Composition - MMus


The Composition – MMus programme will be on sabbatical for 2017/18. However, the Composition for Screen – MSc and Digital Composition and Performance – MSc programmes will still be running.

The MMus in Composition allows students to explore their creative language and horizons in relationship to contemporary compositional styles and challenges. Each student's creative work is developed and guided through seminars and individual tutorials. There are no stylistic preferences and all contemporary styles are encouraged, including the use of new technologies.

This programme is for creative musicians with a thorough grounding in basic technique who wish to expand their imaginative and critical horizons. The Reid School of Music is situated within Edinburgh College of Art, with the possibility of collaboration with art-forms including film, video, art writing, sculpture and many others. Four taught or supervised courses are taken over two semesters, with a wide variety of optional courses including advanced orchestration, music in the community, algorithmic composition, and a range of musicological and technical courses.

What you will study

There is a strong practical element to the programme, including an engagement with performers in residence: the Edinburgh Quartet, and Edinburgh University Composers’ Orchestra which gives regular performances of student compositions. Recent visiting artists include percussionist, Joby Burgess; the Diotima Quartet; the Hebrides Ensemble; bass viol player, Andrew Arceci; guitarist, Simon Thacker and many others.

Participants can also take advantage of a vibrant creative environment which includes free improvisation, algorithmic composition using computer software, and live interactive electronics. The annual Dialogues Festival provides a series of performances by exceptional visiting artists.

Graduates will have developed and consolidated their creative skills, and will also have gained experience of collaborative work and engagement with performers and audiences. Many graduates go on to worthwhile involvement in creative music-making.

Top five reasons to choose the programme

  • Lively and friendly creative environment.
  • Wide range of course options.
  • Contact with internationally renowned performers.
  • Weekly engagement with performance through Composers’ Orchestra.
  • Expert creative guidance.

View the programme handbook (login required) >


Prof Peter Nelson, Programme Director | View staff profile >

Yati Durant | View staff profile >

Dr Michael Edwards | View staff profile >


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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.

The primary collection of books, periodicals, manuscripts, and research material.

Edinburgh is home to a number of musical societies, bands, orchestras and dance troupes.

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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By day, a café, bar and study space, and by night a club venue. Potterrow’s dome is also home to the Advice Place and the Potter Shop.

A 218-seat Victorian venue built in 1859. Used for regular orchestral and choral rehearsals and performances.

Located beneath Reid Concert Hall, this studio is built to record live performances in the venue.

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.

Caters to a diverse range of users from occasional exercisers to international athletes.

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)

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


Four musicians and composer standing at end of concert
Harry Whalley with the Gildas Quartet and Pete Furniss after performing one of his pieces

Harry has composed scores for film and computer games that have been featured at film festivals around the world.

BAFTA Scotland New Talent Awards 2016 14- KK two awards.jpg

Photo of an E C A graduate with two awards
Kris Kubik won two awards for his 2015 graduation film
Image courtesy of BAFTA/Andy Buchanan

Five winners from four programmes spanning the schools of Design and Music.


Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions

Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4086