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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Programme Catalogue

MMus Critical and Experimental Composition

Programme code:MMU-MU/CECUCAS code:
Duration:12 Months Method of Attendance: Full Time
Programme manager:Dr Mic Spencer Contact

Total credits: 180

Entry requirements:

Entry Requirements are available on the Course Search entry

School/Unit responsible for the parenting of students and programme:


Examination board through which the programme will be considered:

Programme specification:

This course gives you opportunities to develop your compositional creativity and technical fluency to an advanced level under the guidance of our expert staff. Our diverse composition staff are all experienced and active composers, enabling us to support a broad range of critical and experimental approaches to acoustic and electronic composition, and to the intersections of these aesthetics.

Throughout the year you’ll take a combination of core modules helping you to develop your skills as a composer and musician. You’ll grow your academic skills, including research and presentation skills, as well as studying the principles of composition and different professional contexts. You’ll also develop an awareness of broader topics in the study of music through exploration of aesthetic theory to help you understand and develop your compositional voice. Your major project will be a portfolio of original compositions. Provided you have the necessary prior knowledge and experience, you can pursue optional modules in other areas of music such as musicology, electronic music, performance, and music psychology.

There are opportunities to try out new work, both formally and informally, and the School of Music’s contemporary music ensemble, LSTwo, often includes student compositions in its repertoire, and the school frequently has visiting contemporary music performance specialist visitors who offer workshops for composers. The School enjoys a significant reputation for performance studies and a lively and full concert diary – much of which will provide useful material for study by students on this course. The course is ideal if you wish to pursue advanced compositional studies, and can also be used as preparation for undertaking a composition-based practice-led PhD.

We have a variety of excellent facilities to support your learning, including rehearsal, performance and practice spaces, recording and electronic music studios, a music psychology lab, and five libraries that provide access to a wide range of books, scores, periodicals, and online resources.

We have close working relationships with prestigious arts organisations: we host BBC Radio 3 concerts, Leeds Lieder and the Leeds International Piano Competition, and we engage with the flagship DARE partnership between the University and Opera North. We are also closely associated with Leeds Baroque and we engage with many other performing arts organisations in Leeds, which enjoys a thriving music and cultural scene.

Year1 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

MUS5002MPortfolio of Original Composition60 credits1 Oct to 30 Sep (12mth)
MUS5121MComposition Studies30 creditsSemester 1 (Sep to Jan)
MUS5231MCritical and Aesthetic Theory30 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)

Optional modules:

Candidates will be required to study 60 credits from the following optional modules:

MUS5131MIssues in Musicology30 creditsSemester 1 (Sep to Jan)
MUS5132MApplied Research Methodologies30 creditsSemester 1 (Sep to Jan)
MUS5241MShort Recital30 creditsSemesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun)
MUS5331MShort Dissertation30 creditsSemesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun)
MUS5332MIndividual Project30 creditsSemesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun)
MUS5352MCase Studies in the Applied Psychology of Music30 creditsSemesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun)
PECI5211MAudience, Engagement and Impact30 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)

Last updated: 30/05/2024 08:55:52


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