Composition for Screen - MSc

Programme video: Composition for Screen - MSc

Composition for Screen at ECA


The MSc Composition for Screen is an exciting one-year taught programme with a focus on practices for composing music and sound for the screen. The range of music for media to be explored includes film and TV as well as current computer multi-media such as YouTube “virals," music videos, commercials, video games and web pages.

This MSc gives students the opportunity to learn about the technical, artistic and intellectual demands of composing music and sound for use in both the established audio-visual media of film and television and the new digital and internet media environments.

The programme will encourage students to create music for innovative media use while receiving practical experience and feedback in collaborating with others.

What will you get out of the programme?

  • Development of your compositional skills, especially those related to musical/dramatic association with the screen
  • Updating and enrichment of your electronic music and media skills, including the use of notational software, sequencer software, hardware and mixing, and media synchronization and production methods
  • A portfolio and demo reel for scoring work through your work in media music projects
  • Familiarity with collaborative processes when working with others in a media music environment
  • An improvement in your abilities to observe and research processes in media music and to communicate those processes with others
  • Self-sufficient capabilities and resourcefulness to take on music for screen projects in a professional atmosphere

Experienced lecturers teach courses and top international media music professionals often give guest lectures. There are also many exciting active collaboration projects throughout the programme, working with filmmakers, animators and industry professionals. Unique to this programme is the opportunity to have works performed by Edinburgh’s only orchestra specializing in the performance of film music, the Edinburgh Film Music Orchestra.

Top five reasons to choose the programme

  • Learn about compositional processes in making music for screen
  • Gain experience through exciting collaborative media music projects
  • Share and develop your abilities in a vibrant and innovative musical environment
  • Meet film makers, animators and industry professional
  • Expand your intellectual skills in composing for screen in one of the world’s great creative cities

View the programme handbook (login required) >


Dr Annette Davison | View staff profile >

Yati Durant, Programme Co-Director | View staff profile >

Prof Peter Nelson | View staff profile >

Dr Martin Parker | View staff profile >


Everything you need to know about finding perfect student accommodation.

Six purpose-built, acoustically-treated music studios, with tie-lines to a shared recording space.

A fully operational, entirely student-run 90-seat theatre housed in a neo-gothic church.

Recording equipment is available to students through BookIt, the online booking system.

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A Georgian garden that doubles as a venue for performances in the centre of the city.

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17 practice rooms equipped with pianos, ideal for students requiring a private place for music practice.

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Nearly 1,000 items including stringed, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments.

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The neo-classical Sculpture Court in the ECA Main Building is home to the many pieces from the Edinburgh Cast Collection, and is regularly used for student exhibitions.

Studio equipment and software tailored for music students to be able to record, edit, and experiment with their work.

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The oldest purpose-built concert hall in Scotland. Used for concerts and part of the Musical Instruments Museum.

Offering counselling services for students, workshops, consultation and training for staff.

Supporting students with dyslexia, mental health issues and students on the autistic spectrum, as well as those who have physical and sensory impairments.

Talbot Rice Gallery is the public art Gallery for the University of Edinburgh.

Home to six distinctive bars, Teviot is the oldest purpose built students' union in the world.

A hub for the University Societies and setting regular live music, comedy, spoken word and poetry nights.

A bar at the Lauriston Campus which hosts regular events including club nights and gigs.

Scholarships & bursaries

Scholarships available for one academic year of postgraduate study at Edinburgh College of Art. (£5,000)

Open to British citizens undertaking MA/MFA Film Directing or MSc Composition for Screen at ECA. Scholarship of up to £12,000 towards tuition fees, BAFTA mentoring support and free access to BAFTA events around the UK.

For full-time postgraduate taught masters students starting at Reid School of Music. (£5,000)

For current full-time music students. Students wishing to enter the competition must present a programme of organ music lasting 35-40 minutes. (£1,000)

For full-time postgraduate taught masters students starting at Reid School of Music. (£3,000)

News & events


ECA is hosting its annual marathon for composers and animators from across Europe.

Transatlantyk Film Music Competition 2016 finalists.png

Transatlantyk Film Music Competition 2016 finalists
Oli Jan (far right) with fellow Transatlantyk Film Music Competition 2016 finalists
Image: PGNiG Transatlantic Festival

Oli Jan was invited to an awards ceremony in Łódź, Poland where he was commended for his original compositions


Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions

Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4086