Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

MA Electronic and Computer Music

This programme focusses the creative, historical, critical, technical, and performative aspects of electronic and computer music, emphasising the many ways in which technology and musical practice influence each other.

You’ll engage with current thinking and practice in areas including experimental electronic music, sound synthesis, electrical and electronic musical instruments, signal processing, technologically-mediated approaches to composition, live electronic music, interfaces and interactivity, sound spatialisation, electronic music in the museum, and more. You’ll also learn to place these developments within the aesthetic, critical, cultural and historical context of electronic music and music technology.

A distinctive feature of this programme is the balance it strikes between creative practice, technical skills and theory, and critical/cultural/historic context in electronic and computer music.

Electronic and computer music is a broad and exciting field of research, and you’ll learn from an academic team with a strong presence in the international computer music, sonic arts, and electronic music research communities. It’s a great opportunity for musicians, creative professionals, educators, scientists, or artists who are interested in the integration of music and technology to collaborate across disciplines in a city with a thriving music and cultural scene.

We have a variety of facilities on site to support your learning including: an electronic music studio hosting a collection of analogue synthesizers, two recording studios, a computer music cluster, rehearsal rooms, performance and practice spaces, music psychology lab, and concert hall. On campus you’ll also find many opportunities for extra-curricular activities in music and performance.

We also have good working relationships with Leeds University Union (which runs a range of clubs and performance spaces), and external organisations such as the Science Museum (London), National Media Museum (Bradford), BBC, Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, and Opera North.

Take a virtual tour of the School of Music

You’ll work on your own practice from the beginning of the programme. A core module will allow you to complete different electronic and computer music exercises using a range of frameworks, while another will introduce you to the development of electronic and computer music and the current state of the art form. You’ll consider the people, institutions, innovations, repertoires, and critical perspectives that continue to shape electronic and computer music.

Throughout the year your knowledge and skills will be underpinned by Professional Studies, a module which introduces you to research methods in music and allows you to build important skills. You’ll also put this into practice with your major project, where you’ll research, plan and document an independent project on a related topic of your choice.

Outside of the field of electronic and computer music, you’ll also choose an optional module from those offered across the School of Music. You could study psychology of music, aesthetic theory or editing, or if you have some experience of composing or performing you could even continue with these.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

You’ll study the three core modules below and then choose either the Electronic and Computer Music Portfolio (60 credits) or a Dissertation (60 credits).

  • Professional Studies 30 credits
  • Electronic & Computer Music Practice 30 credits
  • Electronic & Computer Music Contexts 30 credits

Optional modules

  • Individual Project 30 credits
  • Short Dissertation 30 credits
  • Composition Studies 30 credits
  • Instrumental or Vocal Recital 30 credits
  • Concerto/Song-Cycle/Extended Work 30 credits
  • Applied Performance Studies 30 credits
  • Editing and Archival Studies 30 credits
  • Short Editorial Project 30 credits
  • Issues in Critical Musicology 30 credits
  • Aesthetic Theory 30 credits
  • Case Studies in the Applied Psychology of Music 30 credits
  • Dissertation 60 credits
  • Electronic & Computer Music Portfolio 60 credits

Discovery modules

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods including lectures, seminars and group learning. However, independent study is vital to this degree, as it allows you to follow your own interests, build your skills and explore your creativity. You will work on project work and conduct research independently, but our technicians and tutors are on hand to support you if you need it.


You’ll be assessed using different methods, allowing you to build a variety of skills. These will include the skills required for practical project work during the programme as well as essays, presentations, and a bibliography project. Optional modules may use different methods such as performances, or a composition portfolio.

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in any subject, but applications from candidates with a background in music, or subjects such as technology, mathematics, science, art, design, or computing are encouraged. Relevant professional experience may also be considered.

International qualifications

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Music admissions team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

If you need to study for longer than 10 weeks, read more about our postgraduate pre-sessional English course.

How to apply

Application deadline

We will consider applications from 1 October – 1 September.

However, we recommend you apply as early as possible, especially if you are planning to apply for external funding. You will usually be expected to have an offer of a place on a programme before you apply for funding. You may also need to leave time to make arrangements such as visa applications or relocating to Leeds.

This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you need

Your degree certificate and transcript, or a partial transcript if you’re still studying.

Two academic references.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide evidence of your English language qualification.

An essay written in English with references on any subject which gives an indication of your ability to write in an academic style.

Examples of software programming and/or applied use of computer music software produced at undergraduate level or professionally. If you don’t have any of these, other examples of work which demonstrate a theoretical understanding of digital audio, programming skills, or other knowledge that may be relevant to the course may also be accepted.

If you want to take performance as your optional module, we need to see evidence of your performance standard. You can either audition in person or submit a recording on DVD, or a link to a video of your performance online.

If you want to take a module in composition, please submit a recent composition (if score, no larger than A4) and recordings if you have them. These can include links to websites, Dropbox, Soundcloud, or similar.

Admissions policy

School of Music Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: £7,500 (total)

International: £17,750 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

This programme will equip you with in-depth subject knowledge and a range of transferable skills in research, analysis, ICT and communication, as well as critical awareness. Beyond these, we also encourage an approach to skills development that is tailored to your individual needs.

You’ll focus on areas that interest you in your project work to gain the knowledge and skills you need to suit your career or research plans. After an audit of your existing skills, you’ll follow an individual development programme.

We also offer additional support as you develop your career plans: the School of Music boasts a unique Alumni Mentoring Network, where students can be supported by past students as they start to plan their next steps.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

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