Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications

School of Music

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MA Electronic and Computer Music

This programme focuses on the technical, creative, historical, critical and performative aspects of electronic and computer music.

You’ll engage with current thinking and practice in areas such as interactivity, audiovisual applications, computer vision, sound spatialisation, algorithmic composition, electronic music, signal processing and sound synthesis. You’ll also learn to place these developments within the aesthetic, cultural and historical context of electronic music and music technology.

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 and sonic arts 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 BBC, Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, and Opera North.

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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 and repertoires 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.

You’ll take three compulsory modules over the year, and you’ll choose whether to do a dissertation or an electronic and computer music portfolio. You’ll then choose from the optional modules below.

Compulsory modulesOptional modules
- Professional Studies
- Electronic and Computer Music Practice
- Electronic and Computer Music Contexts
- Dissertation OR Electronic and Computer Music Portfolio
- Applied Performance Studies
- Composition Studies
- Short Dissertation
- Individual Project
- Case Studies in Applied Psychology of Music
- Instrumental or Vocal Recital
- Concerto/Song Cycle/Extended work
- Editing and Archival Studies
- Issues in Critical Musicology
- Aesthetic Theory

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.

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. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

  • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
  • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

How to apply

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. A copy (or draft) of an undergraduate dissertation, or an essay in English of a minimum of 2,000 words (preferably 4,000) Applicants may be asked to provide a second example of their writing, to provide a fuller assessment of their potential.

If you want to take performance as your specialism in music, 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 wish to take Composition for your Music specialism, please submit one recent composition (if score, no larger than A4, reduce if necessary) with recordings. These can include links to websites, Dropbox, Soundcloud, or similar.

Admissions policy

School of Music Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: £6,500

International: £15,000

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.

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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