This research programme is aimed at people with considerable practical experience of sound design or experimental composition, but who wish to pursue further study, researching a particular area of the field. This could range from advanced surround sound applications, through to performance-based sound design, sound archiving, sonic art and installation, sound education, or theoretical and critical lines of enquiry informed by practice.  

Programme format

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

You will develop a Masters level thesis of around 15,000 words, accompanied by significant practical research where appropriate. 


Where will it take you?

Upon graduating, you will be able to engage deeply with the social, cultural, technical and theoretical aspects of 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 2021
  • Value: £10,000
  • 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