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MUS3012 : Major Specialist Study: Composition

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Rob Mackay
  • Lecturer: Dr Bennett Hogg, Dr William Edmondes, Ms Nancy Kerr Elliott, Dr Mariam Rezaei, Mr Phil Begg
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 20.0


1. To engage in a substantial programme of original composition that sums up the student's undergraduate learning in composition, exploring a range of creative problems.
2. To cultivate a professional attitude to creative practice and its presentation.
3. To embark on relevant activities associated with the chosen type of composition, in order to maximise preparedness for further work in the discipline.

Outline Of Syllabus

You will be expected to apply the expertise you have acquired through your previous compositional studies, to develop critical and technical skills relating to your chosen area of composition and awareness of its wider relationship to contemporary music and culture. Under the guidance of your supervisor and in response to your artistic development you may be required to work in particular ways (e.g. to compose for designated forces to suit workshop opportunities, to work collaboratively, to use creative writing or other divergent strategies). Alongside developing your creative imagination you will be expected to cultivate a professional attitude to your practice and its presentation.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical24:008:00Optional project but open to all students
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching82:0016:00PiP. But can be synchronous online if needed
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops52:0010:00PiP. But can be synchronous online if needed
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery60:303:00PiP tutorials. But can be synchronous online if needed.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1363:00363:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
MUS3016Minor Specialist Study: Composition
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures outline creative briefs, introduce and discuss repertoire, encourage critical discussion and promotes sharing of repertoire.

Small-group teaching brings together students supervised by the same supervisor for peer discussion and more detailed scrutiny of relevant repertoire, as well as sharing works-in-progress with their immediate peers, and receiving feedback from peers and supervisor in a group context.

Tutorials provide student-specific, in-depth scrutiny of work-in-progress and technical and aesthetic advice and instruction as required by the individual student.

Private study constitutes the bulk of the work where students experiment, collaborate where appropriate, and execute works to be included in their final portfolio.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2A70Portfolio of compositions. Can be completed remotely if needed
Essay2A10Critical and contextual commentary on compositions submitted. Can be completed remotely if needed.
Prof skill assessmnt1A20Oral presentation of work in progress. Length of 10 mins. Digital submission. Presentations discussed at panels at UG conference
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Design/Creative proj1MThe composition(s) discussed in the Oral Presentation submitted for supervisor formative feedback
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Portfolio demonstrates skills outcomes 1-6
Supporting documentation demonstrates knowledge outcomes 1-6 and skills outcomes 7 & 8

Reading Lists