time

  • Course code:

    802F (intensive) or 803F (full time) – UCAS Conservatoires


Explore diverse compositional approaches and styles, with numerous opportunities to work on our drama productions and collaborate with industry professionals.

Course overview

In this advanced course, you’ll work with professional musicians offering specialist tuition in creative compositional approaches and individual support in your personal development as a composer.

This one-to-one tuition (which we call principal study) will be supported by seminars and practical classes, where you’ll receive feedback from staff and your peers.

You’ll also take part in skills-based composition tutorials and workshops, as well as advanced performance and recording classes, usually with students from a range of disciplines.

The focus is on expanding your fluency with instrumentation, style or genre. But you’ll also develop your individual and collaborative artistry and confident communication skills as a musician.

Opportunities to showcase your work run through the entire programme of study. You can collaborate with industry professionals, work on our drama productions or be invited to pitch to write for College ensembles. To allow you to put into practice what you’ve learnt, your course culminates with a substantial performance of your work in the final term of study.

Here, you’ll be treated as an individual, working to build your skill set and diversify your work – and, perhaps most importantly, cultivate a future-facing creative outlook that will equip you with the ability to tackle developments and challenges as they arise.

Why study this course?

  • You’ll explore a wide selection of different approaches and styles, including instrumental composition, electronic composition (including sub-genres such as installation work, music for games and interactive electronics) and music for theatre, dance and film.
  • One-to-one tuition forms the heart of your development as a composer. You can also draw on a wealth of supporting classes, working in small groups with specialist tutors. Areas of focus include advanced harmony, repertoire and aesthetics and counterpoint.
  • Our impressive list of tutors includes renowned musicians, distinguished coaches, prominent composers and creative artists in a range of genres. They offer you not only first-rate teaching, but mentorship and networking opportunities as well.
  • You can shape your core modules to align with your skills and ambitions. And with some, you’ll receive a certain degree of flexibility in the assessments, allowing you to test your knowledge in a way that suits you.
  • Your artistic development will also be shaped by a varied range of creative activities, including masterclasses, rehearsals, practical workshops, seminars, projects (individual and collaborative), work experience, studio sessions, personal practice, self-reflection and evaluation.
  • Although you can choose to specialise, every student will develop skills in technology to underpin their creative work – recording, editing and basic elements of music technology. Beyond the basics, you can also explore how far you can integrate technology into your creative process.
  • You’ll produce new, stimulating public work to an excellent standard, with regular opportunities to pitch to write for College ensembles or projects such as contemporary opera scenes with our opera directing students.
  • To spark your entrepreneurial spirit – crucial for a career in the industry – you’ll have opportunities to create and curate your own composition projects.
  • We also host an annual showcase of graduating students’ work within our public performance spaces. You’ll pitch your concepts and requirements and then take on the role of project manager to bring your individual performance together. This may include recruiting and rehearsing players, liaising with technical operations over logistics and supplying the promotional information.
  • You can submit works for external opportunities, including competitions, prizes and development pathways. Our composers have been particularly successful in the annual BBC NOW Composition Wales competition and have taken part in the opportunities offered by Tŷ Cerdd through CoDi, their composer development pathway.
  • You’ll have the chance to develop expertise in a less familiar area, such as writing for film or presenting a work that involves electronics if you’ve previously only worked acoustically. These opportunities allow you to expand your portfolio and ready you for flexible professional activities after you graduate.
  • While you’ll have a lot of one-to-one support, you’ll also have opportunities to create exciting new work – and build lasting creative partnerships – with students on your course, as well as those from our drama courses.
  • We have close partnerships with leading arts organisations, giving you opportunities to build your network of industry contacts – an advantage that can be enormously helpful when you’re just starting out.
  • Every year, eminent international artists visit our campus and hold masterclasses with our students. These sessions offer you crucial insight into a variety of disciplines, with a chance to a network, but they can help to take your skills to an advanced level.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to develop skills in additional areas, including research, teaching, community music, collaborative creative practice, composition and digital artistry.
  • In our range of seminars, you’ll learn how to build and maintain a successful portfolio career. Topics range from networking, funding applications and social media to tax and financial matters.

Other course information

‘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

Join us for our festival of new music from our very own composition department

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