2019 start


Department of Music, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Immerse yourself in contemporary music. This course is taught by internationally-renowned composers who are all active in their respective fields.
Composing music at a piano

Course description

Our MA allows you to immerse yourself in the creation and presentation of contemporary music.

You can specialise in instrumental composition and explore a broad range of compositional approaches and techniques while collaborating with performers. Alternatively, you can specialise in electronic/electroacoustic composition, with the opportunity to explore creative applications of analogue/digital technologies, real-time audio processing techniques, and aesthetics of sonic art.

Our course provides you with skills, techniques and experiences that prepare you for doctoral work or employment in the creative arts.

Our expertise, your future

The University of Sheffield's Department of Music features a broad spectrum of contemporary compositional practice, including instrumental, electronic and mixed-media.

We'll encourage you to explore contemporary composition through various approaches to materials, structures and forms, and to define and refine your creative voice in both instrumental and electronic music.

Our distinguished composers bring their expertise to your course. We'll help you develop a diverse portfolio of your work. In recent years many of our postgraduate composers have received international awards in composition competitions around the globe. 

You'll need to provide a portfolio with your application.

Apply now


Core modules

Module information on department website


  • Seminars
  • Individual tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Graduate study days


Assessment takes a variety of forms such as compositions and essays.


  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

MA Composition developed and strengthened my compositional voice with tutorials, live opportunities, and conferences. It gave me the opportunity to collaborate with an engineer on a very unique sound installation. Most significantly, it changed the way I think and write about music with group discussions and focused dissertation study. This is a valuable and rewarding degree for composers who welcome a challenge.

Stephen Theofanous
MA Composition

Entry requirements

You'll need a 2:1 in music or a combined degree with a substantial music component. Degrees in other related subjects may be acceptable depending on your background.

Provide a portfolio with your application

When you apply you'll need to provide a portfolio of your composition of work or sound art. The portfolio can take many forms: recordings, scores, sound files, videos, live performance practice, among others. It should include one or two examples of your sonic arts and/or composition work, being somewhere between five and 20 minutes.

To submit your portfolio, you should do one of the following:

  • upload your files with your postgraduate online application
  • provide an online link to your portfolio in your postgraduate online application
  • send a CD/DVD/memory stick by post addressed to: Dr Adam Stanovic, Music Admissions MA Music Performance Studies, University of Sheffield, Department of Music, Jessop Building, 34 Leavygreave Road, Sheffield S3 7RD

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

University and faculty funding is available each year. The department has a number of scholarships available for our strongest candidates.

Funding information on the Department of Music website

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now


+44 114 222 0495

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.