The MA may be taken full time over one year or part time over two years, commencing in late September.
This programme is designed to enhance composers’ creative imagination and technical skills and to develop their thinking about the contexts of composition. It provides ideal training for those wishing to proceed to a research degree, and prepares students for the professional world of composition.
It is taught by Professor Rhian Samuel, whose compositions, publications and international activities give the Department a unique emphasis.
Performance of students’ works is constantly encouraged, for instance, in professional workshops and in concerts by City Lights, an ensemble devoted to the performance of these compositions. Students’ works have also been promoted and developed in the wider, London-based musical community, including workshops with the London Sinfonietta. It is the Department’s policy to include postgraduate work in programmes given by the University Symphony Orchestra, which take place in Central London venues.
One-to-one tutorials on the composition portfolio and on the dissertation commence at the outset and are spread throughout the programme. All students initially attend the ‘Research Methods’ lectures, together with (if desired) the lectures and seminars of the ‘Approaches to Music Studies’ module.
Prior to the Spring vacation, a series of MA presentation seminars is held, in which students present their dissertation work in progress for discussion by students and staff.
Teaching and assessment
Assessment is based on the submission of a portfolio of compositions (120 credits) and a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words (60 credits).
The composition portfolio should comprise no fewer than three substantial works demonstrating a broad range of instrumental and vocal media, some of which should have been performed during the programme.
The topic chosen for the dissertation will normally have regard to the broader context of the student’s compositional concerns.