Reasons to choose the programme

Highly commissioned, knowledgeable, active, and experienced staff covering a wide range of digital composition and performance techniques.
Excellent facilities and dedicated technical support team focussing on high-quality kit and including the Reid Studio: come and hear the difference.
Stick out from the crowd by learning how to develop your own bespoke software solutions to facilitate your musical visions.
Work in an exceptionally vibrant and energetic environment at the Edinburgh College of Art, with related programmes including the fields of Sound Design, Composition and more.
Aesthetically open, student-focussed, and with a concentration on sound and musical form rather than notation and music theory.

The starting point is a drive to make and perform music with digital technologies, as well as to explore a variety of music to inform and develop a highly personalised musical style.


This interdisciplinary programme focusses on composition and performance with a variety of computer-based technologies. It is open to active musicians with or without a formal music education. It covers electronic/computer/instrumental composition and performance; sound design concepts and techniques; real-time and non real-time sound synthesis and signal processing; interface design; laptop performance strategies; sound diffusion and spatialisation; algorithmic composition; cultural theory; and more. The focus is upon developing bespoke software for the realisation of personal musical visions.  This, along with exposure to a wide variety of techniques and musical styles, fosters the creation of highly individual styles and helps graduates stand out from the crowd.

This programme is for talented, creative composers; burgeoning laptop performers; obsessively meticulous digital sound producers; visual artists incorporating sound in their exhibitions; glitch-happy hardware hackers; sound designers itching to go further with musical structure; interactive sound installation artists; performers wishing to branch out into the world of electronic and computer music; classically-trained composers wanting to break into the digital age.

A unique approach

University composition courses are usually open only to musicians with years of training on a classical instrument, with all the music theory that this entails.This degree recognises a need to engage with musicians who either never had the opportunity of such a training, or whose practice never demanded it. Its starting point is a drive to make and perform music with digital technologies, as well as to explore a variety of music and texts to inform and develop a highly personalised musical style.

As this degree involves a wide range of disciplines both technical and artistic, you will gain a number of transferable skills ranging from the core matters of composition, audio production, and music programming to more indirect but highly employable skills such as research, documentation, critical thinking, oral presentation, teamwork, and software development.


Our graduates have gone on to be employed as composers, performers, researchers, Cirque du Soleil sound technicians, university lecturers, software engineers, BBC sound recordists, web designers, multimedia/video streaming engineers, DJs, etc.

    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


    Dr Martin Parker

    Director of Outreach, Senior Lecturer in Sound Design


    Tel: +44 (0)131 650 2333

    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