This programme is aimed at those with considerable practical experience of sonic art, electronic composition or sound design who wish to pursue further study by researching a particular area of these fields. 

Students will engage richly and creatively with the social, cultural, technical and theoretical aspects of one or more of the following: 

  • Sound design 

  • Sonic art 

  • Digital composition and performance 

  • Digital audio and media technology 

  • Creative coding for sound 

Programme format

You will learn through a research-methods course, via selections from an interdisciplinary menu of taught course options, and with supervision from a supervisory team active in your research area. 

Usually, students will participate in 4 taught modules (80 credits) available from electives across the institution. These are selected to assist in the development of skills related to the research project. The remaining 100 credits are dedicated to the development of your own research practice which will result in a Masters level thesis of around 15,000 words, accompanied by significant practical research outputs where appropriate.  

Potential supervisors

Below is a list of potential supervisors, but the list is not exhaustive 

Dr Martin Parker (Programme Director) 

Dr Tom Mudd  

Dr Jules Rawlinson  

Dr Linda O Keeffe 

Dr Florian Hecker 

Dr Rebecca Collins 



Where will it take you?

Upon graduating, you will be able to engage deeply with social, cultural, technical and theoretical concepts spanning sound art, design, digital composition, new music practices and digital media.  

The programme is especially good preparation for PhD study in a sound related area, via our PhD in Creative Music Practice, or a foundation for taking your career along a new path.   

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

Preparing your application

Common to all research programmes are a set of research aims, a research context, a research process and a research product/outcome. The research proposal should include reference to all of these elements. All applicants for postgraduate research programmes must submit a research proposal.

Portfolios or writing samples are also required for some research degrees.

View the Music guidelines (PDF)


Dr Martin Parker

Head of Subject Area - Music; Programme Director, MSc Sound Design, Music

Email: martin.parker@ed.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 2333

Facilities and resources

Our extensive range of music studio spaces, equipment, and software will allow you to see your audio projects all the way through from composition and recording, to mixing, mastering, and post-production.

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

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

Scholarships and bursaries

Andrew Grant Postgraduate Scholarships

  • Deadline: 1 March 2023
  • Value: £10,500
  • Eligibility: Scholarships available for one academic year of postgraduate Masters study at Edinburgh College of Art.


Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions

Email: ecaresearchdegrees@ed.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 4086