Composition application

These requirements are for candidates applying to start their studies at the Academy in September 2020. Until specified otherwise, these requirements also apply for auditions in future years. Some requirements may change: please check back here regularly. You are welcome to contact the Admissions Team or the department administrator if you have any queries. The admissions timetable is outlined on our Application dates page.

Application deadline: The deadline for submitting a UCAS Conservatoires application is 1 October 2019, 6pm UK time, for Gap Year, BMus, MA, MMus or the Professional Diploma. Please contact before submitting a late application.
For Research Degree applications, see the information on our Doctorates page.

For postgraduate composers, the standard programme path is the two-year MMus, though we also offer an MA two-year pathway and in exceptional cases students can be allowed to take a one-year MA. You only have to make one application, the programme path and length can be discussed at the entrance interview and adjusted as appropriate so you are not tied to the option you choose when you submit your application in UCAS Conservatoires. 

UCAS Conservatoires course codes:
Undergraduate Gap Year 102F
Undergraduate BMus 301F
Postgraduate MMus Composition 2 year 800F
Postgraduate MA Composition 2 year 7300
Postgraduate MA Composition 1 year 830F
Postgraduate Professional Diploma 903F

Submitting your Portfolio

The deadline for the Academy to receive your portfolio is 1 October 2019.

Your portfolio should be uploaded into Acceptd:

Scores should be uploaded in PDF format. Please note that after you have pressed Submit it is not possible to add or amend files.

Portfolios uploaded after 1 October may be processed at the discretion of the Head of Composition.

Portfolio guidelines: There is no maximum number of works, but we suggest you only submit your best and most recent work. If available, a short programme note can be included for the pieces in the portfolio, but this is not compulsory. There are no style constraints. The panel will be looking for evidence of technical accomplishment with regard to musical construction and a creative, individual and inventive musical voice.

Assessment process

  • Round One: The portfolios (see below) are assessed by the Composition department entry panel. This is the equivalent of the first-round live performance given by an instrumental or vocal candidate to a panel at the Academy. You will be informed around the beginning of November whether you have been selected for interview.
  • Round Two: The interviews for the selected candidates will take place during the main audition period in London in December, and you should attend at the allocated time. If you live outside the UK and are unable to travel to London for interview, please select Video Interview in your UCAS Conservatoires application. We will arrange a video link during the December audition session. However, if you are applying for transfer to year 2 or year 3 of the BMus programme, you will need to attend a live interview in London.

Composition: BMus, study abroad/exchange and Gap Year requirements

Portfolio: You should submit several examples of original work, including at least one larger scale piece. Please submit a PDF score of each item and (where possible) a recording. 

If selected for a Round Two interview, after you have discussed your portfolio with the composition panel, to help us stream you into the most appropriate classes you may be asked to have an academic interview which includes some questions about a short extract of music, and some aural skills assessments consisting of a sight-singing test and some of the following:
- singing the middle notes in a chord
- identification of intervals
- sight reading of rhythms
- sight reading of two simultaneous different rhythms, to be sung and clapped.
Sorry, we cannot issue specimen tests.

Composition: MA, MMus and Prof Dip requirements

Portfolio: You should send at least three pieces written for a variety of forces. Please submit a PDF score of each item and (where possible) a recording. 

MMus and Prof Dip candidates: You must also provide written work, as detailed on our written work requirements page.

Composition: MPhil candidates (research degree)

Information about studying composition at research level can be found on the Research Degree pages. For information about how to apply, please see our Doctorates page.

Postgraduate Research MPhil/PhD 950F

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