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.


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.

How to apply and entrance requirements

If you'd like to study on a postgraduate programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through EUCLID, our online application system. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh website, where you'll also be able to:

  • see detailed entrance requirements for each programme on the Degree Finder
  • get information on what to expect after you apply
  • find out about study modes, start dates and fees
  • find out if, and how, you need to submit a portfolio, showreel or research proposal
  • find out where to go for further advice and guidance

Take me to the University of Edinburgh website on how to apply for postgraduate study


Prof Peter Nelson

Professor (Personal Chair of Music and Technology)


Tel: +44 (0)131 650 2428

Facilities and resources

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

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

On occasion the Reid School of Music loans audio equipment to outside organisations.

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

Information on the equipment available to students in the music studios and editing suites.

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.

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

The oldest purpose-built concert hall in Scotland, home to one of the most important historic musical instrument collections in the world.

Scholarships and bursaries

Andrew Grant Postgraduate Scholarships

  • Value: £5,000-£15,000
  • Deadline:
  • Eligibility: Scholarships available for one academic year of postgraduate study at Edinburgh College of Art.

Bucher-Fraser Scholarship (for new students)

  • Value: £5,000
  • Deadline:
  • Eligibility: Awarded to a student who is accepted for admission on a full-time, postgraduate taught Masters programme in Music. Applicants must have received an offer by the scholarship deadline.

J.S. Anderson Organ prize

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

Jean Kennoway Howells Scholarship

  • Value: £3,000
  • Deadline:
  • Eligibility: Awarded to a student who is accepted onto a full-time, postgraduate taught Masters programme in Music.


Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 4086