Composition faculty classes and activities

Undergraduate students take weekly academic classes in addition to their composition studies.

Classes in Analysis and Aural, Technology, Keyboard Skills and Western Music History are designed to compliment and add to every student’s creative development as composers. More information about Academic Studies can be found on the BMus Programme page.

In addition to weekly individual lessons, composition students participate in the following activities:

  • Contemporary Repertoire: focusing on 20th and 21st century repertoire, these lectures and seminars give you an enhanced awareness of a broad range of musical materials and style by listening, analysing and discussing both familiar and unfamiliar musical areas.
  • Orchestration: an examination of the development of orchestral technique from early Mozart through to today using a wide-range of scores and genres.
  • Technology: by using the Academy's Creative Technology Suite, you will be guided through the basics of digital sound recording and gain a thorough understanding of the aesthetics of electroacoustic music and the role of technology in creative sound manipulation and mixing.

The Academy has a wide range of Creative Technology facilities. These allow the composition, recording, editing and mixing of a wide range of musical styles to be done using professional-quality hardware and software. We have dedicated staff to teach you how to use it.


Music and Media Application

This class gives you an introduction to composing for, and practical experience of working with music directed towards media, not for the concert hall (including though not restricted to: jingles, film, promotion, theatre etc).

Writing for the Stage

Through the study of key works, past and present, as well as recent developments in music theatre, radio art and sound design, you will develop your dramatic awareness in order to compose for a variety of theatrical contexts.

Electronic Music

By providing an historical awareness of the development of Electronic Music, these classes enable you to undertake creative and experimental electronic music projects by using several computer-based composition production techniques.


This module introduces composers to a variety of improvisational and ‘instant composition’ techniques specifically intended to support and enhance composers’ own work practices.

Structure, Theory and the Creative Process in Contemporary Composition

This module explores the relation between some of the key concepts and resources present in Postmodernity and their impact on the creative process of musical composition. 

The sessions will illuminate the underlying connections between contemporary ideas and the creative processes of selected composers.

Composer Workshops

You will be given regular occasions to rehearse and record your work with talented Academy musicians in both studio and concert hall settings. There are many opportunities for student compositions to be played by orchestral and chamber ensembles both inside and outside the Academy.

Composition Concerts

Composer Platform concerts are given at the end of each term, both within the Academy and in external venues in London.


Throughout the year, we offer a number of commissions to our composers to write for a wide variety of events with professional performers both within and outside the Academy. Recently, three of our composers wrote commissions for the annual Spitalfields Festival.

Seminar Series

This series underpins all composition studies and features guest composers such as Brian Eno, Simon Holt, Judith Weir, Beat Furrer, Martijn Padding, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, and Betsy Jolas.


As an Academy student, you can choose to take the LRAM (Licenciate of the Royal Academy of Music) teaching diploma course, which offers a comprehensive, practically-based introduction to the principles of teaching.

Undergraduate composers are assessed on a portfolio of work submitted at the end of each year.

Academy composers are not necessarily performers, but there are opportunities for you to apply for instrumental lessons.


The Composition Faculty has regular collaborations with groups such as CHROMA ensemble, Blossom Street, Bristol School of Animation, University of Roehampton Dance Department, Paris Conservatoire.

Academy composers regularly team up with Academy Chamber Music Fellows – opening up creative opportunities within the Academy and also throughout the UK and abroad.

Our professors are keen to bring the most prominent names in contemporary music and composition into the Academy to create a lively and thriving department full of innovation and tradition.

Next Event

Bach the European: From Ancient Cosmos towards Enlightenment 2020

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