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:

  • Undergraduate (BMus) Composition and Contemporary Music
  • Postgraduate (MA, MMus, Diplomas, PhD) Composition and Contemporary Music

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

2018/19 Composition Prospectus


See also

Performance, the central driving force behind all Academy studies
Regent Scholarship Scheme
Critic to composer: read about Paul Morley’s year at the Academy in The Observer


Emily Mould, Department Administrator and Project Manager
Telephone 020 7873 7379 / Email

Professor Philip Cashian

Head of Composition: Professor 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

Academy Honours Announced


We are pleased to announce the latest Honours awarded by the Royal Academy of Music and the University of London

Latest Blog

Memorable collaborations


Working with John Adams, Nigel Hess and Piers Adams

Upcoming Events

Composers’ Project: Carte Blanche free

Wednesday, 25.04.2018 19:00, Angela Burgess Recital Hall

Academy composers present an exciting concert of their own work for mixed ensemble

Historical Women Composer Prize free

Tuesday, 01.05.2018 15:00, David Josefowitz Recital Hall

A prize for the best performance of music by historical women

Composer in Residence: Harrison Birtwistle free

Thursday, 03.05.2018 15:00, David Josefowitz Recital Hall

Two iconic Mancunians discuss the composer’s life and work

Composer in Residence: Harrison Birtwistle free

Thursday, 03.05.2018 19:00, Duke’s Hall

A concert of music by Harrison Birtwistle, reflecting on his fascinations with early music, alongside a new work by PhD student Joseph Howard

Postgraduate Jazz Composers’ Octet free

Tuesday, 15.05.2018 19:30, Angela Burgess Recital Hall

The Jazz Master’s Programme culminates in the public performances of their octet compositions

Composers’ Project: Protest! free

Wednesday, 13.06.2018 20:00, Aures London

This evening of protest songs, new and old, is part of the Waterloo Festival, a celebration of arts, music and ideas

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

Philip Cashian
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