Months of entry
January, December, November, October, September, June, May, April, March, February
Music as a creative art form in the 21st century can combine both tradition and innovation, bringing together instruments (some new, some with centuries of history) and the latest in high technology. As a composer today all of these resources are available to you, and our research degrees in composition aim to foster your skills as you navigate this exciting new world. On this programme you can create works which use electroacoustics and computer technology, traditional (and not so traditional) instrumental and vocal composition, or which combine these aspects. Works for interactive systems, multimedia, and sound installations are also welcome, and you are encouraged to find your own individual path.
Both the PhD and MA by Research require you to attend a training programme as prescribed by the Department and both are assessed on the submission of a portfolio of compositions but these differ between the two programmes:
MA by Research – the portfolio should have a total duration of between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the nature and size of the forces used, to be agreed with the supervisor.
For those following the MA by Research programme, it is possible to upgrade to a PhD.
PhD – this substantial portfolio (approximately 90 minutes in duration) should display a suitable range of genres and resources to be agreed by the supervisor, which is not derivative, and which satisfies the examiners that it contains original work which is worthy of performance at a professional level and also worthy of publication. You can study for a PhD on campus or by Distance Learning.
You will have access to outstanding facilities in the new £16 million Bramall Music building, including five electroacoustic studios (all of them multichannel; the largest 24 channel), an isolation room for recording, a dedicated control room which can record sound from around the building, and an 18 seat computer cluster. The Dome room is home to the 32 channel Mini-BEAST system, regularly used for listening sessions, rehearsals, and concerts. The Elgar Concert Hall – which has extremely flexible acoustics and technologically advanced AV systems designed by renowned acoustician and architect Nicolas Edwards (Symphony Hall Birmingham, Symphony Centre Dallas, Royal Shakespeare Theatre) – is arguably the best and most adaptable space of its kind in any University in the UK. Like the entire building it is wired for audio over Ethernet, and multi-projector video presentation.
You have the opportunity to write works for the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (our ‘Ensemble in Association’) the Department’s New Music Ensemble, and for other workshops with visiting performers (e.g. Darragh Morgan, Carla Rees, and Joby Burgess in recent years). The internationally recognised BEAST system (Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre; arguably the best system of its type in the world) regularly presents student works in concerts with up to 100 loudspeakers in Birmingham and abroad (e.g. Berlin, Copenhagen, Basel). Our postgraduate laptop ensemble, theBirmingham Ensemble for Electroacoustic Research (BEER) provides opportunities to explore advanced aspects of live electroacoustic performance such as controller integration, network music, and live coding.
Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days (Friday 13 November 2015 and Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at: www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays
If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: www.pg.bham.ac.uk
Composition and acousmatic electroacoustic music Composition and live electroacoustic music Instrumental/Vocal Composition
Fees and funding
Qualification and course duration
MA by research
Course contact details
- Postgraduate enquiry service
- 0121 414 5005