You will study the following core modules:
Composition Tutorials 1 and 2
Across these two modules you will receive regular one-to-one tutorial teaching, enabling you to develop your compositional technique and a self-reflexive critique of your own work. You will be taught composition techniques appropriate to your individual needs. You will also be encouraged to broaden your range of compositional practice, and move toward the development of a personal ‘voice’.
Assessment: A series of compositions
Music as Critical Practice
This module introduces the aesthetics and criticism of contemporary music and sound art. Its themes cross the notation/sound-based divide and may include post-formalism and conceptual music; music and the Anthropocene; inter-and post-media art; music as social activism; music and posthumanism; music and the digital; music and contemporaneity; practice-based research. A key problematic for twenty-first century music is its relationship to what is not music, whether that be sound, the other arts, other media, or the social and political. We will explore this substantively, discussing examples that challenge the legacies of high modernist formal aestheticism and medium specificity.
Assessment: Written project, Sound based project and Listening diary
Music Employability offers opportunities to develop applicable skills to foster a music career and identify transferable skills for adjacent career trajectories. You will improve your grant writing skills, cultivate public presentation skills, acquire skills in content creation, and explore new means of self-promotion. Using a combination of seminar discussions, masterclasses, and project-based work, you will draw on the resources of the University of Birmingham Careers Network and connections to the wider city community to pursue topics that may include leadership cultivation, digital literacy, professional development, copyright awareness, public presentation tools, podcast and video creation, and website development.
Assessment: Professional Development Statement and Portfolio and Creative Project
You will choose two of the following four modules, one in Semester 1 and the other in Semester 2.
- Advanced Studies in Electroacoustic Composition 1
- Advanced Studies in Electroacoustic Composition 2
- Advanced Studies in Instrumental/Vocal Composition 1
- Advanced Studies in Instrumental/Vocal Composition 2
You will also chooseone optional module from a range which typically includes:
- Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art
- British Music in Performance
- Sonic Alchemy: Live Electronic and Mixed Music Ensemble
- Fieldwork Methods
- Introduction to Global Popular Musics
- Electronic Music Studies
- Historically Informed Performance
- Classical and Romantic Keyboard Music
- Gustav Mahler: The Philosophy of Music
- Postsocialist Music and Ethnography
For more information, see our Music module descriptions.
In addition to your taught modules, you will produce a portfolio consisting of one or more compositions amounting to approximately 13-23 minutes duration in total (length to be agreed with your supervisor), and an accompanying written commentary of approximately 3-5,000 words. Students are also required to attend and to write short summaries of research seminars presented during the academic year.
Please note that the optional module information listed on the website for this programme is intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.