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Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Music Composition

Course type


Course Summary

The context of this programme is the contemporary international scene and our composers share some of the best facilities in Europe with their performing contemporaries. The programme offers high contact time of 90 minutes one-to-one tuition each week. As working artists with various areas of expertise, the tutors bring live projects into lessons helping you to explore your own compositional voice. Together with your tutor your end of year portfolio will be negotiated, not prescribed. Every student embarks on their own learning journey; you can pursue a second study, work in the superb electroacoustic and recording studios, or devise new work in our purpose-built performance venues. There’s also a real sense of a community among our students, staff and PhD cohort.

The Composers Forum meets every Thursday and might include visiting composers and poets or perhaps a chance to discuss your work. Involving the full department, it’s an opportunity to listen to styles of music which you may not have heard or considered before and can help to challenge the orthodoxy and even your own ideas. You may also discuss work by PhD students who are engaged in larger works not experienced in earlier years of study. Our students have also set up their own Composers Collective which meets every two weeks to discuss different musical influences. Composition can be a solitary existence and at the Royal Conservatoire you can develop the skills to work with other artists. By studying here you will be working with our diverse and talented performing community and will enjoy outstanding facilities and professional partnerships. Creative artists create because they have something in them they want to say. At the Royal Conservatoire we not only help you do that but also prepare you for the realities of professional life.

Most composer graduates from the Composition department choose to remain in Glasgow’s flourishing music culture and some go on to forward study both at other institutions and here (MMus and PhD). Many of our graduates have formed and instigated ensembles and music events in Glasgow which in turn have fed back into the learning culture of the Conservatoire, most notably ensembles Thing, Symposia and the Glasgow New Music Expedition and experimental music events such as Engines, Gregor Samsa and Eyegrid. Most of our graduates have become professional composers working in the world of classical contemporary music with commissions and residencies from amongst others the Royal Scottish national Orchestra, RedNote, the BBC, Scottish Opera, Royal Opera House and Ensemble Modern.

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date



The primary focus of your learning will be the Principal Study. This core activity ? and, the individual lesson ? will refine the skills essential to meeting the artistic and technical expectations of the programme. It will equip you with many of the skills needed to exercise independent learning and develop the autonomy necessary for a professional career.
Negotiated Study (or HIPP dissertation) (60 Credits)

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Students need to have a good honours (at least 2:2) degree, or its overseas equivalent, in a subject area relevant to the demands of the programme.