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Description of Composing for Film and Television

This course is ideal if you are a composer aspiring to work in the media industry, and want to learn more about the practical and theoretical techniques for composing and producing music for film and TV. It is taught by experienced professional film/TV composers, and gives you the opportunity to collaborate with film-makers and animators on other masters courses within the University. You will also have the chance to write for a professional live ensemble and other live ensembles in the music department.

What will you study?

You will compose music for a large variety of different types of moving image and will have opportunities to work with film-makers, screen designers and animators. You will analyse a range of film and TV scores, exploring the ways in which music has been used to create and convey atmosphere and mood, and depict setting, character and action. We will also discuss and examine the business and copyright aspects of film composing.

You will study in-depth the aesthetics and functions of music composed to image, exploring the relationship(s) between the composer and producers, directors, and music editors. You will also study and practise the use of main themes, underscoring and the harmonic languages of soundtracks, both in big- and small-screen contexts. A further opportunity is to have a composition performed by a professional ensemble, conducted by each individual student to picture, in a fully professional 24-track recording environment. You will also cover how to use the technology to create produced soundtracks of a high quality.

Detailed Course Facts

Tuition fee
  • GBP 13000 Year (Non-EEA)
  • GBP 4800 Year (EEA)
Start date September  2016
Duration full-time 12 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time

Course Content

Core modules

  • Advanced Techniques for Composing for Film and Television
  • Colloquia
  • Composing for Live Ensemble to Image
  • Major Project
  • Researching Music
  • Techniques and Technology for Composing for Film and Television
  • The Business of Composing for Film and Television

Optional modules

  • Advanced Production of Popular Music
  • Comparative International Music Education
  • Music Education in the UK: Theory and Practice
  • Popular Music Composition
  • Psychology of Musical Learning, Communication and Expression
  • Recording Techniques
  • Sound Design
  • The Aesthetics of Musical Performance
  • The Marketing of Popular Music
  • Applied Musical Skills
  • Conducting
  • Creating Music and Sound for Image 2
  • Ensemble Projects 2
  • Jazz Studies 2
  • Live Electronics
  • Music in Context
  • Special Study
  • British Cinema 1960-1990
  • Gender and Sexuality in European Cinema
  • Mapping World Cinema
  • New Hollywood: from the mainstream to the margins
  • Place and Identity in European Cinema(s)

English Language Requirements

Before starting a programme, you need to have a basic knowledge of the English language. Find English courses on Language Learning Portal.

CAE score
193(Grade B)

Requirements for Composing for Film and Television

  • A second class degree or above in a relevant subject, or equivalent.
  • Usually some experience of working with music technology.
  • International students must have an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent1.

Samples of work

Prospective students need to send in 3 contrasting scores with recordings.


We normally invite applicants for an interview with the course director or another senior member of the teaching team. International students based overseas can arrange for an interview by email or telephone.

Prior learning - AP(E)L

Applicants with prior qualifications and learning may be exempt from appropriate parts of a course in accordance with the University's policy for the assessment of prior learning and prior experiential learning.

Work Experience for Composing for Film and Television

No work experience is required.

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