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Composition and Contemporary Creative Practice MMus

2023-24 (also available for 2024-25)

This course is eligible for Master's loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

18 September 2023


1 year full-time
2 years part-time

Places available (subject to change)


About the course

Reasons to study

  1. Music and Music Technology at the University of Huddersfield has an international reputation, hosting one of the largest postgraduate music communities in the UK.
  2. Music staff are active across diverse professional contexts, including as composers, conductors, producers, sound recordists, performers, and publishers of scholarly articles and books.
  3. The department is the home of the HISS (Huddersfield Immersive Sound System).

This Masters level course is designed for both music and music technology graduates, who are looking to develop their skills and knowledge within the field of contemporary music, allowing everyone to explore ways of extending their contemporary practice. Our aim is to allow you to explore the field of contemporary music whilst encouraging an approach that pushes the boundaries of current practice in the pursuit of innovative artistic goals. The course is suited to those specialising in any area of contemporary music practice including and/or combining: instrumental or computer-based composition, sound art, interdisciplinary work, improvisation and installation.

Music and Music Technology at the University of Huddersfield has an international reputation, hosting one of the largest postgraduate music communities in the UK. You will benefit from our regular research seminars and workshops and will be a member of the Centre for Research in New Music which provides a focus for popular music research in the department. CeReNeM maintains strong connections with other research centres, including CMCI and ReCePP, whose members include performers, composers and technology researchers across wide stylistic contexts.

Course detail

Creative Practice in New Music

On this module you will develop your chosen area of contemporary music practice. You will undertake a portfolio of creative work through fortnightly one to one staff supervision. The scope and scale of the projects or works in the portfolio will be established in close consultation with your supervisor and could include instrumental or computer-based composition, sound art, interdisciplinary work, improvisation or installation work. Development of your portfolio will be supported through participation in CeReNeM workshops and concerts and the Electric Spring Festival.

Contemporary Music Language

The module is organised into four-week units, each investigating in detail a topic or question central to current musical thought. In addition to more explicitly musical concerns (notation, advanced instrumental techniques, orchestration, new electronic sound resources, form, improvisation, collaboration, etc.), topic areas will often engage issues of contemporary thought (philosophy, cultural criticism, semiotics, linguistics, etc.) and contemporary art(s) in general. Topics will be chosen to encourage a networked approach to content, with each of the four topic areas intertwined in a variety of ways

Creative Production Project

On this module, you undertake a substantial independent creative production project. You can undertake work in any area of creative music production that interests you and guidance will be available through staff supervision. Examples of the kinds of projects that would be relevant are an EP/album length production of one or more artists, a collection of your own songwriting or compositional work, a substantial live production (or portfolio of live work) from either mixing or performance perspectives, or a set of music videos (of your own creative work or that of others).

Researching Music

On this module you will be introduced to a range of significant and contemporary scholarship relating to the study of music. You will learn about diverse approaches to music research, and receive training in managing research professionally and ethically. Central to the module is the development of research skills appropriate to postgraduate level work and to your own research interests.

You will take 180 credits at Master’s level, made up of four modules, including two 60 credit modules developing composition, sound art or other creative portfolios.

Entry requirements

You are required to have a good honours degree from a recognised University or equivalent institution. Your application materials (or previous qualifications) and live audition (or documentation of your performance) should be able to demonstrate a strong understanding of performance and instrumental/vocal/other technique. Auditions should comprise of two contrasting pieces, one of which should relate to the your proposed specialism in performance.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum of IELTS 6.5 overall with no element lower than 6.0, or equivalent. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

Student Work

At the University of Huddersfield we have a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate students studying songwriting, music production, music performance, recording, classical music, composing, film music, sound design for image and much more, all showcased on our Youtube Channel

Student support

The school has dedicated Academic Skills Tutors (AST) who deliver a range of generic skills. The AST offers help and advice with general study skills, IT, literacy and numeracy as well as research skills. The AST may also refer students for specialist support and assessment e.g. for Dyslexia.

In line with the Equality Act 2010, the School will make reasonable adjustments in order that disabled students can fully access their course. The University's Disability Services provide information and advice to disabled students about the support available and liaises with members of staff on disability related issues.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Cancellation of a course you have applied for

Although we always try and run all of the course we offer, we may occasionally have to withdraw a course you have applied for or combine your programme with another programme if we consider this reasonably necessary to ensure a good student experience, for example if there are not enough applicants to ensure you have a good learning experience. Where this is the case we will notify you as soon as reasonably possible and we will contact you to discuss other suitable courses with us we can transfer your application to. If we notify you that the course you have applied to has been withdrawn or combined, and you do not wish to transfer to another course with us, you may cancel your application and we will refund you any deposits or fees you have paid to us.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to. You should read these carefully before you enrol. Please note that this information is subject to change and you are advised to check our website regularly for any changes before you enrol at the University. A person who is not party to this agreement shall not have any rights under or in connection with it. Only you and the University shall have any right to enforce or rely on the agreement.

Equal opportunities

The University of Huddersfield is an equal opportunities institution. We aim to create conditions where staff and students are treated solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential, regardless of gender, age, race, caste, class, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, family responsibility, trade union activity, political or religious belief, or age. Please visit our website to see our Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy

Data protection

The University holds personal data on all enquirers, applicants and enrolled students. All such data is kept and processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Legislation. The University’s Data Protection Policy and Privacy Notices are available on the University website.

Students’ Union membership

Under the 1994 Education Act, students at all UK universities have the right to join, or not to join, the Students’ Union. There is no membership fee. If you choose not to join you have the right not to be disadvantaged; however, you are not entitled to vote, take part in elections, or hold any office. The following arrangements apply in order that non-Union members are not disadvantaged: Non-members are welcome to take part in the activities of Affiliated Clubs and Societies on payment of the appropriate subscription. However, they may not vote or hold office in the society or club. Union members may be offered a discounted subscription. Non-members are free to use Union facilities on the same basis as members. Welfare, catering and shops are available to non-members as well as members. Union members may be offered a discounted price.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.