Composition at the Academy has an international reputation centred on intensive project-based and highly collaborative degree programmes.

Our cutting-edge courses are taught by distinguished and prominent composers, and they reflect the realities and challenges for today’s music creator. Academy composers have a wide range of opportunities for performance and recording, and are fully prepared to work in a variety of creative contexts.

The Academy offers Principal Study in Composition for undergraduates and postgraduates:

Composition Open Day: Please contact us to discuss making an individual appointment.

See also:
Performance, the central driving force behind all Academy studies
Regent Scholarship Scheme

Open Days
The Royal Academy of Music will not be running a Composition Open Day this year, but instead we invite you to attend any of our public classes.


Emily Mould, Composition Administrator
Telephone 020 7873 7379 / Email

Critic to composer: read about Paul Morley’s year at the Academy in The Observer

Philip Cashian

Head of Composition: Philip Cashian

Head of Composition since 2007

Major commissions from leading orchestras including the London Sinfonietta, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Britten Sinfonia

Has written, performed and recorded works for chamber ensembles, opera and dance

Read Philip's blog

Latest News

Success at British Composer Awards


Awards for John Webb, Tansy Davies and Simon Bainbridge

Latest Blog

Memorable collaborations


Working with John Adams, Nigel Hess and Piers Adams

Upcoming Events

Soundbox free

Thursday, 26.01.2017 12:30, Museum Piano Gallery

Peter Sheppard Skærved, violinist and Viotti Lecturer, explores the historical and contemporary relationships between performers, composers, instruments and instrument-makers.

Composers’ Project: Pianistic Innovations free

Friday, 10.02.2017 19:00, David Josefowitz Recital Hall

Acclaimed new music pianist Dr Zubin Kanga performs a recital of new works by Master's students

Composers’ Project: CHROMA free

Wednesday, 22.02.2017 19:00, David Josefowitz Recital Hall

Award-winning ensemble CHROMA perform new works by composition students

Bent Sørensen in Conversation

Tuesday, 07.03.2017 15:00, David Josefowitz Recital Hall

Internally acclaimed Danish composer Bent Sørensen is interviewed by writer and broadcaster Paul Morley

Composer in Residence: Bent Sørensen free

Thursday, 09.03.2017 19:00, Duke’s Hall

A concert of works by esteemed Danish composer Bent Sørensen Academy MPhil composer Rubens Askenar

Academy Composers’ Platform

Monday, 20.03.2017 19:30, The Forge

A concert of original works by composition students

Staff Finder

follow us on twitter@RoyalAcadMusic@RoyalAcadMusic #composition
@RoyalAcadMusic • Jan 13
TODAY Have a good lunch break – new works by #composition students sung by @BlossomStChoir at Regent Hall #free 1pm
@RoyalAcadMusic • Dec 13
Congrats to #composition #alum @BenWallfisch for @GoldenGlobes nomination along w/ @Pharrell and @RealHansZimmer.
@RoyalAcadMusic • Dec 11
Whatever happened to the Avant-Garde? Listen to Paul Morley, regular #Composition Dept collaborator, on @BBCRadio3 at 6.45pm.

‘Our practical and hands-on approach prepares students for the realities of the profession’
Philip Cashian

Philip Cashian